• jan@cosmigo.com

Cycle color and rain


hello everybody, I new in this so I trying to learn how to create a rain effects with cycle color over my picture without using the same color background.
is it possible?
is there a way to use transparent color in the cycle color?
where is the magic switch to create this effect over the imagen? :control_knobs::dizzy:
may be the way to create this is using “enable alpha transparency”?
or the only way it is creating different frames and I’m making crazy for nothing?

I saw that Mark Ferrari discusses and demonstrate “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcJ1Jvtef0” and " :raised_hands:the Jedi master :raised_hands:" explain how to create a snowflakes falling but i don’t understand nothing… maybe I need study more english jeje.
Jan “amigo” the world and I need a video tutorial with this issue.

I promise to send many happy emojis to who give me a clue, thanks



Not only this one but also a tutorial on how to make flows like waterfalls and lava flows.


No - color cycling doesn’t use alpha transparency. Mark Ferraria didn’t use alpha transparency for all those insane animated backgrounds he showed during the GDC talk you linked. Each frame is simply assigning a different palette index to each “animating” pixel.

(@jan.cosmigo, have you seen https://youtu.be/aMcJ1Jvtef0?t=430? 7:30 into the video. As well as the 12:00 mark - he’s live demonstrating palette swapping in PM, etc. Just making sure you’ve seen it.)

Anyway, to make color cycling work in PM, you first need to designate at least one gradient, using the Gradient Manager.
Enable color cycling by clicking the checkmark icon:

Preview your color cycling animation with these buttons:

Change cycling speed here, in the Gradient Manager:

This will get you started. I have yet to actually use the feature much so this is all I know.
The helps docs don’t say much and I don’t see any tutorials on color cycling in the archive.

Been wanting to say this for a while - TUTORIALS.
I’m with Morintari. High quality, comprehensive tutorials are needed. I feel that Pro Motion could become so much more approachable and draw more people in.

Super brief, no-nonsense video tutorials are THE way to quickly learn software now. They’re no longer a convenience or a luxury, they’re an EXPECTATION.

Yes, it’s a ton of work to manufacture good tutorials. But aside from polishing and adding new features to Pro Motion, bolstering tutorial material may be an equally effective way to elevate Pro Motion in the marketplace.

Personally, I’m a photoshop freak. I use it for everything. At the beginning of this year I decided to force myself to learn and use only Pro Motion for a new pixel art game project that came up (previous experience with PM was super limited and it was years ago, before PMNG). Well . . . I hated my life for about a week. Even the most basic functions in PM posed extremely confusing issues for me. I was screaming out loud (fortunately I live alone). Not to mention I kept toggling on alpha transparency and things by clicking buttons accidentally and not understanding their effects, etc. But I stuck with it and now PMNG is definitely my pixel art tool of choice. I love it.
Something tells me a lot of new users will have a similar experience if they try to pick up PMNG with no Deluxe Paint background (which I didn’t have).
We all know the average attention span is critically short. Most may give up before they figure out how to chew through these frustrations.

This is where tutorials can save the day. Best tutorial stuff newbies need is found here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpTfyUW6GRZqaPjhgLLVMV8wemuzgmWZS. The first 3 videos are crucial.
I stupidly did not pay enough attention to this youtube playlist during my first week of serious PMNG learning.
My primary issue was just the general shellshock of going from the modern Photoshop paradigm to the Deluxe Paint paradigm I guess.

Look at this bad boi!


Color cycling effects are explained in the Gradient Editor section of PMNG documentation.

If I remember correctly, there is also an example of color cycling in the sample images that ship with PMNG.

The demos from Ferrari’s video are also available online:


He also published on GitHub the source code behind these effects:


thanks you so much, you open my mind (happy emoji for you
:grin: :smile: :smiley: :ok_hand: :love_you_gesture: :clap: :raised_hands:). Finally I have found the solution that I didn’t understand in the Mark’s speech.

The problem was that I didnt know how to applay the different gradient cycle colors in different segment of the picture and ,as the same time, see the snowflakes cotinue in the same point when the gradient change.



Thanks, @tajmone. I keep trying to use the offline F1 help docs (pmotion.chm) for some reason.
In your opinion, do you think the F1 key should default to launching the online help docs instead of the offline docs?

@diegoperezsevilla, that’s a heck of a guide there. Thanks for posting it. I’ll definitely try it soon.


final result:


waterfalls tutorial look minute 51:40

minute 51:40


Hey @mathias,

As for tutorials…
More will come when 7.3 is out but this will still take months. Too many things came in the way and you know… it’s a spare time project.
With 7.3 the new and typical floating selection tools are there and that’s why I (at the moment) pause video creation a bit because the new videos will then use this tool set in conjunction with the brush centric workflows.
Maybe a color cycling tutorial can be done in the meanwhile because that would not require those tools much. Will think about that.

I will also add a link to the start up screen that makes the videos that are more “visible”. Seems that THE LINK IN THE MENU HELP IS NOT ENOUGH :smile:

Also, I recently started with smaller quick tips videos as you can see here:

You all can do me a favor:
Tell me which vids are good, which are not, which topics are missing etc. .
This helps me to find the ways to go.



Hi Jan.cosmigo I find the dithering tutorial to be obsolete because it says nothing about custom dithering. Just sayin. I hope I’m being polite.


@jan.cosmigo Yep the new quick tip vids are great. Nice work. I think those are pretty good.
My tutorial idea is a general one - create multiple new series organized by the main aspects of the PMNG user experience. Horrible way to describe it, here’s what I mean -

User Interface Series: one video per window/panel, including the sets of controls under the main menu. If a user wants to know everything about the Color Palette panel, they can watch the Color Palette UI video and every function and button will be explained. There would even be a video for the Magnify panel as well, though it would surely be very short, and that’s fine. How to set up and save your own ui layouts.
Very important, I think, is that these videos show realistic practical examples in action during the brief explanations.

Tool Series: Explain the functions and uses of each tool one by one, covering functions of all the icons in toolbar. Some of the tools synergize in weird interesting ways. Don’t leave it to chance for users to figure this out on their own. Assume users are impatient idiots but don’t let them know you think that. Explain everything.

Mode Series: Demonstrate and describe each mode. Some are quite odd and I still haven’t figured them all out.

Specific Task Series: (most of these are already done) Basic animation methods, advanced animation methods (including “Create Animation” dialogue), Tile Mapping, Pattern Drawing, Stereo Drawing, Managing linked projects, Exporting/importing various image formats/spritesheet, etc.

important tutorial elements:
• Straight to the point; no introduction or lengthy logo intro screen
• Practical application examples
• Clear concise narration
• High quality screen recording

Some of these tutorials videos are pretty much already done while others don’t exist yet.
This is a tall order, but it’s just an idea. Personally, I’ve never tried to make a video tutorial before. I’m sure they’re a pain to make. Script writing, scene by scene planning, etc. yuck
But . . . when a user can just click play and have all their questions answered in a matter of minutes, oh man that’s the best.


I think that F1 should launch the CHM Help file, as customary for Windows applications. The advantages of this system is that it allows opening the Help file at specific topics, e.g. when clicking the question mark in certain interfaces, or clicling F1 while hovering over a specific control.

The online and offline documentations are the same, but CHM help is better because it allows indexed search and bookmarks. Unfortunately, currently the CHM Help files doesn’t have a side-bar TOC, which makes it rather difficult to consult (this being the reason why most people still prefer the online documentation).


Color Cycling via Shaders…

In modern Pixel Art video-games we’d probably go for an “8-bitish” apprach, rather than trying to replicate the old time constraints of the pixel art era (Ferrari mentions this in his video, linked above). So chances are that color cycling would have to be achieved via shaders, instead of index color paletters. This approach would allow to work with the full color spectrum (instead of 256-colors limitation), and at the same time emulate indexed color behaviors, like color cycling.

Shaders play a great role in modern pixel art video games, from emulating CRT monitors effects (which gave that nice touch of blurry pixels which is lacking in modern LCD monitors) to a whole range of effects that can bridge the old-era with modern tech when it comes to Pixel Art.


@tajmone Great thought - contextual help topics per which dialogue window is up or what you’re hovering is clever. Seems like I’ve seen an app or two do that before. Can’t recall.
It’s interesting to note that some (most?) Adobe apps default to online help docs now. Maybe because they don’t want to maintain two copies of the same information, and if viewing help docs in your browser then embedded videos and other media are no problem to have present in the help content.

Since on the subject, here’s a write-up on a shader, like tajmone mentions, done in Unity - https://medium.com/@thedeivore/color-cycling-in-pixel-art-2-unity-233d31b2be8e


This is because they are cross-platform applications and CHM Help files are Windows-only; so my guess is that they want to avoid having to maintain a double standard for offline documentation (I’m not sure if there’s a CHM Help equivalent for macOS, but since CHM Help files rely on the Windows API for contextual help topics, it would be very hard to integrate it in an application that also runs on other OSs besides Windows).