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Monday, November 15, 2021 - 06:03

How expensive is it to create an NFT from a piece?

If the cost isn't significant, then somebody is right now running a crawler bot which is making NFTs of every file that it can find on the web. Also, all sites (especially ones like OpenGameArt) will eventually run code that automatically NFTs everything uploaded to it.

Monday, November 15, 2021 - 05:51

@Malifer It could potentially happen either way.

Basically, right now somebody can sell an NFT of a piece of art that they don't have the rights to, and there's very little concrete to stop them. But as it says in the Forbes article linked above, "caveat emptor" applies. Just like anyone who fences stolen goods, the thief is not just stealing from the creator but also from the buyer.

If the piece later turns out to be actually valuable, a digital art historian could come along tomorrow and use the Wayback Machine or other internet archives to prove that the seller didn't have the rights.

If they've laundered the money effectively then they'll be long gone, and the buyer could easily wind up out of pocket, like anyone else who buys stolen goods. If they want to keep this bit of their wealth then they're going to have to try and bully the system into retroactively and unfairly giving the rights to them - there are various nefarious ways that they could go about this.

If the seller hasn't laundered the money effectively, then they run a pretty high risk of copping consequences; their identity is right there in the ledger, and it might be much easier for the buyer to go after them than to try and squish the original creator. What's more, this could happen even if the piece is never really worth anything, because then the buyer can potentially get some of their money back by proving that the seller never had the rights. They might actually hire the art historian to do so.

Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 09:01

I don't understand it that well myself, and what I do understand looks kinda worrying.

Basically there's some crypto blockchain magic which can be used to prove that you've paid X amount for a specific piece of digital art. It's proof that you "own" this art, which is independent of any legal jurisdiction - it's based on mathematics, not on legal institutions. Of course, traditional legal jurisdictions might not decide to recognise this right, and then you don't actually "own" it as far as they're concerned.

So it looks like the NFT craze is basically a lot of people with far too much money, betting that this way of defining art ownership will eventually dominate over traditional legal institutions, and trying to amass a collection with a good chance of containing some piece that will be worth a lot in some future legal jurisdiction. For example they might imagine that in the future the law might enforce that anybody sharing one of these images might have to pay them a tiny amount just to do that, and they want to be in with a chance of owning Ceiling Cat or that image of DiCaprio smirking from Jango Unchained.

Imagine that some rich guy in the time of Leonardo Da Vinci had a vision that somebody was right then making a painting which would one day be worth so much that it would be guarded more zealously than any living person; and he was convinced that this vision was true, but he didn't know what it would look like or who was painting it. So he went around buying up any painting he could find that looked like anyone was interested in it. That's what I think is happening here, except that it's lots of rich guys at once. And they're doing this kind of gambling because the monetary system is overloaded with centralised capital that has nowhere to go for an ROI that its owners are prepared to get out of bed for.

The other side of the story is a gold rush for content creators (and art thieves) to try and get a piece of this crazy cash which is being thrown around.

Monday, August 23, 2021 - 18:07

For anyone landing here more recently, these assets got used by somebody to make a short, free Android game called "Mission Massive Migration", which I liked a lot. Go play it.

I was inspired by this art to make the "Space War Man" set that you can find on my subs page.

Friday, August 13, 2021 - 13:17

Lots of the links associated with this game seem to be dead now, but this is still up:


Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 05:39

Some examples given above are about converting an image to use a predefined palette. You can also do this in Gimp. If you have an image which is in "Indexed" mode (meaning that it is palettised), and you paste another image into it as a new layer, all of the colours in the pasted image will be changed to the nearest colour from the palette. However, I don't know if you can change the algorithm which it uses to do this, whereas pngpal clearly gives you two options for which algorithm to use. In reality I would expect that the results are usually identical for both, except for certain combinations of source image and target palette.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 05:32

I think Commander was just saying that there is a compatibility mode which you need to invoke in order to run quite old command line apps (ones that were made back when 32-bit Windows OSes were the main ones in use, so back in Win 8.1 era at least). I don't think you should need it for pngpal though, because bzt has obviously been developing this program very recently.

Oh, RetroEditor looks interesting!

BTW FiveBros, this may have been clear to you already - but just in case it isn't, I think that Commander is multi-lingual and English is not their first language (I will let Commander correct me if I am wrong about that).

Monday, August 2, 2021 - 17:26

What browser do you use, and do you have any anti-virus programs running with a "live protection" feature?

Some of them will probably block any executable which is not cryptographically signed and registered with some list of "trusted" programs, so if you try to download a program which someone has developed as a hobby - without doing all the registration stuff - it won't let you. You'll probably have to find and turn that feature off to download the program. It could also be a browser extension... possibly a browser extension that was installed without your knowledge, thanks to a "dark pattern" or "drive-by" installation.

To check that the program is really OK, once you have downloaded the executable file but before you run it, submit it to

Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 11:27

For low numbers of colours like you would find in most NES sprites, a palette analysis tool seems kind of like overkill, when you ought to be able to get the colours in a few seconds by zooming in and using the colour picker tool which every editor has.

Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 11:24

Gimp has some basic tools that can be used to manually swap palettes - you can swap individual colours using the "Select by Color" and "Bucket Fill" tools.

It also has a powerful (but unpredictable) palette creation algorithm which I would guess uses something like the Median Cut algorithm internally. You get at it by changing the image mode to "Indexed".

And it also has some kind of support for saving and loading palettes but I haven't yet bothered to find out how to use that.

chasersgaming's stuff is mostly in the NES style, isn't it? The main feature of NES art is that the machine could use a different 4 colour palette for every 8x8 pixel tile or sprite. So, in every 8x8 pixels you would have only 4 different colours, or only 3 if you were using one of them to indicate fully transparent pixels. However, you could have any number of colours over a larger area, as long as there were only 4 in every 8x8 region. This restriction determined the art style of most NES games, and is the reason why smaller sprites typically only have 3 colours - but if you look closely at big sprites in top-tier games like the Mega Man series, they are carefully laid out so that they can have more colours without exceeding the limit in any 8x8 tile. As for what the limits on the palette entries were, I don't know that, but I'd guess they could be full 24 bit RGB.

To actually automatically extract these palettes you would probably need a tool which is written specifically for extracting palettes from NES art, since no other hardware that I know of ever had this specific limitation!