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scoodidabop

My MAME 0.172 HLSL settings

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As you guys know there have been some updates to HLSL in mame recently and I couldn't be happier with the changes. For a while I was really obsessed with CRT royale in retroarch due to its excellent shadowmask blacks and other things.  Well now that HLSL has been improved these new settings I dialed in definitely rival the CRT royale shader.  Well, I like it anyway ;)

 

I found the default HLSL shadowmask looks good on my laptop but on my arcade's 30" monitor the little "pixel" effect looks really weird - especially on titles like Outrun where you have a solid blue sky.  It gets a sort of houndstooth appearance that's rather distracting.  Because of this I use slot-mask.png instead.  At any rate check below for the raster.ini to be placed in /ini/presets and slot-mask.png to go in /artwork attachment.

 

Just snapped a quick single screenshot but I'll post more.  Global brightness and contrast are 1.0 and gamma is .90 but adjust to suit your taste.  Feel free to adjust screen curvature and round corners to suit your taste as well. 

 

OH! This is important.  My "scanline_size" (scanline screen scale in MAME 'tab' menu)  is at 1.17.  This works best for my 30" monitor size so you may need to adjust to fit your screen to reduce scanline banding.  I also had to create other ini files with different scanline_size values for different systems, ie:  nes.ini, iteagle.ini, namcos21.ini, model1.ini for different hardware resolutions.  Again, these will vary based on your monitor size and pixel density.  Just get a number between .70 and 1.20ish that has minimal banding in the scanlines.

 

 

post-20830-0-31808200-1462215677_thumb.png

 

Copy and save this as "raster.ini"

 

#
# DIRECT3D POST-PROCESSING OPTIONS
#
hlslpath                  hlsl
hlsl_enable               1
hlsl_oversampling         0
hlsl_write                
hlsl_snap_width           2048
hlsl_snap_height          1536
shadow_mask_tile_mode     0
shadow_mask_alpha         0.45
shadow_mask_texture       slot-mask.png
shadow_mask_x_count       -3
shadow_mask_y_count       -2
shadow_mask_usize         1.000000
shadow_mask_vsize         0.250000
shadow_mask_uoffset       0.0
shadow_mask_voffset       0.0
curvature                 0.01
round_corner              0.20
smooth_border             0.10
reflection                0.0
vignetting                0.20
scanline_alpha            1.0
scanline_size             1.17
scanline_height           1.0
scanline_variation        0.2
scanline_bright_scale     1.8
scanline_bright_offset    0.1
scanline_jitter           0.02
hum_bar_alpha             0.04
defocus                   0.5,0.5
converge_x                0.0,0.0,0.0
converge_y                0.0,0.0,0.0
radial_converge_x         1.5,-1.5,-1.0
radial_converge_y         0.0,0.0,1.0
red_ratio                 1.0,0.0,0.0
grn_ratio                 0.0,1.0,0.0
blu_ratio                 0.0,0.0,1.0
saturation                1.15
offset                    0.0,0.0,0.0
scale                     1.0,1.0,1.0
power                     1.5,1.5,1.5
floor                     0.0,0.0,0.0
phosphor_life             0.34,0.34,0.34
 
#
# NTSC POST-PROCESSING OPTIONS
#
yiq_enable                0
yiq_jitter                0.0
yiq_cc                    3.57954545
yiq_a                     0.5
yiq_b                     0.5
yiq_o                     0.0
yiq_p                     1.0
yiq_n                     1.0
yiq_y                     6.0
yiq_i                     1.2
yiq_q                     0.6
yiq_scan_time             52.6
yiq_phase_count           2
 
#
# VECTOR POST-PROCESSING OPTIONS
#
vector_length_scale       0.5
vector_length_ratio       500.0
 
#
# BLOOM POST-PROCESSING OPTIONS
#
bloom_blend_mode          0
bloom_scale               0.65
bloom_overdrive           1.0,1.0,1.0
bloom_lvl0_weight         1.0
bloom_lvl1_weight         0.40
bloom_lvl2_weight         0.05
bloom_lvl3_weight         0.06
bloom_lvl4_weight         0.20
bloom_lvl5_weight         0.30
bloom_lvl6_weight         0.20
bloom_lvl7_weight         0.02
bloom_lvl8_weight         0.01

post-20830-0-30488000-1462215721.png

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Nice. I haven't updated my settings yet since I've decided to stick with 172 until 174 or 5.

Curious to see what a vertical game looks like. Especially a Midway game such as Spy Hunter.

 

Yeah they were saying Golden Tee Fore is broken in .173 so I'm waiting for the next releases.  

 

On:

post-20830-0-17318500-1462221263_thumb.png

 

Off:

post-20830-0-72571900-1462221580_thumb.png

 

On:

post-20830-0-03714100-1462221279_thumb.png

 

Off:

post-20830-0-09850700-1462221596_thumb.png

 

 

EDIT: It's a bit 'screen door' looking in pics but looks better in motion with the phosphor life blending the frames and such.  To be fair I tend to push things pretty far so your tastes may require some of the effects be dialed back.  Have fun with it!

 

Comparison:

 

post-20830-0-41326700-1462222841_thumb.jpg

 

My settings:

 

post-20830-0-78659700-1462222811_thumb.png

 

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I have some questions!  I was actual sitting here deciding on what display route I take: CGA/CRT TV/LCD and because of weight I think I am going to do LCD if I can get it looking good.  I was looking at the SLG-in-a-Box but if I can get software scanlines to work I would take that in a heart beat.  

 

Now on to my question:  How hardware dependent is this?  What graphics card if any should I be using?  I was planing on just using a i5 laptop with the lintel HD graphics card.

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I have some questions!  I was actual sitting here deciding on what display route I take: CGA/CRT TV/LCD and because of weight I think I am going to do LCD if I can get it looking good.  I was looking at the SLG-in-a-Box but if I can get software scanlines to work I would take that in a heart beat.  

 

Now on to my question:  How hardware dependent is this?  What graphics card if any should I be using?  I was planing on just using a i5 laptop with the lintel HD graphics card.

 

So the scanline generator does give you a nice, uniform scanline with minimal effort.  It does improve the look of older games to a degree for sure.  I've used an SLG3000 before and it looked pretty decent.  Here's an extreme closeup I took of Sonic using the SLG scanline generator:

 

post-20830-0-18113500-1462467858_thumb.jpg

 

Further back:

 

post-20830-0-41455100-1462467885_thumb.jpg

 

The scanlines are most noticeable on the top left of the screen where the exposure turned out most accurate.  It looks better, sure, but a real CRT has a LOT more going on than just scanlines.  With the newest .172 HLSL improvements here were my goals in editing the shader:

 

  • Scanlines that can be largely overcome by very bright or white images

  • Bloom. Especially important with bright sprites on black backgrounds (like Donkey Kong or Bubble Bobble)

  • Slight blur/defocus to simulate halation.

  • Phosphor trails/decay of around 3 frames to simulate CRT phosphor decay. Adds load of depth to scrolling images.

  • Slight decongervence at corners. Most CRT monitors have a little deconvergence, especially ones in an active arcade.

  • Shadowmask that appears black, not grey. This was most important to me since the older version of HLSL could only achieve grey scanlines and shadowmask, which to me wasn't realistic. CRTs generally tend to have black infrastructure between the pixels when viewed up close, as seen here

With those things in mind you can see the screenshots have a much more retro look and feel to them.  As for the hardware your intel graphics chip won't cut it here.  Go for a GTX 750 ti.  It's about $100 and doesn't require additional power like many video cards.  You'll have plenty of power for HLSL and running 3D arcade games like Blitz.

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I have some questions!  I was actual sitting here deciding on what display route I take: CGA/CRT TV/LCD and because of weight I think I am going to do LCD if I can get it looking good.  I was looking at the SLG-in-a-Box but if I can get software scanlines to work I would take that in a heart beat.  

 

Now on to my question:  How hardware dependent is this?  What graphics card if any should I be using?  I was planing on just using a i5 laptop with the lintel HD graphics card.

HLSL can be pretty resource heavy. If you're not running a dedicated graphics card it can cause slowdown, stuttering etc...

GLSL is less heavy and can run on less powerful rigs.

Both types of scanline simulation (can) look great. Both are built into MAMEUIFX so you don't need to buy anything else.

I run an i3 3.6ghz CPU and an AMD R9 280 card and can run heavy-detail HLSL with bezels with zero issues. I have no idea how fast your i5 is or how powerful that graphics card is, so for comparison my setup can also run any modern PC game at 1080p, max settings and a 120+ framerate. If your graphics card is built in I'd guess it might have trouble.

No reason at all not to simply try it and see if it works.

EDIT: After looking at Scoodidabop's pics there I can definitely say that HLSL & GLSL both look much better than that scanline generator.

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@scoodidabop

 

well I have 2 ATI 5770s that are just sitting in their boxes so I could always use those in a desktop case.  Currently I am testing/getting all the software configured on my gaming rig which has a R7950 I normally use but have shut off because it lacked the Svideo out.  I will turn that back on and see what that .ini you posted looks like on my monitor.  I do plan to only do MAME for now; no console stuff.

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I personally like a little less bloom and more sharpness, but there's no denying this looks great. 

 

One new improvement is bloom_scale, which I think is a great addition.   Simply reduce bloom_scale and you'll maintain the same bloom perimeter while only reducing the overall effect.  Very handy.  Set defocus to 0.0 to gain sharpness.  You can also reset the convergence to restore perfect pixel sharpness but I like a little fuzz to help with halation.

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Okay so I like this a lot but there are some settings I changed.  Do I have to change it for every game or is there a way to adjust gamma and brightness globally?

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also, where would I put this INI to get it to work with HS?  It seems to only load the default settings.

You don't put it anywhere. Just make sure your settings are right in the RocketLauncher settings & in the MAME settings.

HS is just the front-end so no need to change anything there.

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So the newer MAME versions has some new pecking order stuff going on when it comes to the ini files as I understand it.  In other words you can setup multiple ini files and MAME will access them in a particular order.  You primary "mame.ini" file in the parent MAME directory will control most things - brightness, contrast, gamma along with your input settings and basically all other settings - this will be loaded first.  Next, in the subfolder /ini/presets you can create secondary ini files for MAME to access.  This is where the "raster.ini" goes that will contain my HLSL setting.  There's a default "raster.ini" but you can just rename it for backup purposes if you want to create a new raster.ini with my settings.  

 

From there you can create ini files for individual games or systems and MAME will access those last - for example you can create namcos22.ini for games like Ridge Racer or vf.ini specifically for the game Virtua Fighter.

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So the newer MAME versions has some new pecking order stuff going on when it comes to the ini files as I understand it.  In other words you can setup multiple ini files and MAME will access them in a particular order.  You primary "mame.ini" file in the parent MAME directory will control most things - brightness, contrast, gamma along with your input settings and basically all other settings - this will be loaded first.  Next, in the subfolder /ini/presets you can create secondary ini files for MAME to access.  This is where the "raster.ini" goes that will contain my HLSL setting.  There's a default "raster.ini" but you can just rename it for backup purposes if you want to create a new raster.ini with my settings.  

 

From there you can create ini files for individual games or systems and MAME will access those last - for example you can create namcos22.ini for games like Ridge Racer or vf.ini specifically for the game Virtua Fighter.

 

okay, I was reading that last night, I for the most part get that.  My main issue is that when I launch a game through HS/RL the raster.ini settings are being applied.  However, if I launch it through MAME directly it is being applied.

 

Someone mentioned changing the settings in RL but I am not sure where/how to do that.

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okay, I was reading that last night, I for the most part get that.  My main issue is that when I launch a game through HS/RL the raster.ini settings are being applied.  However, if I launch it through MAME directly it is being applied.

 

Someone mentioned changing the settings in RL but I am not sure where/how to do that.

Just the regular Module settings for MAME in RocketLauncher. If I remember right there are a few things you need to set for HLSL/GLSL to work right.

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I prefer to set the module to "legacy only" so RL doesn't mess with my mame.ini, raster.ini, or vector.ini settings.  Otherwise, RL may get in the way of what you're trying to do.  Yes, you can set up per-game settings, but why not just set up per-game ini files and put them in the mame ini folder to get the same (even better) result?  -A

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Uhg, so I got all this figured out then tried it on my TV and was highly disappointed.  On my 1080p monitor it looks good for most games.  On my 1080p TV it just looks blah and on my 720p tv it looks even worse.  I am not even sure where to start to get this looking better.  I planed on using a 27-32" TV as my screen so I was hoping this would work.  Any clues on where to start?  If needed I can defiantly take some photos with my phone to show you what it does/doesn't do.

 

One of the issues I have is lots of weird banding especially on screens with lots of white.  I have toyed around with the scaling settings for scan-lines but it never seems to look right.  I wish there was some tester type program I could run as a rom so it just sat on certain screens although typing this I realize I could always use the screen test menu of a game.

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Uhg, so I got all this figured out then tried it on my TV and was highly disappointed. On my 1080p monitor it looks good for most games. On my 1080p TV it just looks blah and on my 720p tv it looks even worse. I am not even sure where to start to get this looking better. I planed on using a 27-32" TV as my screen so I was hoping this would work. Any clues on where to start? If needed I can defiantly take some photos with my phone to show you what it does/doesn't do.

One of the issues I have is lots of weird banding especially on screens with lots of white. I have toyed around with the scaling settings for scan-lines but it never seems to look right. I wish there was some tester type program I could run as a rom so it just sat on certain screens although typing this I realize I could always use the screen test menu of a game.

You're using the right settings for your version of MAME right? If you have MAME 173 and use these settings on a 1080p monitor it should look great like his pics.

On a TV I don't know. Never tried HS/RL on a TV before. Gaming monitor in my cab.

Sent from my SM-G935V

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Scale is where you'll need to make adjustments for 720p.  Again my monitor is 1440p so anything lower resolution will need a lower scanline scale number than 1.17.  One trick I use to eliminate banding is you hit "P" to pause MAME on a bright/white screen, then open your menu, select the sliders option, then scroll down to scale height and press arrow left/arrow right to adjust the scanline height on the fly.  You'll see banding come and go.  I use numbers between 0.60 and 1.35 - just stop when the banding is minimal.  Now, that adjustment won't save so go back into raster.ini and change it to the scale number you just found. 

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You're using the right settings for your version of MAME right? If you have MAME 173 and use these settings on a 1080p monitor it should look great like his pics.

On a TV I don't know. Never tried HS/RL on a TV before. Gaming monitor in my cab.

Sent from my SM-G935V

 

I am using 173 and it does look good for 90% of the games using the ini as is (although I have adjusted the gamma a bit) and I am using a 1080p monitor.

 

Scale is where you'll need to make adjustments for 720p.  Again my monitor is 1440p so anything lower resolution will need a lower scanline scale number than 1.17.  One trick I use to eliminate banding is you hit "P" to pause MAME on a bright/white screen, then open your menu, select the sliders option, then scroll down to scale height and press arrow left/arrow right to adjust the scanline height on the fly.  You'll see banding come and go.  I use numbers between 0.60 and 1.35 - just stop when the banding is minimal.  Now, that adjustment won't save so go back into raster.ini and change it to the scale number you just found. 

 

I have used the pause method but sometimes the TAB menu is as large as the game screen and I can't get a clear view (first world problems I know).  I will toy around with it for a while and see what I can do.  I haven't even gotten the display I was planning on using (was going to purchase a referb TV from microcenter for under 150).  I guess my issue is that I need to just remember it is not going to look 100% like it would if I had an actual arcade monitor; that is an issue with me of course.

 

thanks again for all the effort put forth.  It has helped me a lot.

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