Fabricated News: Post-Rendering

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We here are Fabricated News can be a little behind the times, which is why often talk about outdated concepts such as “Reaganomics” and “good television shows”. It has recently come to our attention that many games during the 90s used a graphical technique called pre-rendering.

Pre-rendering is what you call it when you make incredibly complicated graphics on a computer. We’re talking PlayStation 6-level graphics here. Then you export those graphics as an animated GIF, for use in SNES games. It looks something like this:

Needless to say, this process is a hundred times more difficult than, you know, actually making SNES-quality graphics for SNES games. But it’s a nice way to trick people into thinking your SNES is really a PS6.

Since nostalgia for the 1990s is currently in full swing, several gaming companies at E3 announced that they are bringing back the pre-rendering craze. Only this time, it’s called post-rendering. That’s when they make good graphics for a game…after the game has already been released.

It’s a good business strategy to release a game with unfinished graphics, for several reasons. First, it cuts down on production time. Second, you can charge consumers extra money for the “improved” graphics. Most importantly, though, it tricks people into thinking their PS4 is really an SNES. Post-rendering is clearly the wave of the future!

[Editor’s Note: Shortly after this article was written, it was revealed that the next Final Fantasy game features pre-rendering on pre-rendered graphics. This new technique is called pre-pre-rendering, and it rivals post-rendering in effectiveness.]

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About the Contributor

Michael Gray is a staff writer for GameCola, who focuses on adventure games, videos and writing videogame walkthroughs.


    1. A dog running into a shut window is a clever metaphor for pre-rendered graphics, as well as silly example. If you were running a super old computer, you’d be shocked to see such amazing graphics on your screen.

  1. What does it even mean to “pre-render” a pre-rendered graphic? Isn’t that just asynchronous rendering (where the game renders compressed images into pre-rendered graphics before they’re needed)?

    1. Pre-pre-rendering is like taking that gif of a puppy, putting it next to _another_ puppy gif, then making a gif of both gifs together. It’s pre-rendered graphics inside pre-rendered graphics. We here at Fabricated News are pretty sure that’s how they made Star Wars enhanced re-releases. Movies are just animated gifs with high framerates and sound, right?

      To be honest, though, the Fabricated News team still isn’t sure what pre-rendering is. Or, um, what rendering is. We never made SNES graphics.

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