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Thread: PS2 vs Dreamcast Graphics

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    Motion blur is actually very rare, I guess keeping a transparent quad that covers the screen destroys the filllrate. The most common post effect on the DC is actually Crossfade. Certain sega devs abused it like crazy and so did some third party. I don't remember where I read this, might have been on the sdk but the Dreamcast has a built-in function for cross-fades odd enough. Probably not the effect you wanted to hear huh.
    Its really no surprise, the Dreamcast was released before motion blur, bloom, depth of field were starting to be used in games. So whenever people ask why the Dreamcast can't really do these trademark 6th gen effects, the console is too old.

    I've looked at several pages listing what the PowerVR2 can do, its always the same: bump-mapping, hardware-based fog, environment mapping etc. http://dextremes.com/sega/specials/pvrsg2.html No mention of depth of field, motion blur etc.

    I know we've discussed this topic a couple times but I feel I've come up with a final answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    Bad comparison again. They went with Windows ce on the Dreamcast. They did so because the Dreamcast version uses online functionality that still works to this day.
    Whenever I see that Windows CE logo, I brace myself to think "this game is gonna look like garbage".


    This thread is kinda slow so I'm gonna work on my backlog of tasks.
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    Also Cloofoofoo I got another question for you. You've probably looked at F355 Challenge. Whats the effect at the very start of every race where the screen jitters once you hit the gas?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Its really no surprise, the Dreamcast was released before motion blur, bloom, depth of field were starting to be used in games. So whenever people ask why the Dreamcast can't really do these trademark 6th gen effects, the console is too old.

    I've looked at several pages listing what the PowerVR2 can do, its always the same: bump-mapping, hardware-based fog, environment mapping etc. http://dextremes.com/sega/specials/pvrsg2.html No mention of depth of field, motion blur etc.

    I know we've discussed this topic a couple times but I feel I've come up with a final answer.


    Whenever I see that Windows CE logo, I brace myself to think "this game is gonna look like garbage".


    This thread is kinda slow so I'm gonna work on my backlog of tasks.
    Hmm I hate to do this but I got to inform you that the oldest use of depth of field iam aware of was 1997 on the ps1 in Front mission alternative. The reason you cant find depth of field and motion blur listed as hardware features because they arent, they tend to be different effect implemented using render to texture as a base, as long as console can do render to texture to copy the screen they can do depth of field and motion blur. Also the ps1 used refraction though sparingly. its designed better than the dreamcast to handle those effects, the dreamcast is just really really slow at transparencies but also extremely accurate. Dreamcast can do both effects but its gonna hit it in its weakest part which is fillrate and the lack of speed in transparencies. It has nothing to do with age, its a design choice/flaw in the dreamcast.

    I know you wont believe me, but I got proof. Two games to be exact use depth of field on the ps1: 1997 front mission alternative(cutscene and gameplay) and 2000 terracon(when leaving the game idle). When you run on it on real hardware its more apparent but its still visible through emulation. Amazing for a 5 th gen console to run these effects. It cant do it as pronounced as ps2, Iam guessing ps2 has more iterations/ samples of transparent screen blurs because its more powerful.

    Terracon: look in the distances , depth of field is a sligh blur. very visible.




    Front mission alternative: its depth of field is far more pronounced. You can see how your robots in the foreground are crisp while the tank in the back blurred along with the scenery in depth of field. Also see the helicopter in the distance? it got blurred after it flew past a certain point along with the trees.

    Last edited by Cloofoofoo; 11-09-2019 at 09:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Its really no surprise, the Dreamcast was released before motion blur, bloom, depth of field were starting to be used in games.
    Can't agree with that, maybe on DOF but motion blur was being used in was also used in early DC games like Virtua Tennis and Shenmue. It's just the DC didn't really have the grunt to use it widely
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    Hmm I hate to do this but I got to inform you that the oldest use of depth of field iam aware of was 1997 on the ps1 in Front mission alternative. The reason you cant find depth of field and motion blur listed as hardware features because they arent, they tend to be different effect implemented using render to texture as a base, as long as console can do render to texture to copy the screen they can do depth of field and motion blur. Also the ps1 used refraction though sparingly. its designed better than the dreamcast to handle those effects, the dreamcast is just really really slow at transparencies but also extremely accurate. Dreamcast can do both effects but its gonna hit it in its weakest part which is fillrate and the lack of speed in transparencies. It has nothing to do with age, its a design choice/flaw in the dreamcast.
    Well yes I definitely wasn't expecting them to be done in PS1 games. Still wasn't widespread though.

    But I'd imagine console GPUs started implementing them as hardware features as its likely more optimal than doing them in software.
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    So I was playing Evolution on real hardware, played it until 2 AM. What do you guys think of this game?

    I know I often say "the developers didn't put in enough effort" or "this game could've been better if they did this", but this game gets my full approval. As a very early Dreamcast game, it looks as good as some 2001 PS2 games. The high polycounts, high-res textures, characters have tons of animation frames, bosses have like 20 individually moving parts.

    But this is where shit gets real. The game has character-based motion blur and its done insanely good, even on a HDTV it looks amazing. The motion blur is done during special attacks. This is one of the very few 6th gen games that were made in 1998, but these developers already knew how they are done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Can't agree with that, maybe on DOF but motion blur was being used in was also used in early DC games like Virtua Tennis and Shenmue. It's just the DC didn't really have the grunt to use it widely
    You hit the nail on the head. Its pretty much lack of forethought in design for those kinda effects not really lack of power though. Look at naomi 2 with the right co processor it matches and surpasses ps2 when polygon count to lights on scene is considered despite and multi texturing(apparently they worked out fast support for it) despite using the same gpu. It would still probably fail to match the ps2 on transparency i would bet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Well yes I definitely wasn't expecting them to be done in PS1 games. Still wasn't widespread though.

    But I'd imagine console GPUs started implementing them as hardware features as its likely more optimal than doing them in software.
    Depth of field is indeed not widespread on the ps1 but it shows it can be done without impacting performance too much. Radial blur / motion blur is alot more wide spread on the ps1 than on the dreamcast. A crap ton of japanese games use it. Just in my favorite ps1 platformer Threads of fate motion blur is used in at least 4 or more cutscenes with refraction used once during the final boss cutscenes. Just look at the intro for metal gear solid its running on constant motion blur and some wave distortion while underwater. The ps1 was designed well to abuse framebuffer effects to the point you have to set up special settings on emulators for accuracy of it. Unfortunately the dreamcast is not designed that way and its mainly designed to push 1 or two lights and a bunch of opaque polygons.

    Modern gpus are a whole different ballgame, I dont understand 100% but I got the idea. Technically nothing is in hardware but yet it is. how? Well gpus dont longer have predefined logic for effects BUT the programmers using shader languages can program the cores on the gpu to do raw calculations so everything from lighting to shading to post process can customized as long as the programmer knows what hes doing. Basically you write fast programs to run on the gpu and thats how everything is done now, because of that even physics can be done on the gpu now.

    So I was playing Evolution on real hardware, played it until 2 AM. What do you guys think of this game?

    I know I often say "the developers didn't put in enough effort" or "this game could've been better if they did this", but this game gets my full approval. As a very early Dreamcast game, it looks as good as some 2001 PS2 games. The high polycounts, high-res textures, characters have tons of animation frames, bosses have like 20 individually moving parts.

    But this is where shit gets real. The game has character-based motion blur and its done insanely good, even on a HDTV it looks amazing. The motion blur is done during special attacks. This is one of the very few 6th gen games that were made in 1998, but these developers already knew how they are done.
    I like the evolution series. They were pretty. Wished sting would have made more games for DC. Btw this game was overhauled and ported to the Gamecube, both games. With a little more work I think it could have looked like the gamecube version but as you said it was quite an early game.The per object motion blur is very basic , usually simplified transparent meshes of the character/object displayed a couple frames behind the main mesh. This was used in games like shenmue 1/2 and even the limbs in virtua fighter 3 and many more.

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    Cloofoofoo I'll assume you've never looked at that effect in F355 Challenge. Its not anything special, only appears for a split-second at the start of every race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    Depth of field is indeed not widespread on the ps1 but it shows it can be done without impacting performance too much. Radial blur / motion blur is alot more wide spread on the ps1 than on the dreamcast. A crap ton of japanese games use it. Just in my favorite ps1 platformer Threads of fate motion blur is used in at least 4 or more cutscenes with refraction used once during the final boss cutscenes. Just look at the intro for metal gear solid its running on constant motion blur and some wave distortion while underwater. The ps1 was designed well to abuse framebuffer effects to the point you have to set up special settings on emulators for accuracy of it. Unfortunately the dreamcast is not designed that way and its mainly designed to push 1 or two lights and a bunch of opaque polygons.
    Let me get this straight, a platformer Action-RPG? I gotta try this immediately.

    I've started playing JRPGs for the first time since 2002, I can see they can be a lot of enjoyment but Action-RPGs will always be my favourite genre in existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    I like the evolution series. They were pretty. Wished sting would have made more games for DC. Btw this game was overhauled and ported to the Gamecube, both games. With a little more work I think it could have looked like the gamecube version but as you said it was quite an early game.The per object motion blur is very basic , usually simplified transparent meshes of the character/object displayed a couple frames behind the main mesh. This was used in games like shenmue 1/2 and even the limbs in virtua fighter 3 and many more.
    It gets the job done. If this was gonna be the Dreamcast's version of motion blur then so be it. Overall Evolution really has the appearance of the developers were trying to get some performance out of the Dreamcast.

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    It aged badly fast on DC tho I still love the look of it. Timestalkers looked impressive at launch. Prob not pushing much but would be curious.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Cloofoofoo I'll assume you've never looked at that effect in F355 Challenge. Its not anything special, only appears for a split-second at the start of every race.

    Let me get this straight, a platformer Action-RPG? I gotta try this immediately.

    I've started playing JRPGs for the first time since 2002, I can see they can be a lot of enjoyment but Action-RPGs will always be my favourite genre in existence.

    It gets the job done. If this was gonna be the Dreamcast's version of motion blur then so be it. Overall Evolution really has the appearance of the developers were trying to get some performance out of the Dreamcast.

    I did look, didn't see it. Guessed I missed it. All I saw was camera bobing at take off. I'll run it on demul, maybe the effect is not displaying on nulldc

    Threads of fate is a great game. You've probably would have been more impressed at game launch but it's an awesome platformining mini action rpg. It's a shame it's overlooked.

    Yeah it's simple and it works. They had to be careful how many aftershadows though, even if simplified it can still add up polygon wise duplicating the models.

    I heard that another game on the ps1 uses depth of field. Seems to be vagrant story. I try to confirm it. That game also uses faked rim lighting in a rather clever way. A textured brightened version of the model is drawn slightly bigger than the original with the faces inverted. Just like black lines of cell shaded games, unlike those the brightened model is moved off center slightly. Very clever , the Dreamcast would have been able to eat this effect up at 60 fps since it's purely opaque. I think the DC needed squares touch then. Took these shots from some user discussing the effect.



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    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    It aged badly fast on DC tho I still love the look of it. Timestalkers looked impressive at launch. Prob not pushing much but would be curious.
    Well the obvious thing about that game is the horrible N64 lighting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    Threads of fate is a great game. You've probably would have been more impressed at game launch but it's an awesome platformining mini action rpg. It's a shame it's overlooked.
    Yes I was playing PS1 in 2000, never heard of the game until you mentioned it.

    Also I never chose between getting a Dreamcast or a PS2. Didn't get my PS2 until June 2002.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cloofoofoo View Post
    I heard that another game on the ps1 uses depth of field. Seems to be vagrant story. I try to confirm it. That game also uses faked rim lighting in a rather clever way. A textured brightened version of the model is drawn slightly bigger than the original with the faces inverted. Just like black lines of cell shaded games, unlike those the brightened model is moved off center slightly. Very clever , the Dreamcast would have been able to eat this effect up at 60 fps since it's purely opaque. I think the DC needed squares touch then.
    If you look at Square's history, its quite clear they had a philosophy where they only develop for the top-dog console. Of course this creates monopolies like we saw with the NES/Famicom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Well the obvious thing about that game is the horrible N64 lighting.
    It was standard lighting used in most if not all dreamcast games, its probably just ambient term/lighting to simulate indirect lighting for outdoor scenes which makes it look overly bright. Then they probably used directional light sources for the characters. N64,ps1 ,dc even some ps2 games do it like that. Looking at gamecube shots it looks like the overly bright look was fixed.



    I looked over Ferrari f355 challenge and I dont see anything at take off. It just looks like to me they programmed camera movement to simulate being inside a car.

    On the PS1 front it seems even more games used depth of field.Checked out vagrant story and it indeed uses depth of field, personally looked into it. It employs it very subtle on foreground characters. Very rarely on the actual scene but some times it does. I guess depth of field on the ps1 might have been commonly used but its low rez and dithered. So unless you are purposely looking for it and know what to look for it isnt too noticeable. Who knows how many more games employed it and we simply didnt catch it like we did in these 3 games. Vagrant story also uses framebuffer effects constantly like crazy and maybe on top of each other.

    The only DC game I know of even attempted depth of field was the shooting hoops sections of Sega sports jam. Even then it wasnt a framebuffer effect, they seem to used mipmap trickery on background stuff to make it look blurred when the floor isnt visible.




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    Latest extraction time stalkers. A rpg on the dreamcast whose aesthetic can be considered ugly yet pleasing. Seems like the game can be very high performing in a few odd spots. Its very wasteful in its polygon use despite its appearance.

    Walking about town: 49,563 tris per frame x 30 fps = 1.4 million polygons per second. To compare god of war chain of olympus on psp runs like 35K-55K tris per frame @ 30-60 fps.



    In a battle with 2 assisting monsters vs 3 common monsters : 25,583 tris per frame x 30 fps = 767K pps. To compare resident evil codeveronica does that on the high end of its pps count.

    Last edited by Cloofoofoo; 11-19-2019 at 08:14 PM.

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