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#1426 jmccorm OFFLINE  

jmccorm

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 1:31 AM

How do you choose the major options for your destination image?

 

The destination image is what RastaConverter will use to evaluate all of its attempts to see how close it has reached the "ideal" 8-bit image. (It the window with three images, it is the image on the right.) Getting the right destination image is super-important, because you might burn through hours of CPU time in trying to reach it. You need to optimize your destination image before you spend so much time trying to find the closest match.

 

I generated the following 216 combinations:

 

6 FILTER options (used to scale the image): lanczos, box, bicubic, bilinear, bspline, catmullrom

4 PREDISTANCE options (used to set colors): ciede, euclid, yuv, cie94

9 DITHER options (used to mix colors): chess, floyd, 2d, jarvis, simple, knoll, line, line2, none

 

There are other choices which affect the destination image, such as DITHER_VAL, DITHER_RAND, BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, GAMMA, and PAL (color palette). For the purpose of the comparison, these values were kept the same.

 

I've attached the results (along with the larger source picture) as a zip so that you can closely examine the possible effects of each option. Knowing what I know now, I would select totally different options when trying to build my destination image.

 

In general, the PREDISTANCE option will affect overall color selection and placement, and DITHER will affect the way it tries to mix the limited set of colors to best match the original picture. In this example, FILTER had little impact, but in other experiments, I've seen fine details preserved or hidden based on the choices.

ANIMATED GIF (the original image will be held for 10 seconds):

creative.gif

 

This animated GIF should give you a quick preview of the difference that these selections will make, and really, I think it doesn't show the differences very well. You can inspect the individual files in detail from the attached ZIP, and come to your own conclusions.

 

ZIP FILE (all 216 combinations, animated gif, full-sized original):

Attached File  creative.zip   39.66MB   10 downloads

 

The major observations that I made were that the 2d, chess, and floyd DITHER options can mix totally unwanted colors into an area. The line, line2, and none DITHER options create nice horizontal lines which, if you like the overall picture, should convert into a picture which is very close to your destination image. The PREDISTANCE options, as mentioned, change what overall colors are selected and in what areas. (The top of the large moon in the center and the giant robot's body are two main places to see the effects.) Overall, the output of the ciede option is the most unique of the four.

 

Finally, I wanted to acknowledge the artist, Paul Stinson. I believe he created this image in 1978? It was used for the April 1982 cover of Creative Computing, and it was also the front cover of the book The Road to Science Fiction #2 From Wells to Heinlein. He has created other works, such as the repackaged box art for Sierra On-Line's The Wizard and the Princess adventure, also in 1982.

 

Paul was kind enough to send me a higher resolution copy than what I could find online. He also seemed pleased that people were still interested in his work from so many years ago. It seems appropriate that we're converting and displaying this vintage sci-fi artwork on a vintage piece of hardware from 1979. icon_smile.gif

 

EDIT: Here is the Windows batch file that I used to create the full set of images. The directory paths are hard-coded, but if you can do some simple editing (and/or create the same directories), you can produce a wide set of destination images to select from before you decide on a fine one.

 

WINDOWS BATCH FILE (two lines, and the second command is all on one single line):

 

cd D:\atari\RASTA\

 

for %%f in (lanczos, box,bicubic,bilinear,bspline,catmullrom) do for %%d in (ciede,euclid,yuv,cie94) do for %%g in (chess, floyd, 2d, jarvis, simple, knoll, line, line2,none) do start /low /wait d:\atari\rasta\rastaconverter.exe d:\atari\rasta\IMAGES\%1 /pal=ntsc /threads=2 /predistance=%%d /dither=%%g /dither-val=1 /dither_rand=1 /filter=%%f /s=1 /h=240 /init=smart /o=d:\atari\rasta\OUTPUT\%1-%%f-%%d-%%g /preprocess

 

Someone could probably make this a lot friendlier.

 

This assumes that the RastaConverter software is in the D:\atari\rasta directory, the source images are in D:\atari\rasta\images and the output is placed into the D:\atari\rasta\output directory. Put this into a batch file like "prepoc.bat" and then supply the filename from the images directory to convert, such as:

 

D:\Atari\RASTA> preproc.bat creative.png

 

Happily, it launches the conversion with a low priority so it (generally) won't interfere with everything else running on your box. Be sure to increase "/threads=2" if you have a machine with lots of horsepower. Change "/pal=ntsc" if necessary outside of the US and Canada.


Edited by jmccorm, Mon Jan 1, 2018 2:28 AM.


#1427 Sheddy ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 5:29 AM

Sadly, I lack the c++ understanding and skills too, but I believe the idea of the late acceptance hill climbing algorithm with its multiple solutions, is that the solutions with the worst mutations don't win out long term. But the single solution algorithm is unlikely to undo what turns out to be a dead end mutation, as mutating it back gives a worse fitness score, and would rely on multiple simultaneous mutations to do so.

Yeah, you could probably fine tune things somehow by applying lots of rules and special cases on top, but the beauty of these algorithms is that with the right selection pressure and mutations, it isn't necessary, and they could even be detrimental to some case you hadn't foreseen.
Late acceptance Hill climbing isn't the pinnacle (no pun intended) of such algorithms, so others could be worth looking at too.

Not sure if it's already in there, but having an added selection pressure for fewer register changes when picture distance is about the same could be interesting

Edited by Sheddy, Mon Jan 1, 2018 5:36 AM.


#1428 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 12:39 PM

Playmates. 66 colors.

Protective Mother. 56 colors.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Playmates.png
  • ProtectiveMother.png

Attached Files



#1429 a8isa1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 3:57 PM

My 2 cents regarding filters (/filter=).   Use catmullrom.   All others make the destination look as if soft focus has been used.

 

I use a details mask a lot but you might be surprised how I use it.   I don't always mask areas of a picture where I want details to come through.   Sometimes a conversion seems to get stuck. Ugly problems appear and no amount of processing seems to correct it. In such a case I use a mask to select the trouble spot(s) on the picture so that hopefully those area get extra processing.

 

For example, the Christmas Hearth pic that I converted would get banding every time.   The bands showed themselves in the brick areas left and right of the flames. I used gimp and edited output.png. Here's what I do.

 

I create a second layer and make it all black.  I then overlay this layer.  I do this so I can paint on the black layer yet a visible indication shows in the composite picture.  Finally I delete the original layer which leaves just the black and white mask. It's alot easier than painting a white mask over a picture and then later painting the rest of picture black.


Edited by a8isa1, Mon Jan 1, 2018 3:58 PM.


#1430 a8isa1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 4:56 PM

Playmates. 66 colors.

Protective Mother. 56 colors.

 

These are amazing, especially the one on the right!

 

And, once again they look like art made for the A8 vs the converted pictures that they are.



#1431 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 5:42 PM

Epic Duel. 24 colors.

Attached Thumbnails

  • EpicDuel.png

Attached Files


Edited by Gunstar, Mon Jan 1, 2018 5:46 PM.


#1432 jmccorm OFFLINE  

jmccorm

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 9:24 PM

In general, the PREDISTANCE option will affect overall color selection and placement, and DITHER will affect the way it tries to mix the limited set of colors to best match the original picture. In this example, FILTER had little impact, but in other experiments, I've seen fine details preserved or hidden based on the choices.

I'm running a different experience and in this one, the choice in FILTER has a huge impact in "noise" pixels introduced into the picture. The behavior of this application can be really hard to pin down.



#1433 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 11:44 AM

I've gotten better at producing good RastaConverter images on the first try. The subject matter here should need no introduction to most, but for others, here is Jack Tramiel and sons (top left: Garry, top right: Leonard, and bottom left: Sam).

 

tramiels.png tramiels2.png

 

Run time of about 12 hours, no manual corrections required.

RastaConverter options: /pal=ntsc /threads=8 /distance=yuv /predistance=yuv /filter=bicubic /dither=none /dither-val=1 /s=10000 /h=240 /init=smart

 

Output file:

Attached File  tramiels.xex   22.03KB   12 downloads

 

Truth be told, I've had an urge to create a game called The Trams, which is part simulator and part parody (both of the Tramiels themselves, and of well-known 8-bit games). It is just an awful lot of labor to create a story on a confined canvas, and for a limited audience, you know?

 

 



#1434 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 1:50 PM

I'm torn, it looks so good I wanna click the like button... but it's the Tramiels.. so I want to click an imaginary dislike button.... now in an all out attempt to put quality and tech above personal ego I will click the LIKE button... because unlike the subject matter I will go with what is good or even great against my own emotional and selfish thoughts, It's the right thing to do! :)



#1435 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 3:26 PM

This Tramiels.xex will not be part of my rasterview picture collection..   Now at over 500 files in a folder on SpartaDos X Side CF partition ..


Edited by rdea6, Wed Jan 3, 2018 3:27 PM.


#1436 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 4:52 PM

This Tramiels.xex will not be part of my rasterview picture collection..   Now at over 500 files in a folder on SpartaDos X Side CF partition ..

Pretty sure I have all 865 files posted here :)  I need to organize them, or come up with some good way to have a slideshow for SDX.  It will need to run from HDD.



#1437 mytekcontrols ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 5:23 PM

I'm torn, it looks so good I wanna click the like button... but it's the Tramiels.. so I want to click an imaginary dislike button.... now in an all out attempt to put quality and tech above personal ego I will click the LIKE button... because unlike the subject matter I will go with what is good or even great against my own emotional and selfish thoughts, It's the right thing to do! :)

 

But who knows what would have happened to Atari if Jack hadn't bought it  :?

 

Alternative time lines don't always turn out better  ;) .



#1438 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 5:50 PM

 

But who knows what would have happened to Atari if Jack hadn't bought it  :?

 

Alternative time lines don't always turn out better

That's the way I feel about it. The perfect Atari for me would have been Atari to have stayed high-end home and education market, like Apple II, what Atari started with in the 800, instead of competing with lowest priced computers. But it didn't happen, oh well, I didn't even get my first Atari until the 130XE, so if it weren't for the Tramiels keeping Atari going for another decade, I would have ended up with a C64 or an Apple IIc (if i could be patient to save enough). I really wanted a 128K computer, and when I heard about the 128K 130XE for the same price or less than a 64K C64, with the same CPU across the board, I jumped for it.

 

Today I'm a fan of the older, well built Atari 800 and 1200XL, other XL's too. I would have started with a 1200XL or 800XL had I known I could just do a Rambo upgrade, but I was pretty much a newbie at the time, my only experience being BASIC class in high school on 48-128k Apple II's, and a Timex/Sinclair 1000 at home. So my life long love for Atari 8-bits is all due to the Tramiel's and their "Power Without The Price" XE line. Everything I own now is XL line though.

 

If Atari hadn't run for the hills with the video game crash and stayed in the game with the XL line, anything's possible, maybe I still would have gone Atari, but even I considered Atari a game company, and I wanted a serious computer, that just happened to also play games, It was Tramiel's rhetoric in magazine ads and magazine interviews of a future of only computers, personal computers, it made me think maybe I could get a serious computer inexpensively. I'm glad I did, I still think, overall, the A8 was the best 8-bit ever, and the best computer buying decision of my life. It still surprises me today! 

 

I owe the Tramiels for my love of the Atari 8-bit, but they always disappointed me with support at every turn. But I was really in love with the Jay Miner engineering, of Atari Inc.


Edited by Gunstar, Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:17 PM.


#1439 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:43 PM


Truth be told, I've had an urge to create a game called The Trams, which is part simulator and part parody (both of the Tramiels themselves, and of well-known 8-bit games). It is just an awful lot of labor to create a story on a confined canvas, and for a limited audience, you know?

 

I think it was already done.  Cinemaware's The Three Stooges game.  On the Amiga it was awesome.



#1440 gozar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:48 PM

 

But who knows what would have happened to Atari if Jack hadn't bought it  :?

 

Alternative time lines don't always turn out better  ;) .

 

Somewhere I read that we have the Tramiels to thank for dumping old Atari 8-bit stock in Europe in places such as Poland.This allowed a resurgence in the 8-bit in the late 80s.



#1441 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:53 PM

lol dumped it wherever a dollar could be had, liquidation sales... and not always or exactly by choice, crap ton went to South America... Cash rich company goes belly up shortly after JTS reverse merger money and stock disappears, remnants sold off and the only people who walk away with fat pockets are? Just sayin.... quack quack quack....


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:56 PM.


#1442 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 6:55 PM

I don't dislike Jack for his handling of the Atari line. I dislike him because I've heard too many stories of people who were burned by him. One of the worst was how he put Ihor Wolosenko's Synapse Software out of business. Synapse had made a distribution deal with the old Warner Atari and Jack refused to pay for or return pallets of the new SynCalc, SynFile, etc. business titles. This forced Synapse to eat hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and they quickly made another run to sell directly to distributors. Jack then liquidated the software below value and it became impossible for Synapse to sell their new inventory and we lost one of the most innovative software companies of the early '80s.



#1443 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:04 PM

Exactly, there you have it. When my thoughts were more clear I posted a little bit about my personal interaction with the Tramiels...  not good ....

they sucked everyone dry, and destroyed their whole distribution and support base....

they never dealt in good faith... ever.... serious.... You could have a person invest 50,000 with them and at the same time they know full well they're acting counter to that interest... in fact they are about to and or already have a deal to dump stuff in the very area your agreement is for.....

 

What do you think happened?

I don't want to continue down this path though.....

 

Back to our regularly scheduled images generated by rastaconverter party!

edit:

it deserves a sing along!

 

just jump to where the whistling starts... ;)  around :25 in


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:18 PM.


#1444 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:11 PM

I worked with Tom Harker of ICD for a short while and he told me he quickly learned that the Tramiels had nothing but disdain for the Atari community and they would openly mock people at the trade shows. We all wanted to believe differently, but anything good that happened to Atari was just a side effect of their dealings. I mean, Steve Jobs was a jerk but at least he believed in his company.

 

There's a book still to be written about all the shady stuff that went on around Sunnyvale.

 

 

 

*Of course, Tom would later eff-up too as ICD was failing.



#1445 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:48 PM

While it's true Harker eff-up at the end, he attempted to fix it, though by the time he did it was all to late... in fact before the sell off he even sent me the ICD CatBox he owed me... as the doors were already closing. He spent a fair amount of time in conversation, truely wanting to pull out something good at the end of it. Sadly it was not to be. A good deal of stuff was left behind in storage lockers in Chicago... as the purchaser couldn't get it all it would seem, and Tom did not have the ability to pay it off either.

 There is at least a few others on the forum that know of these things... and those who were wronged will always feel wronged it seems... as the time passed instead of dissipating it intensified.... you know how it goes, when goes wrong, it all goes wrong...

there were other issues with the scsi driver and the Falcon also...

 

But at least there was an attempt....


Edited by _The Doctor__, Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:49 PM.


#1446 Bryan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 3, 2018 7:58 PM

While it's true Harker eff-up at the end, he attempted to fix it, though by the time he did it was all to late... in fact before the sell off he even sent me the ICD CatBox he owed me... as the doors were already closing. He spent a fair amount of time in conversation, truely wanting to pull out something good at the end of it. Sadly it was not to be. A good deal of stuff was left behind in storage lockers in Chicago... as the purchaser couldn't get it all it would seem, and Tom did not have the ability to pay it off either.

You're talking about Mike Hohman's stuff? Yeah, that was sad. Also I saw exploration pictures from someone who broke into the old factory building ICD was in. You could still see Atari stuff on the floor.

 

Anyway, all this from a RastaConverter image. :)



#1447 Gunstar OFFLINE  

Gunstar

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Posted Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:10 PM

Maybe an appropriate time to post this image...

 

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. colors 59.

Attached Thumbnails

  • UscratchMybackIscratchyours.png

Attached Files


Edited by Gunstar, Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:36 PM.


#1448 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 4, 2018 4:49 PM

Not only are Pictures worth a thousand words, Rasta Converted Images can get you another thousand words! :)



#1449 Sikor OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 5, 2018 4:39 PM

Pokey chip :) I don't use rasta from years...

output.png-dst.png

Attached Files



#1450 Gunstar OFFLINE  

Gunstar

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Posted Fri Jan 5, 2018 8:55 PM

Pokey chip :) I don't use rasta from years...

attachicon.gifoutput.png-dst.png

I think the .xex you posted isn't the one that matches the .png image you posted. It looks like an an earlier save or attempt, not quite as good as the .png image. But if you have the .png, you must have an .xex that looks just as good! This one is close, but areas of the motherboard tracing isn't as clear and there are less stripes showing on resisters and capacitors. 

 

EDIT: now, after posting my reply, I see that the .png image you posted is of the destination and not the output, so that's why it looks better.

 

Regardless, the .xex you posted is very good.


Edited by Gunstar, Fri Jan 5, 2018 8:57 PM.






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