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Thread: So... what's the deal with scaling?

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    Clicker Fusion 2.5 (Steam)Fusion 2.5 Developer (Steam)Fusion 2.5+ DLC (Steam)

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    So... what's the deal with scaling?

    When scaling an active object 4x its size I get asked if I want to use Maximum Quality or Maximum Speed. Max quality is defined by Clickteam as "you can also choose the resize algorithm, fast (0) or with a better quality but slower (1)."

    This is me scaling the background (the actual level) with 0, the faster, less appealing solution: https://imgur.com/cG37n2D

    And this is using the "maximum quality" solution: https://imgur.com/lZMENZg

    ...is it common knowledge that these are just straight up backwards?

  2. #2
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    It depends on what you're going for. In your case with pixel art, scaling at quality 0 seems to preserve the hard edges rather than quality 1 that smooths the edges out. It's not backwards, I just don't think it's the type of results you're expecting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by piscesdreams View Post
    It depends on what you're going for. In your case with pixel art, scaling at quality 0 seems to preserve the hard edges rather than quality 1 that smooths the edges out. It's not backwards, I just don't think it's the type of results you're expecting.
    Hmm. Even if you weren't using pixel art though, wouldn't the most desirable outcome be to have your art retain its original appearance, as opposed to blurring the edges?

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    I would agree that the best way to retain the original images appearance when scaling up usually seems to be with Speed(0), rather than Quality(1). When scaling down, however, I find that Quality(1) better preserves the details of the original image compared to Speed(0).

    Additionally, In my experience the other situation where it is best to use Quality(1) is for rotations with the Set Angle action. Using Speed(0) for rotations of images at their original scale results in both the edges of the image and the inner pixels looking quite rough or jagged compared to the original image, while Quality(1) keeps the image much closer to what it looked like originally.

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    Clicker Multimedia Fusion 2SWF Export Module

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    The difference between "0" and "1" is whether to use anti-aliasing.
    Anti-aliasing is an image filter applied to textures any time you rotate or scale them in order to smooth the jagged edges that appear otherwise.
    Pixel displays lock to an XY grid, and you can't smoothly rotate textures along an XY grid by anything other than 90 degree angles, or scale it anything other than integer values (2x, 3x, etc). Inbetween, a straight line of pixels that gets rotated becomes a jagged line, and curved/complex shapes in pixel art become disjointed messes. Anti-aliasing algorithms do a pass over the image and try to blend together colors at each pixel to give them a value inbetween the surrounding pixels. If you have an object that only has red (255,0,0) pixels one one side and blue (0,0,255) pixels on the other side, if you rotate it without anti-aliasing you'll get a jagged line where the red and blue intersect. If you have anti-aliasing turned on, you get a gradient in those pixels of something like (128,0,128).

    Anti-aliasing is an intensive process and makes programs run slower, and its optimized for HWA applications to use a graphics card to perform it much faster. You have to be wary about using anti-aliasing on programs for devices with weaker GPUs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Musta View Post
    Hmm. Even if you weren't using pixel art though, wouldn't the most desirable outcome be to have your art retain its original appearance, as opposed to blurring the edges?
    Depends on what your desired outcome is. In the case of pixel art, it is desirable to preserve the hard edges. In the case of the HD pre-rendered art I use, I prefer the higher quality (1) anti-aliased results.

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    It really should be renamed "Bilinear filtering" because that's what it really is right?
    I mean anti-aliasing can be achieved through many different methods.
    And I have to say I agree with OP, it usually looks horrible but I guess it can work for photos/HD/realistic art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Musta View Post
    Hmm. Even if you weren't using pixel art though, wouldn't the most desirable outcome be to have your art retain its original appearance, as opposed to blurring the edges?
    In most cases other than pixelart, 'blurring the edges' is exactly how your artwork will retain its original appearance. Put in a photo, a line drawing, a font, a gradient into photoshop and scale it without any anti aliasing (or bilinear/bicubic filtering or whatever you want to call it). Straight away you'll notice ugly artifacts that weren't there before. Jaggy edges, breaking lines, irregular distortion patterns, color banding, different parts of the picture distorting and growing at slightly different rates. Scale all those things with anti aliasing, and everything looks.... normal (unless you're scaling by something ridiculous like 1000% of course.)

    You have to remember that pixel art isn't normal. It's an exception. Pixel artists like to see crisp squares in their graphics, but it's about the only situation in which people actually want to see images this way. Historically speaking, it's actually a new phenomenon. Ironically, none of the old Nintendo and C64 games we played as kids had the kind of crisp pixels that today's pixel artists expect, because they were all played on CRT screens that flooded each pixel with so much light that the pixels bled into each other. The best games artists of the 80s and 90s were experts at maximising this bloom effect to give their graphics softness and warmth, mask the low resolution of their graphics, and even sometimes to simulate new colors that weren't actually there. For most people, the blocky pixelart aesthetic was just a limitation that gamers tried not to notice, while artists did their best to circumvent it as soon as the technology allowed them. It wasn't a feature that you tried to highlight, like nowadays. But nostalgia has its own take on reality

    None of this is to knock pixelart. It's a valid niche that produces some really lovely artwork. But my point is that when you're thinking in terms of pixelart, you're purposely thinking kind of upside-down. You're looking at things from an aesthetic angle that doesn't exist in nature, doesn't work well in most other types of images, and wasn't even as pronounced in the actual glory days of the 80s. Yes, we can all wholeheartedly agree that pixelart looks terrible when it's anti aliased. It's much prettier when it's crispy and sharp-edged. But that's because it's a unique niche unlike just about everything else.

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