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Some Hd Backgrounds


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#1 Lee_R

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:12 PM

Here's some stuff I've been working on. I'm not sure anyone can actually use it right now, but I made it anyways in the hope that it can be made to work.

A few years ago when I used to mess around with making skins for these emulator things that I hardly ever played, I was a bit disheartened to find you couldn't use high quality backgrounds or even position or scale them within the emulator controls. The limit was a horribly low 640x480 and gradients showed up with ugly banding.

I've had a boring week so went back to the Xbox after a few years away and downloaded some supposedly HD skins to see if this old bugbear had been ironed out and they're just some 640x480 pics like always..

Can we ditch these age old restrictions now, in 2011 and have some UI upgrading for our HDTVs?

Here's some clean, simple, hopefully good-looking screens to use (I know some of you are fans of the PMIII bland stuff, yuk) You'll be hard to convert. There's no intro or loading screens (why would you want one?), obviously no settings ini (but it's obvious where the text should go), no music, sounds or those little popup screens. I would have included the latter things if I could test this out futher, but I haven't even got the FTP cable at home. I've done away with calling them the likes of MednafenX-NES.... and just put proper logos. Much cleaner. There's only one screenshot placeholder because I don't dig the multiple screenshot + boxart + video thing. That's madness, never-ending madness. I just wanna play the game with minimal fuss.

So, If you like these, can you please show some support to the devs for changes, thanks.

Main Menus, Game Select and Config screens:

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image

And one for the Super Nintendo that I'm not 100% with and is there even an Xport/Madmab emu for it? Idk.
IPB Image

Image URL limit reached :|
http://img853.images.../gameselect.png
http://img9.imagesha...807/configy.png

Edited by Lee_R, 02 September 2011 - 11:13 PM.


#2 madmab

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 08:07 AM

This is something that may be possible but the big problem is running in 1080i really strains the memory resources on the xbox. Especially on more memory intensive emulators.. Between that, 2x and 4x filters, rewind functionality, displaying action/title, movies, box/cart art, and extra memory taken by the larger skin background it's a real deal killer.

It's even restricting at 720p.. So although in the current incarnations it may be possible to do on some of the lesser emulators it would be extremely difficult to implement on all 31 of them.


#3 Lee_R

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:37 AM

Oh, no, I wouldn't say do it on all of them, just popular ones. How about like you said with some Genesis Mortal Kombat hack, there's a separate xbe launched. Could that work for the menu system? I'm not a programmer or anything. Or there be a compromise or sorts - Like, the multiple box art and movies you mention which eat up memory.. So a version which is light on those features for the sake of a HD UI? 720p max like you said, it's enough to be a noticeable step up.

#4 Lee_R

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 03:51 PM

Updated the SNES one.

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image

#5 Lee_R

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 08:08 PM

And my favorite one..

IPB Image IPB Image IPB Image

The config screen could be used as a desktop wallpaper. It might have to be that since we can't use them on xbox smile.gif

(yet anyways, hopefully)

(!)

#6 cbagy

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 02:21 PM

I read where your first post regarding

"Can we ditch these age old restrictions now, in 2011 and have some UI upgrading for our HDTVs?"

This is exactly what has happened with the introduction of video previews and BoxArt and other misc bits.
Where have you been !

Using static, single picture, previews is a step back into the dark ages as far as emulator GUI's are concerned.
Trust me when i say that a 1280x720 image will still only look half as good on a TV as it does on your PC.
Try Surreal64 CE 5.5 or FinalBurnLegends 1.5 or FinalBurnConsoles 1.2, they all use 1280x720 backgrounds.
Judging by your statements i don't think you've even used the Xtras available for emulators properly.
Also some emulators simply don't have enough memory left to produce a texture that large.
Static, single preview skins are so yesterday it's not even laughable.

However, everyone to their own i suppose.

#7 Lee_R

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 03:12 PM

Sure, each to their own.

I think the opposite with the way it's turned out - been away years, came back and it all seems quite a mess. Including the forums. It's full of stickies from Xport in 2004 and the bridge is missing to what's happened in all that time. I haven't used the xtras at all and don't want to. I like simplicity and neatness.. And uniqueness, not copies of PMIII for every skin, making the experience a bit dull.

The preview windows were always dynamic, they cycled through any amount of pictures you put in the folder. I just had a title screen and a couple of shots. For me, there was no point having every game and downloading shots and boxes for every game known to mankind and his dog because hundreds of the games are...Crap. If you haven't heard of them by now, it's a safe bet that they are. Hunting for those elusive boxes and shots make no sense if the game's so poor you'll never play it again.

Going slightly off point there, but I just think it took a direction where people lost focus on what made these consoles great and just want to collect everything for the sake of it.

#8 cbagy

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 05:07 PM

Well everything you mention is still the case, dynamic skins are so flexible. Use Video or Screenshots or the old Xport style of Screenshots 1 2 3 4 etc and cycle through them. You choose what you see onscreen from the GUI.
You dont have to have every game either, install what you want with the corresponding artwork.
Don't use the PMIII skins supplied, there are loads of alternatives. You need to look around more.
In fact the emulation scene has grown to the point where it has burst free of a single topic on these boards, now xbox emulation has its own website and FTP.
You have been away waaay too long.
This site is no longer the home of all things xbox and hasn't been for a long time. This site sold the xbox out as soon as the 360 hit the shelves, hmm that homebrew scene went well didn't it !
Try Googling a topic such as "Emulator Xtras", can't give a link here as it doesn't go down too well with the admins.
As you admitted yourself, you haven't tried any of the new stuff and have no intentions of doing so, well if thats the case your opinion is one sided and very weak. A mute point one might say.
I currently use all the available xbox emulators in their latest revisions and i have to say you really don't know what your missing. Like you say, if your happy with your 2004 topics and your 2004 emulators then fine, whatever floats your boat.
Do you honestly think all the current dev's are gonna roll back all their emulator cores to a "Dark Age" form of GUI to save a few mb of resources just because you've photoshopped a couple of images in 1280x720 ?
ComeOn, wake up and smell the coffee.


#9 Lee_R

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 05:47 PM

They're extras, meaning you don't need them.

And I have looked around and the HD skins that are out there, aren't. It's a lie. And they're mostly horrible anyways, looks like anyone worth their salt in graphics left a long time ago. You said yourself that an HD background wouldn't look half as good on the Xbox, so what does the 640x480 stretched out to double it's size and in widescreen look like? It was already bad on a clear SD TV.

If you go from a good XBMC skin to one of these Xport emulators, they look really stuck in the past.

#10 gilles9999

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:17 PM

Lee R, you are speaking like if you "only" have the choice to choose the pm3 skins; its totally wrong, if you don't like them, fine, don't use them, use the skins made by neil222, cbagy or waal or any skins for xport emus, they'll work with all the madmab emus;
even myself i use neil22 skin for pc engine and pcsxbox because they're really good and waal boingball skin for amiga.

You are speaking like if we "the xtras team" have killed the xbox emulation from 2006 to nowadays; you know what? XPORT STOPPED CODING IN 2004 .POINT.
If there wasn't madmab, there would be NO ONE UPDATE FOR ANY XPORT EMUS NOWADAYS.

Believe it or not even before 2004 there was a huge interest from xbox communauty for boxarts, screenshots videos, rumbles,etc... the website was called "XBOX emulation repository" and the site collected all sort of xtras for the emus; the madmab and the "xtras team" work is a "spiritual son" of the xbox emulation repository

QUOTE(Lee_R @ Sep 4 2011, 06:47 PM) View Post

They're extras, meaning you don't need them.

And I have looked around and the HD skins that are out there, aren't. It's a lie. And they're mostly horrible anyways, looks like anyone worth their salt in graphics left a long time ago. You said yourself that an HD background wouldn't look half as good on the Xbox, so what does the 640x480 stretched out to double it's size and in widescreen look like? It was already bad on a clear SD TV.

If you go from a good XBMC skin to one of these Xport emulators, they look really stuck in the past.


If you are using only one screenshots, it will look quite bad, true;
but if you are using the triple view (video+boxart+title+rombrowser list at the same time), the screen is covered 75% with xtras, so you don't really see the skin background, its just a single "monochrome" image stretched in the background to look good ratio in 720p i did, that's all+system specific pic in the main menu and system specific controller in the option menu.
the backround isn't hd but my boxarts wich are 500 pixels height are hd and look very sharp, same for the video displayed. its a semi hd skin with stretched 640*480 png i precised it in the release thread...

Last point, im agree with you true 1280*720 jpg backgrounds support would be great for Xports emus, its not impossible to see it implemented one day. But as far as i know here's some emus "memory eaters" you'll never see it (or improbable) because even with 640*480 gui its having a hard time even for browsing a romlist without any xtras. the memory eaters emus i know so far:
- WINUAEX (THE winner concerning memory eat)
- WINSTONX
- NEOGENESIS (yep, soory)
- DOSXBOX
- PCSXBOX (big winner too)
- SNES9XBOX

for nes, master system, pc engine, atari 2600 or 7800 etc... not impossible i would say, but all xport gui code is based on static jpg background with sprites in png applied to it, so the biggest problem would be the "new release" would be no compatible with ALL the xports skins wich is a big problem eh...







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