MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

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mufunyo
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby mufunyo » April 30th, 2010, 9:50 pm

Why anyone would want to darken their picture intentionally is beyond me :awe: But I guess because I've been working with graphics for the past 10 years I'm so used to seeing zoomed pixels without black lines between them it's more natural to me that way.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby fagin » May 1st, 2010, 10:00 am

mufunyo wrote:Why anyone would want to darken their picture intentionally is beyond me :awe: But I guess because I've been working with graphics for the past 10 years I'm so used to seeing zoomed pixels without black lines between them it's more natural to me that way.


If you had been working with graphics for the past 20yrs, then you would understand what the "faithfull" scanlines mean. :lol:
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby mufunyo » May 1st, 2010, 2:02 pm

fagin wrote:If you had been working with graphics for the past 20yrs, then you would understand what the "faithfull" scanlines mean. :lol:

Not really, I think scanlines really are a nostalgia thing with console and arcade gamers only. The phenomenon only shows itself on large monitors running a very low resolution (TVs and arcade monitors). In the nineties I've always had CRTs that were too small to show scanlines (14 and 15 inch) and in the noughties when I had bigger CRTs I drove them at too high resolutions to show scanlines (1024x768 and 1280x960). Same goes for people who were in the graphics biz in the nineties, they all had Macs that were way ahead of their time and ran them in huge resolutions on 21 inch Barco/Nanao monitors.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby gray117 » May 6th, 2010, 1:44 pm

... or indeed *cough* faithful *cough* ...

Aside from simply nostalgic reproduction I feel there is also a slight gameplay impact of scanlines particularly when playing close to a [large] screen. Literally lining up/easing an eye's ability to traverse a screen - I've heard of similar opinions beyond scanlines right down to dot pitch and pixel size...

Scanlines - like slowdown - were a technical limitation but, I feel, became more of a feature; particularly amongst later developments where greater attention is likely to have been paid to the impact of such elements and the principles behind the choices made in the design of a game as regards to these elements.

Sure an artist [or even a whole team] may not have really respected scanlines and slowdown on their first/second game - beyond oh **** its running. But, after that I bet everyone understood and considered as to how and why they were doing things...

Anyone who is used to working of graphics for tv or console games - especially video - especially in the 90s - will be most conscious of pixel aspects too - a feature that many games art work was quite purposefully designed around.

Although less of an issue big cpu crts could still show scanlines pretty clear up close when typically playing pc games at 800/640/320 depending on model and refresh rate [that was on my 19" - I seem to remember it on mechwarrior]... a 21" screen up close [whilst not a low res 26-29" arcade screen] is still pretty massive compared to a 20-29 inch low rez tv a metre or more away... The difference was the effect of this was pretty variable depending on monitor type and never part of the game design on pc games.

One of the bigger problems once your scanline is there and looking good. Is - as I think cools has pointed out numerous times - getting the actual final image/screen to then look good. The contrast brightness of many desktop lcds is simply too little to bring out that crt glow - even if helped by digital vibrancy on your graphics card etc. Larger screen lcd tvs of course tend to be better equipped in this regard since they are normally designed in anticipation of a viewer sitting further away and thus given brighter lit panels...

... this has a surprisingly contemporary parallel with the use of early contrasty normal maps in games with the first per pixel engines - which appeared to take away some of a game's vivid feel in exchange for surface detail... Of course, after a couple of releases this was quickly recognised, and dealt with not only via shaders, lighting and rendering improvements but also how artists [now understanding it better] painted diffuse and light maps.

... this was a lot of writing - I suppose my point is being faithful in reproduction is a part of it, but there's a greater breadth here than simply being a slave to reproduction - after all its kind of nice to have perfect geometry :P

ps thanks to all for the tweaking - bet it will save me some time since I was meaning to sort out a hori emulation solution :P
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby bufsum72 » September 23rd, 2010, 6:18 am

@ Pubjoe.

Question, why use DirectDraw rather than Direct 3d? I use a 24" Sceptre LCD (nice and cheap) and when I used your artwork on Mame, I got an effect that wasn't nearly as harsh as the Direct Draw and quite honestly seemed about as close to a CRT TV or CRT arcade monitor as I've ever seen. Direct 3d seems to round off the edges of the pixels, at least on my PC. I tried this with MESS as well and it looked about the same as my games used to on my old RCA 20" from when I was in college in the 90's EXCEPT the colors were bright and very well defined. Your artwork BTW is the first I've had since getting this monitor that makes my games look this good and betters the effects I had with my old Dell CRT monitor plus it isn't so dark and dingy like that CRT PC monitor was. Well done!
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby cRacKh0rN » September 23rd, 2010, 9:28 am

bufsum72 wrote:Question, why use DirectDraw rather than Direct 3d?


The games then display exactly as they should at their native, original resolution.
Here is a picture from Ultimarcs site showing firstly with DirectX:-
Image

And Direct Draw:
Image

These pictures are not the best example, but you get the idea.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby cools » September 23rd, 2010, 9:32 am

DDraw is essential if you're running on a CRT. I'd use D3D with simulated scanlines wherever possible on an LCD.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby bufsum72 » September 24th, 2010, 1:55 am

Okay but isn't the point here to get an emulated arcade game's graphics to look as close to a CRT RGB monitor as possible on an LCD? Sorry I don't have pics and maybe I just have a good combination of PC hardware and LCD monitor to make this work but my display basically does look like an old school arcade monitor. I used to connect my PC up to a 27" Philips multimedia monitor with VGA and it didn't look this good (all progressive scan at 640 x 480, no scanlines would work). So far short of getting a 20" CRT TV and getting it rewired to an arcade board this seems to be about as accurate to an old coin op as I've EVER seen and I still spend lots of time looking for and at old school arcade units, few and far between as they are these days.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby cools » September 24th, 2010, 8:49 am

:)

I've just re-read this thread and ddraw is barely mentioned. It was necessary when I started fiddling with this (I couldn't work out how to align the scanlines with the game), but not any more.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby pubjoe » September 24th, 2010, 10:16 am

I was still only fiddling myself really. The ddraw/d3d thing has so many variables depending on other settings, hardware and game resolution, I honestly can't say I prefer one to the other. I can't even remember anymore what I last settled on, but I remember getting better results with d3d later for some reason, after I followed cools' settings to a T on a new mame install.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby pubjoe » September 24th, 2010, 10:25 am

Anyway, it's funny, I was thinking of bumping this thread myself a week ago as I have a new lcd monitor (well, imac).

There are two things I'm quite excited about regarding mame scanlines. It has 1440 lines and it is LED. That means I can overlay more detailed 6x6 per pixel scanline/aperture artwork AND the brightness that the screen can reach can help compensate the darkening effect. Just by looking at some of the scanline examples earlier in this thread, I can see that the image brightness looks much more authentic.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby Lettuce » December 21st, 2010, 11:21 pm

Ok, i have just made a PC just for MAME to use on my 40" 1080p LCD screen and am at a bit of a loss what settings i need to use in mame for this screen resolution (1080p) Could some kind soul tell me what settings i need in mame and what scanline.pngs i need to have?
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby Lettuce » December 25th, 2010, 11:56 am

Lettuce wrote:Ok, i have just made a PC just for MAME to use on my 40" 1080p LCD screen and am at a bit of a loss what settings i need to use in mame for this screen resolution (1080p) Could some kind soul tell me what settings i need in mame and what scanline.pngs i need to have?



Can anyone help me out at all?
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby yosai » December 26th, 2010, 12:07 pm

Lettuce wrote:Can anyone help me out at all?

MAME will look **** at 1080p no matter what. The 40" screen ain't going to do it any favours either.

Best bet is to set your PC to either 1280 x 960, 960 x 720 or 640 x 480 and follow this guide

http://wiki.arcadeotaku.com/w/MAME_CRT_Simulation
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby ikaruga007 » December 29th, 2010, 1:33 am

I strive to get an integer stretch of the image and then apply a scanline effect on top of that. I personally try to avoid any kind of filtering but that may depend on your display and taste.

Never use Direct Draw with hardware stretch + scanlines since the stretching will be done after the scanlines have been applied which will look crap. You can use prescaling to scale the image before the scanlines are applied.

Getting it to look OK does take a bit of tweaking. Download MAME UI or something similar that allows you to easily change settings and you'll quite quickly get the hang of what works and what doesn't.

Remember to switch off triple buffer since it will introduce input lag, which many games in MAME already have compared to the originals.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby niconiconico » January 6th, 2011, 7:33 pm

I remember bygone years (2006), MAME 0.105 was quite beautiful with the scanlines effects, no need all this hassle.

So, i am turning with the v.0.141, what could i do to have access to the settings? No .ini file wherever.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby chubsta » January 6th, 2011, 7:37 pm

run via comandline ("RUN" in programs) and put -cc on the end
like this
c:/mame/mame.exe -cc

that will put an ini file in your mame folder
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby niconiconico » January 6th, 2011, 8:07 pm

Nothing happens with the -cc.

To be sure i wasn't miskating, i run it normaly without, thing done, but when i added the -cc windows told be i have specified an incorrect file or folder.
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby niconiconico » January 7th, 2011, 12:20 pm

Image

Finally i have a result! :awe:

Thx Cools for the scans (yh i know my PrtSc sucks), and special thx to Chubsta for the .ini file!!

And netbooks aren't done to play Ketsui :palm:
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Re: MAME scanline/shadowmask simulation

Postby alastair » February 14th, 2011, 3:50 am

I noticed this on the wiki
Image

What should I make it look for a x5 ? My LCD is 4:3 (1600 x 1200)

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