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New Algorithm to Depixilize Pixel Art is Magical.

Princess Skittles

Prince's's 'Skittle's
Dec 7, 2007
8,267
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TheExodu5 said:
I'm not a fan of the Mame shots posted...I think they emulate too many CRT flaws in my eyes. However, the FF VI shot I posted rounds the pixels a bit, adding color bleed, and outputs the NTSC gamut. The colors are the most important to me...the FF VI screenshot in raw form looks dull and digital. The NTSC filtered one looks significantly more natural. Color bleed is an important aspect of displaying pixel art naturally. With completely square pixels, a lot of that suggested detail is lost. Circular shapes give the best example of this, as they are significantly aliased on an LCD, but look far less aliased on a CRT, giving the impression of greater detail.

I do own a 27" Sony Trinitron, and have my SNES hooked up through S-Video, and I configured FF VI to look as close to the TV output as I could on the emulator. And no, the pixels are absolutely not squared on the CRT. The color bleed is very minimal, but it is as well in my emulated shot.
I'd be interested to know if the colors for the GBA port of Final Fantasy VI or the DS port of Chrono Trigger were altered from their SNES palettes. As far as I could tell though, they seemed as clean and bright as you'd see them through a filterless emulator (although that is complete hearsay).. although slightly thinner due to the exact square pixels of those devices.
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,097
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Princess Skittles said:
I'd be interested to know if the colors for the GBA port of Final Fantasy VI or the DS port of Chrono Trigger were altered from their SNES palettes. As far as I could tell though, they seemed as clean and bright as you'd see them through a filterless emulator (although that is complete hearsay).. although slightly thinner due to the exact square pixels of those devices.
The GBA port of FF VI looks significantly worse than the SNES version...that's all I remember.

Also, you're playing on a tiny LCD screen over a foot away from your face, so the pixels are much harder to make out. As such, your eyes tend to blend the pixels together on their own.

It's when the pixels are too big and too easily distinguishable from each other that you really need some blending to make up for it. The closer you get to pixel art, the less it resembles the object it's imitating.
 

140.85

Cognitive Dissonance, Distilled
Jun 6, 2006
9,956
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KevinCow said:
It's pure nostalgia.
Oh, you're one of those people. As if nostalgia is a negative.

And you're wrong of course. As others have stated, these games were developed with the consideration that the pixels would be stretched, put through scanlines and modified by NTSC/PAL colors. They were never meant to be presented in their raw form and thus lose the look of the original game when presented that way.
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,344
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One thing that really bugs me with that metal slug picture every one seems to love is that the game, on dozens of machines, never looked like that. The stock neogeo RGB monitor doesn't have those curvature issues, nor are the scanlines as noticeable. The worse I have ever seen is replacement monitors have some overscan issues.

Maybe I should take some pictures of the arcade machines on campus to remind you all how they really looked
 

Princess Skittles

Prince's's 'Skittle's
Dec 7, 2007
8,267
1
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140.85 said:
They were never meant to be presented in their raw form and thus lose the look of the original game when presented that way.
And yet, when they are ported to Virtual Console, PSP, GBA, DS, etc. that's generally how they are presented.

Strange.
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,344
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Florida
Also, if these filters are going for accuracy, why is there no option to have the games title screen burned into the monitor? Thats authentic.
 

Tain

Member
Jun 13, 2004
24,280
3
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horizonvanguard.com
Everybody railing on the Metal Slug picture realizes that those who most want to use the filter aren't even a fan of the settings shown, right? They realize that the image is a more extreme demonstration of what the filter can do, right?

I have a feeling that there's barely a disagreement going on here. Princess Skittles, you earlier said that you find 25% scanlines to be pretty good looking. That's exactly how I have this filter set for my own use. I'm still trying to decide if I want barely any curvature at all or no curvature.

KevinCow said:
It's pure nostalgia.
How can it be nostalgia if I never had an RGB monitor as a kid? How can it be nostalgia if I never even played many arcade games in the first place as a kid? The Metal Slug picture is an extreme demonstrating the capabilities of the filter, but accurate attempts at simulating a good CRT screen are both fairly new to me and more pleasing to my eyes. That they more accurately represent what the games were designed for is related, but ultimately secondary.

Drkirby said:
One thing that really bugs me with that metal slug picture every one seems to love is that the game, on dozens of machines, never looked like that. The stock neogeo RGB monitor doesn't have those curvature issues, nor are the scanlines as noticeable. The worse I have ever seen is replacement monitors have some overscan issues.

Maybe I should take some pictures of the arcade machines on campus to remind you all how they really looked
As said before, that image of Metal Slug is an extreme demonstrating the capabilities of the filter. That's not how I use it, and I doubt that many interested in image quality would want those settings.
 

Mista Koo

Member
Feb 18, 2010
5,357
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0
Not sure if I would want to use this in games, but it's very impressive. As Imbarkus said this would be very helpful for graphic designers.
Although I think hq4x works better as it's more faithful to the original details.

I wonder if something like this would help or simplify creating HD sprites when used by spriters, any thoughts?

From The Dust said:
For those interested, I found the site where they detail the process of making KoF12's sprites

http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/info/15th_anniv/2d_dot/creation/index.php
It's amazing for gamers/spriters, but it's too costly for companies. I think the process should be simplified somehow.

Platy said:
About the oficial topic .... i REALLY want to see how it afects more high res pixels like Guilty Gear or Street Fighter 3
SF3 is full of details that would be destroyed, but I think GG or BB might look good.
 

JimboJones

Member
Apr 16, 2009
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I'm not a fan of scanlines, honestly i have never reallt noticed them and still don't when I play games on my old crt TV.
Though I do tend to use bilinear filter when using emulaters to blur it slightly as it looks unaturally crisp withought it.
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,097
2
0
Ottawa, Canada
Tain said:
How can it be nostalgia if I never had an RGB monitor as a kid? How can it be nostalgia if I never even played many arcade games in the first place as a kid? The Metal Slug picture is an extreme demonstrating the capabilities of the filter, but accurate attempts at simulating a good CRT screen are both fairly new to me and more pleasing to my eyes. That they more accurately represent what the games were designed for is related, but ultimately secondary.
Pretty much.

Also, I've said it before, but there's a reason people say old consoles look good on a good CRT and like shit on an LCD.

JimboJones said:
I'm not a fan of scanlines, honestly i have never reallt noticed them and still don't when I play games on my old crt TV.
Though I do tend to use bilinear filter when using emulaters to blur it slightly as it looks unaturally crisp withought it.
See my post:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=28052816&postcount=301

A good NTSC filter can produce an image close to how it would look like on a CRT (minus the scanlines/curvature), without blurring it nearly as much as a bilinear filter.
 

KevinCow

Banned
Oct 6, 2007
23,358
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So here's a question. If blurriness, scanlines, and curvature were how these games were supposed to be viewed, why did ads and magazines use direct feed shots?
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,097
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KevinCow said:
So here's a question. If blurriness, scanlines, and curvature were how these games were supposed to be viewed, why did ads and magazines use direct feed shots?
Do you have any examples of said ads? Just curious to see it.

Also, here are two greatly blown up shots of raw pixel art, and NTSC filtered pixel art:





You'll notice that at these extreme sizes, pixel art really loses its form. NTSC filtered art will give off an impression of much greater detail.
 

sixteen-bit

Member
Aug 16, 2006
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KevinCow said:
So here's a question. If blurriness, scanlines, and curvature were how these games were supposed to be viewed, why did ads and magazines use direct feed shots?
Older mags use off-screen shots. heck, so did older game box art.
 

Josh7289

Member
Dec 9, 2006
7,387
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TheExodu5 said:
Oh, I found the screenshot of the work in progress filter a guy was attempting a while back:

This is absolutely the best scanline filter I've ever seen. Actually you know what, I'm calling it. This is the best I've seen any 2D pixel art game emulated and upscaled on an LCD monitor ever.

And the stuff in the OP is terrible.
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,097
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Josh7289 said:
This is absolutely the best scanline filter I've ever seen. Actually you know what, I'm calling it. This is the best I've seen any 2D pixel art game emulated and upscaled on an LCD monitor ever.

And the stuff in the OP is terrible.
Sadly, I'm not sure if he ever made it into a working filter. It looks truly remarkable, though.
 
May 12, 2009
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Personally, I sometimes like to add some light scanlines to old-school emulated games, never really needed more than that as it adds enough of a CRT feel for me without putting too much strain on the CPU. I guess I simply like the vibrancy of old games' "true" colors.
 

onken

Member
Dec 15, 2008
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Can anyone who has tried that awesome MAME filter comment on their specs/performance? I can't believe performance is supposed to be this bad :(

TheExodu5 said:
Sadly, I'm not sure if he ever made it into a working filter. It looks truly remarkable, though.
Find it kinda hard to believe someone would develop it to that stage (i.e. basically finished) and then drop it. Probably just a shop.
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
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onken said:
Find it kinda hard to believe someone would develop it to that stage (i.e. basically finished) and then drop it. Probably just a shop.
I believe it was done in MATLab. It just might never have been implemented as a working shader, or it might have been too complex and too taxing.

onken said:
Can anyone who has tried that awesome MAME filter comment on their specs/performance? I can't believe performance is supposed to be this bad :(
If it's implemented through shaders, it probably needs a bit of GPU power to run.
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,385
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0
TheExodu5 said:
Oh, I found the screenshot of the work in progress filter a guy was attempting a while back:

http://thejayzone.com/pics/snes/zeldaaq.png[img][/QUOTE]
Smooth like a baby's cute little butt. Damn that's nice

[QUOTE=TheExodu5]Sadly, I'm not sure if he ever made it into a working filter. It looks truly remarkable, though.[/QUOTE]DAMN!
 

chaostrophy

Member
Jun 21, 2004
6,146
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orioto said:
I don't get this snobish "big pixels are so sexy" fad...
Pixel art isn't a big pixel porn. Its meant to be tiny, dense and highly detailled. Metal Slug is meant to be viewed at a small size, where its characters seems round and sharp...
Um, have you actually played anything on a NeoGeo arcade cabinet, or any arcade cabinet from that era? Screens may not have been that big by modern standards, but the viewing distances were much shorter than any living room tv. You could see the pixels.
 

Ahoi-Brause

Banned
Mar 7, 2011
1,535
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TheExodu5 said:
You'll notice that at these extreme sizes, pixel art really loses its form. NTSC filtered art will give off an impression of much greater detail.
Seriously, this is the best example.
Just look at the bricks and the hat.
 

drizzle

Axel Hertz
Feb 5, 2006
10,242
0
0
Brazil
TheExodu5 said:
Do you have any examples of said ads? Just curious to see it.

Also, here are two greatly blown up shots of raw pixel art, and NTSC filtered pixel art:

http://www.thejayzone.com/pics/snes/p1.png

http://www.thejayzone.com/pics/snes/p2.png

You'll notice that at these extreme sizes, pixel art really loses its form. NTSC filtered art will give off an impression of much greater detail.
Holy fuck, I can't even discern things and constructions in the first pic. On the second, however, it looks great.

I have one question tho. Why does it need to be so dark? Is it the NTSC color filter? Does it rely on darkening the picture, so it enhances edges or whatever? Can't it look awesome but be bright like the first one?
 

PowerSmell

Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,599
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Disgrossing.

I wish they'd put effort into emulating the displays these games were designed to be played on.
 

Azure Dream

Member
Oct 30, 2004
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Ahoi-Brause said:
Seriously, this is the best example.
Just look at the bricks and the hat.
Yes, this is an incredible issue when you have your face pressed directly up against an 80" TV.
 

SHAZOOM

Member
Feb 24, 2010
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My rule of thumb is:

Does this look like how I played it on *insert console of choice*?

So Snes/genesis/nes games get the NTSC filter.

MAME/Arcade usually get scanlines. I think I'm weird that I sometimes set it to 75%.

Also, the argument that the pixel art should be "pristine" doesn't hold water for me. If you're making pixel art NOW, sure Have at it. But a little bit of blurriness/scanlines give the pixel art some "texture", like how you can tell what kind of canvas/paper was used for paintings in traditional art.
 

Red

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Feb 16, 2008
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Is that a bump mapping filter? It's different enough not to be offensive, but those shots don't represent how it looks in motion.
 

Hyllian

Member
Sep 24, 2005
678
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Crunched said:
Is that a bump mapping filter? It's different enough not to be offensive, but those shots don't represent how it looks in motion.
They're two filters. The first get rid of micro aliasing that plagues pixel arts when upscaled. The second is some general sharpness filter (it's really simple) that deep the color differences at edges. The effect only works because the first filter doesn't blend colors, it just relocates some of them in pixels. The final image is upscaled 5x exactly (if it's not exactly, the effect is gone too).
 

Hyllian

Member
Sep 24, 2005
678
1
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Stallion Free said:
Show us some footage pleaseeee.
Sorry, it only works on Snes9x, GenplusGX and FCEUgx for PS3 (just because it features dual shader mode) and it only supports screenshots. I can't show it in motion.
 

Dunan

Member
Mar 6, 2010
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Hyllian's filter looks a little weird with games that I'm very familiar with, like Zelda and Metroid, but with that second game from the left, which I don't recognize, it looks amazing. Ditto for Yoshi's Island, which has a somewhat quirky aesthetic to being with.

I'd love to see a game designed with this filter from the beginning.
 

Red

Member
Feb 16, 2008
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Hyllian said:
Sorry, it only works on Snes9x, GenplusGX and FCEUgx for PS3 (just because it features dual shader mode) and it only supports screenshots. I can't show it in motion.
Try fraps?
 

Narag

Member
Oct 14, 2006
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Dunan said:
Hyllian's filter looks a little weird with games that I'm very familiar with, like Zelda and Metroid, but with that second game from the left, which I don't recognize, it looks amazing. Ditto for Yoshi's Island, which has a somewhat quirky aesthetic to being with.

I'd love to see a game designed with this filter from the beginning.
Believe it's Phantom 2040.
 
Jul 15, 2009
11,804
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New York City
I remember seeing those pics in the PS3 Homebrew thread. While I usually hate these filters, I can imagine it looking cool on a 1080p display. I wish I could hack my PS3 and do so. :(

Could you try it with a more realistic looking game like Donkey Kong Country?

Crunched said:
Try fraps?
They're emulators on the PS3. No Fraps.
 

Red

Member
Feb 16, 2008
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Why would you do that? said:
I remember seeing those pics in the PS3 Homebrew thread. While I usually hate these filters, I can imagine it looking cool on a 1080p display. I wish I could hack my PS3 and do so. :(

Could you try it with a more realistic looking game like Donkey Kong Country?


They're emulators on the PS3. No Fraps.
Snes9x was PC I thought.

Website seems to indicate this is the case. Unless there was a PS3 port I was not aware about, in which case disregard this.