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Checkerboard flickering shenanigans
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9674
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Author:  Bregalad [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Someone should do a script that automatically deletes any thread or post with the word "flicker" in it.

PS : And no, I was not completely serious, but still...

Author:  Drag [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

You guys seriously need to chill out.

Author:  ccovell [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

mikejmoffitt wrote:
I was under the impression that all that is shifted is the color sub-carrier's position. This is to even out the artifacts over time.

Chris Covell's I want my RGB page describes this fairly decently on the screenshots page, and has this image to demonstrate:

Image


I should add that I wrote right above it:
Quote:
Here's a theoretical example:


ie: it's not the NES specifically, but systems that vary their colourburst to get rid of artifacts.

Author:  Sik [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Dwedit wrote:
Oh god... Flickering again? We've been through this 100 times already. Flicker on LCD = good, flicker on anything else = bad.

You mean the same LCDs that deinterlace every signal no matter what and completely destroy the flicker illusion? (and in fact that horizontal lines flickering idea would be completely broken on such a TV because it'll look like thick horizontal lines instead of alternating patterns)

In the end the only thing that seems to work properly is to avoid faking colors altogether and try to make graphics look good exclusively with solid colors, but that starts getting annoying when the amount of colors is so small.

Also any technique is going to look bad no matter what when the two colors in the mix are too different (like the green and black in those TMNT pics), even when there aren't any signal noise artifacts at all. It's just too noticeable to be usable.

Author:  koitsu [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Sik wrote:
In the end the only thing that seems to work properly is to avoid faking colors altogether and try to make graphics look good exclusively with solid colors, but that starts getting annoying when the amount of colors is so small.

You work with what you got, and what you've got is a console developed during the early-to-mid-80s and RTM mid-to-late 80s, using technology that was available at the time. I dunno what else there is to say; that's the reality of the situation. If you absolutely need/want more colours to accomplish the visual style you want, I would recommend going the SNES/SFC route. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to develop on the that platform anyway.

Author:  thefox [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

koitsu wrote:
Sik wrote:
In the end the only thing that seems to work properly is to avoid faking colors altogether and try to make graphics look good exclusively with solid colors, but that starts getting annoying when the amount of colors is so small.

You work with what you got, and what you've got is a console developed during the early-to-mid-80s and RTM mid-to-late 80s, using technology that was available at the time. I dunno what else there is to say; that's the reality of the situation. If you absolutely need/want more colours to accomplish the visual style you want, I would recommend going the SNES/SFC route. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to develop on the that platform anyway.

Why not take the next step and develop on PC instead? Now THAT'S when the developing really becomes easier. Point being, part of the charm is trying to push the envelope.

Personally I think there's a time and place for flickery type effects. I probably wouldn't use them in games (unless I can verify that it looks OK across the board), but I think it's fine to use them in demos.

Author:  Macbee [ Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Sik wrote:
Dwedit wrote:
Also any technique is going to look bad no matter what when the two colors in the mix are too different (like the green and black in those TMNT pics), even when there aren't any signal noise artifacts at all. It's just too noticeable to be usable.


These images are there only as a visual reference of different flickering techniques. I've never said they make good use of colors - because I know they don't. :)
TMNT was one of the few conversions I've made using both checkerboard and horizontal lines flickering - so I tought it could be interesting to show it here (despite color palettes).

But I'll repeat a sentence from my TMNT post:
Diagonal artifacts seems to be present all the time when using Composite cables, no matter how similar flickered colors are..
Samples of checkboarded patterns made of similar colors (+NTSC/Composite filter on Nestopia):
Image Image Image Image
The diagonal "rainbow patterns" are still there...

Author:  koitsu [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

thefox wrote:
Why not take the next step and develop on PC instead? Now THAT'S when the developing really becomes easier. ...

...until you have to deal with graphics APIs and underlying SDKs with crappy documentation, with a Web filled with completely wrong information. There's a reason I stopped doing anything with graphics/video circa 1997. Kudos to anyone who toughs it out, but god the situation is abysmal today.

Author:  Sik [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Macbee wrote:
The diagonal "rainbow patterns" are still there...

Not anywhere even remotely as noticeable though. Could be even considered passable, the Blanka pic seems to be the only one where it's sorta easy to notice (the Sega logo happens to go along the diagonals ^_^') and even then the impact is pretty light.

Author:  Macbee [ Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Sik wrote:
Macbee wrote:
The diagonal "rainbow patterns" are still there...

Not anywhere even remotely as noticeable though. Could be even considered passable, the Blanka pic seems to be the only one where it's sorta easy to notice (the Sega logo happens to go along the diagonals ^_^') and even then the impact is pretty light.


Yep, I agree with you. These patterns are discrete and "forgivable" to me as well.
I just tried to illustrate they'll always be there if checkerboard is used.

Don't get me wrong: I'm a big fan of flickering - no matter how it's done. :)
Thanks (again!) to thefox for his amazing "Nes Image Converter" tool. I'm still addicted to this software 1+ year after I've downloaded it.

Author:  TmEE [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

On SMS and MD you get straight vertical rainbowing not diagonal. There is no colorburst shifting happening of any kind on them.

Author:  mikejmoffitt [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

TmEE wrote:
On SMS and MD you get straight vertical rainbowing not diagonal. There is no colorburst shifting happening of any kind on them.

Advantageously straight vertical lines don't look fuzzy?scratchy as a result, though (Mario flagpole I am looking at you!)

Author:  Drag [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Macbee wrote:
1) Checkerboard patterns -
Pros: It's the ultimate flicker technique to make good looking images. Results are usually impressive.
Cons: Diagonal artifacts seems to be present all the time when using Composite cables, no matter how similar flickered colors are.

2) Horizontal lines patterns -
Pros: It's the only flicker technique that doesn't seem to create diagonal artifacts when using Composite cables.
Cons: End results doesn't look as good as checkerboard flickered images (shakiness is way more evident).


What happens when you use a horizontally-stretched checkerboard pattern?

For instance, two columns for every row, or three columns for every row:

Code:
xx  xx
  xx  xx
xx  xx


xxx   xxx
   xxx   xxx
xxx   xxx


This seems like it'd be a good compromise between the two methods.

Author:  tepples [ Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Videomation uses a stretched-checkerboard pattern for six of the ten color choices.

Author:  mikejmoffitt [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Checkerboard flickering shenanigans

Drag wrote:
Macbee wrote:
1) Checkerboard patterns -
Pros: It's the ultimate flicker technique to make good looking images. Results are usually impressive.
Cons: Diagonal artifacts seems to be present all the time when using Composite cables, no matter how similar flickered colors are.

2) Horizontal lines patterns -
Pros: It's the only flicker technique that doesn't seem to create diagonal artifacts when using Composite cables.
Cons: End results doesn't look as good as checkerboard flickered images (shakiness is way more evident).


What happens when you use a horizontally-stretched checkerboard pattern?

For instance, two columns for every row, or three columns for every row:

Code:
xx  xx
  xx  xx
xx  xx


xxx   xxx
   xxx   xxx
xxx   xxx


This seems like it'd be a good compromise between the two methods.


Unfortunately, this ends up looking less like blended colors and more like a stretched checkerboard at that point.

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