Posted by: Ocean's Dream | March 28, 2009

Tileset questions

So I’ve been looking at my blog stats (I’m always curious about them). I haven’t really gone over too much on how to do some of the basic stuff as some people have been searching here for, so I figured I’d give it a shot and hope it helps someone.

Question: “When I import a file into RPG Maker 2000/3, it tells me “Invalid color depth”. How do I fix that?

Answer: There are a few programs that allow you to change the color/bit depth. Graphics Gale, Photoshop, and Irfanview are ones I own. Graphics Gale and Irfanview are free, so I’d recommend grabbing them for this purpose. I tend to do this stuff in Irfanview.

In Irfanview: Go to Image in the menu bar -> Decrease color depth -> 256 Colors (8 BPP)

In Graphics Gale: Go to All frames in the menu bar -> Color depth -> 8 BPP (256 colors)

In Photoshop: Go to Image in the menu bar -> Mode -> Indexed color -> Palette (Local Perceptual) and 256 colors.

Doing the reverse, changing the color/bit depth to 24 bit (full color) is pretty much the same. In Irfanview, you just go to Increase color depth instead. In Photoshop, just change mode back to RGB.

Question: How do I combine 2 tilesets?

Answer: A bit different depending on which Maker.

For RPG Maker 2003: I would set a grid to 16×16. Open up your 2 tilesets in Graphics Gale, and set the color depth to full color (24 bit). If you keep it at 256 colors, then you may lose color or information if you copy from one to another. Graphics Gale also has a nice grid which you can use to copy, so set it to 16×16. Then just select each tile or block of tiles, and copy it over. Save the result as a 256 color PNG.

For RPG Maker XP: You can make the image size as big as you want, as long as the width is 256 pixels. It probably should be at 24 bit color depth, but I’d just check to make sure. Set a grid to 32×32, then select the tiles from the other sheet and copy them over.

For RPG Maker VX: Be aware that nearly all of the Tileset A’s are auto-tiles. Set a grid to 16×16 or 32×32, I would alternate between the two personally. Tileset B to E should be no real problem as there are no auto-tiles there. I went over making auto-tiles in RMVX for a post, I may do another one in the future.

Then go in your maker, and import it. You will be asked to click the background to set it as the transparent color, and in RPG Maker XP, a different color to be semi-transparent.

Question: I want my sprites to be double the size, but they end up blurry.

Answer: Probably using Photoshop, although using Paints Stretch/Skew option does that too (so avoid that in Paint). When resizing in Photoshop:

-If you are resizing the image size as a whole: In Image size, there will be an option on the bottom that says “Resample image”. For this, it defaults to Bicubic. You’ll want Nearest Neighbor instead. Then resize it.

-If you are using a transform tool on a selection, then go to Edit -> Preferences -> General. There will be an option on top that says something like “Image interpolation”. Change that to Nearest Neighbor.

Question: I want to start from scratch but I don’t know where to place things in the tileset.

Answer: You’ll want to get some templates for that. Once you understand what the color coded sections represent, then you’ll be able to figure out where everything should go. I did this for RM2k3 chipset templates already, I cannot remember which post but you may want to go back a few pages.

You can find them at these places. I don’t want to post the pics here as it’s already pic heavy.

Gaming World and just in case GW is down: RRR

If you have any troubles understanding what the templates are for, feel free to let me know by a comment or something, I check my e-mail frequently and I get notified of comments by e-mail. Looking at other tilesets like the default RTP ones can also help you too, feel free to check them out too.

Question: The first color in the palette of my image is not the background color.

Answer: No one really asks this but it’s good information for the following question. There are multiple programs that show the palettes. IDraw should, Graphics Gale does, and Character Maker 1999 does. Check there and see if the first color is the same as the background color. If it is not, then replace the 1st color in the palette to the one you want for your background. It’s pretty simple to do in Character Maker if you know what you’re doing. I’ll post it here:


This is my image. It’s got a white background. But when I look at it in Character Maker, this is the palette.


What I’ll do is go to an empty color space in the palette, and make the same color as the first color in the palette. You could try eyeballing it and adjusting the sliders on the side. But it also has a number on the bottom, so you could just match those up.


Then right click and drag out your selection in the image. It should show up in the preview box on the side. Then, drag the new color onto the 1st color of the palette. Left click your selection onto the image to save the change. Now, drag the 1st color of the palette onto the current background color, which in this case is white. Now, my background will be a different color. You could always adjust the sliders and change it. Be aware that you may have to edit the image if there were other places on the sprite itself that used white, but you’ll notice that.

You could also just grab the first color, take the paint bucket tool and color over the previous color too. As long as you make sure that the background color isn’t present in the sprite itself, or if it is, then edit it.

Question: My picture or panorama is too big for RPG Maker 2003, it won’t let me import.

Answer: It won’t let you import it, but there is another way. First, since importing lets you pick to make the background color transparent, that’s an issue we’ll have to deal with. By default, the first color in the palette for a resource will be the transparent one. We don’t have to worry about this for the panoramas, but we will for pictures.

The above question goes about how to solve this.

Now, the easy part. Once that’s all set, you just open the picture or panorama folder, and save or copy the file onto there. Don’t import, but just copy it there. Then, you’ll be able to use this in game.

In RPG Maker XP, I would cut up the panorama once you make it and place it onto a tileset. Just remember that the width is 256, the height can be anything.

In RPG Maker VX, it’s well suited for panoramas so feel free to drop them in, that shouldn’t give you problems.

Question: How do you pick your colors?

Answer: Since Character Maker lets me adjust the colors on the spot, I can easily use a pre-existing palette and then just change it whenever I want. But let’s say I’m using MS Paint. I would think of what colors I need to use for my image. Enlarge the area so I can put the colors I’m using off to the side. Since MS Paint doesn’t remember the palette you use for a piece, I instead place the colors on the working area so I can use the eyedrop tool to get them.

For the colors itself, that’s a bit tricky. Colors are influenced by the colors around them. It’s generally a good idea to stay away from oversaturated colors, but all too easy to do that. Double click a color in the palette below to create a custom color. For blue, I know people are going to go to a deep blue color. But before you do, check the value called SAT right under HUE. If it’s something like over 200, then it may be too saturated. Staying at 125 or less could be helpful, but don’t take that as a rule. Generally just stay in the lower half of the color chooser for most of them. There are exceptions, like a bright yellow, or highlights, but then I would keep them with a high saturation and a lightness that is near or even above 200.

I made a post on the color wheel, but I’ll repeat it. Usually, the brighter the object, the more yellow it goes, and the darker, the more blue it goes. This changes depending on the color of the light, but in natural (sun) lighting, it’s yellow light. So don’t just change the brightness, but start moving your hues/colors over from yellow to a bit bluer (they don’t need to end up blue). So for example, for purple, you may want pinks for your highlight, but a bluish violet for your shadows.

That’s it for now, if I think of more, or if anyone has other questions, let me know and I could add it.



  1. Some nice questions there, the information on what colours should I use was actually very helpful especially the SAT thing.

    Looking back that was one of my problems when I first started.

  2. Thanks, I’m glad it’s helpful! Yeah, colors especially to start with is a hard thing to get. It’s hard to get out of the mind set that “I want blue, this is blue, I’ll pick it”.

    In fact, with a complete middle grey, check this out:

    This looks like a brown piece with a blue aura on the bottom.

    This looks like a blue piece with a brown aura on the bottom.

    There is a highlight at the very bottom right corner, that and the base color really make the middle grey used in here feel different. The middle grey seems more blue in the test1, and seems more brownish/yellowish in test2, without me having changed the grey at all.

  3. Uh… you´ve gaven a chipset template at your very first post in this tutorial…. just to remember, so people haven´t to search for…

    BTW those are some pretty cool answers… like my mother´s t-shirt (btw she is a tattooist)

    IT hurts. It won´t fade away. It´s forever.

    Refferring to the three most common questions in the world of tattooing:

    1-It HURTS?! ¬¬’
    2-can i WASH IT AWAY?!
    3-It is FOREVER?!

    hahahahaha reminds me that ^^

  4. Hey, I can’t find any info on RM2K3 or how to get it!!! 😦 I barley know what it is, but I’m willing to try something!!!! If you could tell me somewhere that it tells the price, size, ect…, I would be very thakful. 🙂

    P.S. your toutorials are great O.o

  5. merry cristmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Here, you’ll just have to register to get it.

    And thank you! Please visit the site at as this one is no longer being updated.

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