Design & Publishing . / . WEB . / . Pixelsmith . / .Hack the CLUT

"How can I manipulate the palette of an image
to change every instance of one color to another?"

Hack the CLUT*...
Yes! Once you've refined your image, flattened, and converted to Indexed Color, you can open the CLUT* and go to work on the unnecessary colors. We'll use Photoshop as our example, but the concepts will work in other programs too.
__ Access the palette (PS 4) Image > Mode > Color Table... (PS 3) Mode > Color Table and click on the color you wish to edit.
__ You'll be presented with the color editor dialog. Now you can begin to assign new color values. Make a note of the RGB values in the target color, then modify its relatives.
__ If you zoom in to max on an image you'll note many color pixels that are virtually the same, but slightly different or very close in terms of their actual RGB designations. The Pixelsmith's rule of thumb is: "If two colors are too much the same, then one of them is not necessary!"

*CLUT = Color Lookup Table
__ Check the concept by using the "Color Range" selection option (Selection > Color Range) and select one of the colors. Now the other. Turn down the "Fuzziness" to select fewer pixels. See how many there are! Now select one or the other and replace it with its counterpart. You'll note that the image changes very little but you've reduced the palette by that many pixels.
__ In our example at left, you see the colors we've targeted to be assimilated.
__ The "After" image at above has been reduced by 67% with no real visual loss. You'll want to use "Save As..." to keep a trail of experimentation because at some point you'll degrade the image. Then you'll want to back out to the last step or so.
Now are you ready for this...
Our example is the art we're preparing for a story about Compuserve selling commercial clip art and never paying the artists. Watch for the story in the WebDesign website under 'RIP OFF”
__ All good Pixelsmiths know that (PS4) by selecting a range of colors you can regenerate a new range by indicating the start color and the end color. This allows you to build homogenized palettes with specific ranges.
__ You can now begin building palettes from scratch that are custom tailored to a specific image coloration, rather than letting the system do it (inefficiently) for you. By hand-dithering, you can also sometimes reduce that palette by half... but that's another Pixelsmith story all together.

;-) Happy Pixelsmithing!

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