Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Filter and Shader Stacking In SSNES

Themaister just added support for multipass shader application--a.k.a. shader stacking--to SSNES, his excellent (and recently GUI-fied) frontend for libsnes. His implementation includes some interesting and fancy options, including configurable scale factors for the first pass (i.e., the first shader). This allows hq2x to be scaled to its expected scale factor during the first pass and then scaled up again to fit the desired resolution, resulting in much better retention of detail (see this post for a side-by-side comparison of the two scaling methods). Additionally, we can use the second pass to stack a scanline shader on top of the resulting image, or even cgwg's CRT shaders:
As you can see, this combination greatly smooths out the jaggies and rounds the curves without blasting out all of the details, like hq2x can often do on its own.

This two-pass shader implementation also allows users to control the amount of bloom applied by a bloom shader in the first pass simply by modifying the scale factor. Here are two examples in which I've stacked blargg's NTSC filter, cgwg's CRT-Flat v3 shader, and Whateverman's simplebloom shader (rendered at 2x and 1x respectively):
In my opinion, this combination of bloom+CRT shaders+NTSC filter is exceptionally close to the Photoshop renders that inspired the CRT shader effort.

Windows binaries for this latest version of SSNES are available here, while Linux users can download deb binaries from my PPA repo. Mac users can also get in on the fun, but they'll have to compile everything themselves, as no one is providing Mac packages of SSNES yet.

As always, any shaders covered here are available in my mediafire account.

No comments:

Analytics Tracking Footer