Questions tagged [graphics]

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

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8
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7answers
1k views

What are principles of vector CRT display? Simplest way to drive CRTs?

I am into playing with TTL to build 1970s style minicomputers. Aside from talking to them via some serial (or parallel) I/O port to a terminal, I am wondering about display output. This here is about ...
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0answers
136 views

Thinking through the design of a TTL video card: what memory chips and how to manage memory? [closed]

Inspired by Ben Eater's "Let's build a video card" aka "World's worst video card" two part projects on YouTube, I was inspired to consider designing a display adapter for my passive backplane TTL mini-...
7
votes
1answer
432 views

Was there ever a functional EGA emulator for the Hercules graphics card?

I used to use a CGA emulator (don't remember which one it was), that could show some gfx even in EGA/VGA-only games (when I selected EGA mode). I remember my frustration seeing some garbled graphics ...
8
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1answer
302 views

Which computers used the Intel 82786 graphics chips, and what sort of commercial success did that chip attain?

In the late 1980's, Intel offered the 82768 graphics chip, with specific support for windowed environments. I remember it being covered in Byte magazine, but don't remember seeing any applications of ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What DOS games used Mode X as described by Michael Abrash?

In Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book, many chapters are dedicated to fast drawing of primitives, fills and copies using the 320x240 256-colour Mode X. What MS-DOS games used Mode X? ...
20
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11answers
6k 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 ...
31
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3answers
3k views

How did Elite do vertex transformation?

In 3D graphics, vertex transformation is the process of converting x,y,z coordinates in 3D space, to x,y coordinates on the screen. According to https://www.khronos.org/opengl/wiki/...
2
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1answer
96 views

Printing on the graphics screen with lowercase/uppercase letters using CHAR command in Commodore BASIC 7.0

The CHAR command in Commodore BASIC 7.0 on the Commodore 128 allows printing a text at a given position on the screen. Other than the PRINT command, CHAR also works in Hires graphics mode. Since the ...
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0answers
141 views

First GPU with thermal throttling

Pretty much the title - what was the first GPU that reduced clock speeds when it started to overheat instead of simply locking up? Bonus points for first Intel and AMD CPUs too.
4
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1answer
240 views

Hardware implementation of the isometric tile engine. Is it possible, did it exist?

We are talking about a hardware (and not software over hardware, as for example in some games on the SNES console) tile engine with multi-overlapping rectangular (rather than square, when the image ...
5
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2answers
321 views

Two graphics cards for retro gaming

I'm considering installing two graphics cards in my retro gaming setup (one AGP and one PCI) and was wondering if there are any drawbacks to doing so? The main things I'm thinking about are power ...
22
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4answers
4k views

Why was NEC able to wrestle PC graphics standards away from IBM?

The dominant standards for PC graphics in the 1980s were the ones introduced by IBM. This included MDA and CGA with the original IBM PC, followed by EGA shortly after the PC/AT, and then VGA with the ...
23
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8answers
2k 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 ...
18
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3answers
4k views

Are pixels on the Commodore 64 square?

Are "tile pixels" the same size as "sprite pixels", and are they both square (ignoring the rule that multicolor sprites can only be colored in groups of two pixels)? By "square" I mean that the ...
18
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4answers
5k 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=...
13
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4answers
2k views

Amiga 500 OCS/ECS vs Mega Drive VDP

Superficially the Amiga 500 and Mega Drive are similar. Both run a Motorola 68000 CPU at similar clocks and both have dedicated hardware for sprite and other graphics operations. Comparing the arcade ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How did most fifth-generation consoles avoid wobbly graphics?

According to Why do 3D models on the PlayStation 1 “wobble” so much? the PlayStation had a problem with wobbly graphics because Filling a triangle involves visiting every pixel within it and ...
3
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1answer
213 views

The Sentinel (aka The Sentry) on Commodore 64 - why was scrolling so fast?

On the Commodore 64 3D games which use one of the bitmap screen modes were notoriously slow. However watching a gameplay video of The Sentinel will show that in the first-person view, looking around ...
4
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0answers
124 views

Annotated die photo of 3D graphics chip

I'm interested in how graphics hardware has worked at different tech levels. Having looked at an annotated die photo of the VIC-II for example, I now feel I have a much better understanding of how it ...
4
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1answer
524 views

Why did the PlayStation 2 implement backward compatibility that way?

It is well known that the PlayStation 2 implemented compatibility with the previous console by essentially incorporating a PS1 on a chip. The fact of backward compatibility is unremarkable as far as ...
8
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2answers
605 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....
1
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1answer
386 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 ...
17
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1answer
983 views

Can you split resolutions and scrolling (horizontally) on an Amiga?

Some time back I asked if it was possible to get more than 8 sprites on a single scanline with the Amiga using a copper list. It seems it is quite possible indeed! Now I am wondering if it is ...
10
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4answers
1k views

What graphics sytems used display lists?

As near as I can tell, there seems to have been roughly speaking two schools of thought when it comes to graphics hardware among early consoles, what I will call the Atari and Texas Instruments ...
10
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2answers
502 views

What PC graphics tech outperformed Sega Dreamcast in 1999?

The Sega Dreamcast was released in 1999 (1998 in Japan) at just the time that the competition for 3D graphics on PCs was intensifying. It's my assumption that a high-end 1999 Pentium II PC with 3Dfx ...
5
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3answers
476 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: ...
28
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1answer
10k views

Did the Windows 95 screensavers use hardware acceleration APIs?

The windows 95 is known for introducing a couple of classic screensavers including: Maze, Pipes and starfield among others. It looks like DirectX is a collection of multimedia APIs but for this ...
42
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2answers
9k views

Why were some early PC 3D cards unsuitable for 2D graphics?

Some of the early PC 3D graphics cards such as the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics cards had a passthrough port to enable them to switch to a secondary card to display 2D graphics. I am curious to know why these ...
36
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4answers
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
790 views

Were any DOS games (or software) known to use VBE/AF?

Were there any MS-DOS games or graphics software that were known to take advantage of VESA BIOS Extensions/Accelerator Functions (VBE/AF)? some of the functions defined in the standard are ... Bit ...
23
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6answers
4k 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 ...
6
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4answers
603 views

Hercules to COM<->USB adapter - is it possible?

I have a 486 (also another 286 mainboard) with a Hercules card, the plug is the same as RS-232. Is it possible to connect the output with serial port USB adapter and simulate Hercules-compatible ...
7
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3answers
859 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/...
18
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3answers
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?
10
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2answers
594 views

NTSC scan lines and vertical resolution

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Micro "the height of the graphics display was reduced to 200 scan lines to suit NTSC TVs". But NTSC is supposed to have 241 visible scan lines per half frame. ...
11
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4answers
1k 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 ...
26
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5answers
2k views

Did any Amiga 500 games or programs (apart from paint programs) use more than 32 colours?

While the Original Chip Set (OCS) and Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) Amiga computers had the 32 x 2 colour EHB (Extra Half-Brite) and 4096 colour HAM (Hold And Mofify) screen modes, where these ever used ...
22
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5answers
5k views

Why were 3D games on the Amiga not faster than on similar 16 bit systems like the Atari ST

It seems that 3D games, especially simulations like Falcon, were not faster (fps) on the Amiga than on the Atari ST - even a bit slower due to the CPU clock. I was wondering why this is the case, ...
12
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7answers
3k 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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3answers
433 views

How to use HGR2 (or HGR) on an Apple II

I am a big fan of the TV show lost, and I was trying to make the Dharma Initiative logo. But at certain point I couldn't add new lines of code and the final part of the logo was cut off. I tried to ...
32
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3answers
7k 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 ...
27
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2answers
11k views

Looking for PC graphics demo software from the early 90s called “Unreal”

Back in the early 90's I remember downloading a graphics demo called, I think, "Unreal". This was on DOS on a standard PC and probably downloaded from a BBS. Identifying information: It ran for ...
54
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6answers
15k views

Why do old games use flashing as means of showing damage?

When you play old games, especially platformers, a common "special effect" is rapid blinking of your character when they are hit. Also, enemies often blinked before dying. Not all games did this, but ...
6
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7answers
1k views

What systems had the lowest resolution ever that still allowed games to be made?

Just for fun, I wrote my own Chip8 interpreter/emulator and it works. The point is that it works in the terminal, meaning that a pixel is rendered using curses and a # character. For the Chip8 that'...
11
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2answers
494 views

Looking for ATARI-ST Graphics Image

I am hoping that someone here collects computer images from days gone by. Many years ago when I used my ATARI-ST I made two drawing I believe I used the art program NEOCHROME, or possibly DEGAS. The ...
15
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7answers
1k 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 ...
6
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4answers
2k views

High-end PC graphics circa 1990?

I remember CAD being a major driver for PCs with high-end graphics cards; specifically AutoCAD was rising quickly in popularity around 1990 as PCs were able to compete with very costly CAD ...
54
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6answers
12k views

How did old MS-DOS games utilize various graphic cards?

Nowadays each graphic card has some driver in operating system that translates some (typically) standard API such as OpenGL, so that programmers use some standardized API code to tell graphics cards ...
20
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3answers
3k views

When and what was the first 3D acceleration device ever released?

Plain and simple, we know that consumer level 3D acceleration devices roughly appeared in the middle of the 90s, with brands like Matrox, 3DFX, Nvidia and so on. However, such technology for sure ...
33
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6answers
7k views

Using DRAM as a camera sensor?

Back in the days when COMECON (RVHP) was cloning digital ICs usually the first wave of such ICs were in a ceramic package with a glass window (similar to EPROM) to check for bugs and stuff while used. ...