A Guide to the Graphics of the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis

Graphical Effects on the Mega Drive

This section presents a series of basic graphical effects found on the Mega Drive. It’s by no means comprehensive, but it covers the most common effects that the VDP supported. I don’t (yet) significantly discuss software-based effects—such as 3D polygons—that were rendered on the 68000.

Most of the videos here were recorded at 60 fps at a resolution of 320 x 224 pixels, matching the display output of the Mega Drive. Recordings were done using the emulator Gens Re-Recording or, occasionally, BlastEm for effects that Gens does not emulate. Gens KMod was used to capture VRAM or background plane displays. Exodus was also used extensively to study effects.

I’ve mostly kept background explanations to a minimum here to avoid redundancy. For more detailed information, please read through the background sections of the guide.

Next: Full-Screen Scrolling

Return to Table of Contents

List of Effects:
  1. Introduction
  2. Full-Screen Scrolling
  3. Row / Column Scrolling
  4. Line Scrolling
  5. Animation
  6. Multi-Jointed Characters
  7. Tilting / Rotation
  8. Scaling
  9. Shadow and Highlight
  10. Transparency
  11. Silhouette
  12. Palette Swapping
  13. Vertical Scaling
  14. Sprite Raster Effects

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