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philipj

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Everything posted by philipj

  1. Ok here's an example of a low level view of Vistapro animation sequence before it's rendered on an Amiaga... It runs much faster on an IBM machine. Just an illustration to bat in a point. https://youtu.be/xd0L4TbHPm4?t=3m31s
  2. @VladR I wouldn't have consider composition stuff to be that of a lazy coder... I think my point is being missed a little here when I mention the word composition. First off let me make an important note here my philosophy for Jag development is to "Think really Big, but Start Small." That's really the driving force behind a lot of my ideas; I got the phrase from a solar power company and become somewhat of an epiphany that stuck with me for years. When I mention the word composite, I'm thinking in terms of the Jag doing composition on a very small scale in a way that's feasible. You probably can't do shaders in the sense that a modern PC or game console can do, however, you might can trick some of the more simpler Jag mechanics to do some similar using low depth color, low poly objects or just simple bounding boxes in main for the DSP or M68K to manage until an actually reaches the GPU for fast rendering. Large data sets doesn't have to occupy physical memory, but rather a representation of such data can be present in the machine before an actual rendering takes place. We can't make the Jag get on the PS4 level-it just not built that way, but we can get on the Jaguars level where data and throughput can be very small and quickly manageable for real-time purposes. It all sounds good to me, but I know the reality of Jags complexity so I try and keep and open mind these days.That's also why I say in other topics that there need to be a radical re-thinking of how to program the Jaguar because system is what it is and any other 3D pipeline that came after it wasn't designed to be put on the Jag due better system architectures. @ LinkoVitch The same answer I gave VladR can also somewhat apply and I hope it give better understanding to a lot of my comments. There's a couple of old 3D programs that I use to work in in the late 90s called "Impulse Imagine 3D, which was in direct competition with the original "3D Studio" ; the other program is called "Vistapro" which was a landscape program that seems to use fractals to render landscape, which I'm going to post a couple of stuff I did in Vistapro (and showboat a little ). Both of these programs were out during the Jags hay day and were both consider ray-tracer based programs on the Amiga, but my versions was on IBM pc. These programs would start out as low poly bounding boxes or in Vistapro's case as low level fractals before anything was every rendered. If you think about the game Doom, it started as a low key binary tree set that resided in ram and didn't actually get rendered until the GPU actually picked it up via one of the Jag processors right? Well the same principal can apply for a real-time 3D render-er; the key would be the consolidation of the 3D sets for fast low bit depth recovery at the right time. Now the videos I made back in 2006, actually for a grade in a couple of college classes I was doing at the time, started out as low fractal height maps that looks very similar to "Rescue on Fractalus" for the Atari 8bit systems. Not to through this off topic, but to get a point across, Before I rendered the actual video you see, I would preview it in a height map fractal view designed for real-time viewing on an IBM 386 or higher. Not that I saying we should use fractals exclusively, what I'm saying is that the same principal low level fast small data set can be handled by the other processors on the Jaguar, before it actually reaches the GPU, Blitter, and OP for real-time polygon rendering or some other fast rendering scheme... Something like THAT should be the design philosophy behind the technicalities. Native Land Treasure: I rendered this in "VistaPro" for Windows, compose the music using "Acid" beat loops and edited everything in Adobe Premier back in 2005 or 06. A high res "VistaPro" rendering I also did in 2006. Sigh. Great memories...
  3. Ok... Here's a post of two racing games; one is "Riding Hero" for the Neo Geo and the other is "Super Burnout" for the Atari Jaguar. Both are doing similar style graphics of zooming sprites using both system sprite zooming features. For the Atari Jag it would be the "Object Processor" doing all of the work and for the SNK, although the system has less ram than the Jag, the Neo Geo pulls off some pretty good stuff on its own merit. Riding Hero for the Neo Geo Super Burnout for the Atari Jaguar
  4. That reminds me of the old "Namco System 21" arcades... Not to throw this topic off of the subject, but I looked at so many hardware's in comparison to the Jaguar hardware including the old graphic workstations in the 80s. Archive.org has some stuff there concerning old workstations and some 3D arcade hardware if you're lucky. If Gourard shading can be pulled off pass 30fps I'll take it; I have no problems with shading except for the slowdowns. As for the grainy texture, I'm wondering if the OP can blur out the graininess using anti-aliasing...? The OP can do effects like fog and other effects that involve scan-line based effects. The N64 blurred textures by default, which was one of the highlights of that system, but I think the Jags GPU is capable of doing similar but very differently due to there being no video ram; some things would have to be worked out with the other processors especially the DSP having the highest priority and access to main ram at full speed. You can thank the Silicon Graphics technology used in the PS1 and N64 for that... Sega learned from that experience when they released "Scud Racer" in the arcades around 96 using the "Lockheed Martin Real3D/PRO-1000" technology. Those kind of hardware's were used in the auto industry, graphic workstations and military application before it made its way into the gaming world so the shading techniques were tried and true versus the Jaguar hardware that was an in house Atari exclusive hardware in the making; not to take away from the Jags ability, I think all of those tricks the other hardware do can be done on the Jag also. @LinkoVitch Right... The OP feeds lines into the video chip to be displayed while preparing another line for the video chip display to screen. I'm hoping to one day capitalize on it's ability to change screen color to pull off some other effects in 3D beyond gouraud shading, which I know that's what the blitter is responsible for... I would like to see the OP ability to change screen colors on the fly more cleverly used to pull off effects like smoke and fog as well as some other stuff to make 3D objects look better. Agreed... That was my first thought when I read that... The Blitter is one big copy machine that can be used for more than just graphics; I would like to use the Blitter to do math for graphical purposes if possible.
  5. You may have to use very low color depth of 4bits or even 3bits just to get any significant speeds especially if you talking about a 3D texture mapping situation... I think the PS1 used 4bits dithered images using its hardware to pull off considerable speeds. The Jag seems to linger between being a really fast sprite machine more than the 3D power house it should've been so that's something to consider also. I think it was the Tempest 2000 that gave the Blitter its mythical status thanks to Jeff Minter. Considering how Doom works, the GPU seems to be treated like a VGA card rather then a 3D chip, where the main processor does all of the real work and the VGA displays pixel very quickly using tricks like mode-x and what-have-you. The only difference is with the Jaguar, the display-er is smarter thanks to Jag-RISC with a Blitter to do better than what a VGA mode-X could do the blitter being programmable and all. If you think in those terms, I think a proof of concept outside of the Jaguar would be a more hopeful approach just as Doom was originally a PC game ported to the Jag that was proven to work on old 386 machine. Certainly the Jag can do better than a Neo Geo or even a Sega CD hardware that can do zooming, scaling, and rotating... I think games like "Super-cross and Atari Karts" is phenomenal on the Jag with their pesudo 3D effects. That's where the Jag strength is that I hope to one day take advantage of in making a 3D engine. No surprise there... The Jag needs a better SDK. During the last shelf life on the Sega Saturn, Sega released a better SDK for the Saturn for one last coup-de-grace. Keep fighting the good fight. lol
  6. For kicks I googled the word "Object Processor" and this old topic popped up in the search engine... A great throw-back topic; very simple, but very direct to the point. I think any real gains to be made in making really fast, high frame rate stuff on the Jag will come from making good use of the "Object Processor." The Blitter is phenomenal in and of itself, but it doesn't seem to have the kind of speeds you could get from the Object Processor less you use the blitter minimally for shading or other task like good old T2K. Very nostalgic.
  7. Well for me I was just curious about the AMY chip and decided to do some quick research on it, found a bunch of stuff about it and found it suitable to post in this topic. Just putting the found information out for others to see. Being a music composer myself, I found it interesting that "Bell Labs" was at the origin of this AMY chip concept, it would've blown the sid chip off of the map in comparison. I like music and I remembered running into the website was posted by Curt Vendel posted some years back was just curious about the chip.
  8. Just revisiting this old topic... Here's an article about the "Synergy Keyboard" I just googled and thought suitable for this topic. This keyboard is probably the closes you'll get to what the Amy chip might actually sound like minus a few bells and whistles. http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/synergy.php
  9. Point made... Could've changed the game early on if they'd listen. These days I'd rather just focus on something new for the Jaguar. I just purchased my third Skunkboard so I'm a little pumped about doing some Jag stuff.
  10. Dude you can't imagine how many times I've been down that quote "What If" road and you're absolutely right... Atari got greedy and released a lemon to the market. But at some point one has to except whatever flaws the Jaguar has and work with what's already there.
  11. Hi Kool Kitty... When I think about "Virtua Racer" for both the Geny and the 32X, I think it's clear to see that the Genesis version, with the extra processor on the chip uses full 16bit to crunch the 3D numbers in order to pull off those fast graphics thus the same principle can apply in practice for the Jaguar system. I believe they did it right when they made DOOM for the Jag by optimization of the GPU being a rasterizer while the other processors handle the pseudo 3D engine. I think the DSP having full access main ram without slowdown from the 68K can be very tempting reason to cut the 68K off, but over time my view has changed a little from that notion. Well it took a few years for the game "Battlesphere" to be created so you probably have a point there... It is possible, however, to individually time your processors in a way that's optimal for fast simple programs and even fast 3D programs in regards to main ram access. That gives me hope for the use of the 68000, which I've always felt would be a shame to not put to good use since it's already there. Another thing to consider is the fact that the DSP seems to handle math a whole lot faster than it can handle graphics; so that means it could be possible for graphics to be processed in the form of math instead of bitmaps, jpeg/JagPEG, whatever the format. But you're probably right; the Jag have so many bugs in it, I nearly turned my back on that [email protected] system, but I still would like to see some innovative stuff come from the Jaguar.
  12. Yea it is kind of a shame the AMY didn't make it to the arcade machines... It would've helped giving a leg up in solidifying the sound chip. I would've loved to see something better in the 7800 myself. There's just a lot of stuff Atari really didn't seem to have the foresight on some things at the time of their. I know sometimes with companies there can be a lack of or even a breakdown in communication of multiple things rather it's ideas or missed opportunities that can fly right over people's head without them even knowing. Or sometimes people can know things and not fully realize the full reach of the information they have in their hands; much of that requires a level of wisdom beyond just the business aspect of things. I think of Steve Jobs and he seemed very connected to his audience of buyers, but was a complete douchebag with how he treated his employees in his early days; but as he got older he not only ran treated his employees better, he still knew how to release a good product better than his competitors. I found another related video, which I think is very note worthy to post being that the song seems significant in history... This time it's a composition using, not the "Synergy Synth" but the original Bell Labs "Alles Synthesizer" composed by Don Slepian, who was the music composer at Bell Labs. The graphics was added by the YouTube author "Stuart Diamond"... I'll add the full YouTube description below:
  13. Ok... I'm going to put one more YouTube concerning the "Synergy Synthesizer". This particular keyboard used cartridges to load various sounds, which means that there's probably a library of sounds out there somewhere. Just a quick note to post for reference sake.
  14. Ok here's some more video's I found on a keyboard that's based off of the Bell Labs Hal Alles Synthesizer... I think this keyboard was called the "Synergy", which was produced from 1982 until 1985 around the time the Atari ST was released. I find this to be some very fascinating stuff. Some some degree the keyboard almost sounds like the "Casio CZ 5000" keyboard in some ways (Casio's answer to the DX series), while sounding very much like the old FM Yamaha DX stuff like the ym2151 used in the old Atari arcade boards. The AMY, might have had a broad range of sounds with a library already built from the previous keyboards inspired by the Bell Labs architecture. I think these videos might shed a little light on what could've been possible on the AMY give-or-take a few features based on the individual synthesizers before AMY's existence.
  15. I guess sometimes the more immediate need becomes more important then catching a big vision... It's hard to catch a vision when a person is caught up in their own thing whatever that may be. Things will just fly right over your head and you don't even know that it did so until long after the fact. Sometimes business need to be balanced enough to allow for the creative edge flourish; money simply isn't everthing unless you're going out of business; then that artsee fartsee stuff can look bad in comparison to the reality of shutting down (or at least the thought of it). lol Steve Jobs pulled it off nicely though. Ok... Back to the topic. lol
  16. To be quite honest... I always use wonder why they never used the AMY in the Atari 7800 system instead using the regular old TIA. It would've been a near arcade system at home for it's time having the kind of graphical capability it did. But I've been biased about the 7800 versus the rest of the 8bit lines. As far as the ST having the midi ports and all; the AMY could've been the highlight of the Atari product line out shining whatever Amiga had to offer. But to be honest man... That could've, should've, would've scenario is all too frequent in the Atari community with the Tramiels getting a lot of "flac" in the end. I'd rather keep it focused on the new stuff for today; you know that positive energy thing, know what I mean? lol
  17. Hi... I've always been curious about the "AMY" sound chip and how it works; particularly how it may sound so tonight I did a couple of hours of research on it just browsing around online and made pdf files out of every website that mention the AMY chip or that's closely related. Found out that the tech comes from or is inspired by, based on, or influenced by a music synthesizer called the "Hall Alles (Alice) Synthesizer" created by "Bell Labs".. More details can be found on the pdf and other files I've been collecting/downloading where as I haven't read through all of them yet. It would be nice to see this chip on an fpga fully functioning or greatly improved upon. I hope all of this helps out for what it's worth. Below are a couple of YouTube featuring the "Alles Synthesizer" demonstrated. Now that doesn't mean that the AMY chip will sound similar where as there's probably a lot of added features on the Alles. It does however give an idea of possible sound range of some sort the AMY might can do minus the effects and what-have-you... The Alles was a 16bit hardware made public around 1977 (see YouTube) thus could be affordably made into a chip by 82/83; in AMY's case, around $8 a chip. Whatever the case, the Alles by Bell Labs is the mojo behind the inspired tech for the AMY sound processor. What would be interesting is finding the spec sheets on the Alles synthesizer... You find that and you'll get a logistic of what the design philosophy for the AMY was about by comparing the two techs. Additive_synthesis.pdf Alles1.pdf amy.zip AMY_1_spec_confidential_binder_ver_2.pdf amy_chip_xe.zip AMY_study.rar amy1.pdf amychip.zip amy-netlist.zip Atari_Sierra.pdf Bell_Labs_Digital_Synthesizer.pdf Fast_Fourier_transform.pdf historyFinal.pdf PDP-11.pdf US4201105.pdf
  18. It was such a new thing back then... Keep in mind that the NES was top dog for well over a decade so any graphics that was better than the 8bit stuff was well welcomed in my book. Those early days were pretty exciting with the, then, new 3D stuff that was surfacing. I definitely spent my college days renting the latest new thing and playing the crap out of it wishing I'd had all of this good gaming during the NES days. Looking back today, I look at good 3D games that I've played in the PS1 and 3DO and view them fondly... They look like crap compared to today's graphics, but considering the technical limitations of those old consoles like the N64, the Saturn, the Atari Jaguar, there were a lot of gems that don't look or play that bad. I actually kind of miss the nostalgic times in a way, but it only serves an appreciation for the new tech that this new generation will never fully know.
  19. Here's another related YouTube... The computer was called "CSIRAC".
  20. When I first heard about Tim Follin's 1bit music composed on the spectrum I was in awe into what he was able to pull off with just 1bit of music using a serious of 1bit clicks from the computer's native speaker and turning those clicks into synthesize music. Well here's an article that talks about an Austrian company called "Alan Turing's Lab" that did something very similar in the early 1950s with a computer hooked to a speaker using a serious click noises to generate musical notes. Check out link... ----> https://www.theverge.com/2016/9/26/13058638/listen-to-first-ever-computer-generated-music https://youtu.be/yHp6nqazDa8
  21. Agreed... I was stuck between the lower right and the upper left, but the the upper left looks a lot more pleasing to the eyes. The upper right looks like a great version for the spectrum computer.
  22. Well I've always been a big dreamer... I use to wonder why the Jag couldn't pull stuff that the PS1 or the Sega Saturn would do having conversations in forums here and in others about. The Jag just wasn't built to do all of the things I would see being pulled off on those systems that would come after the Jag release; thus begin my quest to find ways draw strength out of Jag based on what info I get not only here, but in documents I grab here and there with programming being my weakest point. The Jag can't do what it wasn't designed to do thus there where the phrase "fundamental shift" comes from; a "rethinking" of how to pull off what the Jag wasn't designed to do. The Blitter is "blisteringly fast" in the words of a reliable Jag programmer... Just the fact that you were able to pull off such a high resolution using blitter only confirm what I've always known. High res is a goal of mind, but 1536x200 is waaay up there! That's like a panoramic view of things isn't it? My first thought to classic arcade racing game is "TX-1" that used three monitors and was a blast to play at the arcade as a kid. I think this game would be a good port over.
  23. Talking about this really is a throw back... My biggest thing for the Jag was getting the pseudo 3D or the 2.5D stuff to work just good as real 3D engine with polygons and everything while removing the limitations of a polygon count out of the equation. Voxels does that well, but it was a height map based scheme and had it's limitations based on a height map taking a lot of ram space. Not to get too deep off into the 3D discussion in this topic forum, but to simply touch on something that I think is fundamental concerning the Jags 2D capabilities in relations to not only the Neo Geo, but other sprite based console before it such as the Atari 7800 that sported the "MARIA" that uses the display list to produce it's graphics very similar to the Jags object processor works (apples and oranges like you said, but there are similarities). I think in any case, any real progress for the kind of cutting edge stuff we all would like to see on the Atari Jaguar will probably hinge on a fundamental shift in thinking concerning what worked really well with the 2D stuff and getting the 3D stuff to conform to the proven criteria of the processes of fast 2D application to mimic real 3D, or find a smarter way for polys to be distributed to screen while removing the poly count out of the equation if possible; at least that was my dream for the Atari Jaguar; still is. lol This topic is about porting Neo Geo stuff to the Jaguar, but back in the day I use to look at the Neo Geo to compare its strengths to the Jaguar strengths so in essence, this topic bought back a lot of memories thus is worth mentioning. Well... I still think it would be interesting to see the old Skunk do more than just flash old cart games to the system. Also there's still a lot people who still have Skunks so I do think it's going to fade into the night easy. I'll certainly be getting me an SD cartridge for the Jag as any enthusiast would, but I got a Skunk too and although I sold my first Skunk, I certainly won't be selling my 3rd gen Skunk any time soon if ever.
  24. Hey kskunk... I'm philipj here, but I was "ace" at JS2. The Neo Geo was a Jamma arcade board where the cartridge was probably designed for fast access to cartridge content. Aside from just porting Neo Geo games to the Jaguar, before then, I would often wonder how fast a Neo Geo system could access a info off of a cartridge versus the way the Atari Jaguar speed of access to cartridge data especially considering the fact that the NG didn't have nearly as much ram to work with thus it was a sprite based system with zoom features (aka Art of Fighting & Samurai Showdown) built in its hardware predating SNES mode 7 (affine transform like features). That fast access to cartridge seems to thrive with the Neo Geo versus the Jaguar cartridge thus if the Jag had faster access to cart data, it certainly would make up to some lagging aspects that certainly plagued the Jag system. Not to go off topic here, but often I'd would wonder why people never really took advantage or used the USB ports on the "Skunkboards" to come up with something that was more custom to plugging a USB stick in the Skunk and run something custom and unique even in demo(ing) something like a port of "Area 51" or any of the Cojag arcade stuff just to demonstrate what's possible. I don't quite know how fast access is for the Skunkboard, but it certainly opened up a lot of ideas for what could be done such as a better 3D game engine optimized toward the use of the Skunk or a customized cart for faster access to data. I remember the mention of extra ram on a cartridge in order to keep the 68000 off of the bus. lol Great to here from you Kskunk.
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