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TheMagicMushroomMan

What aspect ratio do you use for Doom?

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I used to play with whatever fullscreen settings that made native screen resolution look ok before.

 

Having returned to classic after a long break, I am more curious in trying different setups. My preference for old mods, original games and mods that care about vanilla is 4:3 as 1024x768 windowed with classic/legacy aspect ratio settings. If I run modern mods, this is mostly fullscreen so whatever fits best the actual display I'm using - e.g. I'm at 5:4 display at the moment.

 

One thing I tried recently was playing LZDoom in 4:5 aspect ratio with my display turned portrait, and it looked sharp in software renderer and I liked the very much "less claustrophobic" experience. I wanted to run hardware accelerated mode next but the weapon was scaled unexpectedely large for my liking (as if scaled to the closest bounding multiple of 320x200?). I didn't find a setting for this anywhere, and it was like this in several versions of GZDoom and LZDoom I tried. Is this likely to be a bug, or is it just my perception?

 

Spoiler

Screenshot_Doom_20200819_110704.png.3aaaf80a19a47b037baab45d5dec1b2d.png

 

 

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16:9 (usually monitor's native resolution) on all ports, even on Crispy Doom and also non-square pixels.

 

If I have to use 4:3, I use black bars on the sides. I can't stand the squashed look of "non-black bars 4:3 ratio".

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Posted (edited)
On 8/18/2020 at 11:02 PM, Hellektronic said:

4:3 ratio, 320x200 resolution on LZDoom, Open GL fullscreen... technically it's 640x480, just resolution scaled down to 320x200. I use GPU scaling on my Nividia card so the window isn't stretched across the whole screen, I think it looks better with 2D sprites.

 

Fully 3D games are a different story with resolution obviously, but I still use 4:3 resolutions in every game, even the newest of the new.

 

This confuses me for multiple reasons. I tried LZdoom and it didn't have opengl 320x200. I use integer scaling in nvidia too. With my 1080p desktop any other 320x240 or 640x480 game will display in around 85% of screen height. In case of GZdoom however, the screen is fairly neatly scaled to full height with clean pixels in some nearest neighbour fashion. It beats me why you don't see it stretched to screen height.

 

I don't have similar OCD problems otherwise but the 320x200 being used in Doom instead of 320x240 with even pixels is the thing that I hate most about this game. That said, I play exclusively in 320x200 squeezed to 4:3 (the perfect retro ratio). Sometimes I use square pixels from Vanilla Essence shader instead but that means fonts, menus, automap and status bar of the game are completely misaligned with the game screen.

 

4:3 is superior to me because what's in the centre of the screen has a kind of "artistic composition". When you switch to 16:9 you get sides of the picture that filled with nothing interesting. Another reason why I use 320x200 mode in gzdoom is that it allows this dithering filtre:

 

8WvNuz1.jpg

Edited by <<Rewind

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7 hours ago, <<Rewind said:

 

This confuses me for multiple reasons. I tried LZdoom and it didn't have opengl 320x200. I use integer scaling in nvidia too. With my 1080p desktop any other 320x240 or 640x480 game will display in around 85% of screen height. In case of GZdoom however, the screen is fairly neatly scaled to full height with clean pixels in some nearest neighbour fashion. It beats me why you don't see it stretched to screen height.

 

I actually don't use integer scaling, I use "no scaling", which is actually scaled, lol, and set "perform scaling on:" GPU. I use it for a lot of older games that use sprites and pixelated things, because sprites generally look better when they aren't all stretched out.

 

As for LZDoom? Well, like I said, I have mine set to 640x480, BUT, there's another setting in that menu for resolution scaling, and you can actually scale it down to 320x200. Open GL doesn't do so good with lower resolutions, so it kind of looks like the HUD gun sprites are a bit twitchy when they move, but I use it anyway. It's either that or using software rendering, and I'm kinda spoiled by the lighting and color options Open GL has.

 

I try to have a good all 'round setup that I can use for GZDoom oriented wads and oldschool ones equally.

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The more I read on the forum and try in GZDoom the more I am getting confused with its scaling options. Is there any reference on that, or a guide that explains in detail what the options on Set video mode screen really mean?

E.g. I tried settings in the vein of what @Hellektronic described and got nice visuals as a result, but I am at a loss at whether these are rendered at my screen resolution/window size and downscaled, or rendered at half my resolution (0.5 scale, not sure what half stands for again) and upscaled to my screen resolution/window size. You see, I'm lost.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20200821_002954.png.6c7b3ce1e7d50c868ad1b65fa0c3558c.png

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As long as the aspect ratio is correct, I don’t care. Vanilla and chocolate only come in 4:3 of course, but I prefer the black bars to a stretched picture. In source ports, I use 16:9.

 

For years I played Doom95 stretched to 16:9. The guns were as fat as they’ll ever be. I used to like that, but one day a few years ago I just decided to stick with the default aspect ratio because the graphics look best at their intended scale, imo.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, ludicrous_peridot said:

I’m The more I read on the forum and try in GZDoom the more I am getting confused with its scaling options. Is there any reference on that, or a guide that explains in detail what the options on Set video mode screen really mean?

E.g. I tried settings in the vein of what @Hellektronic described and got nice visuals as a result, but I am at a loss at whether these are rendered at my screen resolution/window size and downscaled, or rendered at half my resolution (0.5 scale, not sure what half stands for again) and upscaled to my screen resolution/window size. You see, I'm lost.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20200821_002954.png.6c7b3ce1e7d50c868ad1b65fa0c3558c.png

Well, the screenshot you posted seems to have the correct proportions for everything, as it ought to be at 4:3.

 

(sorry for double post, quoting is a nightmare on mobile)

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I always play in 16:9 with a 1920x1080 resolution. I can't stand black bars nor everything looking squashed. Plus playing FPS in 4:3 nowadays feels weirdly claustrophobic, and I have no nostalgia for that at all.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for looking, @Doomkid

 

I actually felt dumb about having been confused with GZDoom settings, so I read more forum, and experimented with settings a bit and came up with a cheat sheet of sorts for myself. I hope it is not a wrong place to post this, as at least for me aspect ratio topic is very confusing unless I understand how the game actually scales things.

 

Spoiler

  

 The below is for OpenGL renderer of modern GZDoom versions (4.4 as of writing).

  1. Video mode option screen is difficult. If one doesn't understand how the options work together, which depends on which and which suppresses which (like a yesterday me) it's best to either
    1. stick with defaults - they should likely work, or
    2. figure out the most appropriate screen size (e.g. window size of native display resolution) and select it from the Resolution presets, and keep the hands from other options
  2. If one understands a little bit more (like today me) they would know that
    1. Resolution scale is king. This option effectively sets the size of the area in pixels engine will use for rendering and this is what taking a screenshot saves on the disk. Each value has a distinct meaning:
      1. Normal renders to the size of the window, which can be a full screen window if Fullscreen option is On. GZDoom takes of the 1.2 vertical scale up for the sprites to adjust for square pixels of modern monitors.
      2. Lowest possible scale makes GZDoom select rendering area of 640 x smth size or smth x 400 size, that has aspect ratio matching that of the window. The 1.2 sprite scaling takes place as well. As the result is no longer the same size as window to output to, it's then scaled to window size.
      3. 320x200, 640x400, 960x600 and 1280x800 - the selected rendering size is used and 1.2 scaling is not applied to sprites. The rendered result is then scaled up vertically by 1.2 and letterboxed into the window which could be a fullscreen window as usual. This means that at 320x200 mode, game window of 320x200 size will have black pillars on the side, and game window of 320x240 will be the perfect fit. The modes seem to be the most faithful representation of the original vanilla look that the render offers.
      4. Custom will respect Custom Width and Custom Height values under Custom Pixel Scaling header as rendering area size. In particular if the values are entered and Apply Changes (Windowed) is selected, game will change size of the window to match the values entered. The sprites are scaled up by 1.2. For fullscreen mode the output will be letterboxed into the full screen window when Apply Changes (Fullscreen) action is selected.
    2. Scale factor can be used to change the size of the rendering area. Both height and width are multiplied by the value specified with the slider which can be changed from 0 to 2 in 0.25 steps. I assume the CVAR can be set to any value between 0 and 2 via configuration file or console command. So rendered result may be smaller or bigger then the game window and will be scaled appropriately after it's rendered. E.g. Normal resolution scale mode with Fullscreen On and Scale factor of 2 will render into 4 times the size of the screen and then downscale to fit the full screen window. For the "quasi vanilla" modes the scaling will also include letterboxing and 1.2 vertical scaling as mentioned above in their description.
    3. Force aspect ratio can be used on top of that to adjust the rendering and subsequent scaling.
      1. Normal size will be set to the maximum fitting rectangle in the current window that agrees with selected width:height ratio and then scaled by the scale factor. 
      2. Lowest possible scale will change the rendering area size to the smallest of 640 x smth or smth x 400 that agrees with selected width:height ratio and then apply Scale factor.
      3. "Quasi vanilla" 320x200, 640x400, 960x600 and 1280x800 will retain the size of the rendering area post Scale factor applied. Instead when rendering the specified ratio is taken into account. E.g. with 21:9 selected as Force aspect ratio option rendering result will be very condensed horizontally with much bigger part of the map visible. Sprites are still not scaled by 1.2 in these modes during rendering and the result is scaled by 1.2 and letterboxed into game window.
      4. In Custom mode height of the rendering area post Scale factor applied is adjusted to agree with width:height ratio selected.
    4. Forced ratio style modifies rendering area size and size scaling options further
      1. Firstly the above description of force aspect ratio applies to the Letterbox style. I.e. if Letterbox style is selected rendering area adjusted as per the options outlined above is scaled to game window size letterboxed.
      2. For "quasi vanilla" options Scaled style seems to have the same effect as Letterbox.
      3. For other modes rendering area size will be set to the size of the game window Scale factor applied and selected width:height ratio taken into account while rendering, as well as the vertical sprite scale up by 1.2. Rendering result will then be scaled to window size.  
    5. Use linear scaling (Fullscreen) controls how rendering result is scaled to the game window if that's required. Setting this to Yes will produce a smoother look while setting to No will result in chunkier image (in particular this is noticeable with menu and status bar that may get a blur effect when this is on). Despite the name of the option it seems to be applied to windows of all sizes in "quasi vanilla" and Lowest possible scale resolution scale modes e.g even when not in full screen. 
    6. Menus and Status bar are separate things from the above.
      1. For menus GZDoom will try to chose an optimal way to render, preserving ratio and readability of the menus, which may cause it to change rendering area size while menu is output. As a result the the screen may "jump" in a funny way while menus are entered/exited and the image of the game that's seen through behind the menus may actually not be at all like what the game will look after menu is closed, even if it changes when display options are changed.
      2. For status bar separate options are available under Hud > Scaling options and the game will try to scale it in a way to preserve clarity of the sprites, but will also try to scale vertically by 1.2 if HUD preserves aspect ratio is selected to make it look as originally intended. However in the "quasi-vanilla" 320x200, 640x400, 960x600 and 1280x800 status bar will be scaled twice if this option is on!

  

 

So with all the options available I am no longer surprised why I'm confused with the question "What aspect ratio do you use?" or why I have no comprehension how monsters and guns can be fat in 4:3. For me this could relate to any of the things: monitor(-s) used, preferred size of the window, whether compensation for square pixels is on, particular GZDoom feature of "Forced aspect ratio", etc.

 

Spoiler

To elaborate, just the ratio itself is not that informative. It's much more interesting why this ratio seems a fitting one. E.g

  • better (or less awkward) scaling on a particular monitor or graphics card
  • desire for intended look of the sprites and textures
  • loathing of the intended look or nostalgia for a particular source port
  • particular mod or map pack requirements
  • viewport and visible geometry matching what the map author had in mind ("artistic composition" as @<<Rewind put that)

and such.

 

Edited by ludicrous_peridot

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Posted (edited)

16:9 at 1920x1080 with the HUD scaled correctly to match in GZDoom and other modern source ports.

 

Edited by CyberDreams : update

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Whilst I've been playing DOOM for the most part in 16:9, I actually really prefer 4:3 since that's how the game was meant to be played. I really just like the nostalgic feel of a square screen. I actually have a 4:3 LCD monitor that still works.... one of these days I should hook that up and can enjoy 4:3 properly without any pillar boxing haha. 

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8:5 ("16:10"), my native monitor resolution. I'd like to try playing in 4:3 for a while, but as far as I can tell there's no way to force it PR/GLBoom while in fullscreen as the aspect ratio compensator is braindead so I'm out of luck unless I change ports or find a way to finagle it in the config file.

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