Author Topic: CRT shader opinions  (Read 2148 times)

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Offline troflip

CRT shader opinions
« on: June 17, 2016, 03:55:11 AM »
I've been playing around with a CRT-emulation shader for my little Unity project. What do you guys think of the look? Attached are comparisons with "unmolested", and Scumm's high quality upscaling (and undithered).

(Seems like a "CRT" option would be a good thing for Scumm to have, given the time period of games it supports).


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Offline troflip

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 03:57:00 AM »
Another pair of shots from my game for comparison. I kind of like the soft look it gives.

I guess the Scumm HQ upscale is kind of like "try to make the game look modern and high-res", while CRT emulation is the opposite: "embrace the low resolution".
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Offline Kawa

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 06:39:38 AM »
"embrace the low resolution"
Yes. Embrace it.

Tighter.

Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 09:07:55 AM »
Yeah, looks great.....just please turn off the undithering. ;)
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Offline troflip

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 10:40:13 AM »
Yeah, looks great.....just please turn off the undithering. ;)

As you wish...
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Offline Kawa

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 10:51:48 AM »
Every time I see this thread and what I posted earlier, I have to repress the urge to post "tighter, daddy".

...shit. At least the shader looks tigood.

Offline Collector

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 12:02:21 PM »
A matter of taste, of course, but I have always liked it without any of the rendering modes. Everything else just looks blurry to me. The scan lines look better, but that always struck me as mostly an indulgence in nostalgia. As I said, a matter of taste.
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Offline troflip

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 12:08:46 PM »
It's a lot more than just scanlines, but yeah - I understand your point. It definitely smooths out blocky text though.



In case anyone's interested, it was this shader that I adapted:

https://github.com/libretro/common-shaders/blob/master/crt/shaders/crt-hyllian.cg
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 04:16:54 PM »
I hear a lot of people are putting off proper CRT emulation shaders until we can get resoloutions high enough to actually represent them authentically (like 4k+). Which is cool. Another 5-10 years and it'll be commonplace I'm sure.
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Offline Kawa

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 04:41:13 PM »
What I'm wondering is why I can't seem to find a bitmap editor with shadered previews or whatnot. Is such a thing really so niche?

Offline troflip

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 05:22:33 PM »
I hear a lot of people are putting off proper CRT emulation shaders until we can get resoloutions high enough to actually represent them authentically (like 4k+). Which is cool. Another 5-10 years and it'll be commonplace I'm sure.

Well, those people say that you generally need about 4 vertical pixels of resolution to properly represent a scanline. Given an SCI game is 200px or 240px high, that puts you at 800 or 960 vertical resolution. So for a low resolution game, we're already there I'd say.

Really though, if you're far enough away from your monitor that you can't see individual pixels, then the resolution is high enough to simulate a CRT, IMO. Sure, each scan line might only be represented by 2 or 3 LCD pixels, but you won't notice the difference. Might not look good if you shove your face into the monitor though.

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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 06:02:00 PM »
It's not just scanlines, it's the multicoloured diodes (or whatever). There's a whole thread about it on VOGONS and they go to extreme levels of meticulous detail in approaching how best to emualate a CRT screen.
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Offline troflip

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 06:32:40 PM »
Yes, of course, and the good CRT shaders (including the one I appropriated) emulate that too.

My point was that if you can't distinguish individual pixels from a certain distance, extra resolution isn't going to make it look better. More specifically, if a scanline is 3 times as wide as the dark spot in between, you don't necessarily need 4 pixels (3 bright, 1 dark) to simulate it. You can get by with 2 pixels, say, and some intelligent filtering. So I don't quite buy the argument altogether.

Of course I could be talking out of my ass, since I don't have an actual CRT monitor to compare with :P. But it smacks of the same argument as "oh, this ultra high def TV looks so much better than my old HDTV" - except it actually looks the same since you're sitting 8 feet away and you can't see individual pixels at that distance even on your HDTV.
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: CRT shader opinions
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 08:58:06 PM »
It was more to do with colour bleeding and the varying elements that make up a pixel. But I'm speaking out of my hat and partially reconstructed memory. It was a very interesting thread at any rate. Anyway, I think it looks great.
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