The Hercules card does 720x348 graphics, but it was made for 4:3 monitors, so the pixels are far from square (pixel height is ~*1.55 the width). An equivalent 4:3 resolution with square pixels would be 720x540.
the Hercules screenshots I see on Mobygames mostly come in one of two sizes:
- 720x348 (preserves the original resolution, but the aspect ratio is screwed), or
- 720x696 (vertically stretched x2, but the aspect ratio is wrong again)
Bad aspect ratio is just a pet peeve of mine... I find it kind of annoying even when 320x200 screenshots show up as 16:10, so the problem with Hercules is much more obvious.
I've got a few HGC screenshots I'd like to submit, but I'm not sure how to get around this problem in an acceptable way. Thought of stretching them vertically either by x1.5 ( = 720x522; aspect is very slightly off, but the scaling looks good), or to true 4:3 ( = 720x540; correct aspect ratio, but a bit more blurred vertically).
Thoughts? tips from approvers?
(Edited by Rola (5794), Aug 05, 2011)Re: Hercules screenshots & aspect ratio
Rola (5794), Aug 05, 2011
Yeah, I had a similar dilemma. It wouldn't be a problem if we just had to, say, double vertical resolution... or if those old games were like most modern ones - and not "pixel perfect", what makes scaling them a mistake. I've tried few scaling algorithms - I wasn't happy with any. Either everything is blurry (this is not how the game looks) or pixels are in wrong position (when scaled with "nearest neighbour", text looks particularly bad), so I skipped scaling altogether. And yes, I *do* hate wrong aspect ratio.
If I first *triple* the vertical resolution (w/"nearest neighbor"), then halve the result using bilinear, I get a 1.5 result which looks nice, and the blurring is minimal. Though this can't be pixel perfect, of course.
too bad we can't have a "display in original aspect ratio" link next to each screenshot, it could even just let the browser do the scaling... guess that's a bit much though.
Maybe just triple the vertical resolution and double the horizontal. Then the picture would be roughly double the original resolution but in the correct scale without blurring. I don't think there's a rule against submitting upscaled screenshots.
Not a bad idea, but the resulting image would be larger than my monitor (and many others')... not very convenient to browse through.
(Edited by Trypticon (4722), Aug 06, 2011)Re: Hercules screenshots & aspect ratio
Trypticon (4722), Aug 06, 2011
I second that. I personally find even the nearest neighbour-upscaling often bearable and preferable to the "original" shots, may depend on the game, though, and I don't have the real hardware for reference, just my CRT with the option to make the pixels taller.
Left to right: original output, nearest neighbour scaling, and the last was tripled vertically and then halved with Irfanview's Lanczos filter.
That last one has minimal blur, as you wrote, but I suppose it's already too much "doctoring" for Moby :(.
(Edited by vile_r (1924), Aug 15, 2011)Re: Hercules screenshots & aspect ratio
vile_r (1924), Aug 15, 2011
Nearest-neighbor looks great if you're upscaling by integers... otherwise I personally can't stand it :) That last shot does look very nice.... I'd submit mine like that if it was acceptable.
The game in question is actually already "squashed" on the Hercules (since it uses the same graphics data as CGA and occupies only 640x200 pixels out of 720x350)... so the original resolution would look even worse than that without any aspect correction.
So? any 'official' word on whether or not this is acceptable?
According to the screenshot contribution instructions threre definitely isn't. It's even encouraged:
Screenshots should not be scaled to be smaller than their original dimensions. If a screenshot is in an odd aspect ratio (320x400, 360x480, 640x200, etc.) it is acceptable (even encouraged) to double the width or height of the shot to bring the aspect ratio closer to square pixels.
Even if that was implemented, it wouldn't remove the problem of scaling sideeffects. The browser or Mobygames server would still have to apply some sort of interpolation, causing blurry or inaccurate pixels. Though the option to provide original aspect ratio (and original resolution for upscaled images) would be a classy feature indeed. The evaluation to supply different display variants could be a second step.
But MobyGames does already scale down large images to fit in the screenshot browser. Not until clicked they will expand to full size. So where is the problem?