The Problem With Palettes

Some of you may know that one of my hobbies is doing work with perler beads. I even have an Etsy store that occasionally people buy things from; it’s wiLd. But one thing that I’ve struggled with since starting to work in the medium a few years ago was converting the colors in existing pixel art images (say, sprites from games) into the colours available in the beads. There are a variety of homespun programs for this, of varying usages, and for a while I’ve been using one that I can’t find the initial source of, and is simply saved as “perler.jar.”
However, that program doesn’t really let you selectively tweak colors or regions to better fit a particular feel you may be going for, and it doesn’t have all of the colors now available. The solution, in my opinion, was to use a program like Aesprite with a custom palette that I kept up to date with any new released colours.

I decided to start by downloading all of the images of the existing colors from the official Perler website, by going to each color in the 1000 bead range (mostly the matte, non-stripe ones) and downloading the webp files that they were using to advertise the colors. I immediately hit an issue–there are only a few actual pictures that they’ve doctored to make look at the different colors. Now not every image is a duplicate (the newer the color, the more likely it appears to have a unique image, but some of them are just very very obvious.

I did my best to then take the colors from those images and make a palette–first a png and then an Aseprite compatible file and probably due to my inexperience with such things, it was and gave me a set of colors that were inaccurate and unworkable.

So, like any denizen of the internet, I looked online for an up-to-date palette.
And no one seemed to have one. The subreddit didn’t seem to have one. The most prominant YouTuber I know of in the scene (Pixel Art Shop)’s palette was multiple sets of new colours out of date. Even the most up to date chart I found was missing the most recent set of eleven colours.

I took what I had found and updated the file I had made, and set myself to the task of the remaining eleven colors. I tried to use a phone app for determining the color in a photo or being looked at by the phone’s camera, but I quickly found out that my phone processes at least some purples as rich blues, and other colors were also not quite right.

Out of quick options I did my best to match the remaining colors using , and while none of them are perfect, I finally have a working palette and can actually use it for the intended purpose.

All that done (which all in all happened across several days) I decided to write this post and attach the files I have; maybe they can help someone else along the way.


The files I have currently can be download from here.

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