Lady Wu wrote:Can someone give me a quick explanation of palettes and compression and stuff?
Palettes are a concern when creating a 256-color image because, depending on the application, you probably have specific colors to work with. There are 256 web-safe colors (well, 256 defined as web safe), for example, and if you work with that palette your image has to be constructed using only those colors. Windows 256 color graphics have to be created using specific Windows-supported colors and, unfortunately, those colors are selected more for the needs of Windows than for the presentation of graphics. Pictures in this color mode tend to look awful. What you exported, though, seems like it is just a 256 color export (made of 256 colors with no limited palette—or a very expansive palette) and it actually looks pretty good. You could accomplish a lot with that.
You asked about compression. What were you wondering, specifically? It is a very broad topic. I can explain general compression as it applies to web graphics, for example.
Edit: Something that you should definitely know about is dithering, though its seems you have used it in the graphic you created. Dithering scatters pixels and changes colors in an effort to replicate the appearance of non-supported colors without their actual presence. It gives a picture the somewhat noisy appearance yours has, but allows a much closer representation of a photograph (or similar graphic) when viewed from a typical distance.