The first slider is maybe the most important. It let’s you dial in how much of the CRT pattern you want to blend into your picture. Most of the time’s you will probably want a relatively low setting, somewhere between 25%-50%. Here’s a brief example of how it changes the effect.
Selecting Pixel Configuration
Below is a closeup of all the 6 CRT patterns. The incoming color (white) is split up into it’s RGB components and rendered in the selected pattern. Humans tend to perceive those colors together as white when seen from an adequate distance. (More in-depth info on this on Wikipedia: Additive Color) Most likely you will perceive these as a sort of grey-ish blur from afar. For a relatively natural looking effect pattern 6 is recommended.
Some of the above patterns (3, 4, 5, 6) has black areas that are not covered by the RGB pattern. Sometimes the effect might become too dark because of this. The Black Amount slider lets you bring in the original image in the black areas by reducing the slider, thus brightening the image. If you want to keep your general CRT Amount slider at a certain level, this could be a way to brighten it up. It does however change the appearance of the pattern to more unnatural looking ones, so use with caution.
CRT Pixel Balance
These three sliders will let you take each of the RGB components and fade them from ther respective color to white. This will change the overall color balance of the image. This can produce a multitude of effects and can help to give that old TV look. For example, try to bring down the green component to around 50% while leaving the others at 100%.
This will let you offset each color in both X and Y. This can be used to create a number of effects that make it look like an old TV or video. Begin tweaking by setting the Master to about 25%, then set the general ratio of the offsets with the individual effect. Finally, use the Color Offset Master slider again to fine tune the effect. Often it’s wise to use this effect sparingly, thus leaving the Master at about 1-10% depending on how big the individual offsets are. If you don’t like the results, there’s a quick Reset button to get you back to zero again.
Note: It's easy to overdo an effect.
For games where this effect is active all the time on the image, use care
to make sure the effect is not to exaggerated or straining to the eyes.
Below are a few examples to give an idea of how colors translate into the CRT pattern:
Add borders to make it look more like a screen. Thickness makes the borders thicker, at 0 they are not visible.
Make the corners rounder.
Color of the borders, note that the Alpha will affect blending, at 0 it will be invisible.
Note: The Screen Distortion settings will have a major impact on the shape of the borders.
Below is an example with a bright green border. The border conforms with the Screen Distortion settings, making it slightly rounded instead of perfectly straight.
Trails are generated by rendering the main input into a separate rendertexture in a way where brighter colors will overwrite darker colors but not the other way around. Then a black color is applied, the more black is applied, the shorter the trails become. This texture is then blended into the main effect. Below is an example picture of white squares moving quickly downwards over a black background. The trails are tinted red in this example. Be aware that using a fair amount of trails will introduce a color shift into the image so it’s a good thing to tweak the trails first before any kind of fine-tuning of the color settings.
You can choose where in the chain to blend in the trails. Pre FX or Post FX (FX meaning the Custom Effects). Depending on what Custom Effects you are using this can make a massive difference. By adding trails Post FX you can sometimes get a glowing appearance of the trails. Note that if you use a Tint Color that is close to white, you will introduce back the original colors into the image, this may or may not be desirable. If for example you have an effect that will desaturate the image, using the Pre FX will make sure the trails is also affected and becomes desaturated.
Note: Pre FX & Post FX refers to the Pre CRT FX, meaning both options will apply before the CRT effect in the chain.
Decide how to blend the trails into the main rendertexture, Additive or Alpha Blending.
Decide how much to blend in the trails into the main rendertexture. Note that this might not have an effect for a few reasons: if the Attenuate is set to high, if the Tint color is to dark, or is the source material is to dark or static.
The attenuator decides how much black to add to the trails texture, resulting in shorter trails. Generally a value between 5-30% might be desirable. It depends a lot on the source material, how fast is the screen scrolling, how fast are particles and projectiles moving?
Note: You can tweak the effect while running your game,
just remember to save your preset before stopping the game.
This will add a tint color to the trails, this will also act as another attenuator as a darker color will mean shorter trails. As you move closer to a white/desaturated color, more of the original color will come through in the trail. Move to a 100% saturated color and none of the original color will show up in the trail.
This component will distort the image with a Fish-Eye like effect to make it look more like an actual TV-screen.
Moiré patterns is a visual effect that can appear through interactions of patterns. One such example is when distorting a strong pattern such as this CRT effect. By applying the distortion Pre CRT you will avoid strong Moiré patterns, while applying it Post CRT will distort the CRT pattern and introduce Moiré patterns. The severity and appearance of them will depend on a number of factors, such as how strong setting you are using on the main CRT Amount slider. The stronger the more pronounced Moiré patterns. Se below for a few examples (The examples use exaggerated settings for illustrational purposes)
Distortion Example – Pre CRT, no strong Moiré patterns.
Distortion Example – Post CRT, Strong Moiré patterns introduced.
Distortion Example – Post CRT, Subtle Moiré patterns, by lowering the CRT Amount slider to 66%.
Distortion Amount Master
This is the master, use this to fine tune the distortion amount.
Set your distortion anywhere from a Square-ish distortion to a more round/natural style. This setting will change the shape your Moiré patterns quite a lot, worth experimenting with a bit.
Distortion Amount X/Y
Control the Ratio of distortion in X and Y, this will also allow you to invert the distortion for some interesting effects.