March 30, 2016
Early VIC-II chips produced somewhat different colors than the later ones. In the earliest revisions the 16 colors had five luminance levels, i.e. brightness values. Black and white are the lowest and highest values, and the remaining 14 colors use three luminance levels that are evenly spaced in the brightness spectrum. Simply put, there are dark grey, medium grey and light grey, and all the colors are as bright or dark as these three shades of grey.
In later VIC-II revisions four intermediate luminance levels were introduced. Now there was nine luminance levels instead of the previous five. The palette with nine luminance levels is what most people consider as the normal C64 colors. From this article you can read all about C64 luminance levels and colors.
In this picture you can see how the different luminances affect picture that has been made for the “normal” C64 colors: Read the rest of this entry »
January 14, 2016
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. Read the rest of this entry »
April 24, 2010
Some time ago a C64 pixel art gallery emerged: C64pixels.com. The gallery is constantly being updated with old and new C64 graphics and already contains pictures to amaze for a good while. And there is even more content available if you register to the site.
The gallery is executed really well with emulation for actual display picture. The pictures have filters applied to them to simulate for example CRT-monitor scanlines, the softness of old monitor or TV and the colour bleeding. Also the interlaced pictures are flickering in the gallery! The result is close to how the pieces actually look on authentic hardware.
Some of the artwork is magnificent just as they are, but to really see the beauty in the pictures one has to understand the limitations that the artist have to work within. The fixed palette of 16 colours and the relatively low resolutions are just the beginning. Here is a short and nice introduction to different C64 graphics modes, their properties and limitations. Here is another, more technical approach to C64 graphic capabilities. Have a look into these documents, and then to the best pieces in the gallery!
Here are some of my favourite artist picks: Archmage, Clone, Duce, Electric, Joe, Mirage.