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Good looking 1.13 with 2xsal and proper config[message #365173] Thu, 16 February 2023 22:07
Dr-D is currently offline Dr-D

Registered:July 2005
Location: Portugal
Good afternoon, JA2 fans.

Many of us now have 2k or higher screens, and playing the game at native screen resolutions makes every element on the game look too damn small for most gamers.

Most don't want to read the ammo count written in 4 by 5 pixels in a 2k display. And let's face it, JA2 fans are aging, their eyes are not what they used to be.

Fortunately, cnc-ddraw wrapper was included by Asdow on Oct 15, 2022 (many thanks for this, you are my personal hero)

The cnc-ddraw wrapper has the ability of using shaders with the glsl format.
Those glsl files are scripts that inform the shader engine on how to scale pixels. Players used to play old console emulators will probably familiar with this.

There are some raw glsl files that simply zoom pixels, making a 1by1 pixel become a 2by2.
Other glsl files will apply some mathematical oriented approaches, like linear or cubic zoom
But there is a special class of glsl that tries to "understand" pixel art and restore its meaning in the upscaled output. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel-art_scaling_algorithms

2xsal.glsl is one of this gl scripts.
2xsal will try to understand what a circle, a line, a border, text, and try to recreate those known forms into the zoomed output.

To activate such shader script you will need:

1 - A recent "game folder" or a full install that includes the folder "Shaders"and the file "ddraw.ini" (with the proper ddraw.dll)

2 - To change the SCREEN_RESOLUTION in the JA2.ini to a good resolution.
In general, all shader scripts work best if the resolution chosen is a multiple of your native resolution.
Example: My native resolution is 2560x1440, so I have chosen 4 ... 1280x720 as my SCREEN_RESOLUTION, because it is exactly half of my native resolution.

3 - Get your glsl in the "Shaders" folder.
The "Shaders" folder included in the "game folder" will probably have a good amount of glsl scripts.
The default used at the time of this writing was "nearest-neighbor.glsl" and it preforms similar to a mspaint zoom.
You can decompress the shader-package.zip provided in the game folder to get more shaders.
Or you can simply google for new glsl files. Example: "glsl 2xsal"

4 - Change the shader on your ddraw.ini to your desired glsl.
Edit the line "shader=" with the relative path, to the glsl file, from the JA2 base folder.
Example: "shader=Shaders\2xsal.glsl"

5 - Enter the game, in full screen, and enjoy.

[Updated on: Thu, 16 February 2023 22:10]

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