Author Topic: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout  (Read 1756 times)

YellowBirdAZ

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Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« on: March 08, 2018, 02:35:26 PM »
99% done messing with this.

Again, much credit to keilmillerjr as this is based on his "Flavors" layout. I am posting this just as another example of what can be accomplished with AM, but this time from the low-res end of the spectrum.

https://youtu.be/a0ttZVRUkk0

Daztronics

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 04:58:01 PM »
That's rad!  ;D

I've only just started reading-up on Attract Mode as I want upgrade my CRT loaded cabs from Mala but I'm loving what you've done here!

jedione

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 06:23:50 PM »
will u please share....  verey nice
help a friend....

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2018, 12:37:06 PM »
I have no issue sharing the .nut files and even the assets. Let me do some code clean-up first though.

The big caveat (and why I hesitated to post the layout files to begin with) is that it is highly reliant on specialized assets. For example, there isn't one straight, unedited Progetto snapvid in there. At a minimum I shaved off the opening fade-in. Others are modified in other ways, and some I had to screencap myself because I didn't like the Progetto version. (For example, Progetto's Gauntlet 2 video is very lame, Rampage World Tour audio is messed up, Frogger and Scramble are 300% vertical stretched.)

Each game has 3 associated videos... a display video, a screensaver video (audio fade in and out), and a "band" video (what shows under the word "ARCADE" on the intro screen). You need the band videos to ensure that whatever is happening behind the letters is somewhat interesting and centered on the letters. If you just put a snapvid behind whatever transparent word you want to display, it will end up showing a lot of clips where nothing is going on (like Ms. Pacman maze where you don't see her or the ghosts, just static maze).

So before you start building using this layout, you need to know you might be doing a lot of video editing to add games I don't include in my library.

Alternatively, you might be able to pick out some elements to include in another layout, like the voice announcer module and the jukebox module.

Anyhow, I will try to get this out. And thanks for feedback!

jedione

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 06:56:50 PM »
sounds great...ill keep on the look out..

by the way great job....bro
help a friend....

verion

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2018, 12:09:48 PM »
I love the filter change - with big text scrolling through the screen. Looks great!

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2018, 10:24:33 PM »
Thanks! Funny you of all people commented on that, I was thinking a good tweak would be to re-do those transitions to use your LED effect.

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2018, 10:35:34 PM »
OK, I cleaned these up a bit and these are the bare minimum needed to get started.

The Custom.7z contents need to go into an appropriately named subfolder of the layouts folder. (Mine is just called Custom.)

The scroll.nut needs to go in the modules folder.

The display PNGs (e.g. 80s, 90s, etc) need to be named the same as your displays. If you want to categorize your games differently, you will need to make different artwork and name it appropriately.

I expect there may be issues if you have artwork that varies in size for different games (especially different heights). All my snapvids have been cropped or padded to 320x240 because I really didn't want to go through the bother of getting a CRT working only to see scaling artifacts. So when the scroll.nut encounters odd sized snapvids I am not sure how well they will be handled.

If you try this and run into issues, let me know.

I'll go through the other stuff (jukebox, voice, intro and screensaver) and add as I have time.

EDIT 3/11/18
Added the JukeboxMode plugin. It is zipped with a 1 second long silent MP3 it uses to generate pauses. Create a Music subfolder under AttractMode, and then create subfolders named after each of your displays (exact name match). You can load up each of those subfolders with MP3s of music that corresponds with your displays. Then copy the silent MP3 into the top level Music subfolder. Note that the toggling of JukeboxMode on or off is actually accomplished in the layout.nut file.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 04:12:07 PM by YellowBirdAZ »

keilmillerjr

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2018, 04:32:02 AM »
Some very neat ideas implemented!

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 03:37:19 AM »
very cool.
I'm building a CRT cab right now and was looking for a 240p layout.

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 06:12:51 AM »
Good luck with your project! Have you done a CRT before?

I am glad I did one, it was fun... but in all honesty I probably won't do another.

I will try to get my screensaver .nut file and assets and so forth up tonight or tomorrow. If you are going straight 240p my screensaver should work for you right "out of the box". People using different resolutions will have to monkey with it more.

nitrogen_widget

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 08:54:39 AM »
Good luck with your project! Have you done a CRT before?

I am glad I did one, it was fun... but in all honesty I probably won't do another.

I will try to get my screensaver .nut file and assets and so forth up tonight or tomorrow. If you are going straight 240p my screensaver should work for you right "out of the box". People using different resolutions will have to monkey with it more.

Never built a cab before and was going to go LCD but this will probably be the only cab I have time to build for a while with summer approaching and i've been collecting 19" & 20" CRT TV's since rpi was able to do 240p.

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 09:32:39 PM »
OK here is the screensaver.nut. It goes in the screensaver subfolder, and unzip the archive to put the graphic assets in the same folder.

This is my messiest template, but since anyone who wants to use it on a different display (16:9 and/or higher resolution) is going to have to get into it to tweak it anyway, I guess I will just post it. I know, it's a mess. But for 320x240 people it should work as-is.

So it's just 3 layers of parallax stars (dim/distant/slow at z=0, brighter/medium distance/medium speed  at z=1 and streaking close/fast at z=2) moving left to right, with snapvids superimposed, moving slowly across the starfield are different speeds and y positions.

Now here is one of the trickier parts of this, but it's optional.

You *can* just use your snapvids with the screensaver.

What I did, however, was create 8 second long subclips of each game snapvid that highlights some action and (more importantly) includes some distinctive sound from the game, where possible. I included my Joust and Sinistar examples below. I put all these videos in a "flyby" subfolder of menu-art. (Naming them doesn't matter, just use something descriptive. The .nut just pulls at random order.)

I also applied an audio fade in and fade out, so you can hear the video get louder as it enters the screen and quieter as it exits. I did this with FFMPEG (using -af "afade=in:st=0:d=1,afade=out:st=3:d=3" -- you can adjust those parameters to your own eyes/ears/tastes).

Finally, because the vids are playing on a black background, and many of the vids (like Galaga) have black backgrounds themselves, I tried different methods of distinguishing the vids from the background. I tried white outlines, and it looked OK, but I finally settled on the bezel effect. I just used FFMPEG to render the videos with a transparent PNG that added the highlighting in the upper left corner and the shadows in the lower right corner. (Or you could change the background color to something like dark blue, if that works for the look of your set-up.)

Now this is all somewhat insane. Because if I decide to add a new game, I can't just pop in a new ROM and a Progetto snapvid. I would also need to make a new flyby for the screensaver (and for my title screen there is actually another snapvid subtype). So if you like adding and removing games from your system, you might think about whether this is a road you want or need to go down.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:47:47 PM by YellowBirdAZ »

keilmillerjr

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2018, 03:01:12 AM »
Good luck with your project! Have you done a CRT before?

I am glad I did one, it was fun... but in all honesty I probably won't do another.

I will try to get my screensaver .nut file and assets and so forth up tonight or tomorrow. If you are going straight 240p my screensaver should work for you right "out of the box". People using different resolutions will have to monkey with it more.

Doing arcade crt via windows pc and crt tv via rpi has been easier than I thought. My only difficulty is making things perfect, which has nothing to do with the type of monitor but more of the hobby.

YellowBirdAZ

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Re: Example of My Lo-Res CRT Layout
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
My biggest advice (especially for ArcadeVGA card users) is to assign hotkeys for specific screen resolutions early in your process. You can use them to reset your screen mode to something that works for whatever monitor you are using with your PC. Early on in my project there were a few times when I installed something or changed a setting and it resulted in the screen either being black or rolling. I'd have to do complete reinstalls to recover. If I'd just had the hotkeys set up sooner I could have recovered with a couple key presses.

(Adding a 2nd LCD monitor during the build process turned out not to be a helpful work-around, although off the top of my head I can't recall why. I know I abandoned that early, because it was causing all sorts of issues too. Hotkeys were the most simple solution.)

On that perfection point, yeah, I got stuck on that too but in the end I'm happy I did. Part of the reason is scaling looks so horrible at such low resolutions. Then you realize you are dealing with all of the additional pain of using a CRT, so why would you compromise on how it actually looks? So yeah, I spent a ton of time getting things "pixel perfect". It did become something of a hobby.

This was a big issue when it came to putting Windows games on my system. There aren't many that support 4:3 at low resolutions. I had to give up on quite a few games that would have seemed easy to use. Others took a ton of tweaking. Broforce was another issue, where I actually had to bend my no-interlacing rule because the scaling at resolutions below 640x480 was distracting to me.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 07:35:11 AM by YellowBirdAZ »