The Dink Network

Applying Dink Palletes

A movie showing how to apply the Dink Pallete to graphics using little ol' MSPaint.
Released:January 1st, 1990
File Size:227.36 KB
Release Notes:v1.00
March 6th, 2003
Score : 8.0 good
King He/Him United States bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
In defense of this tutorial thing (after Phoenix blasted it all to heck):

Not everyone has imaging tools outside of Paint. I know I didn't for a very, very long time. Everyone has Paint. Everyone can do this technique. Not everyone can boot up Photoshop 6 or Paint Shop Pro 7 and apply palletes like that.

And as for 'severe distortions', yes colors may change a tad, but they will with any pallete change using any program. It might be a tad more noticeable in Paint (as there is no dithering at all), but for sprites with Dink, it is quite acceptable. This, of course, wouldn't be recommended for large pictures and such, but for most sprites it works fine.

I suggest using it on anything except very large sprites (like the boat from Mystery Island) and other large picture-type graphics.

Update (later that day): Phoenix updated his review, so I have as well. And I have pictures

Phoenix seems to think that dithering somehow 'saves' the image no matter what, where non-dithering 'kills' it no matter what. So I bring proof before you, readers.

Example One: This was originally a 24-bit color graphic stolen from, credits Justin Martin (I think). There is hardly any difference between the images... there is a slight grain in both the reduced pallete versions, but nothing serious. And the background is a little paler on the Paint version, but the dragons themselves appear identical. So for character sprites and such, they seem about equal.

Example Two: This is a picture of Mexico from space. The Photoshop-ed one looks a bit... grainy. It works with the ocean gradiant, but not so well on the green shoreline. The MSPaint-ed one has a weird looking ocean... big globs of bluish-color. But the green shoreline looks a tad batter, in my opinion, and there really isn't much difference where the details are.

So, in conclusion, for character sprites where there are a lot of different colors in close proximity (like in the dragon character and on the shore), Photoshop and Paint are about equal. For large gradiants (one color moving slowly to another) and other large areas of color, Photoshop is probably the best bet.

But, my technique works everywhere, and is ideal if you're just starting out (like I was when I first made it). However, if you're going to do serious graphic editing, I of course recommend Paint Shop 7 or Photoshop 6.

And finally... dithering often makes transparency worse... if you have an image with a slightly-darkened white as a background, you'll end up with a lot of slightly-grey dots which are an absolute pain to get rid of. With Paint, it will likely make all of the light-white area completely one color, so if it isn't white a quick click of the paint bucket will fix it.