color palette with 8-bit(256 colors) only, how?


I am trying to come out with an animation work which only can be saved as a Windows bitmap images (256 colors), how can i choose my color palette and save the animation as windows bitmap images?

I tried to saved in “Render buttons” -> “formats” tab, and saved it as bmp format, but it seems it is not a real windows bitmap images isn’t it??

Another problem is, when i saved as bmp, it cannot be played back after “ANIM”, but the images did saved into the tmp folder. This did not happen when i used jpeg format, it can be ANIM and PLAY as usual, why?

Maybe the question i asked is simple enough, but please forgive me i am still new in Blender.:stuck_out_tongue: Thanks everyone for helping…

I don’t believe that Blender supports indexed images. You’ll probably have to colour quantize with another program.

Gimp loads a blender created BMP fine and reports it as a Windows BMP.

I can confirm that for me an anim saved as BMP won’t play back in Blender. Looks to be a bug.

I need the images in Windows bitmap 256 colors format because i need them to use in another software, which that software only support for standard Windows bitmap format images.

That’s means the only solution for me now is to do my works using jpeg format, then only convert to bitmap images?

I think there will some lost for the image quality.

Or BMP or PNG or Targa or…

Thank you Surt!

One last question, just to ask for your opinion.

I simply tried to convert the jpeg images (which is a 3D animation) to 256 bitmap using Microsoft Paint, it became an image with bad quality because of the color. Since the software i intended to use only support in 256 colors, is it better for me to draw my images in 2-dimension rather in 3D?

To get best results you’ll probably want to hand tweak the palette and I doubt MS Paint is ever going to give even half decent results.

You might also want to minimise the colour variation in the rendered image so to minimise the changes needed during the colour reduction.

GraphicsGale has good index mode support, so it will probably be better for the task. I expect just about anything will serve better than MS Paint.

Let’s say i still bend on using Blender…
How to minimise the colour variation in the rendered image?

For example i get a bad quality image when it is converted to 256-colors bmp :confused:
my object is the pink ball…

and the another it is my rendered image.


Have you tried Gimp? If you render your image as a .bmp in Blender, then open it with Gimp, you can save it as a Windows .bmp, and choose from several bitrates to save as, including 16 bit (256 color). I hope that helps.

As for limiting the color variation, I think Surt is talking about making sure there aren’t too many different colors in your render – so if all you’re rendering is a ball with a flat material, that may not be much of an issue. Though I’d suggest using toon shaders to help limit the variation caused by lighting.

EDIT: I just followed my own steps and got the attached image. Toon shading may not be necessary.

As you can see in your example image it has been reduced to far fewer than 256 colours. It looks like its using some fixed default palette, rather than one optimised for the image as in TheGryphonRider’s example.

So use decent software. Not MS Paint.

Thank you Surt and TheGryphonRider, i will take my time to find a more decent software.

p/s: many software are supported in Windows BMP image, but none of them is for saving in 8-bits image (256 colors), they are serving for >= 16 bits

Both of the programs suggested (GIMP, GraphicsGales) support saving BMP in 8-bit perfectly.

Oops, I made a n00b mistake (and a typo). 256 colors would be 8 bits-per-pixel. Gimp supports 8 bits-per-channel, which is 24 bits-per-pixel.

There’s definitely other image software and conversion software out there. There’s a way to get a 256-color image in Blender, but it won’t be a .bmp, so you’re still going to have to convert after it’s rendered.

In the output format pop-up, choose “Quicktime.” This brings up a window with options for saving a quicktime file.

Set the compression type to “png”
Set the depth to “256 color”
Click “OK”
Set your animation start and end frames to frame 1
Set your output directory where you want to save the image
Click “Anim” (won’t work with “Render” or F12 key)

This will save a .mov file which consists of your 256 color .png file. If it’s worth it to go to the trouble, I was able to:
–Open my .mov file with Quicktime;
–Edit>Copy the image from Quicktime;
–File>New image in Gimp;
–Paste the copied image onto the canvas.

You could then save the image as a .bmp file. It still won’t give you an option for the right bit depth, but at least it won’t add colors to your file.

It’s probably simpler to use another conversion software. Have you tried GraphicsGale?

Gimp does support 8-bit per pixel. You’ve just got to set image mode to indexed.

Oh, you’re right!

Why isn’t it easier to find that out for yourself?

Actually i tried both GraphicsGale and Gimp, i just don’t know that Gimp does support 8-bit per pixel with just set image mode to indexed. I also changed the color depth in GraphicGale to 8bpp(256 colors)…

Those images work and view well when i use any image viewer (which already saved in 8bpp from QuickTime), but once i add my image to my software and build, the result is as below. The actual color is pink…


I’m sorry, pu8y, the only other suggestion I can make is for you to post your question in the “Other Software” forum. Be sure to include in your post the name of the non-Blender software you’re trying to get this to work in. Since the problem now has nothing to do with Blender basics or the Blender Interface, I’m not sure how much help we can be in this part of the board.

Good luck!

It looks like it’s loading the pixel data but not the palette from the image.

ok, i will keep trying…
Thanks everyone for help!