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New Aquarius Bitmap Graphics Demonstration


chjmartin2
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Work more on this?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you want to see more images, a converter or both?

    • More Images - NOW.
    • A Converter! I am now inspired!
      0
    • Both, please...
    • Nothing - These look like crap...
      0
    • Forget this - Bring Full Motion Video to the Aquarius
      0


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I'm glad you warned us that it was slow, so I wouldn't think something was wrong. Mine has been going for a couple hours, now. The anticipation is killing me. ;)

 

Wow... a couple of hours... What kind of rig are you running? It takes about an hour for my PC. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to speed up the process. One thing I thought of was to premix all of the mix characters using just the luminosity values, then grouping them into some type of category, then I could categorize my target square and only compare it to the categorized squares. This is going to be critical for my next program and so I may practice on optimizing my current. First, I have to fix a bug because the bloxel option doesn't work (I hope you didn't pick bloxel only on your first image!) and I really want to add a flicker control setting, something like Flicker Reduction (None, Medium, High) it would reduce the colors, but would also really reduce the flicker on some images.

 

You can tell it is working because it will fill in the blocks as it figures them out one-by-one. First step is color reduction and dither, second is to determine the optimal mix colors for each 8x8 block, third is to determine the optimal mix characters for each 8x8 block. 40x24 blocks * 65,536 potential palettes * 65,536 potential blocks - or in other words, a lot of calculations.

 

My next program will flicker THREE frames! 4096 absolute colors, 8 colors per block and a whopping 134 million characters - phew - better optimize the converter before I try that, right?

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I'm glad you warned us that it was slow, so I wouldn't think something was wrong. Mine has been going for a couple hours, now. The anticipation is killing me. ;)

 

Wow... a couple of hours... What kind of rig are you running? It takes about an hour for my PC.

My next program will flicker THREE frames! 4096 absolute colors, 8 colors per block and a whopping 134 million characters - phew - better optimize the converter before I try that, right?

 

In fact, it is still going! I didn't use bloxels, but I did use dither; I don't know if that matters for time.

 

I have a 2.2GHz AMD running 64bit W7 with 3gb ram. Not great, but not a clunker. The problem is, I have many things running at all times, including a HD DVR.

 

If I bump up the converter's priority, it speeds up noticeably, but then my web surfing suffers. That's not acceptable. ;)

 

Optimizations would be very welcome, but beggars can't be choosers. Your goals for a new version sound great!

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Did I get a corrupted copy of fredblox.bin from your last batch? My fred pic shows a lot of British Pound symbols.

 

 

This may be anticlimactic now, but my first conversion is the scary face man from the Intellivision music video.

 

I thought it only fitting that he jump over between Mattel platforms.

INTVface.bin

Edited by Jay Silverheels
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Did I get a corrupted copy of fredblox.bin from your last batch? My fred pic shows a lot of British Pound symbols.

 

 

This may be anticlimactic now, but my first conversion is the scary face man from the Intellivision music video.

 

I thought it only fitting that he jump over between Mattel platforms.

 

The fredblox was no good - I had a bug in the bloxel code. Intellivision man looks good! I think I have optimized the code and dramatically sped up the program - it is still slow, but, way way faster. Lemme get it together and post it.

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Here is the King's Quest III pic. It turned out pretty good, too. This new converter is great. I feel like we are losing only that which truly can't be squeezed out of the old Aquarius. The fact that you say another version with more colors is in the pipeline is amazing.

 

Looking at the KQIII pic, it made me wonder if a simple KQ type of game could be implemented using these tricks (slide show with minimal animation). Would there be enough programming cycles left to actually have some moderate sprite motion?

 

I also realized that making a screen editor that took the flicker effect into account, may be impractical, at least if it is an Aquarius based program. :(

 

Well, that doesn't change the fun your converter allows in the here and now.

 

Looking forward to the interim optimized version!

 

-Jason

KQ3Tree.bin

Edited by Jay Silverheels
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It is much faster, now. That certainly makes it more fun. Thanks!

 

Here are a couple interesting, if not great ones.

 

I converted 7800 Double Dragon and INTV Night Stalker.

 

If you have time during a revision, do you think you could add the option to set the border color? Not a big deal, just a little fluff. ;)

 

 

Back to converting...

 

-Jason

INTVNight.bin

7800DDragon.bin

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It is much faster, now. That certainly makes it more fun. Thanks!

 

Here are a couple interesting, if not great ones.

 

I converted 7800 Double Dragon and INTV Night Stalker.

 

If you have time during a revision, do you think you could add the option to set the border color? Not a big deal, just a little fluff. ;)

 

 

Back to converting...

 

-Jason

 

Cool that you can read the "MATIN" on the building!

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Okay, I've been doing more playing around.

 

I saw this Wikipedia article about color palettes of old computers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_8-bit_computer_hardware_palettes

 

It shows two source pictures that it uses to compare color capabilities of the different machines.

 

They are shown below.

 

RGB_24bits_palette_sample_image.jpgRGB_24bits_palette_color_test_chart.png

 

I tried running them through chjmartin2's new converter, with some interesting results.

 

I also attached some others.

 

BTW, I noticed Bloxel mode still lets some other characters slip into the mix.

7800DDragonTitle.bin

7800Commando.bin

PalletteBloxNoDith.bin

PalletteDitheredFull.bin

ParrotBloxNoDit.bin

ParrotFullnoDith.bin

Edited by Jay Silverheels
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BTW, I noticed Bloxel mode still lets some other characters slip into the mix.

 

 

I really enjoyed the Parrot... ugh... that is not going to be a fun bug to find... I tried writing my three screen flicker converter, and it is just taking way too long - I think the Aquarius could handle the output, but I can't write a converter that takes two days to make one image. I found some example code to do multi-threading on Freebasic, that may be the key to getting the thing to work. I am debating on whether I go down that road, or I just create a converter that is limited to one 8 color palette (our of 4096 colors) and the triple-character-set.

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I can understand why you're torn. On the one hand, it would be great to see the absolute most that can be extracted from the Aquarius character set and color palette. On the other hand, if it would take considerable effort to make the converter, and no one uses it, because it takes 2 days to process, then it would be mostly for naught.

 

Either way, whatever you come up with will be appreciated, and at least used by me. ;)

7800BallBlazergameFullNoDith.bin

Edited by Jay Silverheels
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