Don’t be fooled by its long name: Palette0 Game Art Photo Converter for iPhone is a very simple photographic tool to convert photos to old-school pixelated styles. LinkedPIXEL assembled a unique collection of digital effects reminiscent of retro gaming systems and old computer display standards for the joy of all the nostalgic gamers — and photographers — out there.
- Up to 1024×768 pixels resolution;
- 28 effects;
- 4 palettes;
- Adjust contrast;
- In-app guide;
- Send to email or share on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Tumblr.
By tapping on the camera in the main screen, you can take a photo in-app. If you prefer, you can load images from the device library by tapping on the console. Effects are arranged into four categories (Computer, Console, Handheld and Prototype), each containing seven styles. Palette0 offer an interesting overview on old gaming systems and computer display standards; among the filter styles you will find suggestive names as EGA16, Mega System, NexTrendo, Game Pal, PixoVision, Glitch-o-Matic, and so on. For each style you have a brief but explanatory description.
Each style allows four palette variations (normal, reverse, monochrome and vivid) and four levels of contrast. Beside palette variations, you are given many options: the Overlay FX uses scanlines and other artifacts to complement the initial style; Soft Edges applies anti-aliasing to processed images, while Dithering enhances image features by adding additional patterns. Enabling Hi-Fi serves the purpose to preserve as much detail present in the original as it is possible by making use of higher resolution. Hi-Fi takes more time to process, but not significantly longer. You can combine all these additional options in any way to increase variety of your results.
Once you are happy with your image, you can either save or share it — or both. Information concerning your social media accounts can be set from the settings screen, which you can access from the main screen. By tapping on the bottom arrow in the share screen, you can go back and process the same photo in a different style.
Palette0 works best with images with good, clear contrast and colors. Please note that variable cropping is applied with every effect and you cannot adjust it in any way. This may alter the original framing you intended, and it is especially noticeable with portrait orientation. Using landscape oriented photos with crucial subjects towards the center is thus recommended.
Another problem with Palette0 is the saving resolution. If you want larger images, it’s advisable to make use of the app’s Hi-Fi feature. In any case though, even the Hi-Fi option is just capable of delivering final images in 1024×768 pixels. Given the purpose of Palette0, this issue is not as bad as it is for other apps. This style is not necessarily supposed to be admired on huge screens and on walls, as in a large format it would lose a bit of its charm.
Palette0 is perhaps not the app for all iPhone camera users, as it is quite extreme in stylizing images. However, those that usually like to try something different will definitely enjoy it. Effects are very well done and varied enough to give users enough to play with. If it weren’t for a few issues here and there — resolution and crop factor, mainly — I would be more than happy to give it a higher score.
A free version of Palette0 is also available in the App Store. The difference between the two editions is that Palette0 Premium comes with several additional features: more filters, no ads and watermarks, saving of original images and higher resolution. If you want a taste of how the app works before purchasing the full version, I recommend trying the free edition first.
Name: Palette0 Video Game Art Photo Converter
Developer: linkedPIXEL, LLC.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 4.0 or later.