Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Kossowski Craig » Wed, 13 Jan 1999 04:00:00



: perhaps, using Blender or a modeler+POV-Ray. I have two problems, though, 1)
: a poor-quality 640x480 monitor that visibly curves its vertical lines and
: probably does interesting things to the color of the image, and 2) not a lot
: of money--$200 dollars to spend, _maybe_.

My advice would be to try and get a relatively recent 15" monitor, with

controls.  By going for a used 15", you've got a resonable chance of
finding one that's in resonable shape from someone who's moving up to a 17
or 19" model.  Try to get a unit with good fine dot pitch, and make sure
you see and like the model you're using, at the resolution you'll use
(likely 1024x768 for 15") before you commit to buying it.  We have 15"
Sony's at work, don't know the model number, that I like, but other
manufacturers also make good monitors.  I don't think you can do graphics
work at lower res or smaller screen size effectively, even 15" is pushing
it, depending on what you want to do.

Make sure whatever video card you have can support 24 bit colour depths at
1024x768, and at resonable refresh rates.  Some people say 16 bit is good
enough, but I find this not to be the case at all, and find the diffrence
substantial.

You can do rendering at lower resolutions, and probably will, megapixel
images take a long time to render, but if you can find something like this
in your range (should be possible) you'll likely be satisfied with it.

Craig.

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by z.. » Sun, 17 Jan 1999 04:00:00




> Make sure whatever video card you have can support 24 bit colour depths at
> 1024x768, and at resonable refresh rates.  Some people say 16 bit is good
> enough, but I find this not to be the case at all, and find the diffrence
> substantial.

I agree. There is a big difference betwen thousands of colors and
millions. Now I do not think the human eye can tell much of a difference
between 24 bit and the newer 32 bit color though. I think that is
overkill.

--
If only we knew that money is only an idea. There is no scarcity or loss connected to it. Nothing cost anything.

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Stephan Ahone » Sun, 17 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>I agree. There is a big difference betwen thousands of colors and
>millions. Now I do not think the human eye can tell much of a difference
>between 24 bit and the newer 32 bit color though. I think that is
>overkill.

The weird part is: in 24 bit, in theory, you can display 16,777,216 colors
simultaneously. But even a 1600x1200 monitor only has 1,920,000 pixels.
That's 8.7 colors/pixel, even at an overkill resolution!! Why did they
invent 32-bit anyway, when we don't have enough pixels to contain the colors
we already have? We would need a 4096x4096 (adjusted to have a 4/3 aspect)
to use all those colors, and most pictures don't come close to covering a
full spectrum of colors anyway.
Weird thing #2: How the heck can you write RGB data in 32-bit? 32 isn't
divisible by 3, does it take a standard 24 bit color statement and modulate
the color using the remaining 8 bits or something?
 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Shalon Woo » Sun, 17 Jan 1999 04:00:00



> >I agree. There is a big difference betwen thousands of colors and
> >millions. Now I do not think the human eye can tell much of a difference
> >between 24 bit and the newer 32 bit color though. I think that is
> >overkill.
> The weird part is: in 24 bit, in theory, you can display 16,777,216 colors
> simultaneously. But even a 1600x1200 monitor only has 1,920,000 pixels.
> That's 8.7 colors/pixel, even at an overkill resolution!! Why did they
> invent 32-bit anyway, when we don't have enough pixels to contain the colors
> we already have? We would need a 4096x4096 (adjusted to have a 4/3 aspect)
> to use all those colors, and most pictures don't come close to covering a
> full spectrum of colors anyway.

The problem is that while 24 bit color gives 16.7M colors, evenly
spread throughout the range, the eye is not equally sensitive
throughout that range. Even with 16.7M colors, you can see banding. A
smooth blue->green fade won't appear smooth, as there will be
discontinuous jumps. Increase the number of colors, and you get more
smoothness.

Shalon Wood

--
If *feeding a pig is sickening to you, what the hell are you
doing on usenet? -- Aimee, on rec.music.tori-amos

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Forkaz » Mon, 18 Jan 1999 04:00:00


<<<32 isn't
divisible by 3, does it take a standard 24 bit color statement and modulate
the color using the remaining 8 bits or something?>>>

I always used to think it was RGBA, with an alpha channel, but I haven't heard
anybody complaining about transparent monitors, so I am just as stumped as you!

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Matt » Mon, 18 Jan 1999 04:00:00




Quote:><<<32 isn't
>divisible by 3, does it take a standard 24 bit color statement and modulate
>the color using the remaining 8 bits or something?>>>

16 isn't and neither is 8, but all these are different colour settings
on my graphics card driver.

IIRC its the possible amount of colours allowable. Think of it this way,
you have a 1 bit video card, (remembering that one bit has two possible
values) This can display only two colours e.g. black and white and would
be a monochrome adapter, 2 bit would have four possible values and
becomes four colour, 4 bit would be 16 colour (anyone remember the Acorn
Electron? Mine is still in use as a gerbil tank support, in its box of
course. But I digress.) All these relate to 2 being raised to the power
of the number in question.  Therefore a thirty-two bit adapter has
approximately 4.3 milliard (4294967296) possible colours.
--
Matty is not always right and would rather be told in a polite way if wrong
rather than being flamed!
And NO! a thousand million is NOT a billion, a billion is a million millions

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Stephan Ahone » Mon, 18 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>16 isn't and neither is 8, but all these are different colour settings
>on my graphics card driver.

8 bit is palettized, 16 is too, I think...
also, with a 32 bit color adaptor, here's the crucial question: How do you
choose what colors are represented by what color values?
With 16 color graphics (and upward, of course, excluding powers of 2 that
are divisible by 3), a standard had to be developed which tells people what
color is what binary value...
 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Stephan Ahone » Mon, 18 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>so it is instead 5, 5, 6 for the colours. I think it is red that has 6
bits, others have
>5...

aaahhhhh... 556... I was assuming an even number of bits/color...

Quote:>as for 24 bit, it's 8 8 8. and 32 could be either  12 10 10, or 8 8 8 8..
>I'd _guess_ it wasn't with an alpha channel on screen, but an uneven number
of colour
>bits...

we all know 24 is 888 (I didn't know that!! =), but 32 is a mystery... I'd
rather 4th root the number of colors (to 30 bit color) so we could have an
even number of bits between R, G, and B. Maybe it's 11,11,10? I'm gonna sue
my monitor manufacturer for confusing us. =)
As for onscreen alpha channel... ummm.... what would be behind it? Imagine
looking at the cathode ray tube of your monitor when some guy makes a 32 bit
graphic. =) But what about LCD monitors...?
 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Stephan Ahone » Mon, 18 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>Think about when you drag a window -- It could have transparency in
>hardware...

Think iMac, that has transparent hardware. =)

Quote:> And transparent cursors...  Hmm.  I guess I wouldn't actually want
>to dedicate 8 bits to it!

hmmm...we have yet to get to 24 bit cursors. Maybe RGBA 2 2 2 2 cursors? 256
combinations. We already have 8 bit 256 color cursors, why not make them
unpalettized and add some alpha? The same amount of memory is used.

Quote:>Maybe they rae going to make CMYK monitors, or VGA printers?

I don't think they "rae," but maybe they "are." =)
 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Spide » Tue, 19 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Have to disagree...
in 16 bit, it became to slow adressing that sort of data (Remember, palette animation and
so on) and also, there was a practical limit around 64000 (Ehh, exactly?)

so it is instead 5, 5, 6 for the colours. I think it is red that has 6 bits, others have
5...

as for 24 bit, it's 8 8 8. and 32 could be either  12 10 10, or 8 8 8 8..
I'd _guess_ it wasn't with an alpha channel on screen, but an uneven number of colour
bits...

//Spider


> >16 isn't and neither is 8, but all these are different colour settings
> >on my graphics card driver.
> 8 bit is palettized, 16 is too, I think...
> also, with a 32 bit color adaptor, here's the crucial question: How do you
> choose what colors are represented by what color values?
> With 16 color graphics (and upward, of course, excluding powers of 2 that
> are divisible by 3), a standard had to be developed which tells people what
> color is what binary value...

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Forkaz » Tue, 19 Jan 1999 04:00:00


<<<we all know 24 is 888 (I didn't know that!! =), but 32 is a mystery... I'd
rather 4th root the number of colors (to 30 bit color) so we could have an
even number of bits between R, G, and B. Maybe it's 11,11,10? I'm gonna sue
my monitor manufacturer for confusing us. =)
As for onscreen alpha channel... ummm.... what would be behind it? Imagine
looking at the cathode ray tube of your monitor when some guy makes a 32 bit
graphic. =) But what about LCD monitors...?>>>

You would get to see the back of the LCD!  silly.  sort of a cubist thing, I
suppose.  Actually, having an onscreen alpha channel isn't all that strange of
an idea.  Think about when you drag a window -- It could have transparency in
hardware...  And transparent cursors...  Hmm.  I guess I wouldn't actually want
to dedicate 8 bits to it!  Maybe they rae going to make CMYK monitors, or VGA
printers?

 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Forkaz » Tue, 19 Jan 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>>Maybe they rae going to make CMYK monitors, or VGA printers?
>I don't think they "rae," but maybe they "are." =)

Can't you just imagine playing quake at 1.5 pages per minute?!?!?!
 
 
 

Q: Poor man's monitor recommendations?

Post by Kossowski Craig » Tue, 19 Jan 1999 04:00:00




:> The weird part is: in 24 bit, in theory, you can display 16,777,216 colors
:> simultaneously. But even a 1600x1200 monitor only has 1,920,000 pixels.
: The problem is that while 24 bit color gives 16.7M colors, evenly
: spread throughout the range, the eye is not equally sensitive

A lot of stuff in the followups to this thread is a little inaccurate...  
I think a few people are a little confused about what this stuff is all
about.  First off, 8 bit is typically a palletted mode, what that means is
that there's a lookup table, and you get the 256 best matched colours from
the spectrum on that lookup table (18 or 24 bits of colour resolution
usually IIRC), 8 bit SVGA modes use this method.

On the above of having more colours than pixels...  that's really not
connected, For high colour modes (15, 16, 24 and 32 bit colour), there is
no palette, and the colour space is divided up into that many closest
matches.  Therefor you want to strike a balance between as many colours as
possible and reasonable memory/storage requirements.  Turns out, most
people find the best compromise to be at 24 bit colour, as this allows 256
shades per channel (Red Green Blue), for about 16.7 million total colours.
This works well because this is about the number of shades the human eye
can differentiate, i.e. at higher bit depths, the eye can't tell the
difference between adjacent shades anyways, so theres not much point.

As for 32 bit, yes, some implimentations use the extra 8 bits for
transparency, but on the PC hardware I've seen, 32 bit is usually used for
convenience, as it provides four byte word alignment.  It's still 8 bits
per channel and the 8 bits typically aren't used, for example, for a long
time under the Xfree86 implementation of X windows, certain graphics cards
couldn't run in what was known as 24 bit packed pixel mode, where each
pixel consumed 24 bits, instead, they ran 32 bit, but only had 8 bits of
depth per channel.  Most 16 bit (5 6 5) implimentations put the extra bit
on the green channel, as the eye seems to be a little more sensitive to
variations in green.

As for banding in 24 bit, I don't see it, and my eyes are pretty good.
While you might, more likely is that pov-ray and other renders can produce
banding like artifacts due to discrete light sources, floating point round
off on normal vectors, and other causes (depending on the particular
software you're using).  This isn't the fault of insufficient colourspace.

This is all based on generic PC hardware stuff, workstation graphics are
more complex, and so work a little differently though the fundamentals are
the same.

Craig K.