Questions tagged [graphics]

For questions regarding graphical - as opposed to text - processing and display.

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7
votes
1answer
382 views

What is the TPG file format used in the PlayStation release of Zork I?

I'm looking at the Japanese releases of Infocom games, curious to understand how the engine works. Four games were released for the PC98, one of which added graphics for the rooms (Moonmist). Later, ...
10
votes
2answers
323 views

Which plotter used these commands?

I've found a BESM-6 binary of a Pascal program which plots pretty pseudo-random pictures, like this A date is given as the seed for the RNG, in a "horoscope"-like fashion. After decompiling,...
8
votes
1answer
514 views

Is "scroll tearing" a symptom of scanline interrupts taking too long?

I was trying to implement multiple LYC IRQs to implement faux parallax effects (like in Game Gear Shinobi), and my method was to begin LYC interrupts at a particular scanline, say about halfway down ...
15
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1answer
283 views

What happened to IntelliFont (i.e. Amiga vector fonts)?

One of the oft maligned weaknesses of AmigaOS 1.x was that the included bitmap fonts were not very good, especially when compared to those included with Classic Mac OS. Commodore closed this gap with ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Who considered multimedia capability a liability for a business computers, and why?

For technical reasons, business computers of the late '70s usually had little multimedia capability. There have been modern claims (e.g., in the comments on this video) that such capability was ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Can the window only be moved once per frame on the Game Boy?

I wanted to cover the top part of the screen to use as a status bar for a game. My idea was to use the Game Boy's window feature to do so. But I ran into a problem: The window's size is fixed to be ...
30
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1answer
7k views

Did John Carmack really invent "Adaptive Tile Refresh"?

John Carmack is credited with making fast-paced arcade games like Commander Keen possible on an IBM-PC that had no specialized graphics controllers suited for those, thanks to the "Adaptive Tile ...
1
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0answers
92 views

Getting a loading seam to work with 2x2 metatiles

I'm working on a prototype for a scrolling loading seam similar to Pokemon where the screen scrolls incrementally by 8 pixels with each direction button press, and new tile graphics are drawn off the ...
24
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11answers
10k views

Why weren't 80s arcade games programmed in C?

I know many arcade games from the 80s were programmed in 68000 assembly. This carried on probably well into the 90s, even though Motorola C compilers existed in the 80s. Why then weren't C compilers ...
9
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1answer
392 views

Usage of Windows default 20-color palette

Currently I'm digging in the history of computer graphics and found the Windows default 20-color palette. It's based on the Windows and IBM OS/2 default 16-color palette but has the four additional ...
5
votes
1answer
299 views

What kind of graphics hardware did Nichibutsu's 1985 arcade game "MagMax" use?

The arcade game MagMax by Nichibutsu came out in 1985 and features for its time an impressive 3D scrolling effect which, in my observation, is not widely discussed yet, although it should be ...
25
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7answers
4k views

How did DOS games manage to have multiple background layers?

Seems like VGA only has one background layer, it appears to be a typical bitmap screen like most home computers of the 80s (Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 etc.) where each pixel's color is stored in a ...
8
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1answer
312 views

BBC Micro split mixed graphics modes, could Mode 7 teletext be mixed with them?

The Elite computer game was one example of different graphics modes being on the screen at once: Mode 4 (monochrome, 320x256) for the main wireframed vector graphics game play and Mode 5 (4 colour ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Windows 3.1 Hardware acceleration API

As far as I know, there were many video cards which offered 2D acceleration (tasks like line drawing, colorfill, bitblit etc.) on Windows as early as Windows 3.1. Did they have any sort of ...
27
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2answers
4k views

What operations could early PC 3D accelerators perform?

As I understand it, a modern GPU is actually just a Turing-complete processor which happens to be heavily optimised for massively data-parallel workloads. (You can even buy "graphics cards" ...
6
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3answers
304 views

How were "catalog" picture files created? [closed]

Back in the 1990s there were CD-ROMs containing a large collection of pictures split across several folders, where each folder would have a "catalog" file at the top. This file was basically ...
27
votes
4answers
8k views

Why did old IBM-PC-compatible computers only have 16 colors available?

In the MS-DOS Editor, the only choices for colors were a collection of 16 colors: That's 16 colors: Black Blue Green Cyan Red Magenta Brown White Gray Bright Blue Bright Green Bright Cyan Bright Red ...
5
votes
3answers
698 views

Performance characteristics of the DEC Type 30 graphical display

The DEC Type 30 was an early vector graphics display, that was used for an astonishingly wide range of applications for the 1960s. It used a 16-inch circular CRT with high persistence phosphor ...
1
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0answers
54 views

PowerAnimator System Requirements?

I was curious: what was the cheapest/wimpiest computer you could run PowerAnimator back in the day on? My guess would be a base model SGI Indy.
7
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1answer
252 views

Was there an Evans & Sutherland display system capable of rendering ordinary data as motion through a landscape?

Around 1987, the investment bank I worked for had a high-end graphics device, possibly from Evans & Sutherland, which produced an "animated" display not unlike the view from the front ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Apple IIc : displaying HGR page 1 in AUX memory

I need to display HGR page 1 ($2000 to $3FFF) located in AUX memory (not in MAIN memory). According to the "Apple IIc Reference Manual - Volume 1", page 45, I must first turn 80Store on by ...
29
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6answers
7k views

Was there a specific benefit to inverted (XOR) mouse cursors other than aesthetics?

As far as I can remember the inverted (aka "XOR") style of mouse cursor has been around as long as there have been mice. I mean something like this: (source) where the cursor shape is ...
11
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10answers
3k views

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

I have read a fiction novel in which a manufacturer in the 80s provided GUI by adding a dedicated drawing hardware besides videocard or by extending videocard. Fictional as it is, is this possible or ...
13
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1answer
543 views

Where did the # notation for hexadecimal RGB colour triples originate?

The hexadecimal notation #RRGGBB for RGB colour triples has been popularised by HTML and is commonly associated with it, even though nowadays it is not usually used in HTML directly, but rather ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

Multi-GPU PowerMac G5?

I’ve got a 2005 PowerMac G5, Dual 2.3 GHz with a stock Nvidia GeForce 6600 running OSX 10.4 Tiger that I enjoy experimenting with, purely for fun and to learn writing legacy software in XCode. Would ...
6
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2answers
732 views

How 3Dfx Voodoo 1 Emulator works

reading of this question brings up 3Dfx Voodoo 1 Emulator in my memories. I always wandered how did it work so good time as any to ask... My memory is hazy on the details so I might miss remember ...
9
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1answer
1k views

How did the Rush 3D engine in Crazy Taxi: Catch a Ride work?

In an interview with the developers of the Crazy Taxi game for the GBA, they mention that they were able to achieve 3D graphics with a pure-software 3D rendering engine that they called Rush: It is a ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Did the Power Macintosh 8500 have accelerated blitting?

Looking at online specifications for the Power Macintosh 8500, I was able to find few details on its graphics capabilities beyond quantity of VRAM and supported color depths, refresh rates, and ...
5
votes
2answers
572 views

NEC PC-88 video mode and resolution in games

I learnt that there are 4 video modes as described on wiki. I came across many games for the PC-88, like Thexder (1985), which are in the aspect ratio of 4:3 and in more than 2 colors. I don't ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

Did the Tiger Game.Com include any hardware accelerated graphics?

I stumbled upon screenshots of the Tiger Game.Com handheld running its Resident Evil 2 port and I'm curious to know what its graphical capabilities actually are: (from: https://twitter.com/_Kimimi/...
3
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2answers
364 views

Would there be any practical use of two or more VDPs or sound chips in a retro computer build?

Would that allow for better sound samples or double/triple the number of sprites & colours on screen or would that put too much pressure on the CPU or cause bottlenecks, maybe requiring 2 CPUs for ...
5
votes
3answers
535 views

How did 1980's 8 bit video game coders create realistic fireballs and explosions?

Back in the 1980's, I tried my hand at programming video games, mostly using Atari's player/missle system which used sprites. I could freehand draw most sprites but couldn't come close to the animated ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Did any PS1 games use 640x480?

I'm used to the idea that the maximum resolution there was any point in trying to generate on NTSC TV sets was about 320x224 (or 240 as a compromise figure between NTSC and PAL), but according to ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

How did SNES render more accurate perspective than PS1?

The PlayStation was notorious for texture warp, because it didn't have the transistor budget to implement perspective: Why do 3D models on the PlayStation 1 “wobble” so much? But wait a minute. The ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was the Nintendo 64 bad at textures?

The Nintendo 64 had a reputation for being great at drawing triangles, but not so good at texturing them, so that many games fell back on heavy use of untextured (though Gouraud shaded) triangles, ...
51
votes
5answers
16k views

What causes that "organic fade to black" effect in classic video games?

This happens a lot on older consoles than this, but for this specific example, I'm picking what I spotted today: Harvest Moon for PlayStation. Here is a screenshot of the player just about to exit an ...
1
vote
2answers
603 views

Does an OS, in particular Unix, need special support for terminal colors? [closed]

Also of interest, would be the first OS to support color graphics in other ways (assuming it wasn't a Unix). Background: I'm thinking of playing around with Unix v6 due to all the material available, ...
4
votes
1answer
483 views

What are these graphical display commands?

I have a Pascal program with a fair amount of inline assembly code in it which demonstrates the capabilities of «Электроника МС 7401» — символьно-графический видеотерминал (Elektronika MS 7401 - ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the Applesoft BASIC have shapes?

Why did Apple include shapes in Applesoft BASIC? There are no sprites on the Apple II, but shapes provide a simple vector drawing tool. As graphics go the shapes are kind of an odd duck, they provide ...
39
votes
2answers
4k views

Was AGP only ever used for graphics cards?

Reading on the AGP spec, the little bits I've found on sites like https://old.pinouts.ru/Slots/agp_pinout.shtml, say: The Accelerated Graphics Port (also called Advanced Graphics Port) is a high-...
8
votes
1answer
241 views

What exactly could cause corrupted graphics in WinG performance test?

Wikipedia article for WinG says the following: WinG would also perform a graphics hardware/driver profiling test on the first execution of the program in order to determine the best way to draw DIBs. ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

Vintage computer composite graphics

I am working on designing a vintage computer and I have been using the TMS9918ANL. After working with it for a month or two and not making much progress, I really want to switch to another chip. I am ...
8
votes
1answer
844 views

What kind of 256 color palette did the Enterprise 64/128 have?

The Enterprise 64 or 128 Home Computer apparently had a palette of 256 colors. However, that is pretty unusual and doesn't fit evenly into the typical 3 channels for RGB. Wikipedia doesn't provide any ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Which system was the first which was capable of running graphics programs remotely?

It's well known the X11 is capable of displaying a program's graphics output remotely. I checked the source code of the earliest version of X I found (X10R3, from 1986), and I found that this version ...
11
votes
2answers
862 views

Why was SLI for gaming introduced and supported in the first place?

(I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this, please let me know if should post this somewhere else) For a long time, using SLI for gaming has been dying out and for good reason. From what I'...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Why are the CBM control codes for color setting so spread out?

The control codes (my C64 handbook actually calls them ASCII codes) for color changing on the Commodore 64 are as follows: Color Control Code Color number BLACK $90 0 ...
3
votes
2answers
404 views

Is there a way to blank out a portion of a screen on Commdore C64?

I would like to blank out a couple of lines between two given rasterlines. Above that I'm planning to have a scrolling background and sprites, below that is a textual info area. I'm thinking of a ...
2
votes
0answers
156 views

Help debugging a circuit/code for Z80 and TMS9918ANL

I am working on designing a Z80 computer that utilized the TMS9918ANL for graphics. I am currently just trying to make sure the TMS9918ANL is working, so I hooked up the control pins the bus (...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

TMS9918ANL question

I am working on setting up a TMS9918ANL Video Display Processor. I was wondering if there is any way I can test to see if it is working without having the DRAM hooked up (I have a while before the ...
30
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did many 9-pin printers use only 8 pins for graphics?

In the answer to another question about printers, the following claim is made about 9-pin printers: The Epson MX-80, upon which many other printers were based, had nine round pins which were ...