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Posted Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:57 am

Hi all, I have started a project to accurately recreate the process of a CRT in After Effects, Blender and other graphics systems. The aim is to give an input of say a 320x200 raw image or clip and output a 4K or above representation of a CRT.

This is a long journey, and I have spent a year or two off and on doing some experiments and research. By doing this as a post process, we will be able to get a much more accurate emulation of that wonderful glowing piece of glass.

I thought I would show you my first early test results. If anyone is interested, I can document my current process and thinking.

This is the before image
01 320x240.png
And this is the result of something approximating a composite or even RF ouptut
06 Scale Down Grade.jpg
I would love to get some of your thoughts and suggestions.

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:42 am

Is this an animation you're building?

I know After Effects a bit. Are you using a layer effect, placing a grid of sorts on top of your other footage (or rendered footage)?

It would be interesting to see an actual photo of your CRT effect on an LCD screen at a normal viewing distance to see how it looks.

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Kingsport, TN

Posted Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:16 am

VileR (one of the people involved in "8088MPH", the 1024-color CGA IBM 5150 demo) has recently posted to his blog about a CRT simulation batch file for Windows that uses recent versions of ffmpeg to simulate a huge range of displays, including color and monochrome CRTs, and vintage LCD and plasma displays as well. Here's the GitHub page for the project. The screenshots are among the best CRT simulations I've ever seen, albeit a slow process (I have not actually tried the script myself yet). I can only imagine the end result of CRT simulation with high-DPI high-res screens will be quite well done. Coupled with black-frame insertion and adaptive refresh rates, flat panels are becoming fairly capable of simulating the "feel" of a CRT

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Posted Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:33 pm

It is not for a specific animation, rather I want a set up that when I post a picture or a clip from a retro system it will look how it was supposed to back in the day. Actually you are partly to blame intric8 for me starting this. I have noticed how you put such an effort into capturing the screen grabs from the CRT's you have. I thought it might be nice to have a digital workflow for this.

So it is a multi stage workflow currently and is not doubt going to change as I work on it. But currently I scale the input image up 10 times(most likely will change). A series of colour and blur effects then happen to soften the image. Next I take a very large shadow mask I made and mask out each RGB channel to the match colour from the mask. Lasty I have some further colour grading going on. It is all a bit messy right now.

Thanks a stack for the link LocalH. That is a goldmine of information and might actually be a better piece of software to do the work in, even if there is no immediate feedback loop. The images they are getting are pretty awesome.

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