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Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=15118
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Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

I've grown an interest in anaglyph gaming and entertain the idea that it could be used to great effect, even/especially on the NES.

By pressing select in Rad Racer, you get "3d" or anaglyph separation.

I ordered a sample batch of 10 anaglyph glasses (cyanish blue/red) to try it out. However, they don't work well with the anaglyphs in the game, for some reason.

Debunked theories so far:
-Glasses are too weak. Nope. I can stack all ten on my nose and still see the separation more than the depth effect.

Other theories:
-The anaglyph style works in the original, but they didn't test the palette in PAL. The clouds are more blue than cyan according to my eyes.
-It works less well on modern tvs. Refresh rates, maybe? Maybe older sets are more inert when shifting from light to dark. It seems to my eyes the way rad racer does anaglyph is by strobing the two versions in flip flop fashion
-because of the left/right strobing, PAL should be worse b/c 50hz instead of 60.
-It never worked that well to start with? For one thing, stuff is suspicously far apart.
-A combination of some of the factors above?

Edit: made sure and confirmed strobing in emulation. 60hz on a laptop screen doesn't look much better.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Anaglyph glasses vary in colour. If they don't match the colours they're trying to filter, they don't work as well. I think most are red and cyan, but red and blue isn't uncommon (as well as other colours). Rad Racer appears to be more on the blue side of things.

TV colours are highly variable already, and PAL systems will have different colour tendencies too. Even if you had the original glasses intended, the probability of getting a good colour match seems low to me.

If you look at the image through each eye of your glasses, you should only see one "image" through each eye. If you can see part of the other half through one or both of the eyes, the colour is not matching well.

Colourblindness can be a problem here as well. Not everybody is capable of perceiving it properly even if the glasses are properly matched.

On an emulator you might solve this problem by devising a colour palette just for Rad Racer that is designed to match your particular glasses and monitor.

WheelInventor wrote:
-It works less well on modern tvs. Refresh rates, maybe? Maybe older sets are more inert when shifting from light to dark. It seems to my eyes the way rad racer does anaglyph is by strobing the two versions in flip flop fashion

I don't think this makes a difference as long as you've got an emulator at a stable framerate, displaying every frame. (Separation in time isn't required for this effect to work properly. The two images are ideally supposed to be presented simultaneously, just that's impossible for the system.)

WheelInventor wrote:
-It never worked that well to start with? For one thing, stuff is suspicously far apart.

Anaglyph is one of the worst forms of 3D but it does work when correctly calibrated. Colours always look awful through it, but it can produce a good sense of 3D when the two fields are properly separated by colour.

The Sega Master System had some great 3D glasses that were synched with the TV signal and darkened each on alternate frames. You get the same 30hz flicker problem, but the colour was perfectly fine. (Also it was a ton more expensive than anaglyph glasses; I only ever got to try it in the store but I loved it.)

Author:  tepples [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

rainwarrior wrote:
Separation in time isn't required for this effect to work properly. The two images are ideally supposed to be presented simultaneously, just that's impossible for the system.

If the red and blue images are scanline interleaved, they can be displayed simultaneously. That's possible for backgrounds on the NES, and it'd work somewhat like my RGB121 demo (except it'd be RGB202). It'd just be far more complex than I think Squaresoft was willing to deal with at the time. And for sprites, it would be impossible.

Quote:
The Sega Master System had some great 3D glasses that were synched with the TV signal and darkened each on alternate frames. You get the same 30hz flicker problem, but the colour was perfectly fine.

You're referring to SegaScope, correct? The Famicom had the same thing, as do some modern HDTVs that support alternate-frame 3D. That's why Rad Racer has a full-color 3D mode for the Famicom's goggles in addition to the anaglyph mode. They just never came out for the NES.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

tepples wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
Separation in time isn't required for this effect to work properly. The two images are ideally supposed to be presented simultaneously, just that's impossible for the system.

If the red and blue images are scanline interleaved, they can be displayed simultaneously.

A lot of modern TVs will do this job for you. ;P In this one case it's actually an improvement over the 30hz flicker.

Quote:
The Famicom had the same thing, as do some modern HDTVs that support alternate-frame 3D. That's why Rad Racer has a full-color 3D mode for the Famicom's goggles in addition to the anaglyph mode. They just never came out for the NES.

How do you enable that? Is that on the FDS version or something?

Edit: ah, I see it's just the only 3D mode for the "Highway Star" Famicom version. (Maybe there wasn't an FDS version, I may have been remembering incorrectly a detail about why it might have had uncompressed nametables or something.)

Author:  rainwarrior [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

rainwarrior wrote:
On an emulator you might solve this problem by devising a colour palette just for Rad Racer that is designed to match your particular glasses and monitor.

I have a pair of red-cyan glasses in my desk, and while the "red" eye came up clean, the "cyan" eye was showing a lot of bleed from the red image.

I looked at the palette being used in 3D anaglyph mode, and it seemed to be shifting everything to the $X5/$X6 columns. I simply set the green and blue to 0 in the RGB triples for those columns, and after doing that my cyan glasses can filter them quite well.

So... try this palette with an emulator to see if it helps. (Cyan left eye, red right eye.)

Attachments:
File comment: Rad Racer 3D anaglyph palette adjustment for red-cyan glasses.
rad.pal [192 Bytes]
Downloaded 60 times

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

That was a lot better, thanks!

So basically, it would be hard to make something that could be enjoyed 'widely' unless you can control what specs people are using, at least in the physical realm?


I pasted this anaglyphed comic in lieu of learning how to draw good anaglyphics tonight into Nesst to find what *that* palette thinks is good for the ones i have. I found that i got the best sense of depth out of the $1x brightness range, while $0x was a tad intrusive and $2x naturally more transparent, although i suspect that sweet spot can differ too; depending on the intensity of individual filters. In b/w comic style, you would maybe want to use a mix since palettes are freed up.
Image

Will see what those colours look like on hardware tomorrow, it's past bedtime here.

Author:  Hamtaro126 [ Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

rainwarrior wrote:
How do you enable that? Is that on the FDS version or something?


Sort of, There's a BIG connection between "Tobidase Daisakusen (FDS)/3-D Battles of World Runner (NES)/Jumpin' Jack - Tobidase Daisakusen Part 2 (FC, Japan-Only Sequel)" and "Highway Star(FC)/Rad Racer(NES)", These games ALL use the same engine

rainwarrior wrote:
I see it's just the only 3D mode for the "Highway Star" Famicom version. (Maybe there wasn't an FDS version, I may have been remembering incorrectly a detail about why it might have had uncompressed nametables or something.)


Rad Racer came AFTER 3-D Battles of World Runner, Therefore a Japanese version on disk was possibly planned, but here is a possible theory why it did not happen:

Nintendo may have let them know about the rampant piracy of disks and stuff they overlooked when the disk games were made. Stuff from Zelda to Doki Doki Panic, and Castlevania to Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, were pirated to illegally made disks,

That and Capcom and Nintendo started also to switch to UNROM, starting with Ghosts 'n' Goblins

Author:  rainwarrior [ Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Yeah, I was misremembering this thing Bregalad told me a long time ago: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?p=89638#p89638

Author:  Dwedit [ Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Hamtaro126 wrote:
Sort of, There's a BIG connection between "Tobidase Daisakusen (FDS)/3-D Battles of World Runner (NES)/Jumpin' Jack - Tobidase Daisakusen Part 2 (FC, Japan-Only Sequel)" and "Highway Star(FC)/Rad Racer(NES)", These games ALL use the same engine


If you want an extreme example of games using the same engine, look at WayForward's games on the Game Boy Color. "Wendy - Every Witch Way" and "Sabrina - The Animated Series - Spooked!" have nearly identical content in their fixed banks. Same routines in the same addresses.

Author:  Hamtaro126 [ Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Dwedit wrote:
If you want an extreme example of games using the same engine, look at WayForward's games on the Game Boy Color. "Wendy - Every Witch Way" and "Sabrina - The Animated Series - Spooked!" have nearly identical content in their fixed banks. Same routines in the same addresses.


And these games are most likely based off "Shantae", so that makes three,

Not to mention "Yo Noid!/Masked Ninja Hanamaru" is based off the same engine used for "Wagyan Land" and "Wagyan Land 2"

(Someone should also possibly split this conversation a bit, so we do not get Off-Topic.)

Author:  Bregalad [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

I encountered the same problem a while ago when trying to use glasses to play Rad Racer and 3D World Runner in 3d. Relevant thread.
I guess it just depend on the palette.

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Thus, a homebrew should include a calibration screen where you can pick what pink/red/terracotta and /blue/cyan/green and possibly dark/medium/light works best for your filter specs + tv setup.

I also encountered a few other problems while trying to mimic the b/w comix style.

While this (see below) gives plenty of 3d on my laptop screen, it works conciderably worse on RF due to artifact colours and smudge. I think the key here is broader strokes as a 1st step, possibly more separation secondly. If the effect is a little too much on computer screens, it is hopefully more clear on tv. With strobing, there would be more options.

Image
*toon based on IG artist @tittybats' stabby alley cat variant.

Author:  tokumaru [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Yeah, that looks too subtle to survive the composite video encoding.

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Will try something like this on RF when i get back home

Author:  Quietust [ Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rad racer's anaglyph - is it broken?

Both Rad Racer and World Runner appear to expect backwards glasses - with my pair of (apparently) standard 3D glasses (left eye red, right eye blue, which can successfully view all of the images on the relevant Wikipedia page), "distant" objects appear to pop out of the screen while "close-up" objects appear behind the screen.

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