Questions tagged [graphics]

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

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24
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the dithering algorithm used in Sierra and LucasArts games?

I am trying to write a program in C# that will re-create the type of dithering used in many of the old Sierra and LucasArts games. I have looked up many different dithering algorithms and none seem to ...
13
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
40
votes
4answers
8k 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,...
6
votes
4answers
875 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

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

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 ...
25
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6answers
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
961 views

How do I use shadowed memory to render Super Hi-Res quickly?

The Apple IIgs video memory is controlled by the 1MHz Mega II chip, so directly accessing the Super Hi-Res page in bank $E1 is slower than accessing other memory. How can I render in "fast" memory, ...
16
votes
2answers
463 views

Inserting NOPs to improve IIgs shadow copy performance

The answer to this question discussed a technique on the Apple IIgs for copying memory onto itself. The motivation for the technique was to maximize use of "fast" (2.8MHz) RAM over "slow" (1MHz) RAM ...
5
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
778 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, ...
27
votes
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
votes
3answers
302 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
25
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

Why BGR color order

Blue Green Red (BGR) byte ordering exists in a few image processing libraries "for historical reasons", mostly because it seems to have been a Microsoft standard. Does anyone know the historical ...
12
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
680 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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.
4
votes
1answer
229 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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
10k 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, ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
4k 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 "...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Typical dpi of dot matrix printers available in the 1980s

I have several printouts from what is presumably a dot-matrix printer, dated 1987. When zoomed in on these, you see the usual stair-step patterns on diagonal lines. However, it's difficult to ...
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 ...
11
votes
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), ...
5
votes
2answers
624 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
349 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
1answer
245 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
527 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
274 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/...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

When did hardware antialiasing start being available?

An important step towards 3D gaming was the ability to scale sprites or tiles by nonintegral factors. Examples of the former from the eighties were the arcade games Pole Position, Outrun, Space ...
36
votes
3answers
10k views

Why did 80×25 become the text monitor standard?

Prior to the 1981 release of the IBM PC, the VT105 (72×20 1971), VT52 (80×12 1974), and VT100 (80×25 1978) text terminals were used on many Unix machines and the PDP-11 (probably the most widely used ...
5
votes
3answers
525 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
4k 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 ...
27
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23answers
3k views

Which computers had redefinable character sets?

My first computer was an Exidy Sorcerer, bought in the late '70s. It featured a full keyboard including lower case, on screen text of 64 B&W characters by 30 rows, 2 MHz z-80 processor, up to 48 ...
48
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
600 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, ...