4.9. AAlib – text mode displaying

AAlib is a library for displaying graphics in text mode, using powerful ASCII renderer. There are lots of programs already supporting it, like Doom, Quake, etc. MPlayer contains a very usable driver for it. If ./configure detects aalib installed, the aalib libvo driver will be built.

You can use some keys in the AA Window to change rendering options:

1 decrease contrast
2 increase contrast
3 decrease brightness
4 increase brightness
5 switch fast rendering on/off
6 set dithering mode (none, error distribution, Floyd Steinberg)
7 invert image
8 toggles between aa and MPlayer control

The following command line options can be used:


change OSD color


Change subtitle color

where V can be: 0 (normal), 1 (dark), 2 (bold), 3 (bold font), 4 (reverse), 5 (special).

AAlib itself provides a large sum of options. Here are some important:


Set recommended aa driver (X11, curses, Linux).


Use all 256 characters.


Use eight bit ASCII.


Prints out all aalib options.


The rendering is very CPU intensive, especially when using AA-on-X (using aalib on X), and it's least CPU intensive on standard, non-framebuffer console. Use SVGATextMode to set up a big textmode, then enjoy! (secondary head Hercules cards rock :)) (but IMHO you can use -vf 1bpp option to get graphics on hgafb:)

Use the -framedrop option if your computer isn't fast enough to render all frames!

Playing on terminal you'll get better speed and quality using the Linux driver, not curses (-aadriver linux). But therefore you need write access on /dev/vcsa<terminal>! That isn't autodetected by aalib, but vo_aa tries to find the best mode. See http://aa-project.sf.net/tune for further tuning issues.