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Questions tagged [graphics]

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

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0answers
163 views

How do I compile C code with the IRIX X Window System?

I have typed out a rather large file in C code that is defining OpenGL graphics and will draw a triangle on the screen. While I know all of the functions of the X Windowing System, I do not know how ...
5
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1answer
176 views

Can a Commodore 64 use two screenmodes on one scanline?

Many games, for example, Maniac Mansion, or Kissenschlacht, use two screenmodes. Oftentimes, a bitmap mode for the main screen, and a text mode for the lower part which displays scores or whatever. ...
11
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1answer
359 views

What's a good way to implement this “splashing water” effect on the C64?

This pillow fighting game set in Venice depicts the two opponents fighting on a wobbly gondola on a canal. It was apparently known as "Pillow Fight" in English and as "Kissenschlacht" in German, and ...
5
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3answers
245 views

Do 3d consoles run OpenGL?

I am talking about the earliest days of the first generation of 3d game consoles, such as the Playstation, N64 and Sega Saturn. Now these consoles are like a pc, the ps3 (and 4?) run OpenGL, and Xbox ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Why aren't each pixel's bits stored sequentially on the SNES?

When storing graphics in a non-sequential/planar format (like the SNES does), converting to an 8-bit value representation requires first accessing multiple bytes (amount depending on bits-per-pixel), ...
8
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1answer
410 views

What happens when PS1's “Fearful Harmony” is triggered?

When inserting an incompatible disc into a Playstation, after waiting awhile the screen will display very corrupt graphics and unsettling music will begin to play. This is unofficially referred to as "...
2
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2answers
196 views

How does the PMD 85 display colour or greyscales?

I stumbled across this computer in an article on hackaday, Home computers behind the Iron Curtain and since it has this bizarre resolution, I looked closer into it. Some claims from Wikipedia: ...
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0answers
113 views

How to use IIgs enhanced graphics modes in AppleSoft BASIC with System 6?

There are many packages that let you use the enhanced graphics modes of the IIgs in AppleSoft BASIC. However most packages like Iconix do not like System 6 so they have to run off disks and not the ...
2
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1answer
334 views

How does the SNES (Super Nintendo) calculate the address of a character?

The SNES has a PPU (Picture Processing Unit) which comprises VRAM, OAM (Object Attribute Memory), and CGRAM (Color Graphics/Palette RAM). These are used to represent tiles, tile maps; attributes for ...
2
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2answers
316 views

What made channel bleed so bad over coaxial cable?

Using coaxial cable, there was a really bad channel bleed - as shown in this video, putting a NES on channel 3 caused distortion to the static on channels 2 and 4-7. This distortion was so bad, you ...
11
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2answers
330 views

What modern image editors support non-square pixels?

Almost all old home computers tend to offer non-square pixels, from wide-pixel graphics modes on the C64/CPC/BBC Micro to CGA's weird not-quite-square 320x200 mode with a pixel aspect ratio of 5:6. ...
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2answers
325 views

How were individual bit planes scrolled on the Amiga (OCS)?

Back in my early Amiga days (A500), I remember coding simple demos that would use the dual-playfield mode and scroll them around (at a sweet 60FPS). It was pretty trivial to do with languages like ...
14
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2answers
2k views

How do CGA emulators for Hercules graphics work?

HGC cards on IBM PCs used to be able to run CGA software by using a CGA emulator. How exactly did those programs work? What were the limitations?
7
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4answers
354 views

An old DOS application that allowed to create cards, posters, invitations, etc

I remember an old (90's) program, run in DOS, that allowed its user to create posters, invitations, cards, etc. It had mouse support and its own GUI with windows, bars, fields, etc. The work started ...
3
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1answer
293 views

Identifying an old one-bit image file format

I've found some code for reading an old image format, and I'm trying to figure out what format it is. Attributes of the file format I've deduced from reading the code: The image file begins with a ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What's a good way to implement this “fade” effect on C64

See the beginning of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmfLBAtGAKk. Here's a screenshot: It basically clears characters pixel by pixel both horizontally and vertically. Use sprites for the pixel by ...
30
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4answers
6k views

What determines the color of every 8th pixel on the Apple II?

On the Apple II there's an interesting way to add a little color to the bitmap, since the high bit select the palette used for the three-and-a-half pixels represented by the byte. Like this: 0: Black,...
10
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3answers
520 views

8-bit console horizontal resolution

Some early consoles like the NES and the Sega Master had a horizontal screen resolution of 256. That sounds good for an 8-bit machine, until you consider that a sprite sometimes needs a slightly ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How do high-resolution graphics work on the ZX81?

The ZX81 has a display file which is treated rather like a serial file. And the CPU generates addresses which the ULA uses to look up the characters' bitmaps from the ROM (Yes, I know the actual ...
12
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2answers
2k views

How does Atari 2600 TIA display multiple resolutions in Asteroids?

There is probably an easy explanation for this based on some facet of how the TIA generates the display. As is readily visible in the image taken from a real Atari 2600 displayed on a modern LCD, the ...
5
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2answers
454 views

Is there really 1MiB of physical memory in the motherboard of a PC AT/XT?

This is a question that has been puzzling me for a while. What happens with devices like graphic cards that have their own memory chips? Do these cards read/write from their own internal memory to/...
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9answers
9k views

Can modern AI be used to program impressive graphics effects on very low performance home-retrocomputers, in particular 'A 3D-rotating-cube'

Can modern AI be used to program impressive graphics effects on very low performance home-retrocomputers, in particular 'A 3D-rotating-cube', effects that would be too difficult for a human to ...
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4answers
4k views

Why not one pixel per color clock?

Early home computers and game consoles output video to TV sets. The NTSC color clock frequency is 3.58 MHz. This informed the design of some video systems: http://pineight.com/mw/index.php?title=...
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1answer
574 views

Why does the C64 have the following palette?

The Commodore 64 has the following fixed palette of 16 colours: (Your palette may vary due to tuning of screen, etc.) What was the reason for this selection of colours? Are these colours ...
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4answers
666 views

What is the (usually lower quality) “software rendering” mode visible in so many “second-generation” FPS games?

During a conversation, a friend of mine sent me this picture: It's the first Thief (I guess), with so-called software rendering. I already experienced this effect in Quake 1-2 and to an extent, in ...
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5answers
3k views

What techniques were used to reduce the required re-rendering in 3D programs?

Inspired by this GameDev question. 3D rendering is expensive. With 2D games it's easy to not re-write the buffers every frame, like in Super Mario Bros where the PPU is instructed to render the level ...
3
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1answer
340 views

SNES / old graphics: merging sprite's with background [closed]

I have one question about how old computers or consoles like Super NES merged background layer(s) and spirites. Or another way - how layers were merged to not overload a PPU / CPU? OR how about ...
23
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3answers
4k views

Where did DOS store graphics fonts?

I remember using a wysiwyg print program called Fontasy for CGI graphics in DOS because of a lack of standardized graphics fonts. Companies were selling "font packs" for other type fonts. Prior to Win ...
19
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3answers
1k views

Why did 80x25 become the text monitor standard?

Prior to the 1981 release of the IBM PC, the VT105 (72x20 1971), VT52 (80x12 1974), and VT100 (80x25 1978) text terminals were used on many Unix machines and the PDP11 (probably the most widely used ...
8
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4answers
534 views

How can I adapt a digital CGA/C128 signal (RGBI DE-9) to a modern monitor?

IBM's CGA and the Commodore 128's RGB video output both use a DE-9 connector. How do I adapt the CGA video output from an IBM XT 5160 or Commodore 128 to a modern monitor?
11
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1answer
612 views

Where did Sony's 3D graphics hardware in the PS1 originate?

As is well-documented, the Fifth Generation of game consoles brought 3D accelerated graphics hardware to the home market. The main combatants in this particular console war of the mid-1990s were the ...
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2answers
285 views

Spectrum clones 512x192 mode usable text resolution

The original ZX Spectrum has a resolution of 256x192, for 32x24 text. Some later clones add a 512x192 mode. The most obvious thing to do with that is try to display 64x24 text. According to https://en....
16
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1answer
938 views

How to check the C64 graphics mode used by Maniac Mansion

I have been investigating the MS-DOS port of the C64's Maniac Mansion game. The original MS-DOS port used the C64-specific character map to draw the various backgrounds in the game. I noticed that ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Why do 3D models on the PlayStation 1 “wobble” so much?

A memorable part of the PlayStation 1 experience was “wobbly” 3D graphics, where (supposedly) straight edges would warp, jitter and pulse as the camera panned across a scene. This was especially ...
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4answers
3k views

Z8410 DMA chip as GPU?

There are basically two ways to design a 2D graphics system: Provide lots of hardware support in the form of tiles, hardware scrolling and sprites, to put together each frame on the fly from a small ...
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6answers
1k views

Were there any “off the shelf” graphics chips that supported 2D sprites in the 70's and 80's?

I'm looking for "off the shelf" graphic IC's that supported hardware sprites. By "off the shelf" I mean chips that were designed to be used in various machines and not designed specifically for one ...
5
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2answers
595 views

Graphics Editor for 16-Bit Games

Which programs or tools were used to create the sprites and backgrounds for 16-Bit games like those on the Super Nintendo or the Sega Genesis?
9
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4answers
1k views

Actual resolution of composite video monitors

Many early computers used TV sets as monitors. With an NTSC TV set, you could really only count on about 200 scan lines of vertical resolution, and for horizontal resolution, maybe 192 color clocks at ...
16
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10answers
5k views

640x480 color display in 1980

I'm working on an alternate history story in which the protagonists, Silicon Valley computer entrepreneurs, are trying to release a graphical workstation in 1980, with the capability of displaying ...
6
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1answer
208 views

Strange visual behaviour on SGI IRIX

I've installed IRIX on SGI Octane and have screen looking like this: (I mean the stripes on all elements of the screen, which doesn't seem as a result of CRT monitor - the screen looks normally on ...
20
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7answers
1k views

What implementations of BASIC had a robust flood fill operator?

When I learned BASIC on Elektronika BK, I got fascinated with the flood fill (PAINT) operator: how does it know to get to all nooks and crannies of the shape to fill? I've devised an algorithm, tried ...
10
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3answers
782 views

Can artifact color mode create 262,144 colors on Amiga OCS?

This is as a follow-up to my previous question on artifact colors and the excellent answers provided there. The images below show a simple example of artifact colors generated using a single bit-...
10
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2answers
302 views

Why was OCS low resolution limited to 6 bitplanes?

I'm looking for information whether there has ever been an official statement by Commodore back in the days on why the Original Chipset was limited to doing 6 bitplanes only when running in low ...
9
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3answers
412 views

Did any system natively use 3-bitplane graphics?

Computer and game consoles switched gradually from single-bitplane graphics (2 colours per character) to 2-bitplane graphics (4 colours per character), to eventually 4-bitplane graphics (16 colours ...
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5answers
2k views

Does every retrocomputer and console with NTSC composite output have 'artifact color' ability?

Artifact color is heavily associated with the Apple ][, since that is the only method the machine had to produce a color display. I was looking at the fantastic demo for IBM PC + CGA, 8088MPH, and I ...
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2answers
485 views

Acorn Electron to VGA/HDMI?

I am aware that there are answers regarding this but they do not seem to answer it for me. A few years back I got a Acorn Electron and it works using the arial for video fine, but I would like to ...
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2answers
2k views

How did “Ballblazer” pull off fast, smooth, first-person, solid-model 3D on Atari 8-bits?

I remember the first time I saw Ballblazer, the 1984 game, running on a friend's Atari 800. The split-screen 3d graphics and fast action blew my socks off. Looking back, I get the impression there ...
21
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3answers
3k views

Is there a simple way to display ANSI art and animation files in a modern terminal window?

ANSI art and animations were prevalent on BBS systems in the late 80s and early 90s, and the ANSI art scene continues to thrive today. There are thousands of ANSI art files, with usual extension .ans, ...
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0answers
361 views

How were 3D effects created before GPUs? [closed]

Games like Super Mario 64 were revolutionary: full, round, hi-definition 3D models moving in real-time and able to be interacted with. This was because they were designed for machines with separate ...
12
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2answers
467 views

Ideal resolution for color computer on NTSC

Suppose you were, in the early eighties, designing a color computer to run on an NTSC TV with a free hand to choose the specifications within the limits of the technology of the time. What would be ...