I guess my advice continues to be overlooked or ignored by most, but I'll give it one more shot.
I think too many try and get the algorithm with it's limitations based on the Atari's limitations to conform to the source image. When The source image, through the Rasta settings, must be conformed to the what the Atari is capable of. In this case, there is very subtle shading that just plain cannot be done on the Atari, so you have to make the shading less subtle to fit the Atari's limitations. This means drastic contrast adjustment in the case of this image. You will find by conforming the image to Atari limitations, in the end, makes the results closer to the original source.
But it really does take an artist's eye to get the most out of Rasta Converter, because it really is an artists tool, and not a tool to make you an artist. If you don't have an artists eye, it makes things much more difficult to understand how settings should be adjusted.
The most important settings in Rasta Converter, in order, are:
1) The best palette choice for the image.
2) Contrast adjustment.
3) Color brightness adjustment.
4) Gamma adjustment.
The least important settings:
1) Masking-almost worthless, IMHO, and only to be used, if need be once the picture is almost perfect, then, only minute masking in the areas where there is color banding, doing big maskings like ilmenit did doesn't help in my experience (sorry ilmenit).
2) dithering, most of the time it just makes pictures a pixelated mess. In the rare occasions where it can help, use Chess or Knoll dithering, the rest are worthless. And the dithering should be set at default or even REDUCED, increasing just increases the pixelated mess.
Like ilmenit, my attempt here is what I consider quick and dirty. I KNOW, I can make it better, and get rid of the last of the color banding, but I'm only doing it to make a point, and it's the best conversion yet, of this image, IMHO.
color distance YUV
Color brightness -1
Initial state less
evaluations 65 million
Threads 2 (I only ever use 1 or 2 threads, I find more than that makes it worse because the individual threads don't always mesh right with each other)
NO pre-adjustments accept resizing to 320x217
My second attempt (my first attempt is ALWAYS with all default settings, even when I know going in that it will need drastic contrast adjustments, see how it is turning out, if by 20 million evals it's not looking acceptable, then start over with new settings and go from there)
The name of the game is if at first you don't succeed, try, try again and lots of patience to try and try again.
Edited by Gunstar, Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:29 AM.