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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:14 pm 
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What about the 7 emphasis states, Firebrandx?


I second that. I would like to see how the palette looks under the various color emphasis states. Especially the 'all bits set' state (darker colors).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:49 pm 
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I think it would be a good idea to document exactly what capture device was used (and preferably other steps taken, like what software was used for the gaussian blur, and the settings). We may never find the one true NES palette, but it could still be interesting to have a collection of palettes from a variety of different devices.

As for naming the colors, I have also thought that it could be a nice thing to have. E.g. in quick test ROMs it would be nice to be able to say that you want some sort of a blue instead of specifying the exact color number. Even better if we can standardize on the naming.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:46 pm 
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I've started on the names.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:50 pm 
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Yeah, I'd expect there are a lot of things that could happen to the signal at each stage. Amplifier nonlinearity, clipping, intentional or unintentional filter effects, quantization, etc. Despite this, I think it's very much worthwhile to have an empirically measured "NES palette". It's always good to measure the real world case as well as you can.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:30 am 
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I'm thinking about trying again with a new capture device. While most of the colors loo spot-on when I try them in an emulator, some others don't look right. For example the intro in Faxanadu when he's walking toward the world tree. The colors there don't strike me as being how it should be.

At any rate, which device would you guys suggest? I know for HD recordings, the debate seems to be between Avermedia and Elgato.

Also can you guys explain to me about the color emphasis and how I'd go about capturing that? I thought there was just the basic color palette and that's it. But if you're saying there's more to it, then I'd need a new test rom that gives me access to testing those colors. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:56 am 
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What ROM are you using for your tests? If there's source code it can probably be easily modified to do emphasis too.

I actually was writing a palette test ROM today, which lets you play with and observe how emphasis works: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13264

Basically emphasis lets the NES "emphasize" red, green, blue, or any combination of the three. This means there are 8 different possible variations of the palette, i.e. the 64 entries becomes 512.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:50 am 
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Family BASIC V3 allows emphasis bits to be set with the new command FILTER (page 107-108 in the V3 manual) and Nintendo also gave all emphasis combinations a name there:
no color = 000
red = 001
green = 010
yellow = 011
blue = 100
magenta = 101
sky-blue = 110
white = 111

There's no command for greyscale mode but that can easily be achieved by poking $2001.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:58 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
What ROM are you using for your tests? If there's source code it can probably be easily modified to do emphasis too.



It was a ROM somebody on these forums sent me a link to that they had made when I originally requested a palette test ROM.

However, if you've already got one you've been working on, maybe I could just use that one? It would need to work in the EverDrive N8 on real hardware (NTSC).

At any rate, I looked into possibly the Avermedia brand of capture devices, and it looks like I'd need to also get their composite converter cable as their devices don't readily accept composite input.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:01 pm 
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I made a suitable test ROM for you: here

This test ROM lets you create a full screen of any color, and you can toggle all the emphasis bits. Should run on NTSC/PAL/whatever, it's very simple, no special hardware tricks.

Don't worry about the greyscale toggle, all that does is force all colors to use column 0 of the palette, it doesn't produce any new colors.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Firebrandx wrote:
it looks like I'd need to also get their composite converter cable as their devices don't readily accept composite input.

Doesn't adding more conversion steps to the process increase the chances of the colors being modified along the way?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:01 pm 
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I've got a question:

I own two TVs of exactly the same brand. I have access to the hidden system menu where I can adjust all possible values.
And guess what: Setting the same values in both TVs does not produce the same output.

So, what makes you think that creating an "accurate" NES palette is a thing that would even be possible in theory when not even two identical TVs with exactly identical values produce even slightly the same output?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:33 pm 
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Good point, but we still need a standard to work with, even if reality may vary. Its useful as a development tool to have a set of agreed upon hues, IMHO.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:56 pm 
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dougeff wrote:
Good point, but we still need a standard to work with, even if reality may vary. Its useful as a development tool to have a set of agreed upon hues, IMHO.

Why? Every TV is different. So, why should the colors that one person captured with the random TV that he happened to own be somehow declared more standard than any other TV? If the NES doesn't provide a standard in the first place, why should developers create one if it's proven that there are no objective values since even two "identical" TVs create a different output?

If you really need a reference point, don't try to come up with a definite palette. Instead, just use other games as reference.
You want to use the color red? Take the color from Mario's pants in "Super Mario Bros."
Skin color? Mario in SMB3.
And so on.

Besides, I always found the colors in FCE Ultra quite decent.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:30 pm 
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There is an NTSC standard for translating composite waveforms into RGB intensities, but I don't think TVs actually follow it. Instead they add quirks that in the manufacturer's opinion enhance the subjective appearance of live-action scenes that the manufacturer thinks viewers are most likely to watch, such as "yellow boost" in Japanese TVs.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:32 am 
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DRW wrote:
So, what makes you think that creating an "accurate" NES palette is a thing that would even be possible in theory when not even two identical TVs with exactly identical values produce even slightly the same output?


Every one you can measure and survey gets you a better average. With enough samples, you can get a really good idea of where the "ideal" version should lie, and just how much variation there is between sets. This is all good information; just because there isnt "one true palette" doesn't mean we can't measure and make use of the characteristics of real world palettes.


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