Colour Theory

Been learning a little more about colour theory in level design. So far my goal with these maps was a pretty drab, desaturated look, offset with strong primary colours (red, blue) in very few places. A slight contrast between the orange-ish torchlight and a couple greenish textures managed to sneak in though.

I tweaked the floor tiles to be more reddish now, in order to get the floor to contrast more with the walls. My first attempts came out even more red than this. I reduced the intensity a little because it clashed with the rest of the map. The result is more terracotta than red, but it looks very different depending on the amount of torchlight hitting it. I left the small tiles mostly alone, although I toned down their extremely green hue a little. This gives me both different structures and complementary colours to work with, and I can have them more or less apparent wherever I want.

I think the white brick texture (usually used for stairs here) creates a really nice highlight; I should probably use it a little more.

Anyway, red floor tiles yay or nay? I think yay.

I should eventually go over e1m2rq to make use of the same colour scheme and lighting. Another reason to like the red is that e1m5rq uses the red elder world theme, and this should tie the episode together a little better.

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8 responses to “Colour Theory

  • =peg=

    “So far my goal with these maps was a pretty drab, desaturated look, offset with strong primary colours (red, blue) in very few places.”

    Well I think you pretty much achieved that look now, but to be honest, personally I kinda prefer the old look (guess I’m a bit of a sucker for blue/green, there is something about those colors that make the game look fresh and crisp, rather then drab/dull).
    Maybe it’s just that, before, there was more contrast between the wall/floor textures and the trim pieces.. Make the trim (stone/concrete) a bit darker maybe so it stands out more?

    Just my 2 cents.. Still think e1m3rq is one damn sweet map btw, keep it up πŸ™‚

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    good idea about the trim, and yeah, that’s the next texture that needs work.

    I sort of want ornate trim along the floor areas. Same texture as now, just darker and with a coloured pattern on it. Need to talk to inkub0.

  • Spiney

    Got good links for color theory?

    These are pretty good reads:

    http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/wcolor.html
    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/
    http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm

    Also, note that the ‘true’ complement of green is magenta, and of red is cyan. Not green/red, although those are good as ‘near complements’.
    CIELab has a good take on this, Blue/Yellow is hue temperature, Green/Magenta are most neutral hues and are ‘tints’ therefore.

    You can split the color circle in two halves that way, warm hues and cool hues. When you desaturate warm hues they appear cooler, and when you desaturate cool hues they appear warmer.
    Gray along with the saturated color should make it optically appear as it’s complement, hue wise.

    This to me is the heart of color theory: this way you can create the impression of a full range of hues whilst only using a fraction of the color spectrum.

  • Spiney

    also, I do think the previous look was slightly more succesfull, it’s a bit too reddish troughout now.

    My advice? Take the old texture and make some BLOODY variants πŸ˜‰

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    Thank you for the links Spiney. I’m interested to learn more about this.

    Some links I found so far:

    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Color_Theory_in_Level_Design

    http://www.keenleveldesign.com/html/misc/lightingtutorial1.htm

    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Intermediate_Lighting

    I also remember a bit about this from school, I was somewhat interested in everything art related for a while. I even created a portfolio for art school at one point.

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    About the colour of the floor tiles, I still have a green version of the texture. I might just vary it more in different areas of the level. Enough time left to re-decide yet πŸ˜‰

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    And… I’m thinking to use something like decals for blood stains etc. The problem is that Quake can’t go smaller than 1 unit – so a “decal” would always hover 1 unit above the surface, which is quite noticeable.

    Maybe we can find a way to have “decals” (probably fence textures, actually) ON the surface and still work.

  • Spiney

    Think it would need an engine mod tbh. Something among the lines of Q3 multi-texturing or vertex blending 2 textures.
    Anyway, I’ve been looking at the old vs the new screenshot.
    I have to say I really prefer the greener floortiles. It looks more ‘fresh’.

    The way I see it…
    If Id had the resources we have now that would have been the look,
    the red tiles look more of an extrapolation of the existing color palette, rather then a reinterpretation. If that makes sense.

    Your call of course, but when I’m seeing this I’m like ‘no don’t do it, it looked better before!’

    Perhaps keep the top-levels the old style, and as you descend slowly, things turn more red, but it’s offset with the increasingly thick green fog?
    Also having a monochrome palette isn’t necessarily a bad thing — think ICO or Shadow Of The Colossus.

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