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Author Topic: Removing everything but the backgrounds  (Read 491 times)

Egon

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Removing everything but the backgrounds
« on: February 25, 2018, 04:12:53 pm »
Hi.

I'm totally new to this, I would like to try learn a bit about romhacking and as something of a, I guess, art project I'd like to remove all elements from a racing game except the backgrounds. I know this should be possible as I was inspired by an artist called Corey Archagel who did exactly that with SMB http://www.coryarcangel.com/things-i-made/2002-001-super-mario-clouds

I've read through the info on the site, but before I dive into it I wanted to ask how you would recommend going about it? Is it something I'd be able to do with a Graphics Hacking program or is there a better way?

thanks in advance.  :thumbsup:
Egon

Jorpho

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Re: Removing everything but the backgrounds
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 08:43:46 pm »
Is there some reason you're being shy about naming the specific racing game..?

If this is a SNES game, then some emulators have the ability to selectively disable different "layers" and it would be trivial to get rid of everything but the background.
This depresses me. I feel like a goldfish right now...

Egon

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Re: Removing everything but the backgrounds
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 01:40:41 pm »
Only reason being I haven't decided on which one yet. At the moment the short list is Top Gear 2 & Street Racer. I'm trying to find games with the more interesting backgrounds / visual effects and focusing on the 16-bit era. (any other suggestions would also be welcome).

Would the emulators with that function be ZSNES and SNES9X ? Or are there others capable of it now?

I found this helpful page (in case anybody else is interested) http://www.bghq.com/tutorials/ripbgszsnes.html

FAST6191

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Re: Removing everything but the backgrounds
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 06:36:18 am »
I don't know which emulators do what but it is more of a function of the way the hardware is set up.

The SNES and most things newer than it have layers to build up backgrounds, text, sprites and such into a full image. For example the GBA and DS take this to fairly serious levels in their respective hardware ( http://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#dsvideo ). I mention those for while you say 16 bit I should note that it and the saturn are basically where 2d went to shine before it all went software.

If you are emulating them it is easy to enable and disable them from your final render, indeed some emulators on less powerful systems fail to do layers properly (the SNES stuff on the GBA being a good example) and might have even had the option to switch the orders around.

Even without that most systems differentiated between sprites and backgrounds so you could usually disable those to get the backgrounds.

More hackery approach though if needed.
Most systems will support transparency/alpha in one way or another. You could then paint over the sprites/UI with the transparent colour for that system/palette.

Only real problem (other than not being able to see to play) is some systems use the sprites for hit detection. It is not a great way of doing things so newer systems dropped that method in favour of others but it is worth keeping in mind.

Even more hackery approach.
We tend to use the method for input mods and some aspects of sound hacking but depending upon the system it could work for graphics too.
If you read hardware docs most things on the system are controlled with "registers" (not to be confused with the CPU registers, though at times they can function in similar ways). If you can reach out and touch those registers with a cheat or with a simple assembly mod you can basically disable layers and sprites "in hardware"