Questions tagged [graphics]

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

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How were sprites handled on the IIgs?

The Apple II series including the IIgs did not have hardware sprite handling, though the IIgs did have high resolution graphics (compared to other Apple II machines). However people did manage to ...
Michael Shopsin's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
3k views

Which 8 bit computer could display the most colors?

Which 8-bit computer could / can display the most colours on screen? Please take into account undocumented/newly discovered video modes and other hacks. For example, static sprites supposedly allow ...
user1095108's user avatar
37 votes
7 answers
26k views

Why did older computers and OSes use UPPER case instead of lower case?

Memory constraints in ye olden days meant that text-mode display adapters had room for either upper or lower case, but not both. Why was this universally uppercase and never lowercase? I remember ...
MonocleRB's user avatar
  • 481
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Were printed manuals for HP PCL or GL ever published?

If one wants to learn about PostScript, it's possible to find copies of the "Red", "Green" and "Blue" books, which were published by Adobe. Were similar manuals ever ...
Peter Russell's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
349 views

Trying To Understand DOS Game Assembly Instructions [closed]

I am trying to understand assembly language instructions, for a DOS Game. I have looked at the following Link :- https://atrevida.comprenica.com/atrtut07.html reading about how VGA Graphics work in ...
Edward Winch's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
309 views

Was hardware scrolling patented?

One of the most valuable graphical features on early computers that had it, was hardware scrolling, that allowed the horizontal position of the screen to be adjusted by one or more pixels, thereby ...
rwallace's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
726 views

Did the Sega Saturn support homogeneous transformations for graphics or only affine transformations?

Warning: My question contains some assumptions and mumbo jumbo. I attempt to learn how this stuff works and its correct terminology. And though I've implemented some of it (not all) from scratch over ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,666
19 votes
0 answers
451 views

Is an X Window System older than release 10 available online?

I'm looking for any copy of the X Window System older than release 10. The oldest on x.org is X10R3. Bob Scheifler doesn't have anything. Jim Gettys may have something, but has yet to retrieve it ...
Lars Brinkhoff's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
557 views

How does the Atari ST's VDI polygon filling algorithm work?

I recently noticed something in Neochrome as well as Larry Mears' "Instant Graphics and Sound" programs: Polygons have slightly different shapes depending on whether an outline is drawn or ...
Kirkman14's user avatar
  • 291
4 votes
1 answer
246 views

DPI resolution of Epson MX-80 vs IBM graphics printer 5152 different in quadruple density mode?

I have been trying to figure out why the IBM graphics printer has a higher dpi in quadruple density , than the Epson MX-80 since technically the IBM graphics printer is a rebranded version of the MX-...
Michael Weaser's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
681 views

How was "clipping/culling" of graphics with the screen edges handled efficiently on PC demoscenes (scrollers in particular?)

What'd especially piqued my interest with respect to demoscene scrollers was how they had implemented asset clipping (as in the culling of assets once they 'move' past screen edges/boundaries) An ...
Hash's user avatar
  • 141
6 votes
1 answer
371 views

Why can't the VIC-II handle ECM and Multicolor at once?

On the Commodore 64 there are a few different graphical mode selection bits we can enable. This question is about three of them: Multicolor mode (hereinafter MCM), where pixels are joined pairwise ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
540 views

Best 4-color palette for dithering arbitrary images [closed]

While 8 or 16 colors can offer a relatively satisfying result of dithering, 4 color palette results varies. Below are some acceptable results. BBC micro mode 2 8 colors NES 4 color full screen CGA ...
Schezuk's user avatar
  • 3,752
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do most of my games have graphics errors on my Windows ME retro PC?

I've built a retro PC with Windows ME, a GeForce 2 MX 400 (drivers installed) and DirectX 8.1. But it seems many of the games have graphics errors. In most cases these are black areas. (See ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,372
7 votes
1 answer
396 views

Origin of PALMPC.ZIP "Palm PC emulator"

The program PALMPC.COM, which is available on an old link in the Internet Archive, and also on e.g. S.U.P.E.R., apparently provides graphics emulation, including interrupt 0x5F used by the HP/Lotus ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

What did game programmers and journalists mean by a "hardware trick"? [closed]

Recently, I've been hearing a good deal about hardware tricks. For instance, the YouTuber Ahoy (see A Brief History of Graphics) mentions that some game programmers resorted to "hardware tricks&...
AndrewGreen's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
367 views

What is the timeline of vertical cursor usage?

As there have been some questions about vertical cursors: What is the timeline of vertical cursor usage? This includes anything that is positioned between characters. It doesn't have to be a vertical ...
dirkt's user avatar
  • 27.3k
3 votes
1 answer
373 views

How to change graphics modes from BASIC on a Timex/Sinclair 2068?

I've got the Timex/Sinclair 2068 emulation working under MAME and wanted to play with its extra graphics modes the original version of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum didn't have. But despite an hour of ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,666
7 votes
1 answer
501 views

Software that emulated VGA high res mode on an EGA board

I have this very faint recollection from my late elementary school days back in the end of 1980s of a very specific piece of MS-DOS software that claimed to do what was an incredible thing to an ...
mkay's user avatar
  • 699
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the size of the border of the ZX Spectrum in scanlines/pixels/bytes?

The bitmap area of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum is exactly 256 x 192 pixels. Surrounding the bitmap is quite a wide border area which is generally just one colour but loading and saving from tape changes ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,666
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why does OpenGL use counterclockwise order to determine a triangle's front face by default?

OpenGL by default determines a triangle to be facing towards the camera if the triangle's vertexes are ordered in a counterclockwise order from the perspective of the camera. This seems to have been ...
virchau13's user avatar
  • 233
11 votes
2 answers
874 views

Information about the Hollywood Hardware Graphics Card for Apple II+

I still have a Hollywood Hardware graphics card that I used in my Apple II+ back-in-the-day. It was my understanding that this was the graphics card used for the special effects in the first three ...
Educ8edlady's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the first games console to be as powerful as the Sega Model 2 board? [closed]

Back in the day, Sega's Daytona USA was the king of arcades. All those polygons flying around at 60 frames per second, it was incredible. It was also hugely expensive. What was the first games console ...
Joel Sickmeier's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
236 views

DirectX 8 Win32 GUI Not Appearing/Flickering While Running

I am programming a game with DirectX 8, and I am trying to use the GUI options that are provided by the Win32 window that I am using. However, when I try to render a button or, in this case, a textbox ...
rjhwinner03's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
419 views

How do programmers take advantage of programming languages to make graphics? [closed]

I was wondering for a pretty long time about graphics in all programming languages(no code available). Back in the rise of programming languages, such as C, Assembly, C++, and others, they had no ...
Lenin's user avatar
  • 29
6 votes
0 answers
236 views

Atari ST image viewer with unusual zoom

I'm looking for info on an Atari ST (16-color) full-screen image viewer that I once used. When zooming in the edges between colors were smoothly curved (instead of e.g. no smoothing or interpolation ...
Alex Hajnal's user avatar
  • 9,350
3 votes
1 answer
195 views

In DirectX 8, how can I have a texture cover another texture only partially? [closed]

I am creating a Real Time Strategy game with DirectX 8. However, DirectX 8 supports pixel shaders only minimally. Is there a way that I can change the colors of individual triangles before the mesh is ...
rjhwinner03's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
5k views

Could some 200 line displays have been pushed to 240 lines?

Reviewing Raffzahn's answer about CGA emulators for Hercules displays, and especially his initial (now corrected) note about 720x350 being PAL's natural resolution, I was wondering if 200/400 line ...
airman's user avatar
  • 1,350
64 votes
1 answer
8k views

How did the SNES do the “pixelate” transition effect?

This effect is seen in many SNES games, including Super Mario World. The effect pixelates the screen, and makes the pixels larger, then smaller again when it switches to another scene. It is done so ...
Chewie The Chorkie's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
564 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, ...
christopherdrum's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
565 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,...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 19.1k
8 votes
1 answer
575 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 ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
16 votes
1 answer
584 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 ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
19 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61k
1 vote
1 answer
375 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 ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
33 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
scrØllbær's user avatar
  • 1,109
1 vote
0 answers
124 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 ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
24 votes
11 answers
11k 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 ...
Synthetix's user avatar
  • 341
9 votes
1 answer
972 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 ...
hefe's user avatar
  • 661
5 votes
1 answer
509 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 ...
scrØllbær's user avatar
  • 1,109
26 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
puppydrum64's user avatar
  • 1,638
9 votes
2 answers
712 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 ...
therobyouknow's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Eagle nebula's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
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" ...
MathematicalOrchid's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
320 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 ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 130
29 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
no ai please's user avatar
  • 1,123
5 votes
3 answers
810 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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61k
1 vote
0 answers
75 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.
Eriek's user avatar
  • 111
7 votes
1 answer
288 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 ...
little wally's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
296 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 ...
bruno185's user avatar
  • 183

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