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14.5 - Which Color Reduction Method is Best?

Each of the available color reduction methods and dither techniques have certain applications for which they are best suited.

If you are producing single frames are images that are less than 24 bit and want the best possible results, you should use the Choose palette colors option with an EDD dither set to 100%. This will allow F/x to select the best possible colors and dithering for the output image. Use the maximum number of colors possible; ideally, use 256 colors. This is enough colors for a high quality color reduction for most images, and offers strong compatibility with machines that have 256 color paletted displays (almost any modern computer)

If you are creating animations with multiple palettes, you should also use the Choose palette colors option.

If you are creating an animation that has a single specific palette, you should use the Use loaded effects palette option, or the Choose palette colors selection with the lock control on. The loaded effects palette method allows you complete control over the colors in the output animation. This means that you can maintain a previous palette, or you can create your own render palette. The Choose palette colors option allows F/x to select the best possible render colors for the first frame of the animation. This render palette is then locked and used for all subsequent animation frames.

Animations should almost always be dithered using the Ordered Dither option if you desire to keep the size of the resulting animation as small as possible. There is a reduction in quality with ordered dither as compared to EDD dither.

The amount of dither depends on the output format, and the quality of the colors in the animation. Some experimentation may be necessary to determine the proper dither amount for your particular animation sequence.

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