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Poor visual quality in Retroarch


Typhoon1944
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Hey all, apologies if this is the wrong area to post but I've done a search and can't find advice.  I'm also time limited as I'm at work on my lunch.  I have recently moved my Launchbox installation onto a 6 TB portable hard drive and everything appears to be working.  However, for ease of use, I prefer to use Retroarch cores to emulate the various systems but no matter which system I play or which core is used the video displayed is at a very low resolution.  Almost 8 bit looking in most circumstances.  If I change LB to use a standalone emulator, the video output is much sharper and clearer.  As I said, I'm at work at the moment so limited to what I can do but as a test, I downloaded a standalone version of RA with no setup carried out other than downloading cores.  I then imported the few ROMS I have on a smaller external drive and the picture is crystal clear.  This is the same for any PC Engine/TurboGrafx game and the only Gamecube rom I have that isn't a .gcz file.  Given that no configuration of RA has taken place in this instance is there any reason why RA would look so much better running standalone on a Dell Optiplex with onboard graphics than it would through LB on a Dell Inspiron 7577 with a Geforce GTX1050ti?

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10 minutes ago, Typhoon1944 said:

Hey all, apologies if this is the wrong area to post but I've done a search and can't find advice.  I'm also time limited as I'm at work on my lunch.  I have recently moved my Launchbox installation onto a 6 TB portable hard drive and everything appears to be working.  However, for ease of use, I prefer to use Retroarch cores to emulate the various systems but no matter which system I play or which core is used the video displayed is at a very low resolution.  Almost 8 bit looking in most circumstances.  If I change LB to use a standalone emulator, the video output is much sharper and clearer.  As I said, I'm at work at the moment so limited to what I can do but as a test, I downloaded a standalone version of RA with no setup carried out other than downloading cores.  I then imported the few ROMS I have on a smaller external drive and the picture is crystal clear.  This is the same for any PC Engine/TurboGrafx game and the only Gamecube rom I have that isn't a .gcz file.  Given that no configuration of RA has taken place in this instance is there any reason why RA would look so much better running standalone on a Dell Optiplex with onboard graphics than it would through LB on a Dell Inspiron 7577 with a Geforce GTX1050ti?

Maybe when you can take a screenshot of what you are actually seeing when you get a chance, so we can better understand, as Retroarch should just detect your native resolution when it starts, and i have never seen systems look lower resolution than they actually are. As Chris said though, yeah check in settings that retroarch is set to the correct resolution.

 

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Just now, neil9000 said:

Maybe when you can take a screenshot of what you are actually seeing when you get a chance, so we can better understand, as Retroarch should just detect your native resolution when it starts, and i have never seen systems look lower resolution than they actually are. As Chris said though, yeah check in settings that retroarch is set to the correct resolution.

 

Will do when I get home this evening.  Automatically detecting the resolution seems be corroborated by what I'm seeing just now.  I literally just downloaded the RA zip file, started and downloaded the cores, that's it.

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1. By default RetroArch has Bilineaire Filtering enabled which adds a blur to the image. RetroArch > Settings > Video > Bilineaire Filtering.

2. Maybe you want cores for 3d systems to render in a higher resolution?

3. You can use different types of shaders.

But what you consider "low res" or "poor quality" is ultimately a matter of taste. 

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Just now, Koroth said:

1. By default RetroArch has Bilineaire Filtering enabled which adds a blur to the image. RetroArch > Settings > Video > Bilineaire Filtering.

That's actually off by default these days, thank god, it gave a horrible first impression when loading a game for the first time.

1 minute ago, Koroth said:

But what you consider "low res" or "poor quality" is ultimately a matter of taste. 

Agreed, thats why i would like to see a image, as it just might be native res for the system being run.

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3 minutes ago, Koroth said:

1. By default RetroArch has Bilineaire Filtering enabled which adds a blur to the image. RetroArch > Settings > Video > Bilineaire Filtering.

2. Maybe you want cores for 3d systems to render in a higher resolution?

3. You can use different types of shaders.

But what you consider "low res" or "poor quality" is ultimately a matter of taste. 

No disrespect @Koroth and thank you for taking the time to answer, but I disagree.  I've used RetroArch and Launchbox for a number of years and the picture quality has been much better than I'm seeing recently.  As I said, even PC Engine games played through a fresh standalone installation of RA on my work pc are displaying much clearer than they are through RA in LB on my other hard drive so it's something restricted to that location.  Games from any system look like they're being played on an 8 bit device.  As @neil9000 says I'll need to provide screenshots which I'll do this evening.  As the graphical degradation is quite a specific pixellation effect and it is not limited to one system, I just thought I would ask the question while I was on lunch to see if it resonates with anyone else.  

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9 minutes ago, Typhoon1944 said:

No disrespect @Koroth and thank you for taking the time to answer, but I disagree.  I've used RetroArch and Launchbox for a number of years and the picture quality has been much better than I'm seeing recently.

I did not meant to belittle you. But in that case, I use RetroArch 1.9.9. and I do not see any degradation in picture quality. But to give an example of myself in this thread; I set up RetroArch years ago too. Then it's easy to forget what settings you actually use and what the default settings are. Let alone that the default settings can change. I use core overrides / per core configs, so I have to configure everything per core and thus I rarely have problems that affect all cores. I think I would go crazy If I have to set up RetroArch a second time and have that second setup exactly match my first setup. I do not know if you directly copied RetroArch setups between pc's, but surely there are hardware differences. So settings that work  on one pc not necessarily work on another. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, thanks for all the support but, after having been busy at work and taking some time out for a family visit, I've now decided that, where possible, I'm going to use standalone emulators rather than Retroarch which is proving to be a better experience.  However, this has thrown up another issue, with Demul this time.  Specifically with games such as Airline Pilots.  This is obviously a triple screen cabinet but my experience running it in a previous Launchbox installation (again through Demul) was that it opened a single screen and it was playable.  Unfortunately now that everything has been reinstalled, when starting the game it will now open three Demul instances in windowed mode and I can't figure out how to get it to run with a single screen.  I'm not sure if the previous installation was scaling the display so that all 3 screens were displayed on a single panel or if I was simply getting the middle screen.  Either way, I didn't notice any particular difficulty playing the game other than my GPU was quite old and underpowered so it wasn't the smoothest experience.

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15 hours ago, Headrush69 said:

I use Retroarch flycast core for this game, but by chance could it be setting in the game service menu to change the cabinet type?

Not sure @Headrush69.  Good shout though.  I wasn't aware that Naomi games had a service menu.  I'll Google how to access it and have a look.

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1 hour ago, Typhoon1944 said:

Not sure @Headrush69.  Good shout though.  I wasn't aware that Naomi games had a service menu.  I'll Google how to access it and have a look.

If you look in the Retroarch quick menu under options  after starting a game you will see the option to enable service buttons.

You will have to look under Controls in the Quick menu to see what yours are set at. (you can change them)

One thing to note, when you get into service mode, the first screen is options for the base Sega Naomi cabinet options. (These machines could change cartridges and run different games) In that menu you should see an option called Game Test Mode, this will led you to the specific settings for the current game.

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51 minutes ago, Headrush69 said:

If you look in the Retroarch quick menu under options  after starting a game you will see the option to enable service buttons.

You will have to look under Controls in the Quick menu to see what yours are set at. (you can change them)

One thing to note, when you get into service mode, the first screen is options for the base Sega Naomi cabinet options. (These machines could change cartridges and run different games) In that menu you should see an option called Game Test Mode, this will led you to the specific settings for the current game.

Thanks @Headrush69.  Is there anything similar in Demul?  I'm using that to emulate as the video quality for most systems in Retroarch is really bad, which was the original purpose of this thread.  I got some good suggestions from other members but nothing concrete and I just don't have the time to troubleshoot the problem.  As I had purchased a Redream licence and it works with Launchbox I just took the plunge and downloaded standalone emulators for the rest of my systems which are working so much better than RA.  So, for example, I use Redream for Dreamcast ROMs and Demul for Naomi and so on.  As I said Demul (and incidentally Retroarch for that matter) worked really well in a previous installation where I was storing all my ROMs on an old Mac Pro and streaming them over the network to my PC, but since I have setup a portable LB installation on a 6 TB external drive & copied all my ROMs to the same external drive (so I can take my laptop and hard drive with me when I'm travelling), it's now opening a separate window for each of the 3 screens (and anything played through RA, regardless of what system it is, looks like it's running on an 8 bit device).  If it comes to it, I can probably live without the ultrawide display games, but Airline Pilots was quite fun and relaxing to sit and play.

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@Typhoon1944

There are two versions of this game in Demul

image.thumb.png.0ec35867bdafe79fea95f0153b56413b.png

If you load up alpilotj which is the Japan version Rev A then it is Single screen whereas the alpilot is the multi screen version

Now Headrush69 might be correct but I don't think there is an option to change to single screen

So all I have done is use the alpilotj.zip as the file in LaunchBox as I get single screen version

In Demul if you set keys in config for Service and Test you can get into the Service menu and then navigate around using those keys to make any changes you want/need

image.png.39e5b55526000f5f83c89c7f9ff4f291.png

Goodluck

Edited by Kiinkyfoxx
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