At X’2014 C64 Party I took part in graphics competition with a piece called Out Run Memories, part of which you can see above.
Some time later an extended version was released as a one-file demo called Out Run Memories Upshift!
Crafting the picture together was quite a lot of work – it all came back to me now that I started to clean up my old work files. While going through the numerous files I had laying around, I thought it might be fun to put together an animation of the work steps I went through.
So here you go, both versions considered, more than five weeks’ spare time effort put into one gif animation.
Click for a bigger version
Few words about the process
In the first frame you see what I used as a reference: Original C64 Out Run game cover art, cassette version of course, and a scale model of Ferrari 512 TR (evolution of Testarossa), made by pre-teen myself.
First step of crafting the image was to take a photo of my scale model from a suitable angle. Once that was sorted out, I traced the outlines of the car, improvising it as a convertible Testarossa. A fun fact is that the car featured in the original arcade Out Run is obviously a convertible Ferrari Testarossa, which did not exist, and which Sega didn’t bother to license. Anyway, there it is, and it’s the defining “character” of the game. Anyhow, the traced and improvised outlines worked as a basis for pixelling the car.
After the car was done, it was time to recreate the woman – as seen on the C64 version’s game cover. First a quick trace of the main outlines, then I painted the girl in greyscale using graphics tablet. Then a reduction to target resolution and needed number of shades. Apply C64 palettes and fix color attribute clashes and small details manually. Phew.
Then I slapped these key components into the picture. Next thing was to draw some palm trees and other roadside objects, and of course some cumulus clouds.
Of course pillows of smoke coming from wildly spinning rear tires are needed. Graphics tablet and Photoshop magic.
Some finishing touches, and pic was ready to be contributed to the X2014 gfx compo. It’s the last frame with grey borders.
From this point on the work was done for the extended post-compo release, identified by blue borders.
I extended the picture to the upper border using sprites, and made some small touch-ups to the main picture. Finally, an animation for a winking eye was added. This was done again using sprites.
The last frame of the animation before it loops has the picture’s aspect ratio corrected. As you might know, C64s pixels are not exactly square, but squeezed horizontally a little bit.
Especially the extended version is worth running on C64 or emulator, as it features a lot more than the picture seen here, including a Out Run music medley by NE7. Check it out! (alternatively, there’s a YouTube video of it – thanks Lemming)