FAQ > Color Cycling 8bit Art > Q: You seem to have some of the scenes at different times of day. I see the Jungle Waterfall scene at morning, afternoon and night. Are these different versions separate pieces of art?
A: These versions of the scene are all the same piece of art merely ‘shifted’ to different palettes. In some cases, additional ‘baked in’ overlays are added to the scene, (for effects like rain or snow). If used, however, such overlays are still just ‘baked in’ to the same single-layer art file that appears in any other iteration of the scene, and are all deriving their color and motion from the same palette as the rest of the picture in any of its states.
These scenes can go seamlessly through the 24 hour light cycle, and even change weather conditions ‘naturally’ and seamlessly in real time as you watch. I am not just talking about changing the brightness or color scheme of these pictures either. Over the course of ‘sunrise and morning,’ ‘morning to afternoon’ or ‘evening and sunset,’ I constructed these scenes so that light and shadow will gradually change angle, climb down the sides of things, move across lawns, up cliffs or building walls, as changing light does in life - all just by fading through palette series designed to make those things happen without altering or adding anything at all to the single-layer of 8-bit pixel art.
In fact, for a little plug-in-controller “X-men” game I helped produce for Jakks Pacific four or five years ago, I built a single picture that changed from a Manhattan style city-scape full of buildings and smogy sky, to a bucolic forested valley scene with far off hills and wispy clouds, to a high-atmosphere stratus-cloud-scape - each at three different times of day - just by switching the one picture to any of nine different palettes. Change the palette, and get a picture containing completely different content as well as different light and color. These scenes also scan-line parallaxed fairly elaborately - and all of this still left nearly half of the available 256 color palette space unused. (Aspects of this process do involve a fair share of chicken entrails and powdered dragon tooth applied by moonlight on the winter solstice, so don’t try this at home, kids.) :D