VGACAP (c) Copr. 1987-91 Lawrence Gozum & Marvin Gozum
This product is distributed AS IS. The authors specifically disclaim
all warranties ,expressed or implied, including ,but not limited to,
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular
purpose with respect to defects in the diskette and documentation, and
program license granted herein, in particular, and without limiting
operation of the program license with respect to any particular
application use or purpose. In no event shall the authors be liable
for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage including but
not limited to special, incidental, consequential or other damages.
You may use this program for a 10 DAY TRIAL PERIOD. Should you find
this program useful, you MUST register it; you will then be provided
with the latest releases of the VGACAD system see last section of this
manual). Freely distribute UNMODIFIED copies of VGACAP*.ZIP and charge
$10 max for distribution, in lieu of recognized Users Group guidelines
(e.g., Asso. of Shareware Professionals or NY Amateur Computer Club).
WHAT IS VGACAP ?
VGACAP is a resident utility that captures pictures in
VGACAP will capture and "Bsave" 320x200x256 pictures; all others are
saved to *.RAW file files (ie., "RAW" pixel dumps).
WHAT IS VGAFIL ?
VGAFIL is a conversion program for use in a batch file (*.BAT) or as an
interactive stand-alone program; BLD/PLT files are 320x200x256 screens,
all others are RAW/PLT files. VGAFIL is designed to integrate directly
with VGACAD v2.0 (and up) and replace BLD2GIF and RAW2GIF. Moreover,
VGAFIL converts and saves captured images to 32768-color TGA (Targa 16),
256-color BMP (Windows 3.x), PCX, GIF files or 16-color GIF files.
VGAFIL is also a utility to customize and configure VGACAP to take
advantage of specific SVGA chipset hardcoding for FAST screen captures.
VGACAP and VGAFIL can be viewed as a generic conversion utility system
since almost any MCGA/VGA/SVGA image from (320x200 to 1024x768) that can
be viewed, can be converted to/from GIF, PCX, BMP or TGA format ! If you
can view files using 'less popular formats', you can capture and convert
them like so ...
FILE FORMATS (input)
RAS \ YOUR --> SVGA
ISF / VIEWER --> SCREEN
PDA / | CAPTURED VGAFIL
DEGAS / VGACAP --> RAW FILES --> UTILITY
GEM / |
ETC / |
FILE FORMATS (output)
BMP (Windows 3.x)
TIF (TIFF P)
About 512KB of memory is required for VGAFIL, although it uses about 2/3
of that; it, also, requires that the BRUN41.exe runtime module be present
in your present path; this is explained later in this manual. You MUST
have a VGA or MCGA adaptor (at least BIOS compatible) present and an
analog monitor to use VGACAP. To grab 640x480x16 screens you must have
VGA; for 640x480x256 (and above) grabs, you MUST have SVGA. VGACAP uses
about 4KB of RAM.
If you grab a screen from an application that "simulates" the SVGA
640x480x256 mode and get 1/4th of the screen or get four 1/4ths of
the screen then you grabbed from the unsupported 360x480x256 mode
NOT a real SVGA 640x480x256 screen; you must configure that application
for a TRUE 640x480x256 SVGA mode if your card supports it.
The BRUN41.exe runtime module HATES 'Shadow RAM' (ie., putting your
VIDEO BIOS in low or high RAM); it 'hangs' (at least on our 386 SX).
If VGAFIL 'locks-up' at start-up then you have this problem too;
disable 'Shadow RAM' (eg., via CMOS set-up) and it should work.
Trident TVGA card users that have the supposedly rare 'BR versions'
will notice that the bank switching will be erroneous. We tried to
accomodate this version but ended up compromising the more popular
TVGA 8800 and 8900 versions
The Trident 1024x768x256 grabs are not supported at this time since it
uses a very peculiar, card specific, bank switching methodology (ie.,
it conflicts with SVGA display conventions); screen grabs are limited
800x600x256 or 1024x768x16, if available. This applies even to a VESA
setup with this card.
VESA implementation was included for FAST grabs (vis-a-vis BIOS) on
those exotic SVGA cards with obscure chipsets; moreover, it also makes
installation easy for those who don't know what their chipset is.
VESA grabs should work on all 256-color SVGA modes up to 1024x768x256.
If VGACAP is configured for BIOS or VESA grabs, then 16-color screen
grabs are limited to 680x480 and 800x600 (if you try capturing greater
resolutions, you will get garbage). With hardcoded chipset settings,
up to 1024x768 and 1280x1024 16-color grabs are possible.
ATI SVGA card users CANNOT capture 1024x768x16 screens if they are
trigerred via mode 65 (hex) since this is the old packed mode that
is inconsistent with SVGA 16-color display conventions (garbled images
will result). ATI users MUST view 1024x768x16 screens via mode 55 (hex),
the planar mode, to grab them.
If you create CUSTOM colors in your Windows 3.x environment, the
BMP encoding algorithm may not work as well as it should; it will do
its best with the Windows 3.x default color palette.
VGACAP has been tested to load and operate successfully after being
relocated to the UMB (Upper Memory Block) using DOS 5.0; if you
experience problems with relocation simple load VGACAP in "low"
memory. We have NOT tested VGACAP loaded into EMS memory; it may work
way up there too - try it, if it works up there, let us know.
If you are having compatibility problems with VGACAP (particularly SVGA
bank switching) or VGAFIL encoding, please contact Lawrence Gozum
[73437,2372] via CompuServe's
VGACAP, on default, is set for BIOS; these are 'generic' and should work
with most, if not all, SVGA cards. However, BIOS calls are slow and
sometimes unpredictable. By using the hardware configuration, VGACAP
will capture screens in 2-3 seconds compared to about 20-30 seconds for
800x600x256 screens (based on 28ms HD on 16 MHz 386sx).
To configure VGACAP for your specific hardware type
A menu will guide you. Simply select the letter which corresponds to
your video card chipset. Remember, when in doubt, use BIOS or VESA
setup. BIOS setups do not guarantee that it will work, generally, if
your video board manufacturer took care in writing its BIOS - it SHOULD
work. BIOS should grab up to 1024x768 256-color grabs but are limited
to 800x600 16-color grabs, if available.
New! - VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) support has been
added to capture 256-color screens (up to 1024x768x256) without knowing
what your chipset is. Simply install your VESA driver then configure
VGACAP for VESA. VESA support requires you to load a card-specific
resident program before VESA can be used. An error message will result
if VESA has not been previously loaded; this will happen when you install
VGACAP with the VESA configuration or with VGAFIL, during configuration.
Under certain circumstances, VGAFIL will reject VESA configuration; it
will not become available if a window other than A000 hex is used.
New! By pressing the hotkey [M]ask key, during VGACAP configuration,
you can choose between [Alt] or [Ctrl-Alt] hotkey masks. Although the
[Alt] hotkey mask is adequate for most applications, some applications
such as WordPerfect uses [Alt] key combinations for various functions.
Using [Ctrl-Alt] will allow captures in virtually ANY application since
this key combination is rarely used.
HOW TO USE VGACAP
Run VGACAP before entering your painting/CAD or digitized picture
viewer. Depending on how you configured the hotkey mask, press
[Alt-F4] <- default
[Ctrl-Alt-F4] <- alternative user configuration
while viewing your picture in any paint/CAD program and the
screen and palette will be saved in your default drive and directory.
For simplicity, this will apply to the most common VGA and SVGA screens.
If you are NOT is MCGA/VGA 320x200x256 mode, then VGACAP will assume you
are in an SVGA mode up to 800x600x256.
If you want to capture MCGA/VGA 320x200x256 screens for BASIC program
applications then press
[Alt-F2] <- default
[Ctrl-Alt-F2] <- alternative user configuration
and it will be saved in the "BLoaDable" BASIC format.
Since 800x600x16, 1024x768x16, 1024x768x256 and 1280x1024x256 modes
cannot be reliably differentiated, capturing screens in these modes
require pressing specific HOTKEYS.
DEPENDING ON YOUR CHOICE OF HOTKEY MASK, YOU WILL HAVE TO PRESS
KEY COMBINATIONS FOR DIFFERENT SCREEN RESOLUTIONS/COLOR. In any case,
you will see what keys are activated when you install/run VGACAP.
[......-F6] is the HOTKEY for SVGA 800x600x16
[......-F7] is the HOTKEY for SVGA 1KBx768x16
[......-F8] is the HOTKEY for SVGA 1280x1KBx256
[......-F10] is the HOTKEY for SVGA 1KBx768x256
[......-F4] is the HOTKEY for MCGA 320x200x256
[......-F2] is the HOTKEY for MCGA 320x256x256 to BLD files
You'll note that we tried to keep the hotkeys as easy as possible
[......-F4] '4' all the common modes
[......-F6] for 800x600x16
[......-F7] for 1024x768x16
[......-F8] for 1280x1024x256
[......-F10] for 1024x768x256
The first time you run the program it will save your screen and palette
to SCREEN00.RAW) and SCREEN00.PLT respectively. Using the [......-F2]
grab will save to *.BLD and *.PLT respectively. If there is an
existing SCREENxx.RAW or SCREENxx.PLT file, it will increment to the
next higher number.
IF YOU HAVE NO FILES CAN BE LISTED BY ISSUING THIS DOS COMMAND
THEN WE SUGGEST DELETING ANY EXISTING *.RAW OR *.PLT FILES TO ENSURE
MATCHING *.RAW AND *.PLT FILES VIA THIS DOS COMMAND
You can use your favorite memory managers to remove this TSR or reboot
to release it from memory.
Note: Other programs, such as VGTIZE (Oculus-20 video grabbing
software) alters the video mode to the extent that garbage
results in files.
Note: When in DOS or using a picture viewer or application which
requires a keypress to continue, it is necessary to hit
another key after hitting the 'HOTKEY'.
RAW FILE FORMAT
You can easily design your own utilities to read and process "RAW" pixel
dumps; they are simple contiguous pixel dumps; for example
307,200 bytes = 640x480 pixels
for VGA 640x480x16 or SVGA 640x480x256 screens.
*.PLT files have a 7 byte BASIC BLoaD header which you can essentially
disregard if you are not creating a BASIC application; the remaining
bytes are RGB (red, green, blue) triplets for all of the 256 colors.
LOADING/CONVERTING SCREEN GRABS WITH VGAFIL
If you type "VGAFIL
highlighted bar (with the arrow keys) and pressing the
A matching *.PLT file MUST exist or an error message will result. All
encoded files (GIF, PCX, TGA, BMP, TIF) are created with the same name -
eg., SCREEN00.RAW -> SCREEN00.GIF; CAUTION: FILES WITH THE SAME NAME
WILL BE OVERWRITTEN!
On default, VGAFIL selects RAW/PLT files for GIF encoding. 320x200x256
BLD/PLT files can be selected for GIF encoding by using the "-B" option.
To convert screens to 16-color GIF files, use the "-H" (ie., "Hex)
option. USE THIS OPTION ONLY WHEN YOU ARE SURE YOU ARE ENCODING
16-COLOR IMAGE GRABS OR THE PROGRAM WILL HANG !!!
On default, all captured screens are converted to GIF (87a) files.
To convert *.RAW screens to 256-color PCX files, use the "-P" option.
To convert *.RAW screens to 256-color BMP files for Windows 3.x, use
the "-W" option (for uncompressed Windows 3.x "Wallpaper"). A special
color palette procesing option is applied to reduce "hot spots" when
Windows alters and remaps the image to fit Windows color scheme.
To convert *.RAW screens to 256-color TIF files (TIFF, Tag Image File
Format by Aldus), use the "-F" option (for uncompressed, 256-color,
To convert *.RAW screens to 32768-color TGA files for XGA, HercGS,
Targa cards (and other "high-end clones"), use the "-T" option (for
uncompressed Targa-16 format").
COMMAND LINE AND BATCH FILES
VGAFIL can be used in batch (*.BAT) files for multiple conversions.
Simply type "VGAFIL [filename] " with no extension (path optional) for
every file you want to convert in your batch file; you can also use
this method if you want to convert a specific file from DOS.
Examples: VGAFIL screen00
VGAFIL -B screen00
VGAFIL -B \capture\screen99
VGAFIL -P \capture\screen99
VGAFIL -W \capture\screen99
VGAFIL -T \capture\screen99
VGAFIL -F \capture\screen99
VGAFIL -H \capture\screen99
VGAFIL will automatically search for the RAW/PLT files or BLD/PLT files.
If no files are found or matching *.PLT file is missing, then an error
will result; the matching PLT files MUST be in the same drive/directory
or default drive/directory.
TEMP, MVGASCRN, NYBLSCRN, AND USERSCRN FILES
TEMPorary files are used by VGACAD, SQZGIF, GIFPUB, ... (and other
utilities we may release). When TEMP files are detected by VGAFIL, you
will be prompted to convert it. If you acknowledge the prompt, you will
be presented with two options: 16-color encoding and forcing 1:1 Aspect
Ratio (these options will work ONLY for GIF files).
MVGASCRN files are essentially similar to *.RAW files. USERSCRN files
are created with VGACAD (v2.0 and up) and SQZGIF (v2.1 and up); these
files have unusual screen sizes and have additional support files like
NYBLSCRN (a "nybble" is half a byte or 4 bits or 16 colors) files have
special meaning for VGAFIL. If VGAFIL detects this filename, it
immediately converts the file in TRUE 16-color format; this applies
only to GIF files.
16-COLOR MODE GRAB & CONVERSION
All VGA 640x480x16 screens will be grabbed regardless of the hardcoded
hardware setting of VGACAP.
SVGA 800x600x16 screens can also be captured in two ways:
1) With the [......-F4] 'hotkey', if and only if the BIOS
configuration is used, since your video card will determine and
execute the appropriate routine, albeit much slower.
2) With the [......-F6] 'hotkey', using FAST direct memory read
routines (actually more dependable than BIOS in some respects).
16-color images will be saved as 256-color files with the remaining
240 colors unused UNLESS
you rename the captured files to NYBLSCRN.*
and use GIF encoding (default)
use the "-H" option.
Note: Using the "-P","-W, "-F", or "-T" option will encode a 16-color
PCX, BMP, TIF or TGA file respectively, BUT it will be encoded and
viewable as a 256-color (or 32768-color TGA) image with remaining
colors unused (ie., you can still view the 16-color PCX, BMP, TIF,
or TGA file, BUT only in 256-color or greater mode).
For the BEST 16-color compression, we suggest using ONLY the GIF
THE CHAINED VGACAD ENVIRONMENT
BRUN41.exe is a runtime module distributed under licence with Microsoft;
it can be distributed and used ONLY in connection with this program.
You can place it in any drive/directory as long as your PATH has access
to it. VGACAD v2.0 and up integrates VGAFIL into its chained
environment; it is actually a module of VGACAD (v2.0 and up).
The advantage of using the BRUN41.exe is an integrated system of
utilities and "sub-programs". New releases will be modified to support
the "chained environment", with VGACAD as the integrator. Only one copy
of BRUN41.exe is required.
USING SVGA SCREEN GRABS IN VGACAD
If you capture a 640x480x256 or 800x600x256 or 1024x768x256 screen for
direct editing in VGACAD then:
(1) from the VSCRN Menu, create a blank 640x480 or 800x600 or 1024x768
Virtual Screen (whichever corresponds to captured screen);
(2) exit VGACAD and DO NOT DELETE the TEMP files;
(3) overwrite TEMP.RAW and TEMP.PLT with the selected SCREENxx.RAW
and SCREENxx.PLT files; for example, at DOS prompt type
"COPY screen00.* temp.*"
(4) run VGACAD and load TEMP.PLT at the Files Menu;
(5) click the VSCRN box; at the VSCRN Menu, click iSCR vDSK then OK;
you see the captured screen as the new Virtual Screen.
REGISTRATION OF VGACAP IS BASED ON 'PERSONAL USAGE'. CORPORATE OR
ORGANIZATIONAL USERS *MUST* REGISTER ALL COPIES USED ON AN INDIVIDUAL
BASIS; A SPECIFIC PERSON (NAME) MUST BE EXPLICITLY ASSIGNED TO EACH
REGISTRANT WHO WILL BE PROVIDED WITH A CORRESPONDING REGISTER.OVL FILE
TO INDICATE REGISTERED USAGE. REGISTRATION GRANTS A SPECIFIC PERSON
(NOT A JURIDICAL PERSON OR CORPORATE ENTITY) THE RIGHT TO 'USE'
VGACAP OR VGAFIL.
³ ALTHOUGH WE WILL TRY TO RESPOND TO YOUR REGISTRATION IN 2-3 WEEKS,³
³ PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 4-6 WEEKS DELAY TO PROCESS YOUR REGISTRATION. ³
As token of our appreciation (i.e., to registered users), we will send
you the the latest version of the VGACAD system; many of the programs
listed below do not require a graphics card.
GIFPUB - converts 256 color GIF/PCX files to B&W images desktop
publishing (DTP) as .PCX (Ventura, First Publisher, Publisher's
Paintbrush, WP, Pagemaker). Variable sizing/contrast/brightness.
Includes printing on IBM/Epson, HP Laser and compatible printers.
Variable sizes. 8 pics/page and/or Single/Double Pass printing on
dot matrix printers. Preview in CGA/HGC/EGA/VGA/EEGA/SVGA. Histogram-
equalization. No graphics card required.
GIFBIT - converts B&W PCX files (e.g., scanner output to 32KBx32KB !)
to grey shades for VGACAD image processing, GIFPUB redithering or
printing, or VGA2EGA conversion - it edits those "scan line jitters".
Viewing modes in MCGA/VGA/SVGA. No graphics card required.
SQZGIF/EGA2VGA - converts LARGE GIF/PCX pics (to 2KBx2KBx256) to
several sizes and video modes using "color averaging" to blend/smooth
"jaggies" or fast interpolation. Variable sizing. Also, converts
GIFs (16 colors and below) and creates up to 256 new colors; outputs
directly to GIFPUB, GIFDOT, VGACAD, MVGAVU, VGA2CGA or VGA2EGA.
No graphics card required.
GIFHEX (formerly VGA2EGA) - converts 256-color pictures to 16-color
EGA or VGA . Error-distributed dithering. User support to 1024x768.
Variable sizing/RGBICMY/contrast. EGA/MCGA/VGA required.
MVGAVU - EGA/MCGA/EEGA/VGA/SVGA viewer for GIF, TGA (Targa 16/24/32),
BMP (Windows 3.x) and BLD/PLT files. True HiColor support (32KB-colors)
HiColor and HercGS cards. Proprietary HiColor 16K-color emulation mode
for viewing 24-bit BMP files or TGA files in 256-color modes. 4096 file
selection and smart slideshows plus transition effects. 360x480x256.
EGA to SVGA 1024x768x256. RGB/Color/Contrast/Brightness/Monitor adjust.
AutoSize/AutoCenter/AutoAspect(1:1, 5:6 and TGA). GIF 89a support.
VGACAD - extensive paint/image processing program for VGA/MCGA users
(edit GIFs up to 32KBx32KBx256 !!!); airbrushes, color and grey image
processing functions (smoothing, noise removal, shading, contrast
stretching, edge detection, ...), splines, Cut&Paste, variable sizing,
256-color gradient/pattern fills, MORE ! Full screen SuperVGA editing
and image processing function to 1024x768x256. 360x480x256 support.
VGA2CGA - converts 256 color GIFs to CGA! See "405" colors in an
unsupported 160x100x16 CGA mode. CGA/EGA/MCGA/VGA required.
MAC2GIF - converts .MAC ("readmac") pictures to 5-16 grey shades or
color and saves to .GIF or BLD/PLT file. EGA/MCGA/VGA required.
WHAT'S NEXT ?
Aside from enhancing existing releases with greater capabilities (e.g.,
expanded memory, virtual screen, SVGA functions, other graphics
formats), we are developing VGACBT (Computer-Based Training program)
and a specialized application for Advertising/Fashion Design or creating
your own artistic nudes. We will try to develop and integrate more image
processing functions for all our applications; if you have any image
processing functions you would like to see, please let us know.
In the short term, we are developing RGBLAB. This is a color reduction
utility to 'downsize' 24-bit or 16 Million-color pictures to 256-colors.
RAW red, green and blue files, TIFF (*.TIF), TARGA (*.TGA) and Windows
3.x (*.BMP) files will be the main input sources. IDTVGA dithering will
play a key role in previewing or rendering 24-bit images in SVGA
Support maverick authors like us and we will continue developing
products like nothing seen commercially - otherwise they will simply
"DIE" from lack of support ! Compare the cost/benefit ratio of any of
our products with commercial products. You, and you alone, determine
whether it will be worthwhile to continue developing. Support the
User-Supported (Shareware) concept. Register your Shareware copies.
To register, send the registration form and check or money order payable
in USD to:
Dr. Marvin Gozum
2 Independence Place #1105, 6th & Locust
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Graphics Interchange Format and GIF are trademarks (tm)
of CompuServe Inc. an H&R Block Company.