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Doing pictures using Super IRG 2 and other ICE modes.

Need some advice ...

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#26 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:13 AM

OK - can you point me to a very complete description of the IRG modes? I'd feel better if I had a basic grasp of how the whole thing worked.

#27 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:34 AM

I am attaching the articles I wrote for Atari User, which I hope can explain things better.

The basic idea is, you are changing character sets and color registers every VBLANK. You can change at most 8 registers every cycle. Bill Kendrick wrote a game in 1998 called Gem Drop which changed a character set every VBLANK while in Antic 4/5 with no color changes, which allows 14 colors onscreen.

When doing font pictures, you will need multiple character sets, so you need a DLI to change the character set register (756) onscreen. These indexes will also be flipped every VBI. As you can only flip 8 registers, the number of character sets (and screen lines) you can display depend on the needs of the character mode you use. Super IRG 2 uses 4 color register flips (708-711) which leaves room for 4 character sets ... 16 lines in narrow mode, 12 in 40 byte mode.

Here's a link to a thread on Space Ace that may explain things too: http://www.atariage.....hl__space ace

There is also the matter of using single-screen or double screen mode. When using PF3 in Super IRG 2, sometimes you get conflicts when the character tries to mix with one using PF2. The solution is to use two screen maps and flip the screen every VBLANK, but then this uses one of your 8 available flips and decreases your display even further.

Super CIN, for example, only requires one screen map, as you are mixing with an ANTIC 2 mode (0.11) and the characters which use PF3 on the Antic 4 side can simply be inversed on the Antic 2 side to correct the display.

Attached Files


Edited by Synthpopalooza, Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:49 AM.


#28 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:13 PM

The Setup as zip - thanks for the tip, rdea6!
Is it working for you?


hmm,
tried installing this software yesterday - did not work. What OS does it need ?!?
I have Win XP with SP3, also Java, .NET framework versions 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4.0 but still it did not work. When executing the setup program under Win XP it showed that it would install into E:\Microsoft\GraphicsTileMaster\ but when I later searched for this DIR/Subdir it was not there. So I created this DIR/Subdir and ran the installer again - but afterwards the DIR/Subdir was still empty. I tried it with both the .EXE and the .MSI programs but alas both gave the same results...


-Andreas Koch.

#29 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:52 PM

I installed it and couldn't find it... fortunately the uninstaller found it OK.

Thanks for the IRG docs. My head's still spinning from all these modes, but I'm trying to get my head around it all. :)

#30 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:34 PM

The Setup as zip - thanks for the tip, rdea6!
Is it working for you?


hmm,
tried installing this software yesterday - did not work. What OS does it need ?!?
I have Win XP with SP3, also Java, .NET framework versions 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4.0 but still it did not work. When executing the setup program under Win XP it showed that it would install into E:\Microsoft\GraphicsTileMaster\ but when I later searched for this DIR/Subdir it was not there. So I created this DIR/Subdir and ran the installer again - but afterwards the DIR/Subdir was still empty. I tried it with both the .EXE and the .MSI programs but alas both gave the same results...


-Andreas Koch.

Yes I had the same results......

#31 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:05 PM

tried installing this software yesterday - did not work. What OS does it need ?!?
I have Win XP with SP3, also Java, .NET framework versions 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4.0 but still it did not work. When executing the setup program under Win XP it showed that it would
-Andreas Koch.


Hi Andreas!
Thank you for your feedback. I made a new version, but it is 16 MB in size. I will test it and look for a place to put it.

#32 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:45 PM

I installed it and couldn't find it... fortunately the uninstaller found it OK.

Thanks for the IRG docs. My head's still spinning from all these modes, but I'm trying to get my head around it all. :)


Its easier if you can remember that there are three categories:

IRG - ones which use basic Antic 2 or Antic 4
GTIA - ones that are based out of Graphics 9, 10, 11
CIN - Mixing GR. 9 - 10 - 11 with Antic 2 or 4

#33 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:32 PM

My webspace is only 5MB. Someone invented a filehoster for that. So GraphicsTileMaster Testversion is here:
https://rapidshare.c...leMaster002.zip
Password: JustTestIt

#34 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:27 PM

Next step to real pictures: I did a program to show the result.
And I found some bugs and things that are not assumed right. So the program GraphicsTileMaster will save pictures or sourcecode directly but it will be somewhat less good as shown until now. :woozy:
There is a lot of work to do. But to keep you busy :-) hier is the very first xex Attached File  space_ace.xex   16.36KB   227 downloads

For twiddling with the colors etc I also put the source here: Attached File  gtm_first.asm   3.58KB   189 downloads
I am still learning CIN-Modes (and MADS-Assembler and Atari).

Let´s work together! :)

#35 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:59 PM

The GraphicsTileMaster works better with a correct palette:
cin-Colors.png

This gives a better preview of the result:
Attached File  mountain.xex   16.36KB   262 downloads

You see also a bug: The mountain is not white. I will find a solution for that ...

mountainXeX.png

#36 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:27 PM

Well,

the program Graphics Tile Master works now on my PC and it would be very good to have a program (on PC or A8) that shows the result with A8 palette. Currently the program loads a .PNG file and saves a .PNG file. But errmm, the A8 cannot load a .PNG picture, so there should be a conversion program on the PC or on the A8 (to convert PNG to CIN or whatever). Maybe Graphics Tile Master should also be able to load other PC picture formats like e.g. BMP, JPG or GIF(87a)....?!? Just some suggestions, no complaints...


Besides, the sample pictures (mountain.xex and spaceace.xex) you uploaded here show only greyscales in Atari800Win...
-Andreas Koch.

#37 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:47 PM

Well,
the program Graphics Tile Master works now on my PC and it would be very good to have a program (on PC or A8) that shows the result with A8 palette.

OK, thanks for the Info. I think it loads a lot of files, but saving is limited ti png by now. It is Version 0.02 and it is far away from beeing ready. Icons are bad and functions are disabled.
The xex shows a CIN-mode and that is not working on Atari800Win but on real hardware and on Altirra.

... Maybe Graphics Tile Master should also be able to load other PC picture formats like e.g. BMP, JPG or GIF(87a)....?!? Just some suggestions, no complaints...

Yes. I will save other formats if the top priority points are made. It will save XEX and asm first, both for CIN.
Work is going on. And if others are interested in Saving Turbo Basic or other modes, then contribute! We can do it together!
GraphicsTileMaster can have different modes, why not?
I will do everything if it is fun for me :)

#38 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:13 AM

mountainXeX.png

That's excellent. :)

#39 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:30 AM

That picture looks excellent. I believe you can still improve it though. :)

You can use 5th colors (PF3- 711) by inversing your characters. You would need a further computation to figure out your tiles so that PF2 and PF3 are not in the same tile. You would also need to reverse the bit order of the Graphics 11 character that corresponds to the PF3 character in Antic 4. This will give you 5-level shading.

One drawback of Super CIN mode is, you cannot get a good white color out of it. It's because Graphics 11 has no white, it is always black (background) plus 15 hues. One way around this is to use a white PM overlay for the white parts of the picture. If you look at my Super CIN sunsphere example,. I used Jeff Potter's APACVIEW to convert the GR. 11 pic, but it puts in black pixels for the white parts of the picture, which causes dark specks in the CIN picture.

One mode I'd like to see supported in this program is what I call Super PCIN. It's like CIN except that you mix with Graphics 10. You will also flip 712 (background while in Antic 4, another color when in Gr. 10). You use registers 704-711 plus the flipped 712 (712b) ... 704 and 712a are kept to the same background color to stop flicker. You also need to set up a custom display list for Antic 4, setting Horizontal scroll and LMS on each line. Then you set the HSCROL register to 13. The reason is, there is a quirk that causes the Graphics 10 pixels to shift one color clock to the right (like in the HIP modes). using HSCROL plus a custom display list will line up the display.

Because you aren't changing color registers, you can do a dithering pattern on characters that mix 708-711 ... by doing an alternate checkerboard pattern on opposite characters. This will also help reduce flicker. You get 35 colors (less than CIN) but you can use solid white in this mode too.

I have been wanting to do pictures in this mode, but have been limited by not being able to convert PNG-GIF-JPG into Graphics 10, but I think the results would be excellent.

Other good modes to use are Super IRG, Super IRG 2, one that I call DIN (Graphics 0 + Graphics 12) and Super MIN. DIN is easy to set up, you just need to do a flip of register 710 ... under graphics 0 you want it to be the same as the background color. You can also flip 709 if you want to program it independently of Graphics 0. This lets you have 10 colors at 320 pixel resolution, plus 10 more colors if you count Graphics 0 artifacting.

There are also some good GTIA modes to use but I think they can come later :)

The tile master is an excellent program :) Great results

Edited by Synthpopalooza, Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:32 AM.


#40 AtariNerd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:51 PM

mountainXeX.png


Looks like Smaug is getting ready to descend on LakeTown.

#41 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:34 PM

Looks like Smaug is getting ready to descend on LakeTown.

Uuuuuuuuaaaaaahhhhhh. Good Idea to do a frightning game!
The green alien in rescue on fractalus afright me. Dark colors are also less flickering. CIN-mode is ÜBEL on PAL. I saw it on NTSC today on a 1450XL and it was way better.

#42 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:57 PM

Well,

the CIN pictures that were created or painted in the past by polish users on PAL Ataris are not that bad, they do not flicker that much. Alas, all pictures/screens/fonts created with ICE (ICE-IRG, ICE-CIN and ICE-Apac) flicker like hell on my PAL Ataris !!! But the ICE fonts/screens are quite ok on NTSC machines I have been told (will see if thats true next weekend at the annual Abbuc meeting, ICE demonstrated on a 1200XL and also a PAL XL/XE)...

Attached you will find some examples of old (polish) CIN pictures...

Last not least I would like to see a mode similar to HIP and RIP: Use the Gr. 10 shifting to create the higher 160x200 pixels resolution and combine it with Gr. 11 for lots of colours. In other words: Gr. 10 is doing the luminances (not nine, as one may think, there are only 8 luminances possible in Gr. 10 HiasSoft told me) and the higher resolution, while Gr. 11 is doing the colours - this would result in 16 colours x 8 luminances = up to 128 colours in 160x200 (or up to 160x239) pixels resolution. HIP is not flickering that much on PAL machines, afaik this is because it uses luminance steps with a max. of 2, so if one pixel has luminance "0" the pixel next to it can have max. luminance "2" (not 3-15). Maybe one could do the same with this Gr. 10 (lum.) + Gr. 11 (col.) combination (and use only even luminances 0,2,4,6,8,10,12,14, so we have at least black available, if no white)...

-Andreas Koch.

Attached Files



#43 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:52 PM

I did do such a mode on my ICE GTIA editor, I called it CHIP 0 ... it's in text mode ANTIC 2, and the GTIA is flipped between 10 and 11. You do get the pixel shift, the graphics are not as sharply defined but it does well when used for letters and numbers, There was an old demo I did that I posted on here ... also a recent Graphics 1 experiment as well where I messed with the same GTIA settings.

These sorts of modes do better in NTSC because the screen refresh rate is faster (60 cycles a second vs 50 cycles on a PAL machine). The key also is to be careful of the luminances you choose to blend together.

Edited by Synthpopalooza, Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:53 PM.


#44 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:48 PM

Well, the CIN pictures that were created or painted in the past by polish users on PAL Ataris are not that bad, they do not flicker that much.

Flicker is a problem on PAL. If tiles (characters) are used it is not possible to switch every line like don in the CIN above. I don´t know how 128 colors are counted there. I see 4 greyshades and one red, green and blue. But for that the pictures are not bad.
Tiles are useful if a game should do something on the screen. Scolling is possible, Cpu-consuption is small.

For better anti-flicker a graphics mode is the better choice. Switching the mode every line is possible. Great for watching pictures.
For games like jump and run this ist not the best choice. the ICE uses 2x128 tiles for the hole screen of 1000 tiles. If scrolling is used then there are a lot more tiles. A 2x128 tile screen only needs 2k ram for the character sets plus 1k per screen of the game.
A full colored interlacing graphics screen needs 16k.

I will work on more modes for pictures and more modes for games. Right now I have finished exporting XEX, asm and bin-files. Picture loading and saving is extended to tiff, gif, jpg, bmp and png. The palette is corrected. A few days and the next version is available...
There is never only one solution and there is never one solution for all.

I would like to see games done with ICE-graphics. I think it is great that ICE enables the graphics even for Turbo Basic! I am sure, that ICE will bring us new games with good graphics. I hope it gets the credit it deserves on Abbuc contest.

#45 1NG OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:05 PM

I coded something in between in the last minutes with a little less flicker: Attached File  mou_itlc.xex   16.44KB   238 downloads
switches mode every character line (which is every 8 screen lines). This ensures less pumping of the screen, because there is always the nearly the same amount of light and dark areas on the screen. Enough for today ...

#46 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:58 PM

Actually it is possible to do scanline changes in ICE modes, but the limitations are, it has to be a mode with no display list changes (Super 0, Super IRG, or CIN IRG), no character set DLI's, and in assembly only. Also, if you use CIN IRG, you only get 14 Graphics 11 colors, and they are arranged differently for inverse characters. I think there is a demo by Rybags that uses a variation on this technique combined with PMG's.

I hope ICE gets good recognition too ... thanks for the kind words. The whole project came about actually from me seeing a Bill Kendrick game called Gem Drop which used Super IRG ... he created the game in 1998 and it got me to thinking about other possible combinations and display modes. It took about two years of experimentation, and its still not over. I am working on two new ICE editors that will use modes based out of Graphics 1/2.

#47 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:00 AM

Slightly OT, but has a custom mode been implemented using interlaced GR 9 (luma) and GR 11 (chroma), perhaps with double-height pixels to save on RAM? I just wondered what it would look like - kind of like APAC but with flicker instead of alternate scan lines.

#48 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:09 AM

It won't work.

You need adjacent lines because the chroma averaging takes place on that basis.

e.g. if you had 1 colour then a double-height luma line, the first luma line would have the desaturated colour but the 2nd luma line would be white.

#49 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:23 AM

Odd - I was imagining a base colour pixel in one frame (4 bits wide, 2 lines high), and a luma pixel of the same size in the exact same location in the next frame. I meant full frame interlace, not alternate lines.

Edited by flashjazzcat, Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:24 AM.


#50 NRV OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:49 AM

Odd - I was imagining a base colour pixel in one frame (4 bits wide, 2 lines high), and a luma pixel of the same size in the exact same location in the next frame. I meant full frame interlace, not alternate lines.


Sounds like flicker hell... :)
If your gtia11 lines have the luma in 0 and some parts of your gtia9 lines use the luma in 15, you are going to have the "worst case" for flicker (alternating pixels of luma 0 and 15).. you could use luma 8 for gtia11, to average the flicker, but then I don't know how black will look.
I did this many years ago to do a "horizontal rainbow effect" and it didn't look that bad in some small parts of the screen.
Sure, in Altirra with frame blending is going to look like real 256 colors (but with the luma averaged between the two screens), but in a full screen of a real PAL TV... :)

That project that I was talking (with frame blend in Altirra):
letter2 frame blend.png




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