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2 color bitmaps

2 color gallery ~ create 2 color bitmaps

I've always liked the aesthetic of the old Windows and OS design stuff, with images like the good ol' Windows 95 Setup background, but I haven't really though of it much more until I read How to Add Color to a Monochrome Bitmap on Razorback95's Guides.

That page is a great explanation for something I didn't even know you could do, add color to a monochrome bitmap with no color map!

2 color gallery


how to create a 2 color bitmap

If you want to do this yourself, you should read the Razorback guide, as it's way better than what I'll show, but here's a quick overview on what I did to follow the guide.

I started with this picture that I took back when I was taking the photos for the Vintage HDD page. I quite liked how the photos came out and posted them on the aftersleep chatroom before I'd even finished the HDD page, and UserPenalties had brought up that it'd look cool as a monochrome bitmap!, so I tried it out.
First off, I took the image and resized it to 640x480 in MS Paint, since Paint has smoother resize than Paint Shop Pro 5. Of course, it can be any resolution you want, but I was going to use this as a desktop background on an old PC, so 640x480 works the best.
Then, to make the JPG into a monochrome BMP, I used Paint Shop Pro 5. You can accomplish the same with tools like Photoshop, but I don't have a copy on hand, and Paint Shop can do the same job just fine. From the file menu, click Colors, then near the bottom, Decrease Color Depth, then 2 Colors.
In the options, I chose Error Diffusion and Floyd-Steinberg method which seemed to give me just the kind of results I was looking for.
Now you can see we got a monochrome image! Now, just gotta save that as a BMP, and then you'll have a monochrome bitmap image.
Now, you gotta open up the image in a Hex editor. I used HxD here, and I've highlighted the bytes that you'll have to change. The first set of bytes controls the dark colors, while the second controls the light colors.

< click to enlarge image
The colors are of course Hex, just like in HTML, but flipped (BGR). For example, orange #FFA500 becomes 00 A5 FF. In the Razorback Guide there are a couple codes from the main 16 colors for you to try out, or you can just use a color picker and find some color codes yourself. Try out some different colors and see what you like!
< click to download high quality BMP (37.5 KB!)

And hopefully after that, you'll end up with something that turned out pretty cool looking!

Now, that was my crappy ripoff version of the same guide on Razorback, but really, go try it out and make something cool!


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photos ~ jul 14, 2022