How To Make Custom Graphics for DooM

Step Six: Convert to the DooM Color Palette

Usually, you'll want to work in full RGB color. For one thing, many filters and other types of processing will not even be available when working in 8-bit color. But even what you can do will often have unpredictable results. Also, when you tile, downsample, and crop, your color mode affects how pixels are handled. That's why it's important to wait until as late in the process as possible to convert to 8-bit color.

In order to convert to the DooM palatte, you need some way to tell your graphics program what it comprises. In most programs you can open one of the DooM factory graphics and extract the palette from it. (You can use WAD Mangle to export a png file from doom.wad or doom2.wad.) Then save that palette as a Color Table or template or whatever your program uses. You can then convert any image to that palette.

See what happens to the colors upon conversion. Often, it will look really wierd, but with practice you'll learn how to modify the high res, full color file to make it convert better. The image at right is what the border of these pages looks like before conversion to the DooM color pallete -- you can see how much browner it is in full color, but I was going for the DooM look, not the full-color look. Once your graphic looks OK in your graphics program, save it as a bmp, gif, or png file; use a filename with no more than 8 characters before the extension (such as BIGNASTY.BMP or STOP_TAP.PNG).

Copyright © 2005 by David J. Finnamore
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Page updated 03 Oct 2005