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Wotto
17th June 2008, 10:23 AM
Hi all,

OK I am trying to draw up a nice piece of artwork for my Mame Bezel.
I want to use images from the classics like Donkey Kong, Galaxian , Galaga etc.

My question is..........

Is there a way to get LARGER screenshots from Mame ( or anywhere ) of these old games. When you use F12 to capture a screenshot within Mame you get a small PNG as I have atached here. The PNG image can then be blown up in Photoshop but they become extremely pixelated.

Currently I am blowing them up, re-drawing EVERY little image ( dot by dot )and then shrinking them back to the size I require, I am doing this bit by bit ( as in drawing Mario by himself, drawing a single Space Invader etc) , it is VERY easy BUT it is VERY VERY TIME CONSUMING.:x

So effectively I want to use / re-create images around the same as nomal screensize ( ie - so a Space Invader or Galaxian fighter would be around 12mm x 8mm ) - surely there is an 'easy way':unsure

Wotto

gints
17th June 2008, 10:46 AM
um not sure, but maybe run your MAME temporarily in a bigger resolution, like 1024x678 rather than the natural (320 x 240) sort of modes.

If mame still spits the shot out at the native resolution of the game (like what it renders before your video card upscales) then perhaps try an old fashioned Shift+Print Screen, which should take it at full resolution.

Then go into photoshop, Ctrl-V paste, and it should be nice and big.

Never done this before, so all above is speculation
Gints

AskJacob
17th June 2008, 11:01 AM
Hi all,

OK I am trying to draw up a nice piece of artwork for my Mame Bezel.
I want to use images from the classics like Donkey Kong, Galaxian , Galaga etc.

My question is..........

Is there a way to get LARGER screenshots from Mame ( or anywhere ) of these old games. When you use F12 to capture a screenshot within Mame you get a small PNG as I have atached here. The PNG image can then be blown up in Photoshop but they become extremely pixelated.

Currently I am blowing them up, re-drawing EVERY little image ( dot by dot )and then shrinking them back to the size I require, I am doing this bit by bit ( as in drawing Mario by himself, drawing a single Space Invader etc) , it is VERY easy BUT it is VERY VERY TIME CONSUMING.:x

So effectively I want to use / re-create images around the same as nomal screensize ( ie - so a Space Invader or Galaxian fighter would be around 12mm x 8mm ) - surely there is an 'easy way':unsure

Wotto

The screenshot is in the native res of the game, so there is no extra information you can get hold of.

Are you saying that when you enlarge the image it is getting pixellated (large solid blocks per pixel) or 'aliased' (which is a soft blurry enlargement)?

Pixellated enlargement is what I assume you are after - in photoshop/whatever where you increase the image size, you need to use the simplest sampling algorithm (should be an option in the dialog box), which will prevent any blurring or softening.

Aliased enlargement is better suited to photo type material - and looks crap for game art...

elvis
17th June 2008, 11:14 AM
The PNG image can then be blown up in Photoshop but they become extremely pixelated.

You need to use a vector program, and not a raster program.

I wrote a guide yonks ago with Inkscape:
http://www.aussiearcade.com/showthread.php?t=1858

But there are tonnes of other bits of software that will do vector tracing for you these days (macromedia freehand, corel draw, adobe illustrator, etc).

Grab the screenshot and muck around with the various tracing tools until you get a result you like.

[edit]

Oh yeah, and then there was the VectorMagic website too:
http://www.aussiearcade.com/showthread.php?t=10104

No software needed other than a web browser. Give it a whirl!

[edit2] Vectormagic isn't free any more, sadly. But you can still play around with it to preview.

I got good results by resizing your original image 400% (using linear filter - ie: no blurring/filtering, just pixel scaling) and then vector tracing the result. If you want I can upload the result somewhere for you.

spacies
17th June 2008, 11:32 AM
I am vectorizing somethng right now!
I use Illustrator as my weapon of choice.

Have fun doing thousands of clicks!
Actually, have you checked out localarcade.com?

Wotto
17th June 2008, 11:47 AM
Hey Elvis- thanks - I had actually used Inkscape some time back ( based on your old instructions ) and found it quite good. , I just grabbed it again - many thanks for the refresher.

And AskJacob......yes I was getting massive square blocks


All should be good now with Inkscape- CHEERS:D

Wotto
17th June 2008, 07:01 PM
Obviously doing something wrong here !!!

I followed Elvis' instructions,

I chose Multiple Scanning, I UN-Ticked Smooth, I left STACk on.....
The 1st image is with a choice of 25 scans, the second with 16
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....??????
Not what I was hoping for.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/4098/20105313bz9.jpg


http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/9446/81288466pz3.jpg

:unsure


And this is what I meant earlier when I said I can blow up the PNG in Photoshop but to get to a 'size to work with' it is really blocky. You cant cut a layer from the PNG because it remains at the same TINY size it started as....in other words, if I was to cut the Monkey out in the image below as a layer and then move it to my project i am working on , it reverts back to its original size on my new project.....so this monkey would revert to an image about 4mm x 4mm if that !

I have tried making the resolution of my new project a tenth of this image in ( wild ) the hope it would increse in size when placed on the new project.....NOPE - didnt work either...

( More ) help anyone ? - Elvis rescue me mate !



http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3373/dkpngng8.jpg


:rolleyes

Prof
17th June 2008, 07:15 PM
interesting effect tho

Looks cool

I personally use jasc paint shop pro

First is a pixel resize
2nd is a bilinear resize

Adam C. Clifton
17th June 2008, 07:29 PM
Sounds like you wasted a lot of money on photoshop if you can't even get it to upscale images...

Go to [Image->Image Size] and from there you can actually make the image bigger, not just zoom into it. You can also set the sampling in there, nearest will give you the blocky pixels.

Another way to upscale without vectorizing is to use something like 2xsai. A lot of emulators use that nowdays but you can run it directly on a image to make it bigger. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_art_scaling_algorithms

opm881
17th June 2008, 07:30 PM
correction, he doesnt have to have paid to use photoshop. There is a 30 day trial on the adobe website ;P

spacies
17th June 2008, 07:45 PM
Also I might add that you can't 'round off' those blocky characters.
To leave them blocky would be much simpler to do as well.

Wotto
17th June 2008, 07:54 PM
Sounds like you wasted a lot of money on photoshop if you can't even get it to upscale images...
[/url]


Hmmmmm, gee thanks Adam C Clifton......Actually if you use Image Size to make it larger it has EXACTLY the same affect on these images.:tomato

I have done heaps of good stuff in Photoshop in the past actually and have worked my way through a lot of it, it's just these small images made up of loads of tiny squares were doin my head in .....I think I have it sussed now ( resolution matching was the thing I wasnt tinking about ) :D

Adam C. Clifton
17th June 2008, 08:02 PM
Hmmmmm, gee thanks Adam C Clifton......Actually if you use Image Size to make it larger it has EXACTLY the same affect on these images.:tomatoMaybe I got lost somewhere, isn't that what you wanted? To have chunky pixels at 100% zoom?

AskJacob
18th June 2008, 09:18 AM
From your screen shot, you have not resized the image, but have zoomed in on it?:unsure

If that is all you have done, then it will paste into your new image the original size (e.g. DK will be tiny)

Sounds like you are caught in a DPI/pixel/stuff trap. Happens a lot.

You need to RESIZE your original PNG file BEFORE you cut and paste from it into your new image.

If you only ZOOM into the original file, the pasted images will be the same size as in the original - tiny!
----
The weird effects you are getting with Inkscape are perfectly normal, and most likely not what you want. Inkscapes' tracing algorithm tries to come up with a mathematical curve equivalent of the bitmapped source. The more pixels in the source, the more accurate these curves/lines will be. A low res game will never have enough information to make anything more than what you see automatically. Anything more will need to be 'hand rolled' I'm afraid.
----

End of the day:

To make sure I understand what you are wanting:

As an example: The little donkey kong character to print out say 8 cm tall. Do you want him to look like enlarged pixels (big lego blocky graphics) or to look like he does on a flyer (nice hi-res vector curved graphics)?

elvis
18th June 2008, 01:08 PM
Obviously doing something wrong here !!!

I followed Elvis' instructions,

I chose Multiple Scanning, I UN-Ticked Smooth, I left STACk on.....
The 1st image is with a choice of 25 scans, the second with 16
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....??????
Not what I was hoping for.

Vector scanning is bad with small images, and similarly bad with filtered images.

Get your original, do a pixel resize to 200-300% (ie: linear scaling, no filtering) and save as something uncompressed (TIFF, PNG, BMP. etc)

From there, retry you vectorisation.

I'll have a play later today and upload my results. Vector scanning isn't "fire and forget", and every picture is different. You'll need to fiddle a bit to get it looking right.

elvis
18th June 2008, 02:07 PM
5 minute muck around:

http://www.stickfreaks.com/images/pdf/dk.pdf

399KB PDF (scalable/printable to any resolution).

vocalninja
18th June 2008, 02:51 PM
Can a vector program "trace" around all the individual pixels, and then fill with a matching colour.

spacies
18th June 2008, 03:07 PM
There is no 'auto' anything.
Here is what I would do. Open document, show rulers, enable snap to grid, set snap points to the same distance as 1 block, move document so its in line with the grid and then you are set for a few thousand clicks with the pen tool. This way you would get a true recreation of the image.

I did all of the above and in a no time I traced most of the pixelated image below:

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3373/dkpngng8.jpg

elvis
19th June 2008, 10:24 AM
Also I might add that you can't 'round off' those blocky characters.

Inkscape's trace function allows you to round edges, with a variable as to the level of rounding and the sensitivity. It's an option you can turn on and off, and control the level of while on.

spacies
19th June 2008, 10:41 AM
Oh ok, but would you want too though?

elvis
19th June 2008, 01:06 PM
Oh ok, but would you want too though?

Depends entirely on the image. As I mentioned before, I don't ever use the same settings twice. I use Inkscape to trace all sorts of stuff from screenshots to hand-drawn art. All of it requires different techniques, and quite often a lot of fiddling around in GIMP (or Photoshop or Corel or whatever) before hand to get the prep-work done to make the image easier to trace.

There is a guy on these forums who is a digital artist and hand-traces art (check my previous Inkscape thread). Similarly a lot of the guys in the art subforums of arcadecontrols.com do the same. I'm not nearly artistically talented enough to do these things, so mucking around in GIMP and Inkscape is usually enough to give me a satisfactory result.