In my last submission this year, we take a look at some seasonal animations made on the Commodore 64, ranging from the promotional (to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine) to the communal and entertaining.
Werner Randelshofer has set up an ample collection of computer graphic animations from the 80’s and 90’s, both commercial and home-grown. Examples come from works demonstrated on the Commodore Amiga, the Atari ST and the PC.
The examples above are only a taster of what has been documented - there is plenty of 2D stills and animation, but also early experimentation with 3D. Plenty of what you see is work before the GIF file format or Flash were invented.
Commodore Amiga animation demo featuring wireframe anaglyph tunnel - if you cannot see the image moving above, click it:
You need a pair of Red/Green Anaglyph 3-D Glasses to see the stereoscopic animation.
I forget exactly when, but I must have created this animation in the 90s. It was rendered with the Imagine 3D program (v2) in wireframe mode, but rather than using the in built 3D rendering mode, which merely separates the two cameras for the stereo effect, I also tilted the cameras in towards each other, so that their lines of sight crossed. This may make the 3D slightly more effective look than usual.
After rendering the frames in Imagine, I then imported them into DPaint, and used translucency to merge the left/right pictures together.»
The first book cover (I have seen) to use PETSCII (Commodore ASCII) characters as a pattern.
It is part of a compilation of writing from software artists (via Amazon):
This book takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it aa a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.
Previous posts on this piece of code from this blog can be found here (image) and here (video)
An experiment in dramatic storytelling using only three big pixels, built as a demo on the Commodore 64 in 2010 as a 4K demo.
It was developed by VIznut, and he posted some thoughts and background on the piece:
For quite some time already, I have been on a philosophical excursion to the nature of “hard-core” digital creativity, especially the deep essences of the demoscene and the “8-bit” culture. The so far biggest visible result of this excursion has been my recent essay about Computationally Minimal Art, which, among all, separates the ideas of “optimalism” and “reductivism”. I have noticed that the audiovisual digital culture (including the demoscene) has traditionally been very optimalist in nature, aiming at fitting as much complexity as possible within given boundaries. The opposite approach, reductivism, which embraces minimal complexity itself as an esthetic goal, is very seldom used by the demoscene, however.
The Atlantic has pointed out a video of a tech demonstration from the early 90s:
Today, we are living the dream of the nineties — at least when it comes to technology. The virtual realities we imagined are now available in toy stores. Microsoft’s $150 Kinect, a depth and motion-sensing camera originally designed for video games, has become a ubiquitous hackable interface for countless developers, musicians, and artists. Long before the Kinect powered musical performances like this, however, Vincent John Vincent and the 20th Century Kid performed this amazing demonstration of pioneering gesture-controlled video technology, below.
Worth watching for 90sness - Weird Al Yankovic introduces the demo along with some robotic presenter:
The video description is worth reading as well:
This is the future of Kinect Musical Performance. Vincent John Vincent invented video gesture control virtual reality with Francis MacDougall in 1986. By 1991 they had a fully dynamic immersive video gesture control virtual reality system. Vincent started performing around the world in 1986. He created a whole new genre of performance technology and hundreds of virtual performance instrument scenes, including musical scales, soundscapes, virtual drum kits, virtual juggling, virtual dance and a world of other creative landscapes. He is the President and Co-Founder of GestureTek, the worlds leading Video Gesture Control company. They and their company, Gesturetek, wented on to invent may more video gesture control products, including interactive surfaces and 3D video gesture control (2000), which is the technology behind the Kinect.. GestureTek holds over 18 patents, and has licensed patents and technology to Microsofy for the XBOX, and to Sony for the PlayStation, etc. www.vjvincent.com , www.gesturetek.com
Computer Legend and Gaming Pioneer Jack Tramiel Dies at Age 83
A key figure in the history of personal computers and gaming died today :( Via Forbes:
Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore International and crucial figure in the early history of personal computing, passed away surrounded by his family on Sunday, his family confirms. He was 83 years old.
… In America, Tramiel started a typewriter repair business. Staying in the forefront of technology, his typewriters morphed into calculators, and later computers. In 1982, Commodore International launched the Commodore 64, which went on to the best-selling personal computer of all time. Tramiel also founded the Atari Corporation in 1984.
“Jack Tramiel was an immense influence in the consumer electronics and computing industries. A name once uttered in the same vein as Steve Jobs is today, his journey from concentration camp survivor to captain of industry is the stuff of legends,” says Martin Goldberg, a writer working on a book about the Atari brand and the early days of video games and computing with Atari Museum founder Curt Vendel.
“His legacy are the generations upon generations of computer scientists, engineers, and gamers who had their first exposure to high technology because of his affordable computers – ‘for the masses and not the classes.’”
This is one of many short basic programs, for this and other computers, that have been entered by users seeking to puzzle their friends, to learn more about computing, and to see aesthetically pleasing output.
Just a follow up to the C64 USB keyboard Arduino project that I made last week. I was curious if it would work on the iPad using the iPad Camera Connection kit. So I tried it out and was greeted with the error “Cannot Use Device” and “The connected USB device is not supported.” I dismissed the window and tried anyway and it worked! I was able to type in any application.
The in-game tune “Whiprock” is pretty good generic 80’s pop … and the animation is synched up with the music (including the dancer’s incongruously toe-tapping buddies standing over there by the boombox.)
The game also does a pretty good job of implementing a variety of animated dance moves — the player’s character can do the Tut, moonwalk, pop and check, and more, all with fluid animation by Commodore 64 standards
Which is all well and good, but Break Street isn’t ultimately much of a game. Most of the fun comes out of just dancing around and pulling off the moves, and there aren’t really any objectives or goals beyond putting together a sweet routine and recording it for posterity.