If I may segue at this point to go over my current 'understanding' of this whole Quake Graphics issue. Please confirm, correct, lol, deny or nitpick the truth (or otherwise) of the following basic concepts /descriptions.[DISCLAIMER: This list possibly (probably?) contains FACTUAL ERRORS! Any newbies reading this in future please read the responses that follow for corrections]
1. All 'bitmapped' computer images (ie as opposed to vector graphics) could be considered a '2D matrix of pixels'.
2. When 'saving' an image file, you are not saving the colours, you are in fact saving a 2D matrix of numbers, where each number refers to a colour.
3. The 'colour' that the number refers to can be different based on the renderer, the 'bit of software that does the displaying of the image' (whether it be the picture editing program, a monitor driver, or ... a Quake client)
4. A 'indexed palette' is an array of paired values where numbers are 'mapped' to specific colors. RGB is a different system where (IIUC) every 'cell' in the 2d matrix stores three numbers, the red, green and blue amounts.
5. When you open an image, the renderer reads each number in every element of the matrix, and matches every number to a colour, it then displays that colour in the pixel.
6. The 'Quake palette' is an array of 255 structures, containing pairs of values, which map specific numbers in the image file, to specific colours the original Quake could
display (note the past tense(!), this is where I got confused!!)
7. THIS IS PURE GUESSWORK: The variables which store the 'pairs of values' are a set size, and if your image has a pixel/cell which contains a numeric value higher than the Quake Palette variable can store/ is expecting, it moves pointer to the next element to an 'invalid position', and this messes up/corrupts the entire 'read' of the array. This is the only reason I can imagine that one 'bad' (presumably too large) value results in the whole skin being messed up (???)
8. Skins originally HAD to use the Quake palette, because of hardware limitations in the mid 90's, and the consequent requirement to use software mode(?), HOWEVER:
9. Clients such as FTE / DP have been modified so they can load TGA or PNG formatted skins and 'bypass' the 255 limit. The 'high res head' model contains such a skin - but it cannot be viewed by EZquake, because:
10. EZquake has NOT been modified and thus IS still limited to only displaying pcx (and png?) skins with the Quake palette, as per the original Quake.
....... Hopefully the above is basically correct.
Now, the next bit I'm still fuzzy about:
11. EZquake can use (?) where multiple skins are placed on top of the same model (presumably via making some colours transparent?) and somehow this can be used with team colours? I'm still trying to understand this, and looking over my notes from Spike (thanks again Spike!). I notice there are bunch of mono coloured skins in my qw folder, green, cyan, red, blue, white.. Still trying to figure out what they do/how they work, and/or if they are in fact relevant.
.. how did I do?