1. Lesson 17: Color Contrast

      written by Ray Benefield
      First things first for those of you who read the Lesson 17 on The Golden Ratio it has been removed from the Forge Lessons series. The reason for this is because it is a new and completely under-developed theory and can be broken down and studied more. Once I research it a bit more then I will write a new lesson discussing it as well as the rule of thirds. Thanks all of you for commenting on it and making me research it more. Anyways, here is the replacement for that day and I will make up the loss of a lesson to you guys with a double lesson one of these days before Reach. Anyways here is the new Lesson 17 on another art theory that you can use in your maps. Enjoy and stay tuned Monday for Lesson 18. ;) Oh and if you hadn't seen it yet I released the full list and options for all of the Halo: Reach gametypes in order to help you guys plan for reach. Enjoy my friends: Complete Halo Reach Gametype Settings. Oh and any comments or suggestions on the new Featured Content ordeal at the top? See you guys tomorrow.




      You know how important catching a person’s eye is. It can attract players to places they would never explore otherwise. It shows players a weapon that they may not have been able to find otherwise. There are many ways to draw a player’s gaze. One of those ways is to use contrasting colors in an otherwise bland scene. But color contrast isn’t just about eye catching.


      The color wheel


      So everything we see exists on our visible color spectrum with each color slowly blending into the next and becoming a new color. A natural occurrence of the color spectrum is a rainbow. A rainbow is seen by the human eye as several colors blending into each other from Red to Purple. The color wheel just places all of these colors in a perfect circle that links the red to the purple in order to restart the color sequence. Most color wheel diagrams consist of 12 colors containing the three primary colors that blend together to form three secondary colors and then all six of these blend with the one two next to them to create six tertiary colors. You can easily find an example of the color wheel by searching google.


      The difference is black and white


      Contrast is defined as the difference between two colors that appear next to each other. It is easy to notice when something black is on a white field, but how easy is it to tell when something black is on a purple field in comparison? With that in mind how much do you want that black object to stand out? If you want the object to just accent the scene then maybe the black on purple is a good idea, however if you want it to stand out then maybe the black on white is a better idea. High and low contrasts are both important in their own situations. You do not want to be bringing attention to something that doesn’t need attention and you don’t want to hide something that needs to be seen. So how do you find low contrast and high contrast color combinations? Take a look at a color wheel. Pick one color on that wheel and then grab the color directly across from it. That color is known as its complementary or contrasting color. Now pick a color next to it. That color is known as an analogous color. These colors blend really well together and hide things while still adding color to the scene.


      Applying to maps


      So through the topic of eye catching you already know when to use high contrast colors. Place purple weapons on a yellow backdrop in order to draw attention to them as incentives. Place a dark red door in a bright green wall to show players that it exists. Place yellow explosives against a dark gray wall in order to make them aware of the deterrent. So when do you want to hide something? Why not just high contrast everything in the scene to draw attention to it? Because the more things that are trying to pull attention the less affect each one has on the player. So next to that purple weapon on the yellow backdrop don’t place purple chairs around it or people may miss the purple weapon and only see the purple chairs and move on. Scenery and other objects that help smooth out the feeling of the map, that aren’t necessarily important to gameplay, need to use low contrast in order to not draw too much attention to them. They are there to complete the whole experience and keep the map from feeling bland; not to draw attention.


      35 comments:

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Nice lesson, Godly. I know what your trying to say here, but for those who haven't taken art classes it might be easier to find a picture for it. I can give you a link to a good one, if you'd like.

      I already have a few gametypes planned for Reach; one using Invasion, two using Slayer, a KOTH variant, and of course mortars. PM me on xforgery or something if you'd like to know about them, they are all pretty easy to explain excluding the Slayer Variants which both have many different scoring options which will be hard to explain.

      Again, good lesson.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I plan on re-writing and revising all of the lessons with pictures so don't worry about finding me one. I would have put one, but since I'm going to rewrite them there really isn't a point. Imagine the current series as a first draft for each of the lessons. And no comment on my pretty little featured content bar? lol... took me forever to get that working decently. Now I just have to adjust the coloring a bit.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Oh Great, now I am going to have to read about 60 more paragraphs :P. And yeah... The content bar looks really nice, but when I first saw it I was like "Woah, wtf is that?" then I saw what it was and was like "Oh cool"...

      I think the background bar should be darker though because it stands out too much from everything else, and at first I thought it was an advertisement.

      Bartoge said...

      OMG, I actually just used this when I was making Desistance. Know where the carbine is? Originally, it was inbetween the 2 gold columns against the grass. I wanted to put a BR there, but it was a black BR against an greenish black background, which didn't pop out. So instead, I used a carbine. Eventually, I moved the carbine to in front of the gold column but the color contrast made me use a carbine instead of a BR, which worked out great. So yeah, sorry if Im going on and on, but I was just excited cause I actually thought basically exactly what you just said, before you posted it. :)

      Anyway, for the feature bar, you should actually have it say that its a feature bar. And, would it be possible to make the bar less wide and then move the arrows to the sides and make the arrows bigger. I would think that that would probably be easier to navigate, cause the arrows are kind of small at the moment.

      Oh, and are you going to start like featuring maps when Reach comes out or what? I was just wondering cause the feature bar made me think of feature maps and you could put recently featured maps in the feature bar.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Bartoge, I didn't know you used OMG, espicially with all caps. I must say, I am disapoint. And yes Batoge, I did notice that in your map. I suggest a feature bar, I'm not sure if thats what Bartoge was saying, but we do need a feature bar when Reach comes out.

      I also agree with Bartoge on your feature bar, I think it might need to be a little smaller, maybe 250x100 or 275x100. I don't know it just needs to be a little smaller.

      Neo Arkitect said...

      Nice lesson Godly. Are there any lessons coming out before launch date that might focus on objective placement? Like territories, flags, assault locations, bombs etc. I'd like to get a little insight on how previous lessons apply to objective placement, especially incentives, deterrents, and how spawn placements relate to objective placement. Thanks :)

      GodlyPerfection said...

      And Bart your map is actually what I had in mind as it was a perfect example of color contrast. I'm glad that you are definitely improving in your design skills. Keep it up bro.

      As far as the feature bar goes I will see what I can do about making it slightly smaller, a darker background, adding "Featured Posts" as a title, and adding bigger arrows on the side of it. That may take some tweaking, but in the end I think it will work out.

      As far as featured maps I did mention that I will be doing a favorites kind of thing, which would be like featured maps but only I chose kind of thing until I can figure out a good system to allow the community to pick favorites in general. I'm getting tired of the phrase "featured map" so I would rather use favorites or something else like that.

      And Neo, the best way to observe objectives is definitely by following incentive rules. The main difference is in Incentive Weighting which is considering how powerful of an incentive is at different times and in certain situations based on its location and other factors. I think that is what you are looking for. As far as spawn placements relate to them, I'm going to have to look that over and figure out if any tricks that exist relate to already existing theories or if we need to come up with some new ones. Great idea though and I will definitely look into that.

      Neo Arkitect said...

      So...do objectives fall under the incentives category? Or are they something completely different?

      BadCompany Brik said...

      Good lesson. I'm not sure how well we'll be able to use color contrast considering the objects we have.

      http://blastmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Reach_ForgeworldObjects.jpg

      Not really much variety there. I'll have to use the multi-colored lights really well to make up for it :)

      And I agree with the people that said that the feature bar needs a title. My first thought was that it was an ad, it is a bit misleading.

      Cerberus Beast said...

      ART AND AESTHETICS!!! Time for PS3 and GIMP examples! Good article. It introduces the idea or aesthetics in a very simple fashion. It's a good primer.

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      StingerSplash01 said...

      Sticking to the lessons for now, color contrast is very important to designers in general, as the eyes have trouble differentiating similar colors, and is drawn to contrast. It's an old instinct of ours. This is especially important when you are trying to hide something in plain sight, as godly said if you place a purple weapons amidst purple chairs people may not see it and run past, when you want something to be a known quantity you make it contrast with it surroundings, A black turret in a snow field would be very visible from VERY FAR away.

      This can also cause headache too, for example today I was working on a game for school and our sprites looked fine until I put them in a level where the background color(Black) contrasted our sprite's transparency color (Light Grey), There were pale blue sprites hanging around the edge of the sprite and it's transparent backing causing static on-screen, so I had to change the color of the backing to a contrasting one to find the off-color pixels and get rid of the static by making sure the backing was one solid color for transparency. So contrast can be very useful in many situations and something you should always keep in minds when setting up maps, or anything visual for that matter.

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