Question about N64 graphics

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reversalmushroom
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Question about N64 graphics

Post by reversalmushroom » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:56 am

I noticed that most of N64 textures look blurred and aren't very detailed at all (except for 2-dimensional sprites, but I have a feeling those are pre-rendered). Why is this? The Super Nintendo is a 16-bit system, and the Nintendo 64 is a 64-bit system, and yet SNES/Genesis graphics seem to have more detail. Yeah, the Nintendo 64 has a more diverse color palette than the SNES, but you can't discern any individual pixels and all of the colors in the textures look blended together, and you see a lot of gradient shading. Hell, Donkey Kong Country looks far far, more detailed than Super Mario 64, and Donkey Kong Country is a 32-bit game. But what's weird is that N64 sprites look very detailed, much more so than 16 bit sprites, so is there a reason why the textures that get placed onto the models can't be as good as the 2D sprite graphics? Was it simply a design choice? Were game developers simply choosing not to use the Nintendo 64 at it's full graphical potential?
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emu_kidid
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by emu_kidid » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:03 am

I'm no expert on the graphics, but the N64 had a very tiny texture size limite of 4KB. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_64#Graphics for more info. Games like Mario 64 didn't use many textures and used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouraud_shading

Also, SNES games tend to look better because things like texture scalers work better when the textures aren't as detailed as N64 textures.

In the end, who cares when you have texture replacement packs ;)
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reversalmushroom
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by reversalmushroom » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:10 am

I see what you did there.
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reversalmushroom
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by reversalmushroom » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:12 am

Do you know what the texture size limit was for the SNES? Was it more than the N64?
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felixcondez
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by felixcondez » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:02 am

I think it was more for the little graphic potential ... that time was good but if you itemize now is not surprising ... I am not an expert on this topic but the comparison you make is limited only to texturing and do not take into account that the Nintendo 64 had to move also containing polygons 3d models ... The more polygons on screen but you demand the system, then I think preferred to sacrifice some mapping of the games ... if you watch many games get slow even if these elements were sacrificed

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reversalmushroom
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by reversalmushroom » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:22 am

You did alright. It's just that for years I've wondered why the textures can't be as good looking as the sprites, why 2D 16-bit games seem to have more detail than 3-D N64 games, despite the fact that 64 is a much bigger number than 16. I always thought that textures and sprites were the same thing, because they are both 2D.
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by BenoitRen » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:57 pm

reversalmushroom wrote:Donkey Kong Country is a 32-bit game
what
Do you know what the texture size limit was for the SNES?
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Re: Question about N64 graphics

Post by Disorarara » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:49 pm

I know what you're trying to say, but you're saying it under several misconceptions, first of all the amount of bits a CPU is doesn't really matter in terms of graphical power. And the reason Nintendo 64 games seem so non-detailed is because not only do you have a 4kb texture cache limit, but you have to load more of them to map out an entire 3D environment. Add to that Trilinear filtering and you make that already tiny texture look so blurry and non-detailed it might as well be gouraud. They have come up with several tricks to beat that though, such as dividing larger textures into tiny chunks and texture mapping only specific portions of models. 16-bit games seem more detailed by comparison because those sprites aren't being blown up to fit a low-poly model with filtering applied on top of it

Hope that explains it. Even with these limitations Nintendo 64 textures are still larger than SNES sprites and thus it has superior 2D capabilities, too bad there weren't that many games that demonstrated this.
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