Color Surroundings

No color is good or bad, but the same color can look very different if we change the colors around it.

Good color combinations highlight what to focus on, whether that’s the delicate grace of a cherry blossom tree or the dog below it, awkwardly trapped by its leash

[ two images, colored differently to show focus (ideally of the described image) ]

In video games, this might be the main character on-screen, items to pick up (or avoid), or an opening to the next level.

Bad color combinations could leave a player bumping into enemies, running past items, not being able to read dialogue, or or being blocked from making it further along. Even if the color combinations look attractive together, some color choices may distract the player or be difficult to see on smaller, color sensitive, or colorblind displays (more on this later).

[ images of a beautiful game that looks confusing in grayscale ]

Some color combinations can even create striking, but difficult-to-look-at pairings if the

As you choose colors, think less about the color quality alone and more about the color in its the world – a brighter blue, instead of a bright blue.

[ image + caption: “In dark light, this apple appears purple” ]

[ image + caption: “In daylight, that apple is slightly golden ” ]

Tinting – or color grading – uses a dominant color to shade the entire image to show a time of day, overbearing mood, or show that the light source is not white.

[ images of nighttime +/- yellow color grading +/- room in red light ]

With that in mind, the next lesson (H/S/V) goes over more specifically how to choose colors for clear gameplay.