Help Needed: Need some overlays to be tested

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of patrickm patrickm 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #97152
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    The current scanline overlays are not optimal for use with the raspberry pi. The ones in the “effects” directory do not look right. The only one which appears to draw the scanlines correctly is the “scanline.cfg” in the “wii” directory. However, this causes the screen to become very dark when run at resolutions higher than 640×480.

    So, we need some scanline overlays that will do what the wii “scanline.cfg” does, but is designed to run at higher resolutions.

    HunterK of Libretro came up with these two overlays, but I’ve been unable to get them to work. All that happens when I try to use them is that the screen gets significantly darker.

    I need someone to test these two overlays to see if they can get them to work. There’s a need for a better scanline overlay for retropie, and you’d be helping the project. Thanks!

    To get these to work you need to create a .cfg file in the same folder, with the following text:

    overlays = 1

    overlay0_overlay = scanline-black.png

    overlay0_full_screen = true

    overlay0_descs = 0

    change “scanline-black.png” to “scanline-fade.png” for that overlay.

    you might also try changing “overlay0_full_screen” to false to see if that works.

    Attachments:
    #97210
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    bump; is there a person familiar with graphics editing that wants to contribute to the project?

    #97217
    Profile photo of InsecureSpike
    InsecureSpike
    Participant

    ok what shader do you want this tested with?
    if you wanna make this a controlled test?

    edit: and what system?

    #97228
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    ok what shader do you want this tested with?
    if you wanna make this a controlled test?

    edit: and what system?

    Shader: none

    System: NES

    It should work at any scale factor, but when I try to use them, they just make the screen darker instead of showing scanlines.

    #97233
    Profile photo of InsecureSpike
    InsecureSpike
    Participant

    ok, I’ll give it a go, when home from work

    #97242
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    Hello,

    I haven’t testet it yet, but it should be because of the resolution of your scanline images and the screen resolution of the emulation settings (640×480?)
    The best experience for me ist video_fullscreen_x and video_fullscreen_y should be the same as the screen resolution.
    the scanline image also should be the same resolution.

    And the scanlines should be something like this:
    1. line White
    2. line lighter Grey
    3. line darker Grey
    4. line black

    The strength of the opacity could be set up in the overlay setting of retroarch or you can insert an alpha channel to the image.
    Both adjust how dark the screen is at the end.

    Example config with a 16:9 TV border from google but edited by me:
    video_shader_enable = false
    video_fullscreen_x = 1920
    video_fullscreen_y = 1080
    custom_viewport_width = 1194
    custom_viewport_height = 896
    custom_viewport_x = 363
    custom_viewport_y = 87
    aspect_ratio_index = 22
    input_overlay = /opt/retropie/emulators/retroarch/overlays/16-9/TV_16-9.cfg
    input_overlay_enable = true
    input_overlay_opacity = 1.000000
    input_overlay_scale = “1.000000”
    video_smooth = true

    It’s faster then a shader and looks better for me on pie.

    Attachments:
    #97244
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    Overlay also works best for Handhelds like Gameboy without judder..

    Attachments:
    #97278
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    Hello,

    I haven’t testet it yet, but it should be because of the resolution of your scanline images and the screen resolution of the emulation settings (640×480?)
    The best experience for me ist video_fullscreen_x and video_fullscreen_y should be the same as the screen resolution.
    the scanline image also should be the same resolution.

    And the scanlines should be something like this:
    1. line White
    2. line lighter Grey
    3. line darker Grey
    4. line black

    The strength of the opacity could be set up in the overlay setting of retroarch or you can insert an alpha channel to the image.
    Both adjust how dark the screen is at the end.

    Example config with a 16:9 TV border from google but edited by me:
    video_shader_enable = false
    video_fullscreen_x = 1920
    video_fullscreen_y = 1080
    custom_viewport_width = 1194
    custom_viewport_height = 896
    custom_viewport_x = 363
    custom_viewport_y = 87
    aspect_ratio_index = 22
    input_overlay = /opt/retropie/emulators/retroarch/overlays/16-9/TV_16-9.cfg
    input_overlay_enable = true
    input_overlay_opacity = 1.000000
    input_overlay_scale = “1.000000”
    video_smooth = true

    It’s faster then a shader and looks better for me on pie.

    Awesome, thanks for the info. I’ll give it a shot with an overlay that matches the resolution I’m using.

    I’m curious, have you been able to get even pixel scaling in a 4:3 aspect ratio with NES, Genesis, or SNES? So far, I’ve only been able to get perfect scaling by using a custom resolution that is an integer multiple of the native res, which results in a different AR than 4:3 (because the native res is not 1×1)

    Seems like the only way to deal with artifacts when playing these systems in the original aspect ratio is with a CRT shader like Hyllian. Is this right?

    #97286
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    Genesis (and PSX, MasterSystem, limited NeoGeo and a view others) have a native resolution of 320×240. That’s a native 4:3 aspect ratio.
    SNES, NES have 256×224, but on a CRT the X axis is stretched to fit a 4:3 aspect ratio.
    So my custom_viewport aspect ratio settings also is 4:3.
    And for each Y pixel of the game image, i have 4 Y pixels for the scanlines image. 224 x 4 = 896
    I also use this settings for all emulators like Genesis and so on, technical it doesn’t fit the resolution of the scanline image because of the TV border, but it also looks really great.
    If you don’t want a TV border, you can also enlarge the resolution to the whole screen of course but the Y Resolution should be a multiple of 3 or 4, so you can use 3 or 4 pixel for each scanline. Then you will have black borders on the Y axis, bit otherwise it looks horrible if you use the whole screen resolution, for example on a Full HD 1080 (/ 240=4,5) because every second scanline have 4 or 5 Pixels.

    #97292
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    Genesis (and PSX, MasterSystem, limited NeoGeo and a view others) have a native resolution of 320×240. That’s a native 4:3 aspect ratio.
    SNES, NES have 256×224, but on a CRT the X axis is stretched to fit a 4:3 aspect ratio.
    So my custom_viewport aspect ratio settings also is 4:3.
    And for each Y pixel of the game image, i have 4 Y pixels for the scanlines image. 224 x 4 = 896
    I also use this settings for all emulators like Genesis and so on, technical it doesn’t fit the resolution of the scanline image because of the TV border, but it also looks really great.
    If you don’t want a TV border, you can also enlarge the resolution to the whole screen of course but the Y Resolution should be a multiple of 3 or 4, so you can use 3 or 4 pixel for each scanline. Then you will have black borders on the Y axis, bit otherwise it looks horrible if you use the whole screen resolution, for example on a Full HD 1080 (/ 240=4,5) because every second scanline have 4 or 5 Pixels.

    With SNES I set the resolution to 1280×896
    My video output resolution is at 1080p

    Is this the closest I can get to a 4:3 ratio while also using as much of the screen as possible @ 1080p with integer scale on?

    Also, if I’m using 1080p as my output resolution, should I create an overlay for 1920×1080, or should I create an overlay to match the game resolution (1280×896)?

    #97296
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    I disable integerscale, instead i calculate the resolution by myself for a 4:3 aspect ratio.
    The X resolution doesn’t matter for the custom_viewport.
    The overlay relolution should be the same as the video_fullscreen until: input_overlay_scale = 1 in the system config,
    overlay0_full_screen = true in the overlay config file.
    Otherwise the number of Y pixels of each scanline for each emulated Y pixel is no longer correct and the whole image looks badly.

    #97307
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    I disable integerscale, instead i calculate the resolution by myself for a 4:3 aspect ratio.
    The X resolution doesn’t matter for the custom_viewport.
    The overlay relolution should be the same as the video_fullscreen until: input_overlay_scale = 1 in the system config,
    overlay0_full_screen = true in the overlay config file.
    Otherwise the number of Y pixels of each scanline for each emulated Y pixel is no longer correct and the whole image looks badly.

    1. I don’t understand- if you turn integer scale off, you could get pixel warping on one or both axes.

    If you manually adjust custom viewport to 4:3, won’t you get scaling artifacts on the x axis?

    If 896 is the y axis, 4:3 would be 1194.666667: 896; so you will get some warping on the x axis. Or have I misunderstood something?

    2. So, the overlay has to match the resolution of the game/system that is being played. I suck at using graphics programs. I figured out how to tile a .png to make a scanline overlay, but I still can’t figure out how to add transparency. I always wind up with transparent white instead of full transparency.

    3. Are you sure NES is 224 lines wide? I looked up the native res and found 256×240 on Wikipedia. I think it’s 240×224 without padding, but 256×240 with padding, which was cropped by the TV.

    #97345
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    1. Why? While the aspect ratio is 4:3 all is fine.
    If it’s not exactly a 4:3 aspect ratio without the scanline overlay it may look a bit scrappy, but with the scanlines all looks great.

    2. Here’s a link to my dropbox. Here you can download the overlay.
    Scanline Overlay

    3. You’re right. It depends on the emulator. PAL NES is always 240 lines. NTSC is 224 + 2 x 8 “hidden” lines = 240.

    Currently i upload a video on Youtube.
    I’ll post later a link.

    #97361
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    1. Why? While the aspect ratio is 4:3 all is fine.
    If it’s not exactly a 4:3 aspect ratio without the scanline overlay it may look a bit scrappy, but with the scanlines all looks great.

    2. Here’s a link to my dropbox. Here you can download the overlay.
    Scanline Overlay

    3. You’re right. It depends on the emulator. PAL NES is always 240 lines. NTSC is 224 + 2 x 8 “hidden” lines = 240.

    Currently i upload a video on Youtube.
    I’ll post later a link.

    I’m curious why you wouldn’t use 1280×960 for NES?

    If you use 896 for Y, then X is 1194.6666… if X and Y are in a 4:3 ratio. This would cause some warped pixels on the X axis, right? I’d rather play with a slightly off aspect ratio than have warped pixels anywhere.

    Edit: Ah, I see you were probably referring to SNES and Genesis. Those systems do look good at 896 on the Y axis. However, you also need to use an integer multiple of the x axis to get perfect scaling. The following resolutions all look good, although none are in a perfect 4:3 aspect ratio.

    Genesis:
    960×896
    1280×896
    1280×1120
    1600×1120

    SNES:
    1024×896
    1280×896
    1280×1120
    1536×1120

    all look good to me, although you lose a little bit of the picture with the y axis at 1120. This isn’t that bad though, because it’s mostly the black bars that you lose. These resolutions will provide perfect pixel scaling on both x and y axes.

    1024 or 1280 on the x axis is good for most NES games, with the Y at 960.

    Some NES games look good at 1280×1200 or even 1536×1200. Castlevania, TMNT II and River City Ransom are examples. Super Mario Bros 3 also looks good at those resolutions, as most of what gets cropped off occurs within what would have been the overscan on a CRT, or close to it (I’ve compared my Sanyo CRT, and it crops a similar amount, which is close to the maximum amount for CRTs). Actually, many nes games look good at these resolutions if you don’t mind cropping slightly more than 100% of the overscan 🙂 I have yet to encounter an NES game that placed in important graphics in the areas that get cropped off at these larger resolutions (6×5 and 5×5).

    Sorry, but I don’t like the TV box effect, I find it distracting. I just want simple scanlines. If I could just figure out this transparency stuff, I think I could do it. I haven’t found anything on the internet that explains this well.

    So, forgive me, but I’m still unclear on two things:

    1. how to turn white to transparency using gimp

    2. what size to make the overlay (example: my monitor is set to 1080p native and my custom viewport is 1280×960)

    as far as I understand it, you will get pixel warping on at least one axis if you disable integer scale. That is why I leave it ON at all times.

    To avoid pixel warping at 1080p, one has to enable integer scale and play with letterboxing (i.e., black bars at the top and bottom). This is at least true of NES, SNES, and Genesis.

    The pixellate shader and sharp-bilinear shader together will allow you to have a 4:3 ratio without pixel warping, but this is too intense for the Pi to run at 1080p.

    So, the only real solution if you want fullscreen (i.e., no letterboxing at top/bottom) AND a 4:3 ratio with these old systems, without any pixel warping, is to use a display that is 720p native (since 240×3 = 720)

    That, or use a machine that is more powerful that the Pi, so you can run pixellate + sharp-bilinear.

    I have provided an example image below (left click thumbnail, then right click and click open image to view at original size). This was achieved with 1280×960 resolution, integer scale on, at 1080p. The “interlacing.glsl” shader was used to make the scanlines, with the scalines strength configured at 50%. I would like to be able to achieve the exact same effect using an overlay, since it would be faster and would be adjustable within the RGUI. Another disadvantage (of the interlacing shader) is that it requires 2x or 4x scale.

    Sorry for the huge wall of text 🙂

    Attachments:
    #97390
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    You should not set up a Y resolution higher then the screen resolution.
    I use 1080p because then i have 4 pixels for each scanline and additional enough pixel for the TV border itself.
    I still don’t know what you mean with warped pixels on the X axis.
    I can’t see any difference between 1194×896 and 960×720
    You’re right the exact aspect ratio is 1194.66666 in the X axis but with 1194 every emulated pixel is 4,6640625 pixels on screen, not 1, in practice i can’t see the difference, especially with the scanlines

    Also most shader have either more or less recognizable effects on the emulator speed. For example SNES Yoshis Island first level, first cave.
    The sharp-bilinear.glsl do nothing at least on my tests.
    Instead i use the video_smooth option in the retroarch.cfg.
    The same with the pixellate filter.

    In my opinion the pixel edges and the scaliness itself in your example looks too sharp and too dark for me, it looks not really realistic.

    My TV border isn’t 100% finished yet, it’s a bit too much curved, so in some games too much of important image details are lost, but i like it 😉

    Here you can download some fullscreen scanline overlays and another with a TV Border
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sicv3m5yp7ztg7u/AAAoJH6AxlKmvWKyAAMGSu8ja?lst

    And here is the Youtube Video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu5lLfJmJVY

    #97407
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    You should not set up a Y resolution higher then the screen resolution.
    I use 1080p because then i have 4 pixels for each scanline and additional enough pixel for the TV border itself.
    I still don’t know what you mean with warped pixels on the X axis.
    I can’t see any difference between 1194×896 and 960×720
    You’re right the exact aspect ratio is 1194.66666 in the X axis but with 1194 every emulated pixel is 4,6640625 pixels on screen, not 1, in practice i can’t see the difference, especially with the scanlines

    Having spent a LOT of time with this, and talking with various RA devs, I thought I should share what I’ve learned.

    Why should you not set a y resolution higher than the screen resolution? As I said, what gets cropped off is so minimal on SNES or Genesis that it would have been cropped off by a CRT anyway. With NES, it may seem like you’re losing a lot, but actually, the “safe zone” for CRTs was 90% of the total picture. With going to 1200 on the y axis, you lose 120 pixels, which at a scale of 5x translates to 24 NES pixels. The NES put out a total of 240 lines. 240 – 24 = 216, or 90%.

    You might not notice the artifacts on the x axis because they are small at the resolution you’ve chosen, but they are there. Look at the mini map in the upper right of the screen on Super Metroid. You will notice some individual pixels are wider than others. You probably didn’t notice because most of the warping occurs at the edges as you get closer to integer scale. Scaling artifacts completely ruin the image for me, so getting rid of them is my top priority. Or check out the first hill in super Mario bros at the title screen, at the diagonal edge line. You will see inconsistently-sized pixels.

    Would you mind providing a screenshot?

    Also most shader have either more or less recognizable effects on the emulator speed. For example SNES Yoshis Island first level, first cave.
    The sharp-bilinear.glsl do nothing at least on my tests.
    Instead i use the video_smooth option in the retroarch.cfg.
    The same with the pixellate filter.

    The very purpose of the pixelate shader is to allow you to keep your 4:3 aspect ratio while eliminating scaling artifacts. Sharp-bilinear adds a very slight horizontal blur to deal with artifacts on the x axis. You wouldn’t notice them doing anything if you already are not noticing the artifacts in your picture.

    Video smooth should be avoided as it just adds bilinear filter, which causes blurring and a loss of detail. You would need a broken CRT for it to look like the picture with bilinear filter. Most videophile retro gamers will advise you to avoid using it.

    In my opinion the pixel edges and the scaliness itself in your example looks too sharp and too dark for me, it looks not really realistic.

    I don’t want to get into a battle over opinions, if you have found a look that makes you happy, great.

    I don’t really see what you mean by too dark, are you sure your display is properly calibrated? I put the scanlines at 50% for an effective 25% reduction in brightness, so you need to turn the backlight up to 100% on your display for an effective 75% backlight.

    Realistic isn’t really possible without CRT shaders, but even those just wind up looking fake to me most of the time, and most don’t work on the raspberry pi. For the pi, I just go for a clean emulated look with scanlines to soften the edges a bit. Actually, this picture is almost indistinguishable from a high end Sony BVM 🙂 It’s also very similar to using an upscaler with original hardware. The “softness” of a consumer grade CRT was due to flaws in its manufacture. An ideal “perfect” CRT with no manufacturing flaws would indeed look like the above shot, but brighter, and the scanlines would be 100% black and sharp.

    Most of the time when people go for “authentic” it just looks fake and distracting to me. I’m going for overall picture quality over authenticity. I never really understood why people went for authenticity over quality. If you want authentic, why not just play on an old CRT? Can’t get any more authentic than that, and you can get one for free these days. Trying to replicate all the flaws of a CRT on an LCD is silly to me.

    My TV border isn’t 100% finished yet, it’s a bit too much curved, so in some games too much of important image details are lost, but i like it 😉

    Here you can download some fullscreen scanline overlays and another with a TV Border
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sicv3m5yp7ztg7u/AAAoJH6AxlKmvWKyAAMGSu8ja?lst

    And here is the Youtube Video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu5lLfJmJVY

    Thanks! I’ll check those out, as I’m still having trouble getting my overlay the right size. I figured out how to do transparency, at least.

    #97434
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    Excuse me if I wrote something that was not meant that way. I’m german and don’t always know the right wording. I did not want to upset you. 😉

    You’re right , on the hill , you can see very few emulated pixels that are a little less wide.
    But you have really search for it and you notice it only if you know what to look .

    Also in SNES Zelda the first dungeon.
    But with smooth and my overlay, it falls on even less.

    For you it’s necessary that every pixel look absolutely identical.
    For me it’s necessary that the overall image simply looks good.
    But that’s a matter of opinion, any way he likes.
    Similarly the darkness of the scanlines, to me it looks to darken, no matter how I adjust the brightness.
    With the sharpness of your image there looks to me to blocky.

    You might also right about the high end TV, but i never played any console on a high end TV. Did you?
    99,99% of all people only played on a consumer grade CRT with this “softness”.
    All this is the reason why the overall image of a console like SNES, Genesis… looks more uniform and better on a CRT than on a LCD without filter or shaders ….to me 😉
    Sure, there exists better CRT shader as an overlay image, but the pi can’t handle these.

    Actually it was originally indeed about why the whole picture is very dark with your overlay images, it’s because of your resolution settings and the resolution of your overlay image. 😉

    Sorry but neither with the sharp-bilinear shader nor with the pixelate shader
    I see any difference, no matter what settings…?
    Maybe you can post a picture on you see the differences?

    I now have my original SNES connected and then I realized that I had totally forgotten about the PAL borders. 😉
    Thus, the aspect ratio at all is no longer correct (1.63) and the individual pixels are also wider to see it there.

    More example pictures:
    Example Images Dropbox

    #97452
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    Excuse me if I wrote something that was not meant that way. I’m german and don’t always know the right wording. I did not want to upset you. 😉

    You’re right , on the hill , you can see very few emulated pixels that are a little less wide.
    But you have really search for it and you notice it only if you know what to look .

    Also in SNES Zelda the first dungeon.
    But with smooth and my overlay, it falls on even less.

    For you it’s necessary that every pixel look absolutely identical.
    For me it’s necessary that the overall image simply looks good.
    But that’s a matter of opinion, any way he likes.
    Similarly the darkness of the scanlines, to me it looks to darken, no matter how I adjust the brightness.
    With the sharpness of your image there looks to me to blocky.

    You might also right about the high end TV, but i never played any console on a high end TV. Did you?
    99,99% of all people only played on a consumer grade CRT with this “softness”.
    All this is the reason why the overall image of a console like SNES, Genesis… looks more uniform and better on a CRT than on a LCD without filter or shaders ….to me 😉
    Sure, there exists better CRT shader as an overlay image, but the pi can’t handle these.

    Actually it was originally indeed about why the whole picture is very dark with your overlay images, it’s because of your resolution settings and the resolution of your overlay image. 😉

    Sorry but neither with the sharp-bilinear shader nor with the pixelate shader
    I see any difference, no matter what settings…?
    Maybe you can post a picture on you see the differences?

    I now have my original SNES connected and then I realized that I had totally forgotten about the PAL borders. 😉
    Thus, the aspect ratio at all is no longer correct (1.63) and the individual pixels are also wider to see it there.

    More example pictures:
    Example Images Dropbox

    Don’t worry, you didn’t offend me, it’s just that this whole topic is very contentious and people have a tendency to argue about it for pages and pages 🙂 don’t worry about your English, either- it’s certainly better than my German! This post is going to be long, so I apologize in advance 🙂

    You say you have to really look for the warped pixels. This might be true if you are sitting far enough from the display/have a small display. The warped pixels look especially bad when objects are scrolling, but you might not notice this on a crappy LCD with a lot of motion blur (as most LCDs have). I have a tendency to really scrutinize images because I’m obsessed with picture quality. Once I see these things, I can’t unsee them, and they become a real distraction.

    Most image purists/ videophiles will agree that scaling artifacts are the cardinal sin, to be avoided at all costs. This is because, aesthetically, it is worse to warp sections of an image by different amounts than it is to warp the entire image by one amount. But you’re right that this is not 100% objective.

    As far as the image appearing too dark, it is probably a problem with your display if it hasn’t been properly calibrated. EDIT If you aren’t used to viewing a calibrated image, than it might appear too dark. Also, you might be forgetting how dim CRTs were. An LCD is more than bright enough to have 100% black scanlines (reducing the effective backlight by 50%) and still be brighter than a CRT was.

    The way scanlines work is that the higher the contrast between the scanline and the “drawn” lines, the greater their effect. Scanlines work like a pointillist painting: at the right distance, the human visual system blends the image and it results in a smoother image than actually exists. This effect is achieved more easily when the “gaps” are more easily recognized as such. I’m fairly certain that this could be confirmed via psychological experiment, if it hasn’t been already.

    Another thing to consider is that each improvement to CRT technology brought images that were sharper, brighter, and had darker scanlines. First you had regular shadow mask CRTs. Then dotmasks came which allowed more light to pass through and had a less noticeable mask. Then you had aperture grills, which allowed even more light to pass through and were even sharper, with an even less noticeable mask. Then you had the king of CRTs, the Sony BVM, which had an almost invisible aperture grill, 900 lines of horizontal resolution (close to today’s 1080p displays), and was even brighter and sharper. The result is those perfect scanlines that die-hards covet.

    The overall point is that CRT quality has always varied very widely, so the graphic artists didn’t have a single use case that they could base their designs on. Sure, most people didn’t have BVMs, but a lot of people had Trinitrons, which were significantly brighter and sharper than standard shadow mask CRTs.

    Another point is that trying to replicate the eccentricities of a CRT on an LCD is just hard to pull off without looking fake. The CRT shaders are computationally demanding and won’t run on the raspberry pi, and they require a lot of tweaking to look right IMO. Even then, they are going to add an amount of input lag dependent on your processor speed.

    I guess I only like scanlines because they filter the image while still looking authentic to me. All the other effects look like an LCD trying to be a CRT and it feels inauthentic. The worst offender in this regard IMO is the screen curvature effect. I played on all kinds of TVs with curved tubes, and I never recall any curvature like what I’ve seen shaders do. This is because a curved CRT was calibrated so that the image looked square/flat when viewed from a normal angle. A lot of the CRT effects look like an artist’s interpretation of a CRT to me.

    Now, back to the original topic (!) 🙂

    You said the darkening problem with the overlay was due to the size, that’s also what I suspected, so thanks for confirming that.

    I’m sorry, I neglected to mention that when you choose sharp-bilinear you need to set shader filter to “linear” for it to work. Pixellate won’t run on the pi because it is too demanding.

    Yup, PAL games all had those black borders on all systems. This is because PAL TVs were better, having 576 horizontal lines of resolution vs. NTSC’s 480 lines (a 20% higher resolution). The console only puts out 240 lines so everything over 480 winds up as a black border.

    #97479
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    Well, I finally got what I wanted, simple adjustable scanlines via an overlay 🙂

    Took me three days to figure out, but it was pretty easy to do in the end, as these things usually are.

    I don’t think there’s an overlay like this included with Retroarch, so I’ve attached it. This will produce perfect looking scanlines at 1080p.

    Attachments:
    #97484
    Profile photo of patl
    patl
    Participant

    I know why there are PAL borders and also the technical reason 😉

    You never get a look on a LCD like a real CRT until the screen gets u much higher resolution as it know is (on a Consumer LCD)
    Your settings and look are also much far away from beeing a really realistic look.
    And yes i don’t sit a view inches off the screen and count pixels. I sit there i a realistic distance and want the best appereance. And this not with a blocky sharpness.
    Also i think the designers of these games with this low resolution, designed the graphics to have the best look with the softness of a (consumer) LCD.
    Probably most people think the same about the image quality. This is probably the only reason why shaders and filters exists.

    But Everyone should adjust it as he wants. 😉

    #97490
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    I know why there are PAL borders and also the technical reason 😉

    You never get a look on a LCD like a real CRT until the screen gets u much higher resolution as it know is (on a Consumer LCD)
    Your settings and look are also much far away from beeing a really realistic look.
    And yes i don’t sit a view inches off the screen and count pixels. I sit there i a realistic distance and want the best appereance. And this not with a blocky sharpness.
    Also i think the designers of these games with this low resolution, designed the graphics to have the best look with the softness of a (consumer) LCD.
    Probably most people think the same about the image quality. This is probably the only reason why shaders and filters exists.

    But Everyone should adjust it as he wants. 😉

    I agree, it will take higher resolution to really replicate the CRT look.

    Again, I’m not going for authenticity, but overall picture quality, and this is a Raspberry Pi forum, so I’m speaking specifically on how to get the best picture quality on the pi while making the fewest compromises. The shaders cause numerous problems on the pi.

    Even back in the days of CRTs, RGB monitors were the gold standard before Sony BVMs came along. Why? Because they had sharper and brighter pictures.

    You seem to be forgetting how dim CRTs were compared to LCDs; I was mistaken earlier (not enough sleep) and was thinking about contrast. An LCD is bright enough that you can add 100% black scanlines (reducing the effective backlight by 50%), and it will still be brighter than a CRT.

    The artists may have designed the game for a crappy ntsc composite tv in some cases, but that doesn’t mean the game won’t look objectively better on a better display. I recognize this is somewhat subjective, but you seem to be conflating picture quality with authenticity, which is also subjective.

    Regarding viewing distance, at the right distance the pixels shouldn’t look overly sharp at all. Maybe you are actually too close. The average crt was about 26″ and people sat 8 ft from it. I’m pretty sure these graphics were designed for a small view angle- maybe 15 degrees.

    I’m not against shaders per se, I think crt-easymode or CRT-royale with the right settings can look good. But neither will run on pi. So I just opt for a clean emulated look with scanlines. You can also add “dotmask” shader on top of this for a very light aperture grill effect.

    I’m happy I solved my overlay issue. 🙂

    #97673
    Profile photo of dragonjab
    dragonjab
    Participant

    I’m sorry to bother you Patrickm, but would it be possible to make a guide on how to add the scalines or have the same setup that you have. I have a 1080P tv too and want the look you would get from the mini XRGB. Is their a way you can do a step by step guide with the commands and all. I see that you have other post on the proper resolution for each system, but I’m confuse as to where to do this changes and if I have to do it for all system or is there a universal way. I’m sorry, I’m new to all this, I barely started messing around with the pi 2 days ago. Also sorry for my bad grammar.

    #97674
    Profile photo of dragonjab
    dragonjab
    Participant

    I know why there are PAL borders and also the technical reason 😉

    You never get a look on a LCD like a real CRT until the screen gets u much higher resolution as it know is (on a Consumer LCD)
    Your settings and look are also much far away from beeing a really realistic look.
    And yes i don’t sit a view inches off the screen and count pixels. I sit there i a realistic distance and want the best appereance. And this not with a blocky sharpness.
    Also i think the designers of these games with this low resolution, designed the graphics to have the best look with the softness of a (consumer) LCD.
    Probably most people think the same about the image quality. This is probably the only reason why shaders and filters exists.

    But Everyone should adjust it as he wants. 😉

    I agree, it will take higher resolution to really replicate the CRT look.

    Again, I’m not going for authenticity, but overall picture quality, and this is a Raspberry Pi forum, so I’m speaking specifically on how to get the best picture quality on the pi while making the fewest compromises. The shaders cause numerous problems on the pi.

    Even back in the days of CRTs, RGB monitors were the gold standard before Sony BVMs came along. Why? Because they had sharper and brighter pictures.

    You seem to be forgetting how dim CRTs were compared to LCDs; I was mistaken earlier (not enough sleep) and was thinking about contrast. An LCD is bright enough that you can add 100% black scanlines (reducing the effective backlight by 50%), and it will still be brighter than a CRT.

    The artists may have designed the game for a crappy ntsc composite tv in some cases, but that doesn’t mean the game won’t look objectively better on a better display. I recognize this is somewhat subjective, but you seem to be conflating picture quality with authenticity, which is also subjective.

    Regarding viewing distance, at the right distance the pixels shouldn’t look overly sharp at all. Maybe you are actually too close. The average crt was about 26″ and people sat 8 ft from it. I’m pretty sure these graphics were designed for a small view angle- maybe 15 degrees.

    I’m not against shaders per se, I think crt-easymode or CRT-royale with the right settings can look good. But neither will run on pi. So I just opt for a clean emulated look with scanlines. You can also add “dotmask” shader on top of this for a very light aperture grill effect.

    I’m happy I solved my overlay issue. :)

    I’m sorry to bother you Patrickm, but would it be possible to make a guide on how to add the scalines or have the same setup that you have. I have a 1080P tv too and want the look you would get from the mini XRGB. Is their a way you can do a step by step guide with the commands and all. I see that you have other post on the proper resolution for each system, but I’m confuse as to where to do this changes and if I have to do it for all system or is there a universal way. I’m sorry, I’m new to all this, I barely started messing around with the pi 2 days ago. Also sorry for my bad grammar.

    #97676
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    I’m sorry to bother you Patrickm, but would it be possible to make a guide on how to add the scalines or have the same setup that you have. I have a 1080P tv too and want the look you would get from the mini XRGB. Is their a way you can do a step by step guide with the commands and all. I see that you have other post on the proper resolution for each system, but I’m confuse as to where to do this changes and if I have to do it for all system or is there a universal way. I’m sorry, I’m new to all this, I barely started messing around with the pi 2 days ago. Also sorry for my bad grammar.

    It’s no bother at all. I don’t know if I can make things any simpler than my explanation in “how to get scanlines.”

    You have to configure each system’s resolution independently, because they all used different internal resolutions. See “list of recommended resolutions.” You need to download the scanline overlay there and follow the instructions. If you get stuck on something or have a specific question I’d be happy to help.

    the settings you want to change can all be accessed through the RGUI (Retroarch GUI) by pressing F1 while a game is running.

    To save a config, access RGUI and go to the save new config option. You then need to navigate to the right emulator folder in /opt/retropie/configs/ and change “emulatorname.cfg” to “retroarch.cfg,” as the settings in “retroarch.cfg” are the ones that get loaded. For example, save a new config for NES and it will show up in /opt/retropie/configs/nes as “nesotpie_libretro.cfg” (if I used nestopia), and you would change that to “retroarch.cfg.”

    #97685
    Profile photo of Floob
    Floob
    Member

    You do need to be careful here not to remove the line in the existing retroarch.cfg that pulls in the main retroarch.cfg – unless you want to break that link.

    Maybe we need a new guide/video to explain these retroarch.cfg video config values and where to add them.

    RetroPie help guides --> https://goo.gl/Yfy8kj
    Please read this before asking for help --> http://goo.gl/eLErnl

    #97691
    Profile photo of dragonjab
    dragonjab
    Participant

    You do need to be careful here not to remove the line in the existing retroarch.cfg that pulls in the main retroarch.cfg – unless you want to break that link.

    Maybe we need a new guide/video to explain these retroarch.cfg video config values and where to add them.

    Thank You Patrickm will do that this week. A video would be helpful Floob, everything that I have learn has been thanks to your videos in youtube. I been reviewing like crazy your videos. You have a great channel keep it up.
    Ps. I already subscribe for more vids.

    #97702
    Profile photo of patrickm
    patrickm
    Participant

    You do need to be careful here not to remove the line in the existing retroarch.cfg that pulls in the main retroarch.cfg – unless you want to break that link.

    Maybe we need a new guide/video to explain these retroarch.cfg video config values and where to add them.

    Some videos would be really helpful. I’m realizing that a lot of this stuff is hard for a beginner who is new to Retroarch to understand. If you want to make some videos explaining “how to get scanlines” and “recommended resolutions,” that would be great.

    I’m noticing a lot of the scanline overlays are broken, so I included a working one for 1080p displays in “how to get scanlines,” and I notified HunterK of Libretro.

    I’m also noticing that retropie could be configured better by default. By default, cores are set to render at 640×480, which causes scaling issues on both 1080p and 720p displays. Both “video output resolution” and “retroarch render resolution” should be set to match the display’s native resolution. “retroarch render resolution” should be set to “use video output.”

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