I want a polaroid for some reason…

Well, this is another Personal Project post (cus I love variety like that), which I’ll hopefully be doing pleeenty of research for over Christmas and New Year.
The thing I think that needs defined first is our colour palette. At first we were going to have a different colour palette for each day in the story, but with a game that’s only really going to last 10 minutes or so that seems a little excessive. It’d also mean we’d have had to do three times as much animation and vectoring than originally planned, so we ditched the idea and asked the programmers if it was at all possible to put a tint of some kind over the screen when playing. Turns out they can! Got to love programmers, doing all the technical sanity-disintigrating things I hate so much.

So this leaves us with one colour scheme to work on. Greg, an artist on the team, had the great idea of simplifying the colour pallette to specific colour values, which makes defining a palette a lot simpler.
We’re going to have 6 or 7 hues, and 3 tints per hue. This’ll leave us with either 18 or 21 colours to play with, which in our vector style should suffice just fine. So long as we work out unique enough colours for both the alien and robot, so they can’t camoflauge into the background.

We’re looking for a Matthew Lyons-inspired cross-processed colour scheme, so I’ve been looking into colour film photography, starting with Impossible Project, the company who took over the polaroid film factory and brough instant film photography back into the world.


[Courtesy of Impossible Project]

I’ve been trawling through their vast galleries today (which makes it sound like a chore, it really isn’t), looking over all the colour photos seeing what I might be able to dump into Kuler to get the best result. A lot of the photos (like the one below) have some areas of really strong colours, which I’m unsure of how they’ll look once used in a vector design.


[Courtesy of Impossible Project]

It’s those strong blues and greens, however pretty they look on polaroid might not translate as intended into vector. Maybe all of the colours should be relatively subdued.

Another note to make is that when I try to determine other tones of colours from a photo, whether it’s these ones or not, is that the tone will not simply be a lighter version of the colour in question.
For example, say I get that nice blue in the sky in the above photo. If I want a shadow version of this colour I shouldn’t simply be adding more black, as the whole thing about colour-film photography is that the darker colours are colder and more washed out. When I get a final palette together it might be worth putting it into Photoshop and throwing a curves adjustment layer on top of it to imitate that authentic polaroid colour scheme.
I practiced with curves recently with some photos of my birthday party recently, trying to make them all looks more ‘film-y’. Not sure if it worked that well or not.

Completely unsure whether it’s convincing or not, in terms of colour. I realise the image is too crisp to be from a proper film camera, but it was more about finding that nice mix of washed out blacks and warped greens and such.
And sorry about the randomness of the photo. It was a party after all.

Listening to: Let Down by Radiohead
(Yeah, I finally got OK Computer, a bit late, I realise.)

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