grayscale pixel based graphics with pygame

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Thu Mar 9 05:59:43 CET 2006

"Brian L. Troutwine" <goofyheadedpunk at> wrote in message 
news:1141872392.131004.247580 at
> I've recently begun to teach myself pygame by making a bunch of small
> toys. My current toy is cellular automata displayer and I've gotten a
> bit stuck on the displaying bit. (If automata isn't the plural of
> automaton please forgive me.) The current automata are only binary and
> are calculated using 2D Numeric arrays. It had been my assumption that
> once the automata was calculated I could  then multiply the entire
> array by 255 to get a nice array of grayscale pixel values.

I presume you are simply recoding 1 as 255 to get visual contrast with 0. 
Was you assumption correct?

>I had also
> hoped to feed the new grayscale array straight into surfarray as the
> manual talks in many places about 2Dpixel arrays taking integer pixel
> values.

Questions about pygame are better directed to the pygame mailing list, also 
accessible as newsgroup gmane.comp.python.pygame at  The 
helpful folks there should also be able to answer simple graphics-related 
questions on using numeric (although there is also a numeric/numpy list).

> But I find the tutorials and manuals confusing

For python, numeric, or pygame?

 >and usually end
> up with black and blue displays. Could someone provide an explanation,
> and maybe a code example, as to how to create grayscale pixel based
> graphics with pygame using only 2D arrays?

See pygame list.  There might already be an example that you missed.

Terry Jan Reedy

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