Art of CGA

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2017-12-31 @ 15:34

In the course of making 8088 MPH, I wrote a program for converting arbitrary sRGB images to data for displaying on an IBM CGA card in various different modes and palettes. I have continued to develop this program (on and off) ever since. It's still not finished (there are a bunch of controls which don't do anything yet) but in the modes that are working I think it does a pretty nice job of showing off just what CGA is capable of. Here are some of the best results that I've come up with, in the course of development/testing.

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I believe that all of these can be displayed (and will look pretty much as shown here) on a IBM PC 5150 with 4.77MHz i8088 and IBM CGA card, but some require more sophisticated code than others to display.

Please feel free to add your own favourite CGA images to the thread, whether they were created with CGAArt or some other way.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-31 @ 17:28

Just beautiful. Thank you very much for sharing! ^_^
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby Moogle! » 2017-12-31 @ 18:22

>no hooves

A waste of vintage hardware.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2017-12-31 @ 19:06

Moogle! wrote:>no hooves

A waste of vintage hardware.


Just for you, Moogle:

Image
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby F2bnp » 2017-12-31 @ 19:14

These look sweet! Love me some dithering mess :D
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby TheGouldFish » 2017-12-31 @ 19:30

Amazing work, was always impressed by 8088mph.
Was so hoping that it would run on my PPC640 but it got to the first major bit and didn't continue.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby Moogle! » 2017-12-31 @ 19:34

reenigne wrote:
Moogle! wrote:>no hooves

A waste of vintage hardware.


Just for you, Moogle:

Image


I think you're trying to troll me.

Why is the Sonic one so clear? Is it because the source image was a lower color count to begin with?
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2017-12-31 @ 19:46

TheGouldFish wrote:Amazing work, was always impressed by 8088mph.


Thanks!

TheGouldFish wrote:Was so hoping that it would run on my PPC640 but it got to the first major bit and didn't continue.


Yeah, unfortunately the PPC640 uses a custom video chip which disables reprogramming of most of the CRTC registers, so most of our tricks have no hope of working on these machines.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2017-12-31 @ 20:37

Moogle! wrote:Why is the Sonic one so clear? Is it because the source image was a lower color count to begin with?


It definitely helped that the source image didn't have much in the way of gradients, so I was able to turn off dither without causing a lot of banding. I also got very lucky with the colours - there weren't too many places where there were two adjacent colours in the source image that mapped to the same colour on CGA. It's still a significant decrease in colour depth, though (38 in the original to 15 solid colours on CGA composite).
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby chartreuse » 2017-12-31 @ 23:32

reenigne wrote:It definitely helped that the source image didn't have much in the way of gradients, so I was able to turn off dither without causing a lot of banding. I also got very lucky with the colours - there weren't too many places where there were two adjacent colours in the source image that mapped to the same colour on CGA. It's still a significant decrease in colour depth, though (38 in the original to 15 solid colours on CGA composite).


It's also likely to do with the colours lining up quite nicely to the artifact colours, since the Genesis would be outputting NTSC colours in the first place, though not a perfect match since the Genesis can get more phases that is possible with artifact colouring on CGA
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-1-01 @ 01:48

Wow, looks awesome!

When I finally get an old tube TV in the same room as my IBM 5150 I'm going to drop the CGA card back in it and run 8088MPH for sure... I've been wanting to do it since I saw the demo, I just have nowhere to put the TV. :lol:

Just to clarify, do the images converted with your program display correctly on a standard IBM 5153 monitor or only when using the CGA card's composite video output?
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2018-1-01 @ 07:51

Ozzuneoj wrote:Just to clarify, do the images converted with your program display correctly on a standard IBM 5153 monitor or only when using the CGA card's composite video output?


The program has modes for both connectors (and, for the composite connector, both new and old style CGA cards). Of the images above, Rainbow Rocks, Clown, Glass Sphere, Gems, Swirl and Grier are for the RGBI output and the others are for the composite output.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby TheGouldFish » 2018-1-01 @ 12:36

reenigne wrote:
TheGouldFish wrote:Amazing work, was always impressed by 8088mph.


Thanks!

TheGouldFish wrote:Was so hoping that it would run on my PPC640 but it got to the first major bit and didn't continue.


Yeah, unfortunately the PPC640 uses a custom video chip which disables reprogramming of most of the CRTC registers, so most of our tricks have no hope of working on these machines.


Figured as much, Amstrad always made odd choices :)
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby leileilol » 2018-1-01 @ 14:44

All i've got is this. Bad aspect I know
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2018-1-01 @ 15:35

leileilol wrote:All i've got is this. Bad aspect I know


Lovely, but unfortunately black, white and yellow is not a combination that exists in any of the possible CGA 4-colour palettes. Maybe if we make her hair green?

Image
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby keropi » 2018-1-01 @ 16:33

nice tool I'll play with it once I setup my cga xt again :)
thanks for sharing reengine!
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby VileRancour » 2018-1-08 @ 11:35

As I'm just back from vacation, and just saw this thread, here are some of my trip photos in CGA:

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And since "miscellaneous favorite CGA images" is on-topic, I'll just throw this one here from an old disk magazine named PC Life, circa 1986/87. They had a section for reader-submitted graphics, which had some good stuff like this one:

cgashow_000.png
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Very cool, especially considering the sort of graphic programs/editor they had back then!
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-5-23 @ 12:38

That is really god! Can you please give us a link for these cga-slideshows.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby reenigne » 2018-5-23 @ 13:26

dr.zeissler wrote:That is really god! Can you please give us a link for these cga-slideshows.


I haven't actually put them into executable form yet. I will at some point, though, and I'll be sure to put a link here when I do.
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Re: Art of CGA

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-5-23 @ 14:01

Thx, other nice VGA stuff.
http://michaelnoland.com/cga-post-processing-in-ue4/

The colors do match with the miami-vice-logo, but I have not found a real CGA image.
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