MSX Image Converter 256 colors v2.0

by PAC on 04-09-2016, 00:01
Topic: Software
Tags: graphics
Languages:

Last year we reported about the v1.0 of this image converter. At that time Óscar Isidro (OsisEs) was already planning a v2.0 and today after some bug fixes this release is ready to be downloaded including some new features:

  • Support for BMP and PNG picture formats.
  • 5 modes of color.
  • 2 modes with simulation of >1500 colors.
  • Interlaced mode support.
  • Recording image cropping, like MSX-BASIC.
  • Scaling image from 0.5x to 20x.
  • Keyboard and mouse interface.
  • Convert all images from a path.

Recommended requirements:

  • Windows 32 or 64 bits.
  • 1280 pixels wide resolution.
  • 4GiB RAM.
  • At least 6MiB of free hard disk space.

For the moment the PDF manual is available in Spanish only, English version will be published soon. The developer is open to any suggestion or improvement.

Relevant link: MSX Image Converter 256 colors v2.0

Comments (19)

By SLotman

Paragon (1215)

SLotman's picture

04-09-2016, 17:23

A image converter for MSX that needs 4GB of RAM?! 1280 resolution?!? Why in God's name would it need that?
(Just for comparison, the latest Photoshop needs "only" 2Gb or RAM!)

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1046)

Wolverine_nl's picture

06-09-2016, 11:42

Maybe because he used it while creating it and it runs good on it, so is more "recommended" (like it says). Thats how I read it Wink
And maybe the application doesn't support a scalable window and is set to 1280px

By tvalenca

Paladin (728)

tvalenca's picture

06-09-2016, 21:02

It requires Windows, that's already an issue for me. But it's good to see such kind of software nowadays... Kudos!

By PAC

Guardian (5314)

PAC's picture

07-09-2016, 21:38

SLotman wrote:

A image converter for MSX that needs 4GB of RAM?! 1280 resolution?!? Why in God's name would it need that?
(Just for comparison, the latest Photoshop needs "only" 2Gb or RAM!)

The term 'recommended' is quite clear in my opinion, I'm running it just with half of the memory without problem and great results. What is more important, the requirements or if the program does the job?. Try it and judge later accordingly. Too bad that in the current MSX world it seems is more important to critize (not constructively) than give some support...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

wolf_'s picture

07-09-2016, 22:13

PAC wrote:
SLotman wrote:

A image converter for MSX that needs 4GB of RAM?! 1280 resolution?!? Why in God's name would it need that?
(Just for comparison, the latest Photoshop needs "only" 2Gb or RAM!)

Too bad that in the current MSX world it seems is more important to critize (not constructively) than give some support...

Technically, SLotman wasn't doing that, merely asking what all that memory was for. But I can see how it can be interpreted as criticism. The question is quite valid though, as I don't really see what all that memory would be needed for. One of my own in-house gfx-tools uses 32 MB of memory. And while a converter may be more complex, I bet most of my memory usage goes to image data at 4 bytes per pixel and other bulk datatypes. Compared to an MSX, 32 MB is still a big whoop of course.

I'd argue that the programmer was merely stating the configuration of his development system, rather than a genuine requirement.

By PAC

Guardian (5314)

PAC's picture

08-09-2016, 01:57

You are right, I fully agree that technically the requirements are high for that purpose but in my opinion we should focus on what this tool can offers and not on minor issues like this. If that hardware configuration were a problem nowadays (unaffordable) I would understand that point of view.

By osises

Master (215)

osises's picture

09-09-2016, 14:17

The instruction manual in English is now available for download.

Note: The requirements are approximate. If are lower, maybe don't run at full performance.

By SLotman

Paragon (1215)

SLotman's picture

10-09-2016, 02:14

Guys, I was really surprised by such "requirements" or "reccomendation" - maybe something was lost between languages, I don't know...

Just to state my surprise, my own image converter (available in the MSXPad suite) that can convert to scr5 / scr8 and back - takes around 2Mb of RAM. But it is a very simple converter, there is no dithering, no quantization or anything.

And yet, 4GB of RAM seems a lot for me. I really want to know if there is something special, some new way to convert the images that require such ammount of memory.

Maybe that "Scaling image from 0.5x to 20x" is the thing.. after all, 256x212 * 20 is more than 1Gb of raw memory...?

Also, does this mean this tool is 64 bits only? Because 32bits, as far as I remember cannot address 4Gb...

By PAC

Guardian (5314)

PAC's picture

10-09-2016, 19:16

SLotman, sorry for my negative reaction. As you may know, from time to time there are non constructive comments from certain part of the community clearly with not the best intention. Sorry for misunderstanding, lets continue with the topic.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2093)

Louthrax's picture

10-09-2016, 19:20

SLotman wrote:

And yet, 4GB of RAM seems a lot for me. I really want to know if there is something special, some new way to convert the images that require such ammount of memory.

A long time ago, I was disappointed by the speed of my screen 12 conversion routines (RGB to YJK), and was thinking about having a big conversion table in RAM loaded from a file... Do not remember the size of this hypthetical table but it was over 16MB, and I definitively had not enough memory on my 386 PC then. And today the PCs are so fast that this table is not needed anymore Smile

By MsxKun

Paladin (924)

MsxKun's picture

10-09-2016, 23:02

Louthrax wrote:
SLotman wrote:

And yet, 4GB of RAM seems a lot for me. I really want to know if there is something special, some new way to convert the images that require such ammount of memory.

A long time ago, I was disappointed by the speed of my screen 12 conversion routines (RGB to YJK), and was thinking about having a big conversion table in RAM loaded from a file... Do not remember the size of this hypthetical table but it was over 16MB, and I definitively had not enough memory on my 386 PC then. And today the PCs are so fast that this table is not needed anymore Smile

My today PC is 10,5 years old Tongue Still it can use BMP2MSX even under linux without using barely any RAM. Before that, I remember using my MSX2 to convert BMP/GIF to .PIC. I took a bit, yes, but did the job.

Edit: I just checked, BMP2MSX is using about 5Mb of RAM.

By SLotman

Paragon (1215)

SLotman's picture

11-09-2016, 02:20

So... I tried the converter - while having task manager opened.

Normal operation, it didn't required more than 80mb - but when I dragged the window around (and I could reproduce this!) it shot up to almost 300mb, and when I "released" the window, it went back to 80mb.

All in all - very far from 4GB.

And as I suspected, it is a 32bit application - so it can only access 2-3Gb max. But it didn't get anywhere near that...

(The tool itself looks nice, has a nice dithering option to convert images!)

By Manuel

Ascended (15815)

Manuel's picture

11-09-2016, 12:25

So, formulation was a bit unfortunate.

"Recommended Requirements" is also a bit of a contradicting thing... What is required (the minimum) and what is recommended (best performance)?

Anyway, loads of nitpicking because of one badly formulated remark in the news post. Better talk about the actual content of the message!? Smile

By MsxKun

Paladin (924)

MsxKun's picture

11-09-2016, 12:55

SLotman wrote:

So... I tried the converter - while having task manager opened.

Normal operation, it didn't required more than 80mb - but when I dragged the window around (and I could reproduce this!) it shot up to almost 300mb, and when I "released" the window, it went back to 80mb.

All in all - very far from 4GB.

That makes more sense and, the most important, makes the program pretty usable Smile And, for what I saw on pics, it's very interesting.

By mohai

Paladin (841)

mohai's picture

11-09-2016, 19:26

I am running it in Windows XP 32 Bit with 1GB RAM. It even run on 512 MB RAM.
The program performance is fast.
I do not see any strange behaviour in such environvent so far.
I did some conversions and compared to BMP2MSX and BMP256 seems to do a better color comversion. Converted images have more colors.
I found a little bug: if the source image does not meet MSX screen aspect ratio, then converted mage is stretched to fill screen, so aspect ratio is changed. Image is deformed in some way.
BMP2MSX has an option to keep aspect ratio or not.
Could be possible to add this option?

By osises

Master (215)

osises's picture

19-09-2016, 13:40

Well, I have to clarify some information about the program:

When an image is loaded, all data is cached in memory. Then, depending on the size of it can use more or less memory. If not enough, you can experience some loss of performance (use HD).

Therefore, to ensure that work properly, I indicated 4GB of RAM. This allows other applications to run simultaneously. In my case I found that it works ok with Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Outlook, Skype, Word and Excel running simultaneously (4GB RAM). Is it possible to work with less memory (512MB for example)? Yes, but depending on what applications to run simultaneously, this may decrease performance

The program is mixed. It is able to run on Windows 32 and 64 bits, using the resources available in each case (including the RAM). Therefore, if you load a very large image, for example 50Mpx, it not have performance loss if there is enough free RAM. Reminder: The size of the image is multiplied by 4 (R + G + B + Alpha).

I also have experienced some problems with some antivirus. When the progran run for the first time, the antivirus performs a slow scan in some cases. Something completely normal.

Thanks mohai. I pointed the bug. I'll try to fix it if possible. For now the solution is to add a blank space for up to 800x600 pix (minimum).

By Samor

Paragon (2030)

Samor's picture

20-09-2016, 19:40

This is probably a false positive but Windows Defender reports that BMP_256_2.0.zip on your site contains trojans.
Maybe it has to do with that slow scan you mentioned.

By Samor

Paragon (2030)

Samor's picture

04-09-2017, 21:06

Noticed that there's a version 2.1 of this now (was this posted on MRC?), and I'm not getting any virus warnings now either, just a smartscreen warning (but that's common for unverified downloads).

on the site it says:
05/12/2017
Released version 2.1 of Screen image converter 8. Fixed some small bugs and modified functionality

By PAC

Guardian (5314)

PAC's picture

05-09-2017, 18:11

Thank you for letting us know about it.