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Old 13 July 2011, 00:20   #1
Green Haze
 
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Lightbulb New Feature Request / Suggestion

Hi

I'm new here, so please forgive me if I have posted incorrectly, or if this has alredy been covered.

WinUAE has evolved so much when it comes to video modes, filtering and aspect ratio correction, but there's one feature that I think could really be improved: screen mode switching.

Let me elaborate:
Most Amiga games run at low res (320 x 200 or 320 x 256). The native resolution of a modern LCD monitor is considerabely higher. So how do you get that tiny little image to fill a modern HD monitor without it looking too blockey or pixellated? In order for WinUAE to achieve that authentic, smooth Amiga look, one can select Lores, in the Resolution drop-down list. To make the sharp edges of the pixels really met away, you can also change Line Mode from Double, to Normal and enable Filtered low resolution.

Combining all of that with some of the excellent filtering and scanline effects makes WinUAE's output far more look far more like a real Amiga (composite) monitor, than was possibe the early days of WinUAE. And thanks to the automatic scaling and aspect ratio correction, we can quickly and easily get the right size and sahpe image, without having to manually fiddle with those size and postion sliders.

But a problem arises when using games and apps that change resolutions. Some games use high res screens modes (640 x 200 or 640 x 256) in certain parts, and then low res in other parts.

For Example:
Alien Breed runs in a low res screen mode, but the intro screen is high res, and the Team 17 logo is high res, laced (something like 640 x 400 or 640 x 512).

Wouldn't it be great if WinUAE gave us options to choose separate Display settings for low res screens and for high res screens?

Imagine you run a game that boots to a 640 x 256 (OS) screeen and has high res loading screens, but gameplay is actually 320 x 256. Imagine if you could configure WinUAE to use Hires (normal) resolution when emulating a high res screen, but to change to Filtered Lores with Normal Line Mode when emulating a low res screen.

Then you would really get the best of both worlds.
The high res parts of the game (or app, or Workbench) would run with the appropriate settings for text to be clear and ligible. And the actual gamplay would be correctly rendered in Lowres, so as to keep is smooth and avoid sharp pixellated edges.

What I'm asking is:
Would it be possible to change the Way WinUAE deals with the Display options? Could you give us separate options for low res and high res screen modes? And could WinUAE then detect what mode is currently in use, and automatically apply the appropriate settings, as the screen mode of the emulated Amiga changes?

It would be great to be able to run a full HD (1920 x 1080) or 1680 x 1050 or some similar modern resolution Workbench — and then open a game that runs in normal high res, and then changes to low res — and have each of those screens all looking their best, with no compromises. Lores settings for low res screens and Hires settings for high res screens.

And what would really "put the cherry on the top" would be having separate filtering options for RTG screens. You would generally want some sort of filtering (be it transparent scanlines or overlays) for games and demos, but you definitely would not want any of than on your LCD-monitor-native (HD) resolution RTG Workbench screen.

So what do you think? Would this type of WinUAE development be possible? And, if so, would you consider doing it? Or is there a more elegant method to achive the end result of WinUAE treating (and filtering) different emulated resolutions (or screeen modes) in different ways?

Thanks,
Green Haze

Last edited by Green Haze; 18 July 2011 at 20:59. Reason: Corrections
 
Old 13 July 2011, 21:03   #2
Toni Wilen
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I guess you mean something more flexible than "resolution autoswitch" option?

This kind of configuration system can become quite (too) complex.
Another problem is that most configuration options will cause some glitches when switching it on the fly.

btw, RTG filter options will be implemented someday.
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Old 14 July 2011, 21:03   #3
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Oops

Well this is embarassing. I've gone and been a typical user.

The "Resolution autoswitch" feature you mentioned, already does exactly what I was asking for! (I'm not always this stupid, I promise.)

There is one issue, though:
When WinUAE detects a switch in the emulated Amiga's resolution, the screen goes black for a second or two, while it deals with the change. You can miss out on some of the action when this happens, which can be a little disruptive.

Is this short period of darkness really necessary? Would it be easy to eliminate it, and let the Amiga switch straight from one resolution to the other, without disabling the display for that second or two? Or is there some technical limitation, or reason why it has to be that way?

What about the possibility of shortening (or minimising) the delay between resolution switches?
If that moment while the Amiga's display is lost, didn't last as long, it might not be as disturbing.

Last edited by Green Haze; 14 July 2011 at 21:09. Reason: Corrections
 
Old 15 July 2011, 12:02   #4
Toni Wilen
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Switching glitch is technical issue which isn't easy to fix. It may also depend on used graphics mode, filters etc..
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Old 15 July 2011, 15:05   #5
Ed Cruse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
Switching glitch is technical issue which isn't easy to fix. It may also depend on used graphics mode, filters etc..
Isn't the blanking for one or two seconds caused by the monitor?

What I do is use the same resolution going to the monitor. RTG=1024x768, Native=1024x768, Windows=1024x768. I can switch between all three without any delay.

I don't really understand why he's got a problem, if one uses the filters to scale native mode up to the monitors resolution then it shouldn't matter what resolution the Amiga side is using and should switch from low to high resolution without any problems. I do it all the time.
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Old 15 July 2011, 17:16   #6
Retro-Nerd
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I assume the Hz setting is important too. 1024x768 Windows should be set to 50Hz too (if capable), then there should be no "2 seconds blanking".

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 15 July 2011 at 17:29.
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Old 15 July 2011, 19:51   #7
Toni Wilen
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Resolution autoswitch does not change Windows screen modes.
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Old 15 July 2011, 20:10   #8
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Seems so, but if Windows and Amiga Display resolution is equal the blanking is reduced to 1 second blanking. Just tried it with Slam Tilt, where you can switch manually between lores/hires.
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Old 18 July 2011, 19:42   #9
Green Haze
 
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Contradictory Behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toni Wilen View Post
Resolution autoswitch does not change Windows screen modes.
Yes, one would expect not. But something is happening, and it's hard to tell exactly what.

If I run my emulated Amiga in a 1400 x 1050 full screen @ 50Hz, I would expect the PC monitor to remain constant, whatever the emulated Amiga does.

But my monitor does not behave as expected.

If I bring up the monitor's on screen display, it shows me the screen mode and refesh rate I'm currenly using. But when the emulated Amiga changes screen modes, my monitor goes completely black, and the OSD is also gone. When I bring the OSD back, it shows the same screen information (like nothing has changed). But something happened during that black period.

Being a TN LCD monitor, it is incapable of showing true back. Even if it's dispalying a completely black screen, the best it can manage is dark grey. But during this black period, it really is completely back. This would seem to imply that it's not displaying a black screen, but is actually ceasing to display anything. This is corroborated by the OSD vanishing, as well.

The part I'm not sure about, is why?

Forgetting about emulation for a moment...
If I change my Windows desktop from 1680 x 1050 @ 60Hz to 1680 x 1050 @ 50Hz, all I'm really changing is the refresh rate. But when I do this, my monitor goes completely black (real black, not that grey LCD attempt at black) for about 3 seconds, and the OSD goes off, as well.

I've also observed the folloing:
If I run WinUAE at exatly the same resolution and refresh rate, as my desktop, nothing happens when the emulated Amiga changes resolution. There is no black period, and the OSD remains on. Even if I change my Windows desktop to the rather unusal 1400 x 1050 @ 50Hz, (and run WinUAE in the same mode) this remains true. So it doesn't matter what screen mode I tell WinUAE to use, as long as I run my desktop in the same mode. But if I run WinUAE in a different resolution or refresh rate from my desktop, I get the black screen every time the emulated amiga changes resolutions.

If I disable "Resolution autoswitch" in WinUAE, the screen goes black only once. This is as I start the emulation, and my monitor switches from the 60Hz Windows desktop to the 50Hz WinUAE screen. But this only happens once. After that, the PC monitor remains constant, no matter what the emulated Amiga does.

So the questions are:
Is my PC monitor undergoing some kind of change when the emulated Amiga changes screen modes? And if so, why?
Is WinUAE (or Windows, or Direct3D) actually ceasing to display anything for a brief period, while it's changing?
Is WinUAE, or D3D or Windows really changing my PC screen mode for a split second, even though it should not have to?
Or is it something else — none of the Above? And if so, then what is actually happening during that period, and why?
Could it be that the Windows desktop briefly re-asserts itself, just for a moment, and then is immediately replaced agin by the WinUAE sceeen?

It feels like like the PC monitor is briefly changing something, which causes that 3 second total blackout. And comparing the behaviour of my monitor during my experimenting would also point to that conclusion. But that should not be the case. There is no apparrent reason for that to happen.

So what actually is happening, and why?
Why is my PC monitor behaving like it's undergoing some kind of change when, in theory, the only changes that should be happening are all inside the emulated Amiga?

Any ideas?

Last edited by Green Haze; 18 July 2011 at 20:55. Reason: Corrections
 
Old 18 July 2011, 20:19   #10
Green Haze
 
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Question Please try this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Seems so, but if Windows and Amiga Display resolution is equal the blanking is reduced to 1 second blanking. Just tried it with Slam Tilt, where you can switch manually between lores/hires.
Are you sure this reduced 1 second blanking is the same thing?

Maybe, by running WinUAE at your native Windows desktop resolution and refresh rate, you are actually completely eliminating your monitor blanking.
Maybe that one second is actually all happening inisde the emulated Amiga?

What happens if you try the following?
  • Run Slam Tilt in the same screen mode as Windows.
  • While it's running, bring up your monitor's On Screen Display (by pressing its menu button, or something).
  • Then, while the OSD is still displayed, quickly make your changes in Slam Tilt before the OSD disappears.

Does your monitor really go black for that 1 second, and does OSD vanish? Or does it remain on screen?
Maybe WinUAE is simply emulating the Amiga's screen blanking as the game changes resolutions, while the PC display actually remains on the whole time?

I suspect it's the latter, but that's just an educated guess.

Please, I'd really like to know the results, if you perform this test — it might lead us closer to understanding what's really happening.

Last edited by Green Haze; 18 July 2011 at 20:23. Reason: Corrections
 
Old 18 July 2011, 20:39   #11
Retro-Nerd
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The monitor OSD remains, if i switch Slam Tilt from lores to hires.
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Old 18 July 2011, 20:48   #12
Green Haze
 
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
The monitor OSD remains, if i switch Slam Tilt from lores to hires.
OK. So at least we're experiencing consistent behavour. Even if some of it is a little difficult to explain.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
Old 19 July 2011, 16:19   #13
Toni Wilen
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Attach winuaebootlog.txt and winuaelog.txt (enable checkbox in misc panel).

Run game until mode changes, wait few seconds, quit emulation, attach logs.
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Old 20 July 2011, 18:46   #14
Green Haze
 
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Here they are.
For future, do you prefer them zipped, or just separate files?

The game changed modes almost as soon as it started to boot. I think the crackers' info is in hi-res.

I don't know if it would be more meaningful for you if I waited for the next couple of resolution changes, and then sent you those logs. The attached logs are generated by the emulator running for only about 10 seconds — and I think there was only one screen mode change. (If I let it run a little longer, there are 3 or 4 screen mode changes while this particular game boots.)

If you want, I can also change my desktop screen mode to the same resolution and referesh rate that I use for WinUAE. Doing this before launching WinUAE, produces completely different behaviour (no blanking). So it would most likely generate completely different logs.

Let me know if you want me to do that, so you can compare the logs. And also, if I should wait for a couple more resolution changes (for completeness) before exiting the emulation.

Oh, and don't you want the config file I used for this game?
Attached Files
File Type: zip WinUAE_Logs.zip (6.8 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by Green Haze; 20 July 2011 at 19:20. Reason: Corrections
 
 


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