Upscaling/screen scaling woes and ideas

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by kerneldev, Jan 12, 2012.

Jan 12, 2012
  1. kerneldev
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    Newcomer kerneldev Member

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    I think there should be a thread to discuss present and future workarounds and techniques to improve the graphics for DS software. At the moment I think I'm joining the bandwagon of people complaining about the 1:1 mode and the upscaling done.
    It seems the graphics are indeed running on a rather suboptimal emulation layer which yields an original DS screen if not smaller. Unless we boot the DS title into 1:1 mode with START/SELECT (unless I'm missing something about the latest firmware as of 12th Jan) the scaling probably ruins the comfort to work with homebrews like DSx86 or ScummVM. I have a DSTWO only.

    Would love to hear about the experiences of others. I guess we can use this thread for any future updates.
     


  2. NES SNES V.B. N64 G.C. Wii WiiU

    Member NES SNES V.B. N64 G.C. Wii WiiU Now with extra redundancy!

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    Ah, stop whining. The scaling is OK for games and if you need the really sharp graphics use a regular DS. (Or hold down Select+Start for Native Res. and hold it 5cm from your face. xd)
     
  3. Snailface

    Member Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    It's not the upscaling that bothers me -- its the blur-filter. The only way to remove it is to hack the 3DS. Nintendo isn't going to change it.
     
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  4. kerneldev
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    Newcomer kerneldev Member

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    Exactly, thank you for pointing out what I mean in first place. For what's worth, they could have used jitter instead of bi-linear. But Nintendo gets some things amazingly wrong.

    Update: How does the DSi XL handle this? Does it do upscaling? For DS titles I mean. I'm just wondering about which system is the best for DS homebrew development.
     
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  5. Snailface

    Member Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    No, its standard 256x192, but I swear the pixels have a "softer" look compared to other DS models. It's either the way the screen is manufactured or just my imagination -- nothing software-related.

    I would focus on DS development because so few people have access to DSi mode brew.
     
  6. Arm73

    Member Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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    The XL doesn't upscale at all, it's just a bigger screen with bigger pixels, same resolution, that's the beuty of it !!
    But I agree, the scaling, well done or badly is still horrible for my taste.
    In fact I was thinking about the PSP screen as well and the way it scales emulated games or even official ports like Capcom classics rearmed or SNK classics.
    The problem with the PSP is that the resolution vs screen size is just horrible.
    I mean you can set the output to 1:1 for those games, and the image is crispy but too small.
    Or go with the upscaling, and you get blurry visuals, same problem.
    An ideal resolution for such a screen ( for emulating pourposes ) would be 320 x 240 or some weird widescreen resolution like 420 x 240.
    Either way , emulated games or homebrew should look OK.
    For the 3DS there's not much we can do. We can only hope that next gen handled will have an even higher resolution so that a plain 2 X scaling filter would be possible and still look OK, so theoretically thay should be at least 512 x 384, 384 being the absolute minimum vertical resolution to have a DS image at 2X, while the horizontal could be much bigger and add black bars on the sides.
    I'm really dissatisfied with current gen. resolutions, there's not much you can do about it.
    I whish I could be less demanding and be happy with an half assed upscaled image, but unfortunately I just can't do that.
     
  7. kerneldev
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    Newcomer kerneldev Member

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    We have to give Nintendo credit where credit is due, and a bad rep when they screw up. They screwed up with the DS mode of the 3DS. I fizzled around the internal configuration screens (wifi for instance)... and the bastards did the same there. The resolution is horrible.
    I honestly bought the 3DS expecting something a bit better on the backwards compat side. I was looking at the Open Pandora project and thought that was an amazing platform for embedded development + gaming. Hopefully once the 3DS is open for homebrew we can have something moderately similar. If you look at their specs, its got enough power to run some beefy emulators at full fps and the battery life is enormous. It still runs Linux 2.6.x but I guess upgrading to 3.x would be a breeze. Guess we will be getting another gadget eventually.

    How likely would it be to have Nintendo shipping a firmware upgrade for the 3DS solving these upscaling screen problems? It seems they are getting a lot of bad rep for it. I'm not sure if it's possible to get it fixed via software though, there's the issue of pixel density with the new screens.


     
  8. andibad

    Member andibad Soon™

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    just see on screen resolution not on screen size... that make bigger pixel. if they used filter, is bad idea since is need more and more RAM for that.
     
  9. Luigi728

    Member Luigi728 GBAtemp Regular

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    Personally I don't really see the problem.
    I've played a few DS games on my 3DS, and there isn't anything wrong with them.
    It's not ugly or something.
    It looks fine to me.
     
  10. muckers

    Member muckers GBAtemp Regular

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    I would be fine with using the original resolution, but they could've included borders of some kind like they've done with the GB/GBC games on the eShop. I know the VC games are emulated and DS games (correct me if I'm wrong) are natively running in a DS environment as opposed to being emulated.

    But surely it's still possible? It'd just fill in some of that awful black nothingness you get when you play them at their original resolution.
     
  11. ferofax

    Member ferofax End of the World

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    I'm not too sure, but i think it may be the sub-pixels at work. I don't know the exact details, but there are homebrews out there that take advantage of this (DSlibris and Text2DS uses sub-pixel rendering to "smooth" out fonts for smaller font sizes--it's amazing really how this helps render super tiny fonts that are still readable). The DSphat had this, and it's finer there, so I won't be surprised if the XL had it.

    a note on the XL though: it may boast stronger backlights, but i still feel the DSlite's screen to be superior in clarity and color quality. the XL, on higher brightness, loses color (or washes out). at least, that's what my XL does. maybe it's just me though.
     
  12. kerneldev
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    Newcomer kerneldev Member

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    Thanks for the informative response, when I started the thread I wasn't interested on subjective opinions. When people say they think it's fine it's a matter of personal preference, but we are talking about screen resolution, pixel density etc here. Or in other words, there are factual problems we want answers for. The 3DS isn't too pricey but enough to make many people "accept whatever they can get" to avoid cognitive dissonance :P (or "I spent this much on a gaming system and games don't look as they did on older revisions of the hardware").


     
  13. kerneldev
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    Newcomer kerneldev Member

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    The DS never implemented support for custom borders I think. The Pokemon GBC titles for instance had sprites built-in for that purpose. On the other hand, this would take a toll on battery life. As an optional feature I would take it. I don't have most GBC titles available in my region :(

    BTW, don't they bundle an emulator with each title? Meaning VC is not an emulator on its per se but only a sales pitch/category for classics with emulators bundled along each release.
     
  14. Arm73

    Member Arm73 GBAtemp Addict

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  15. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    I'd say it's the screen. The DS has easily-noticed divisions between pixels, they appear to be spaced further than normal... this isn't something I've seen on other devices.
     
  16. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    [​IMG]

    As you can see (or can't, as I just hotlinked the picture out of pure laziness) the 3DS screen is built on a different principle than a standard DS screen. Rather than having square pixels built of rectangular RGB sub-pixels, it has "rectangular" pixels built of square sub-pixels. Why? Because the rectangle has to be divided into two portions, each eventually directed into either eye, hence the differences in sharpness etc. when displaying graphics that were not meant for that kind of a screen.
     
  17. DiscostewSM

    Member DiscostewSM GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Why can't they sharpen DS games on the 3DS like emulation can? Here's your answer.

    Polygon rendering on the DS is not like your normal method of rendering. It does not render each polygon to a full-screen buffer as the DS does not have one for normal usage. It has a 48 scanline buffer (as opposed to 192 scanlines that a full-screen buffer would consist of) that is continually filled with the result from one of its two vertex/polygon buffers ahead of when the particular scanlines are meant to be displayed, all the while displaying/emptying the prior contents of the buffer to the screen as it matches up with the refresh rate. Because of this, the 256x192 resolution is locked in, and changing it would affect the entire process. This is why the 3DS can't simple go from 256x192 to 320x240 with sharper graphics for DS games. It literally has to take the contents from the 48 scanline buffer, route that to a 256x192 buffer instead of the screen like a DS would, and then scale/enhance from there.
     
  18. Erringtry

    Newcomer Erringtry Newbie

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    Okay, so I know a few things about about image processing. First one thing. The blur is not really a "blur filter" that is added after upscaling, it is simply that there are different algorithms for the upsampling process, which give different results. For example, the "sharpest", simplest one, which is called point resize or nearest neighbour, works by duplicating the value of the pixel, which is closest to the sampled position. As long as the target resolution is an exact multiple, the results can look nice, especially for pixel art, as you simple double/triple each pixel in each direction. However, when scaling DS games (256x192) to fit the 3DS screen (400x240, considering aspect ratio 320x240 will be targetted), the scale factor is is 1.3333. This means that there is no perfect way to scale, which will look good in all cases. It also means that stuff like 2xSai is out, since that relies on cleanly double resolutions too. Nintendo seems to have decided to use linear interpolation, which is pretty fast and simple to implement, but also a bit on the blurry side of things. Now, let me show you a number of example pictures:

    Original (Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow on the NDS)
    [​IMG]

    Nearest neighbour (This is what you get, when you "remove the blur filter". Looks rather horrible to me.)
    [​IMG]

    Linear interpolation (This is what Nintendo seems to be doing.)
    [​IMG]


    Now some other options. Some of them are algorithmically rather more complex, so creating a sufficiently fast implementation, while running the System in DS mode, might have been problematic for Nintendo.

    Cubic interpolation (Most photo editing software uses this by default.)
    [​IMG]

    Lanczos
    [​IMG]

    Gaussian
    [​IMG]

    Blackman
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Mariosegafreak

    Member Mariosegafreak AKA ZeroTheSavior

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    Very nice description and comparison. the PSP GBA emulator uses nearest neighbor when removing blur, which looks like crap.
     
  20. duffmmann

    Member duffmmann GBAtemp Addict

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    I think its funny that the quality of DS games on the 3DS really annoys some people. So its not a perfect visual representation of the game, who cares? The game mechanics are all still there and the games are no less fun than when you played them on the DS. Get over it, people are starving in the world, and you're gonna complain that a perfectly playable game isn't as sharp visually as it used to be?
     
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