[Added] NormalNX texture resizing

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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby ZellSF » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:16 am

markanini wrote:A quick and dirty way to get a similar effect right now is to increase Scale factor in video mode. NormalNx is way better though.

MSAA also helps. I don't know why. Those solutions are rather expensive though. To get results that are "close enough" to NormalNX, my framerate drops in half.
dpJudas wrote:Keep in mind that the NormalNx scalers aren't actually trying to improve the quality of the textures. They do not add any extra info into the textures like the other upscalers or texture packs. Their main purpose is to lower the filtering strength. Apparently some feels it helps on aliasing effects too (*). It is for those that find a nearest filter too harsh and standard linear filter too extreme.

*) Not too sure if this is universally true or just for some textures.

It's pretty much all textures. It only helps with aliasing in none+mipmapped modes. With texture filtering set to none, it makes no difference. With texture filtering set to bi/trilinear it makes the graphics look more pixelated (while retaining texture filtering's strength of getting rid of aliasing in the first place).
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby sinisterseed » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:55 pm

ZellSF wrote:
markanini wrote:A quick and dirty way to get a similar effect right now is to increase Scale factor in video mode. NormalNx is way better though.

MSAA also helps. I don't know why. Those solutions are rather expensive though. To get results that are "close enough" to NormalNX, my framerate drops in half.

Well, MSAA is known to be a performance hog, which is why less hardware intensive solutions came into being, most notably FXAA. CSAA too, but that was (is?) only available on fairly old cards.

It may not look quite as good as MSAA, but it also doesn't tax the hardware as much.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Graf Zahl » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:08 pm

MSAA is normally not a performance hog. SSAA is because it renders the entire scene at doubled resolution. MSAA only doubles work for edge fragments.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby sinisterseed » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:22 pm

I suppose it varies from game to game and also hardware, for my 950 it is an issue only in already demanding games and setting it to 8x or above does tank my FPS when a lot of action is going on at the same time, but that's rare, and I barely play new games - the main benefit of being bankrupt is that you can never keep up with technology, but what can you do...

SSAA makes things look absolutely amazing, but it tanks the performance. Hard. I tried it in some older games and goodness grief does it halve my framerate lol.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby ZellSF » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:58 pm

sinisterseed wrote:
ZellSF wrote:
markanini wrote:A quick and dirty way to get a similar effect right now is to increase Scale factor in video mode. NormalNx is way better though.

MSAA also helps. I don't know why. Those solutions are rather expensive though. To get results that are "close enough" to NormalNX, my framerate drops in half.

Well, MSAA is known to be a performance hog, which is why less hardware intensive solutions came into being, most notably FXAA. CSAA too, but that was (is?) only available on fairly old cards.

It may not look quite as good as MSAA, but it also doesn't tax the hardware as much.

FXAA doesn't fix texture aliasing though.

MSAA shouldn't either. But it does. At high levels anyway, there's no difference at 8x, but there's a noticeable difference at 16x.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Phredreeke » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:27 am

Traditionally mipmaping has been used to reduce the texture aliasing markanini describes, this works fine until you bring palette emulation into the picture, at which point it breaks down for the same reason as texture filtering does.

I suspect any texture preprocessing filters would do the same, unless specifically designed to adhere to the rules and layout of the game's palette.

Of course, the alternative is ditch palette emulation and use a bespoke shader to approximate the color shifts present as colors darken in the software renderer without relying on lookup tables. Then the old tricks should work again...
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:01 am

That one's obvious. Palette emulation and any kind of graphical enhancement will always be opposing forces. You cannot have upscaled textured with palette emulation and neither will dynamic lights work properly.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby sinisterseed » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:07 am

But hey, most postprocessing features do work with it.

And even MSAA does, dang. It's not the same as with AF and Texture Filtering, but at 4x and above it's a pretty good compromise IMO. I can live with its limitations anyway, because I love the way it looks in most games (not Blood, ironically).
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:30 am

But it'll be inevitable that once work starts on the renderer you will be left behind because technically the palette emulation mode is a dead end.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby markanini » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:38 pm

I suspected as much. What attracts some people to keeping janky old functions intact, like in some other ports, I can't relate to. To me a build game palette is like an old version of Instagram filters, except it's tuned for each game and has way less bit precision. I could do without it. You might perhaps be like me and are interested in the mere effect it has on color appearance. Others may like how it creates banding and increases texture crawling, given them them that "retro feel". At least for the former it should be possible to implement in a more future proof way if you only care about the general look of colors and not about all weird quirks of aging technology.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Phredreeke » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:58 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:You cannot have upscaled textured with palette emulation


Well actually...
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby sinisterseed » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:01 pm

Yes, ditto mark, that's really the only thing I care about when it comes to the palette - simply put, the way it changes the appearance of the game (colors), nothing more. Its aesthetic.

I am not fond of its limitations, but I can live with them insofar as there's no better alternative in place. If there was a way to achieve the same results but without its drawbacks, I'd take that over it any day. But GL right now, without, just looks utterly hideous to me mainly due to a) Build's sector light, which is crude and unsophisticated, making everything look ugly and flat as a result, and b) the loss of the original aesthetic in general. The darkness of Duke is completely lost without it on some maps, mainly those of Lunar Apocalypse, and SW looks excessively brown without it to me, Sumo Sky Palace being the worst offender here with all the wooden textures everywhere and the sky which is also brown, wtf - in also makes water in various spots, like the end of Zilla Construction, look, again, plain boring.

I have similar issues with Doom as well, in wads which make extensive use of the COLORMAP, such as Ancient Aliens, Sunlust, Sunder, and Eviternity, or games like Heretic and Hexen - with the last two being by far the worst offenders here. I cannot stand the way these games look in GL regardless of whether I use other fancy features and enhancements because none of them fix my biggest gripe with the mode - no matter what you do, the colors in these games always end up looking like fucking shit because everything is washed out. Worse yet, the original color ramping, unnatural as it was (but seriously, you're expecting a fantasy game to look realistic? C'mon... ) is completely lost - Heretic made extensive use of it for its deep blues, which are completely ruined without the use of the COLORMAP.

I can understand where you're coming from though, but I think you're also making a mistake and confusing me with those obnoxious folks who are too stuck into the past and refuse to move into the modern age, embrace change, and better solutions - but I am not one of those extremist purists. Trust me, if I was, and I was perfectly fine with the current state of things in the Build wonderland in particular, I would have never been part of the team in the first place, because we would've had diametrically opposed expectations and opinions about what we want to achieve and we'd only get in the way of each other, and I would have probably never used GZDoom either. At all.
Last edited by sinisterseed on Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:04 pm

markanini wrote:I suspected as much. What attracts some people to keeping janky old functions intact, like in some other ports, I can't relate to. To me a build game palette is like an old version of Instagram filters, except it's tuned for each game and has way less bit precision. I could do without it. You might perhaps be like me and are interested in the mere effect it has on color appearance. Others may like how it creates banding and increases texture crawling, given them them that "retro feel". At least for the former it should be possible to implement in a more future proof way if you only care about the general look of colors and not about all weird quirks of aging technology.



I think what attracts people to these mods is the totally nonsensical effects on depth fading, like inconsistent color fades making certain colors stand out in the distance or making them "more vibrant" or stuff like that. But I guess what one person considers aesthetically pleasing is giving the next person a creep.

I absolutely cannot stand it, for example, it may look nice in a still image where the colors appear to be tuned for nice visuals but when moving around and they start to shift in such inconsistent ways it's mostly over for me. Funny enough, I find Blood the least irritating, but Duke's palette has some serious color consistency issues and SW's is just flat out broken.
And since we're already at it, I think that Heretic also got some things seriously wrong for some fake shininess. So my personal view is probably the polar opposite of what this feature's proponents expect from it. :)

Phredreeke wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:You cannot have upscaled textured with palette emulation


Well actually...


Yeah, surely you can downconvert them to the palette again, but the real advantage of doing an upscale tends to get lost if you lose all those color gradients again due to lack of available colors and the result tends to lool like total garbage, especially if you use the internal real-time scalers.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby sinisterseed » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:15 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:I absolutely cannot stand it, for example, it may look nice in a still image where the colors appear to be tuned for nice visuals but when moving around and they start to shift in such inconsistent ways it's mostly over for me. Funny enough, I find Blood the least irritating, but Duke's palette has some serious color consistency issues and SW's is just flat out broken.
And since we're already at it, I think that Heretic also got some things seriously wrong for some fake shininess. So my personal view is probably the polar opposite of what this feature's proponents expect from it. :)

Yeah, see, when it comes to general aesthetics we have opposing views ;) .

Funnily, Blood is the only game I actually tend to prefer without the palette. I simply like it more grim and dark, and I find the paletted aesthetic not playing too well with what the game was really going for. Take E1M1's start for instance, with the red ground from it... no thanks.

These unnatural color shifts you're describing are actually the best thing about it in the other games in my book.
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Re: NormalNX texture resizing

Postby Phredreeke » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:41 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:Funny enough, I find Blood the least irritating, but Duke's palette has some serious color consistency issues and SW's is just flat out broken.


Blood's shade table has 64 shading levels vs SW and Duke's 32 so that makes sense for me.
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