Setting teh Color Palette

                   嬪様様様様様様様様様様様様様様様
                            W E L C O M E         
                     To the VGA Trainer Program    
                                 By                
                         DENTHOR of ASPHYXIA        
                         (updated by Snowman)       
                   塒様様様様様様様様様様様様様様様  
                     陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳 
                       陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳陳
                           --==[ PART 2 ]==--
[Note: things in brackets have been added by Snowman.  The original text
has remained mostly unaltered except for the inclusion of C++ material]
 Introduction
Hi there again! This is Grant Smith, AKA Denthor of ASPHYXIA. This is the
second part of my Training Program for new programmers. I have only had a
lukewarm response to my first part of the trainer series ... remember, if
I don't hear from you, I will assume that you are all dead and will stop
writing the series ;-). Also, if you do get in contact with me I will give
you some of our fast assembly routines which will speed up your demos no
end. So go on, leave mail to GRANT SMITH in the main section of the
MailBox BBS, start up a discussion or ask a few questions in this Conference,
leave mail to ASPHYXIA on the ASPHYXIA BBS, leave mail to Denthor on
Connectix, or write to Grant Smith,
                       P.O.Box 270
                       Kloof
                       3640
                       
See, there are many ways you can get in contact with me! Use one of them!
In this part, I will put the Pallette through it's paces. What the hell is
a pallette? How do I find out what it is? How do I set it? How do I stop
the "fuzz" that appears on the screen when I change the pallette? How do
I black out the screen using the pallette? How do I fade in a screen?
How do I fade out a screen? Why are telephone calls so expensive?
Most of these quesions will be answered in this, the second part of my
Trainer Series for Pascal.
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  What is the Pallette?
A few weeks ago a friend of mine was playing a computer game. In the game
there was a machine with stripes of blue running across it. When the
machine was activated, while half of the the blue stripes stayed the same,
the other half started to change color and glow. He asked me how two stripes
of the same color suddenly become different like that. The answer is simple:
the program was changing the pallette.
As you know from Part 1, there are 256 colors in MCGA mode, numbered 0 to 255.
What you don't know is that each if those colors is made up of different
intensities of Red, Green and Blue, the primary colors (you should have
learned about the primary colors at school). These intensities are numbers
between 0 and 63. The color of bright red would for example be obtained by
setting red intensity to 63, green intensity to 0, and blue intensity to 0.
This means that two colors can look exactly the same, eg you can set color 10
to bright red and color 78 to color bright red. If you draw a picture using
both of those colors, no-one will be able to tell the difference between the
two.. It is only when you again change the pallette of either of them will
they be able to tell the difference.
Also, by changing the whole pallette, you can obtain the "Fade in" and "Fade
out" effects found in many demos and games. Pallette manipulation can become
quite confusing to some people, because colors that look the same are in fact
totally seperate.
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  How do I read in the pallette value of a color?
This is very easy to do. To read in the pallette value, you enter in the
number of the color you want into port $3c7 [0x03C7], then read in the values
of red, green and blue respectively from port $3c9 [0x03C9]. Simple, huh? Here
is a procedure that does it for you :
[Pascal]
Procedure GetPal(ColorNo : Byte; Var R,G,B : Byte);

  { This reads the values of the Red, Green and Blue values of a certain
    color and returns them to you. }
Begin
   Port[$3c7] := ColorNo;
   R := Port[$3c9];
   G := Port[$3c9];
   B := Port[$3c9];
End;
[C++]
void GetPal(unsigned char ColorNo, unsigned char &R,
	    unsigned char &G,      unsigned char &B) {
  outp (0x03C7,ColorNo); // here is the pallette color I want read
  R = inp (0x03C9);
  G = inp (0x03C9);
  B = inp (0x03C9);
}
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  How do I set the pallette value of a color?
This is also as easy as 3.1415926535897932385. What you do is you enter in the
number of the color you want to change into port $3c8 [0x03C8], then enter the
values of red, green and blue respectively into port $3c9 [0x03C9]. Because
you are all so lazy I have written the procedure for you ;-)
[Pascal]
Procedure Pal(ColorNo : Byte; R,G,B : Byte);
  { This sets the Red, Green and Blue values of a certain color }
Begin
   Port[$3c8] := ColorNo;
   Port[$3c9] := R;
   Port[$3c9] := G;
   Port[$3c9] := B;
End;
[C++]
void Pal(unsigned char ColorNo, unsigned char R,
	 unsigned char G,       unsigned char B) {
  outp (0x03C8,ColorNo); // here is the pallette color I want to set
  outp (0x03C9,R);
  outp (0x03C9,G);
  outp (0x03C9,B);
}
Asphyxia doesn't use the above pallete procedures, we use assembler versions,
which will be given to PEOPLE WHO RESPOND TO THIS TRAINER SERIES (HINT,
HINT)
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  How do I stop the "fuzz" that appears on my screen when I change the
        pallette?
If you have used the pallette before, you will have noticed that there is
quite a bit of "fuzz" on the screen when you change it. The way we counter
this is as follows : There is an elctron beam on your monitor that is
constantly updating your screen from top to bottom. As it gets to the
bottom of the screen, it takes a while for it to get back up to the top of
the screen to start updating the screen again.
The period where it moves from the bottom to the top is called the Verticle
Retrace. During the verticle retrace you may change the pallette without
affecting what is on the screen.
What we do is that we wait until a verticle retrace has started by calling a
certain procedure; this means that everything we do now will only be shown
after the verticle retrace, so we can do all sorts of strange and unusual
things to the screen during this retrace and only the results will be shown
when the retrace is finished. This is way cool, as it means that when we
change the pallette, the fuzz doesn't appear on the screen, only the result
(the changed pallette), is seen after the retrace! Neat, huh? ;-) I have put
the purely assembler WaitRetrace routine in the sample code that follows this
message. Use it wisely, my son.
NOTE : WaitRetrace can be a great help to your coding ... code that fits
       into one retrace will mean that the demo will run at the same
       speed no matter what your computer speed (unless you are doing a lot
       during the WaitRetrace and the computer is slooooow). Note that in
       the following sample program and in our SilkyDemo, the thing will run
       at the same speed whether turbo is on or off.
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  How do I black out the screen using the pallette?
This is basic : just set the Red, Green and Blue values of all colors to
zero intensity, like so :
[Pascal]
Procedure Blackout;
  { This procedure blackens the screen by setting the pallette values of
    all the colors to zero. }
VAR loop1:integer;
BEGIN
  WaitRetrace;
  For loop1:=0 to 255 do
    Pal (loop1,0,0,0);
END;
[C++]
void Blackout() {
  WaitRetrace();
  for (int loop1=0;loop1<256;loop1++)
    Pal (loop1,0,0,0);
}
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  How do I fade in a screen?
Okay, this can be VERY effective. What you must first do is grab the
pallette into a variable, like so :
   [Pascal]   VAR Pall := Array [0.255,1..3] of BYTE;
   [C++]      unsigned char Pall[256][3];
0 to 255 is for the 256 colors in MCGA mode, 1 to 3 is red, green and blue
intensity values;
[Pascal]
Procedure GrabPallette;
VAR loop1:integer;
BEGIN
  For loop1:=0 to 255 do
    Getpal (loop1,pall[loop1,1],pall[loop1,2],pall[loop1,3]);
END;
[C++]
void GrabPallette() {
  for(int loop1=0;loop1<256;loop1++)
    GetPal(loop1,Pall2[loop1][0],Pall2[loop1][1],Pall2[loop1][2]);
}
This loads the entire pallette into variable pall. Then you must blackout
the screen (see above), and draw what you want to screen without the
construction being shown. Then what you do is go throgh the pallette. For
each color, you see if the individual intensities are what they should be.
If not, you increase them by one unit until they are. Beacuse intensites
are in a range from 0 to 63, you only need do this a maximum of 64 times.
[Pascal]
Procedure Fadeup;
VAR loop1,loop2:integer;
    Tmp : Array [1..3] of byte;
      { This is temporary storage for the values of a color }
BEGIN
  For loop1:=1 to 64 do BEGIN
      { A color value for Red, green or blue is 0 to 63, so this loop only
        need be executed a maximum of 64 times }
    WaitRetrace;
    For loop2:=0 to 255 do BEGIN
      Getpal (loop2,Tmp[1],Tmp[2],Tmp[3]);
      If Tmp[1]<Pall[loop2,1] then inc (Tmp[1]);
      If Tmp[2]<Pall[loop2,2] then inc (Tmp[2]);
      If Tmp[3]<Pall[loop2,3] then inc (Tmp[3]);
        { If the Red, Green or Blue values of color loop2 are less then they
          should be, increase them by one. }
      Pal (loop2,Tmp[1],Tmp[2],Tmp[3]);
        { Set the new, altered pallette color. }
    END;
  END;
END;
[C++]
void Fadeup() {
//This is temporary storage for the values of a color
unsigned char Tmp[3];
  // A color value for Red, green or blue is 0 to 63, so this loop only
  // need be executed a maximum of 64 times.
  for(int loop1=0;loop1<64;loop1++) {
    WaitRetrace();
    for(int loop2=0; loop2<256; loop2++) {
      GetPal(loop2,Tmp[0],Tmp[1],Tmp[2]);
      // If the Red, Green or Blue values of color loop2 are less then they
      // should be, increase them by one.
      if ((Tmp[0] < Pall2[loop2][0]) && (Tmp[0] < 63)) Tmp[0]++;
      if ((Tmp[1] < Pall2[loop2][1]) && (Tmp[1] < 63)) Tmp[1]++;
      if ((Tmp[2] < Pall2[loop2][2]) && (Tmp[2] < 63)) Tmp[2]++;
      // Set the new, altered pallette color.
      Pal (loop2,Tmp[0],Tmp[1],Tmp[2]);
    }
  }
}
Hey-presto! The screen fades up. You can just add in a delay before the
waitretrace if you feel it is too fast. Cool, no?
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  How do I fade out a screen?
This is just like the fade in of a screen, just in the opposite direction.
What you do is you check each color intensity. If it is not yet zero, you
decrease it by one until it is. BAAASIIIC!
[Pascal]
Procedure FadeDown;
VAR loop1,loop2:integer;
    Tmp : Array [1..3] of byte;
      { This is temporary storage for the values of a color }
BEGIN
  For loop1:=1 to 64 do BEGIN
    WaitRetrace;
    For loop2:=0 to 255 do BEGIN
      Getpal (loop2,Tmp[1],Tmp[2],Tmp[3]);
      If Tmp[1]>0 then dec (Tmp[1]);
      If Tmp[2]>0 then dec (Tmp[2]);
      If Tmp[3]>0 then dec (Tmp[3]);
        { If the Red, Green or Blue values of color loop2 are not yet zero,
          then, decrease them by one. }
      Pal (loop2,Tmp[1],Tmp[2],Tmp[3]);
        { Set the new, altered pallette color. }
    END;
  END;
END;
[C++]
void FadeDown() {
// This is temporary storage for the values of a color
unsigned char Tmp[3];
  for(int loop1=0; loop1<64; loop1++) {
    WaitRetrace();
    for(int loop2=0; loop2<256; loop2++) {
      GetPal(loop2,Tmp[0],Tmp[1],Tmp[2]);
      // If the Red, Green or Blue values of color loop2 are not yet zero,
      // then, decrease them by one.
      if (Tmp[0] > 0) Tmp[0]--;
      if (Tmp[1] > 0) Tmp[1]--;
      if (Tmp[2] > 0) Tmp[2]--;
      // Set the new, altered pallette color.
      Pal(loop2,Tmp[0],Tmp[1],Tmp[2]);
    }
  }
}
Again, to slow the above down, put in a delay above the WaitRetrace. Fading
out the screen looks SO much more impressive then just clearing the screen;
it can make a world of difference in the impression your demo etc will
leave on the people viewing it. To restore the pallette, just do this :
[Pascal]
Procedure RestorePallette;
VAR loop1:integer;
BEGIN
  WaitRetrace;
  For loop1:=0 to 255 do
    pal (loop1,Pall[loop1,1],Pall[loop1,2],Pall[loop1,3]);
END;
[C++]
void RestorePallette() {
  WaitRetrace();
  for(int loop1=0; loop1<255; loop1++)
    Pal(loop1,Pall2[loop1][0],Pall2[loop1][1],Pall2[loop1][2]);
}
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  In closing
Well, there are most of those origional questions answered ;-) The following
sample program is quite big, so it might take you a while to get around it.
Persevere and thou shalt overcome. Pallette manipulation has been a thorn
in many coders sides for quite some time, yet hopefully I have shown you
all how amazingly simple it is once you have grasped the basics.
I need more feedback! In which direction would you like me to head? Is there
any particular section you would like more info on? Also, upload me your
demo's, however trivial they might seem. We really want to get in contact
with/help out new and old coders alike, but you have to leave us that message
telling us about yourself and what you have done or want to do.
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE!?!
P.S. Our new demo should be out soon ... it is going to be GOOOD ... keep
     an eye out for it.
          [ And so she came across him, slumped over his keyboard
            yet again . 'It's three in the morning' she whispered.
            'Let's get you to bed'. He stirred, his face bathed in
            the dull light of his monitor. He mutters something.
            As she leans across him to disconnect the power, she
            asks him; 'Was it worth it?'. His answer surprises her.
            'No.' he says. In his caffiene-enduced haze, he smiles.
            'But it sure is a great way to relax.'                  ]
                                           - Grant Smith
                                              Tue 13 July, 1993
                                               2:23 am.
See you next week!
   - Denthor