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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:17 pm 
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I collected a few animated gifs here. If I missed anything, let me know.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Nice collection.

Bucky O'Hare also has some nice effects.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Good idea! From the top of my head, I can think of the cutscenes in Moon Crystal. I also want to say the fog in Faxanadu, which despite being a primitive trick, reasonably succeeded in simulating a translucent layer.

I also want to second Bucky O'Hare, that game is packed with interesting effects:

https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=4m22s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=5m38s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=7m22s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=10m28s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=14m3s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=24m23s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m7s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m29s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m49s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=36m25s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=42m21s
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=43m1s


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:36 pm 
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The gallery is hard to play on my computer because it tries to animate all of them at once, causing massive frame skipping. I looked for a slideshow mode button so that only one animation in the gallery could be animating at a time, so that the CPU can give each its full attention, but couldn't find one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:38 pm 
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tepples wrote:
The gallery is hard to play on my computer because it tries to animate all of them at once, causing massive frame skipping. I looked for a slideshow mode button so that only one animation in the gallery could be animating at a time, so that the CPU can give each its full attention, but couldn't find one.

Right click and "open image in new tab"?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:56 pm 
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When I tried that, it was as if all the images kept animating at once in the hidden tab. But then I also had a Kickstarter tab open, and I ended up discovering that Kickstarter's background scripts are also a CPU hog. I'll try it again.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:59 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
I also want to second Bucky O'Hare, that game is packed with interesting effects:


Wow. Those effects are brilliant. I'll try to capture some of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Some of those Bucky O'Hare effects are blowing my mind. I'm trying to wrap my brain around how some were done. But the tired-of-tech part of my brain says to just enjoy them :) Very impressive.

There's a similar effect in Mega Man 2 during the intro, specifically to give the impression of the camera panning up a really tall building: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuJ8Qr-3_zg&t=30s (for those wondering: the windows and ledges on the left side of the building are moving sprites; everything else is the normal background)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:44 pm 
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tepples wrote:
When I tried that, it was as if all the images kept animating at once in the hidden tab.

Close the hidden tab, watch the one gif you selected, then right click the tab bar and select "reopen closed tab" to see the list again. Not perfect, but also not a terrible waste of time for something you'll not be doing all the time.

If I could suggest an improvement, it would be to get into the technical aspect of these tricks, maybe even include some visual aids so that even those who aren't familiar with the system's architecture can appreciate the effort put into creating those effects. That'd be a significant amount of work, but maybe we can collaborate.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:05 pm 
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Isn't this all either swapping out a few tiles to make it look like there's another background layer or changing scroll registers per scanline, coupled with sprites to hide horizontal splits on a few of these? Of course, I say this as if it were easy, and I know this is more difficult on the NES than the SNES or most anything else after it. The main thing that seems to limit what new thing you can show off is the lack of vram, and although some games like Battletoads have ram for tile data, I heard there's not enough time to update a substantial part of it outside the characters so you won't see anything like psychopathicteen's bullet demo. Elite is definitely impressive though (I'm assuming graphics are split into two bitplanes? I don't know how that much is being updated) and I don't know how Noah's Ark is doing the grayscale water effect, as I heard you can't swap colors midscreen on the NES. Recca is impressive on the CPU side for pushing that much crap.


Last edited by Espozo on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:14 pm 
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I'll try to break down some of the effects in Bucky O'Hare:

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=4m22s

Mid-screen horizontal scroll changes, the tail fins are sprites so that there's an overlap between layers.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=5m38s

Horizontal scroll changes to make the water surface scroll faster, ice crystals made of sprites follow along and help with the illusion of a superimposed layer.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=7m22s

I don't quite remember how they handled the vertical scroll changes, but the fact that the ice block wobbles so little has me believe that they didn't know how to fully control the fine Y scroll, so they might have used only $2006, instead of mixing $2006 and $2005 writes to gain full control over the scroll.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=10m28s

Plain old horizontal scroll changes, it seems.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=14m3s

The background patterns are bankswitched to various rotations to cancel out the scrolling of the foreground, so it appears to scroll independently.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=24m23s

Same thing, but restricted to windows.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m7s

The background is redrawn to move the pistons, but since each piston is composed primarily of vertical lines, only the part with spikes has to be redrawn, so the updates are actually quite small.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m29s

The name tables are blanked and little squares showing parts of the background are moved in software, while sprites are placed around each square to round them off and make them move smoothly.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=34m49s

I haven't checked, but there are several ways to mask sprites like that. I assume they're either disabling sprite rendering or using high priority sprites hidden behind the background.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=36m25s

My favorite. Notice how the right side is very detailed, but the left side is just repetitive horizontal patterns. Scrolling is used to move the right part, while only the edges of the left part are redrawn to negate the scrolling. The spikes are sprites. The far background is also very repetitive, it's only 8 pixels wide, but since the platforms move 4 pixels at a time or the movement would look too rough, they bankswitch the background to a version that's offset by 4 pixels, so that it looks stationary even when the platforms move.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=42m21s

This is very similar to an effect in Battletoads. Only the ends of the snake are updated in the name tables as it moves, while the illusion of movement is created by bankswitching the patterns of the body.

Quote:
https://youtu.be/dWHPNnrTmKs?t=43m1s

The huge beams are drawn on the background.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
Isn't this all either swapping out a few tiles to make it look like there's another background layer or changing scroll registers per scanline, coupled with sprites to hide horizontal splits on a few of these?

Mostly yes, but it does make games stand out from the rest of the library.

Quote:
I don't know how Noah's Ark is doing the grayscale water effect, as I heard you can't swap colors midscreen on the NES.

You can change the palette mid frame, but it's a pain in the ass and has several catches. Noah's Ark is simply turning on the monochrome bit along with the blue emphasis bit though, which isn't tricky at all. You just need a timer to know *when* to make this change.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:52 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
Mostly yes, but it does make games stand out from the rest of the library.

True. I like the look of horizontal splits a lot more, but I think it looks best when both are combined. It would be really cool to see a more elaborate version of swapping tiles to make it look like there's another tilemap in the background. Most of the time, it's just some ugly 16x16 pattern. Of course, this would make it impossible to use ram for the graphics and the cartridge would have to be that much more complex along with taking more memory. this also could only realistically work if the screen was moving along one axis, but most NES games do already. The 16x16 palette area is also a huge problem, but if you were to pull off something crazy like this, it's probably expected you'd use the MMC5.

tokumaru wrote:
along with the blue emphasis bit though

It looks straight-up gray to me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Cool collection, thanks for sharing!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
It looks straight-up gray to me.

It's blue. Check the RGB values.


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