Translucency is a cool effect, an example would be the water effects in Secret of Mana. I’m just not in the mood to chat, so let’s get right into it.
We normally set things to the Main Screen register (
$212C) in order to see them on the screen. Now we will write to the sub screen register. It’s simple. You just set the layer you want to be translucent as a subscreen. I read a doc that says the subscreens are actually the opaque layers, but that confused me when I tried to apply it. So I just go by saying that you set the subscreen to what you want to appear as being translucent. got it? so say you want BG2 to be translucent. You’d start by making BG2 a subscreen:
Register $212D: Sub Screen Designation (W/1b) ---s4321 s: sprites enable 4-1: BG(1-4) enable lda #%00000010 sta $212D
That’s done. Now you need to learn how to make it translucent.
To tell the SNES you want to use subscreen Addition/Subtraction (which this is called on the SNES, because you are adding or subtracting colors to get the translucency effect) you need to set bit 1 of
$2130. Let’s take a look at that register.
Note: Some info used from Anomie’s Register Doc.
Register $2130 - Color Addition Select (W/1b) ccmm--sd cc: Clip colors to black before math 00 = never 01 = Outside Color Window only 10 = Inside Color Window only 11 = Always (whole screen) mm: Prevent color math 00 = never 01 = Outside Color Window only 10 = Inside Color Window only 11 = Always s: Determines type of Addition/Subtraction (ADD/SUB) 0 = Fixed Color ADD/SUB 1 = Subscreen ADD/SUB d: Direct color mode for 256-color BGs
The most important bits for us in this register are 1, 4-5, and 6-7.
Bit 1 determines the type of Color ADD/SUB we will use. We want to add/sub a subscreen, so we set the bit.
Bits 4-5: Prevents color math in the specified areas. Our Init routine originally sets these bits to prevent color math, but now we want color math. We’ll set these to ‘never disable color math,’ 00.
Bits 6-7: This clips all the pixels in the specified area black. Well we don’t want that so we’ll keep that as ‘never,’ 00.
In the end this is just a
'lda #$02' + 'sta $2130'.
Now you have to tell the SNES a couple more things in
Register $2131 - Color Math Designation (W/1b) Shbs4321 S: ADD/SUB select 0 = Add the colors 1 = Subtract the colors h: Half color math result of color math is divided by 2. (except in fixed color mode or when color is clipped) 4/3/2/1/s/b: Enable color math on BG1-4, Sprites, or backdrop color when enabling for sprites, only sprites using palette entries 4-7 are affected by translucency.
Not too hard right? All done.. Let’s apply it.
Here’s source, assuming that
LoadGraphics.asm are in the same directory. I couldn’t think of anything to do so I just ripped the ghost house image and redid the translucent cloud effect.
;== Include MemoryMap, Vector Table, and HeaderInfo == .INCLUDE "header.inc" ;== Include SNES Initialization routines == .INCLUDE "InitSNES.asm" .INCLUDE "LoadGraphics.asm" ;============================================================================ ; Main Code ;============================================================================ .BANK 0 SLOT 0 .ORG 0 .SECTION "MainCode" Start: InitSNES rep #$10 sep #$20 LoadPalette CloudPalette, 0, 2 ; simple cloud palette, only 2 colors LoadPalette LandPalette, 16, 20 ; The ghosthouse scene palette LoadBlockToVRAM LandTiles, $0000, $E80 ; Ghosthouse tiles LoadBlockToVRAM CloudTiles, $1000, $170 ; Cloud tiles LoadBlockToVRAM Maps, $0800, $1000 ; Ghosthouse and Cloud tilemaps ; stored sequentially jsr SetupVideo ; you know the drill lda #$80 sta $4200 ; enable VBlank Loop: WAI jmp Loop VBlank: rep #$30 pha phx phy rep #$10 sep #$20 lda $4210 lda $00 ina and #$03 sta $00 bne end ; This slowly scrolls the clouds lda $01 ina sta $01 sta $2111 end: rep #$30 ply plx pla RTI SetupVideo: rep #$10 sep #$20 lda #$09 sta $2105 ; mode 1 with priority bit set (give BG3 more priority) lda #%00001000 sta $2107 ; $0800 = BG1 Map lda #%00001100 ; $0C00 = BG3 Map sta $2109 stz $210B ; $0000 = BG1 graphics data lda #$01 sta $210C ; $1000 = BG2 graphics data lda #%00000001 sta $212C ; Set BG1 mainscreen lda #%00000100 sta $212D ; Set BG3 subscreen lda #$02 sta $2130 ; Enable Subscreen Color ADD/SUB lda #%00100001 sta $2131 ; Color addition on BG1 and Backdrop color lda #$0F sta $2100 ; Screen on! RTS .ENDS .SECTION "CharacterData" LandPalette: .INCBIN "gfx/ghosthouse.clr" CloudPalette: .INCBIN "gfx/clouds.clr" ; holds the backdrop color (black) & dark blue ; for the clouds LandTiles: .INCBIN "gfx/ghosthouse.pic" ; $E80 bytes CloudTiles: .INCBIN "gfx/clouds.pic" ; $170 bytes Maps: .INCBIN "gfx/ghosthouse2.map" .INCBIN "gfx/clouds.map" .ENDS
Complete Source Code: Translucency Tutorial
Tutorial by bazz