1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Versions uploaded prior to widespread release
Johnny
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1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Johnny » Thu May 31, 2012 2:42 am

I have some test versions running an HQX filter. Unfortunately, it performs slowly. Perhaps my machine is getting old, but I can only do HQ2X, and that usually causes hiccups. I haven't found any obvious optimizations to help this, and I'm doubting I will.

On the bright side, lowering the CPU in advanced options usually helps. This sacrifices framerate for the smoothing effect. Also, using HQX with the "smooth image resizing" option looks pretty nice in some games.

Only games that are "cartoony" really see benefit. The vast majority of 3DO games are not this way. However, street fighter 2 and samurai shodown see a pretty good benefit. Also, any game with flat fonts will get a benefit.

EDIT: attached 1.3.1.0 release candidate file to this post
Attachments
4DO_1.3.1.0.zip
(1.43 MiB) Downloaded 422 times
4DO_1.3.0.1_normal.zip
(1.38 MiB) Downloaded 334 times
4DO_1.3.0.1_hq2x.zip
(1.39 MiB) Downloaded 321 times
4DO_1.3.0.1_hq4x.zip
(1.4 MiB) Downloaded 313 times
4DO_1.3.0.1_hq3x.zip
(1.39 MiB) Downloaded 300 times
Mister Negative
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 4:37 am

Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Mister Negative » Thu May 31, 2012 4:48 am

Johnny,

I just downloaded the HQ2X version and tested Need for Speed. You said that fonts would benefit from the filtering and the gauges and timer in this game are quite blurry, so I thought I'd use it as a test.

My CPU is an i7-2700k and I have a GTX550 graphics card. The regular version ran at 60fps nearly all of the time. The HQ2X version ran mostly at 40fps and would jump to 60 if there weren't many objects displayed at the time. It seems like even a fairly high end computer stalls out a bit with the filtering.

The graphic update was immediately noticeable. Unfortunately screenshots seem to be broken in the beta version as I'm only getting a corner of the screen, so I think it's grabbing 640x480 specifically. I wanted to show the clarity difference in the gauges because it makes a big difference. The textures on the other vehicles looked much cleaner as well.

Thanks for your work on this beta. Maybe it can be sped up, maybe it can't, but it's great to see so much love poured into this project.

Edit:

I just tried the 4X version with the same game and settings. The FPS counter stayed at 40, just like the 2X version. In my opinion this version seems like too much of a good thing as the graphics looked "fake", as though they were smudged. The fonts were actually more difficult to read.

Although the frame rate counter was the same as the 2X version the emulation was noticeably jerkier, and for the first time I encountered audio artifacting.
BryWI
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:35 pm

Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby BryWI » Thu May 31, 2012 10:48 am

I will be testing this later today, but I will have to assume from using the emulator so much that the audio artifacts are from the CPU core on your proccessor being maxed out. I will be testing this more before I give out anymore thoughts on what might be able to be done. I will post again later.
BryWI
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Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby BryWI » Thu May 31, 2012 12:44 pm

Ok the game I used for testing this is Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble. I picked a game that I knew was going to use less CPU cycles to emulate freeing up more cycles for the image enhancement. This game did use more cycles than I thought it was going to use though, but not more than the official 1.3.0.1.

I must say, I can tell the HQX is working in two ways. It really is cleaning up the pixels nicely. The other way I can tell it is working is because of the CPU usage. :D Even just HQ2x is eating alot of cycles. It is eating up cycles on the same core that the emulation is trying to use too. If the HQX processing can be offloaded to another CPU core when available, this would greatly speed things up. I am not sure of the technicalities or the possibilities behind doing such a thing though.

I also notice that Memory usage has just about doubled in these versions (even normal) compared to the official 1.3.0.1. 4DO seems to be using what I think is a lot of memory, but maybe I am wrong. I can usualy force the emulator to stop emulation and to stop updating the screen by selecting a CD drive with no disc in it. Even when I do this, the memory usage is still quite high in these versions. Normal, hq2x, hq3x all use just about the same amount of memory with hq4x adding a bit more over the top of the others.

Also HD rendering in 4DO options is broken by the filtering. It displays stretched out lines and only the upper left in hq2x and hq3x. hq4x just crashes instantly when HD rendering is on.

I also wanted to point out another filter that I used to like (I am not even a big fan of filters anymore to be truthful) that if I remember correctly is not as CPU intensive and still looked ok. ScaleX might be worth looking into. http://scale2x.sourceforge.net/
l_mcgregoruk
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby l_mcgregoruk » Thu May 31, 2012 7:18 pm

Yeah, taking screenshots seems to be only taking part of the image now, seems 2x takes the top left quarter of the screen, and 4x takes the top left eighth.

The image is getting stretched to 2x,3x,4x the size to apply the filter, but the screenshot's taking the same area as normal?

And it's the first version I've used that has the fixed Escape from Monster Manor menu's :p
Which was apparently fixed May 7th, one day after the last public release :p
l_mcgregoruk
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby l_mcgregoruk » Thu May 31, 2012 7:41 pm

Made an image of Kens Hair(SSF2T) to show the difference between Normal, 2x and 4x.
Attachments
kenhair.png
kenhair.png (38.6 KiB) Viewed 8137 times
Johnny
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Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Johnny » Thu May 31, 2012 10:04 pm

Ken's hair provides a good exhibit to express my opinion. I like HQ2X, but HQ4X is pretty much smear-o-vision, as if someone did MSPaint art with a wide brush.

I'll have to get the screenshot thing fixed, I would have forgotten about that. I'd figured the HD rendering was off (I hardcoded things for 320x240). I believe I'll also be making the user choose between HD rendering and use of a HQX filter. I may look into scale2x a bit too. The other filter I'm intending to track down and include is an NTSC or CRT filter that makes it look like you're playing on an old TV.

Memory usage definitely goes up with these changes as they are. I believe The HQX filters have color lookup tables which are pretty big. I will be trying to find a way to keep them from allocating any memory unless they're being used, since if I add more filters I don't want them all gobbling up memory.

The performance is definitely a bummer. I was surprised there was slowdown since I know the filters perform relatively well. I've at least found that the filters are not making the emulation speed worse, so the performance concern is kinda a separate concern. The emulation+filters is too much in most situations. I should be able to release with HQX filters without fear of having impacted performance. I'm unsure if 4DO is performing worse than FreeDO, but it's possible. As I finish up integrating HQX filters I'll be considering how I can introduce benefit via multicore (if possible).

The FPS counter is misleading because it doesn't give any indication of actual system health. The only current indicator that the system is running slower than normal emulation speed is the sound hiccups (so if you weren't hearing sound hiccups in HQ2X, then your system was capable of handling it!). I'll be replacing the FPS counter with something else for the release so that it does a better job of indicating when the system is running too slowly.
Johnny
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Posts: 119
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Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Johnny » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:29 am

Well gee whiz, apparently the HQX's color lookup table was taking 64 megs! Sure wasn't hard to spot.

Code: Select all

uint32_t   RGBtoYUV[16777216];


Anyway, it'll be easy to have it initialize that on demand instead.
Johnny
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Posts: 119
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Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Johnny » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:02 pm

Would someone be willing to do a once-over check on the version I just uploaded to the first post (1.3.1.0)?

This is a release candidate although it is missing the remaining language translations. Basically it has the same core features as the HQX builds, but now fully integrated with the UI and with "dynamically" enabled filters. There was also quite a bit of work to make sure the filters did not crash when switched between :).

You'll see that I moved the 2x rendering from advanced to the "Display B" tab. I'd found that high-res rendering sometimes performs even better than hqx!. Pretty odd. Anyway, as long as nothing's terribly out of place, I'll be releasing it tomorrow.
Mister Negative
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 4:37 am

Re: 1.3.0.1 beta - HQX Filter Test

Postby Mister Negative » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:08 pm

I just took 1.3.1.0 for a test drive with Need For Speed and Road Rash. During game play and FMVs I made a point to constantly switch between Double Resolution Rendering, HQ2X, 3X and 4X in random orders to test for stability, and I'm happy to report I had no issues outside of some brief audio artifacting and video stuttering during the switch for less than a second, then everything was back to normal.

No doubt about it, Double Resolution Rendering performs better on my end as well. The HQ filters do clean up drawings nicely so they're going to be a huge benefit to those types of games.

Let me know what else you need tested. I'll report if anything odd comes up, but no news is good news.

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