On Twitter, I found this screenshot of a game in development:

enter image description here

The image on top seems to be without any color limitation. But the two other pictures at the bottom have a 256 color palette.

I want to achieve a similar effect in my game (I am using OpenGL). How can I do so?


2 Answers 2


I am the creator of that image.

The image on the right is rendered using a color look-up texture. In the final GLSL shader, I apply the dither, then convert the RGB values into integers in the range 0<=x<40, combine them into a single index, then look up the resulting color value in this image:

color look up table

The lowest row is the raw palette.

The image to the left is made purely in the shader by downsampling the red and green channels to 8 values, and the blue channel to 4 values after applying the dither, resulting in RGB332. I've also played around with 7 red, 9 green and 4 blue shades, resulting in only 252 colors, but with a bigger emphasis on green, which the human eye is the most sensitive to.


You could use a color grading lookup table in a postprocessing step as described here and probably here.

enter image description here

After you've implemented this, all you'll have to do is make a screenshot, overlay the lookup texture ontop of it, then edit it in arbitrary graphics software until you like it - and then retrieve the modified lookup texture again. This may or may not include reducing the retrieved lookup table to a subset of colors.

When loading the lookup texture with color limitation in mind, just make sure to disable all filtering, so it won't produce additional colors.


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