ptoing @ 9/23/2017 05:22 commented on Shadow of the Colossus

If you wanna make a crop that fits into 320x200 and have me make a c64 executable and maybe put it up on CSDb, let me know :)

ptoing @ 9/22/2017 12:10 commented on Priestly Gentleman

Just looked at this again and saw your question which no one answered.

The restrictions are not too complicated, but a bit tricky to get used to.

You got a fixed palette, 16 colours to choose from (you can't use all at the same time).

Find the palette here (click on VIC at the top)

There are no real built in gfx modes for the vic20 apart from the char modes, but Aleksi Eeben has come up with an implementation which is very nice, and is the one Lackey used.

You get 22x11 4x16 pixel blocks (88x176 pixels). Each block can have up to 4 colours, 3 of these colours are fixed across the whole picture. The pixel ratio is closer to 3x1 than 4x1, but really somewhere inbetween.

One colour is the background colour, it can be any of the 16 colours.
One is the border colour, this can be any of the first 8 colours (as the name suggestes it also dictates the colour of the border around the image)
Then there is the auxiliary colour, which also can be any of the 16 colours.
And last but not least there is the char colour, which is unique per 4x16 pixel block, and can only be any of the first 8 colours.

The colours are in the right order on the colodore site, but just to be clear, first 8 are black, white, and then then dark versions of RCMGBY (in that order).

Hope this helps. Would love to see you (or anyone, really) do something in this mode.

ptoing @ 9/18/2017 07:28 commented on Perfect Chaos

The record as well as the label are perfect circles, so it's top down. No perspective.

ptoing @ 9/18/2017 06:49 commented on Perfect Chaos

Why is the label so off-center?

ptoing @ 9/14/2017 16:03 commented on Ooga booga booga!

This is very nice for a first attempt at widepixels and the colours too. Good stuff.
I just played around with it in Timanthes and it is actually possible to get this running on the real thing exactly as it is here with some trickery in FLI mode. If you want me to I can add it to

I would love to see what you can do in standard Multicolor mode, where you are a bit more restricted.

Keep it up.


The C64 is an 8 bit computer from the 80s

So C64 colours are the 16 colours available on that machine and the double-wide pixels or simply widepixels, is what people call the pixels in the low-resolution graphics modes where pixel resolution was sacrificed for colour resolution.

ptoing @ 9/14/2017 13:48 commented on lsd lizzards

Nice, looking forward to that.

ptoing @ 9/13/2017 15:00 commented on Portrait of Lynn

Super nice. I am sure Lynn will love it. Really great all around, and you got very good milage out of the palette.

ptoing @ 9/13/2017 14:51 commented on lsd lizzards

Nice :) Looking forward to that. Are you entering anything for Zoo this year?

ptoing @ 8/9/2017 09:08 commented on Rescuing Orc

Super lovely. Great details all over the place. I especially like the slimes, purple wizard ghost thing and the signature :)

ptoing @ 8/9/2017 08:42 commented on Dino Eggs

Dino Eggs was one of my fave games when I had my first C64 when I was a kid. Still a pretty fun game today and you captured it greatly. Super lovely illustration indeed.

Also, the way you are mixing your more cartoony style with the more angular background elements works really well.

ptoing @ 8/1/2017 16:42 commented on Those guys again

These are great! The right one looks like an alternate dimension Samus.

ptoing @ 7/22/2017 09:49 commented on Water 2

Really nice picture, very moody and quite nice composition.

A crit I have is that the 2 darkest colours are too close, and if you brighten the 2nd darkest colour the 3rd one needs to be a bit darker too, but that works pretty well - I tried.

Other than that you could maybe work on your AA a bit, it is alright in some places and very sloppy/does not really work all that well in others. But that detracts very little from the overall feel of the picture.

ptoing @ 7/18/2017 00:33 commented on Big Bird

Crow has moved it recently. It should be fine now.

ptoing @ 7/14/2017 23:46 commented on Your Brain on Bobs!

Atari ST is not really restricted, imo. The only restriction you got is the 9bit colours (total of 512), the resolution (320x200 is pretty OK) and the amount of colours you can use (16 at most in this graphics mode.)

For me the real fun with restrictions is when you got some kinda character/block restrictions like on the C64, ZX Spectrum, or the NES for example. Especially the C64 is really interesting because it has a pretty good palette, and not too harsh restrictions. I wrote a thread on Pixelation about restrictions of a bunch of systems, if you wanna have a look at that. Thread is here.

But yeah, imo it is good fun to play around with restrictions. They make you think and you get an interplay between them and your own decisions. I can only recommend it.


ptoing @ 7/14/2017 17:19 commented on Your Brain on Bobs!


Pheno: I am kinda sorta seeing it, but not really. Maybe you really had to pee when you were looking at it?

ptoing @ 7/12/2017 11:07 commented on Your Brain on Bobs!

Thanks everyone :)

Amorph: Yes, there is a reason for the lack of aa, and it is partly technical, partly stylistic.

On the Atari ST you get a maximum of 16 colours, and the graphics are stored via bitplanes (each bitplane is essentially a 1 bit black and white image, that sets a bit for each pixel on or off. The added pixels of all bitplanes then determine which colour from the palette is shown). If you watch the demo you will see that there are is a transparent looking scrolling font as well as moving stars over the image.

Those stars and the font are only 1 bit, but they are the 4th bitplane; meaning that whatever they are on gets bumped up by a value of 8 in the palette index.

I wanted the picture to be cartoony and not use a very unified ramp for all the elements. Essentially there are the background, the fleshy bits and the colour of the guy. In an older iteration I started to antialias, but since the main body colour did not really have any good colour to aa against, as well as the whole thing changing colours in the demo, antialias would limit the choice of colours and potentially look clashy. This is why I went with a no AA and thicker outline look.

Hope this explains it well enough. If you got more questions, let me know.

ptoing @ 7/9/2017 16:16 commented on C64 Chess Set

Very nice for a first go. Any special reason why you are sticking to 32 (16) pixels wide on them?
On actual chess pieces the knights head pretty much always goes beyond the confines of the base.

The diagonal stems on the K look a bit too thick, compared to the vertical one.

Looking forward to more C64 art from you :)

ptoing @ 7/4/2017 21:04 commented on Incommunicado

Yes, exactly. I have done this too, esp in commercial work. Using stuff like the smear mode in promotion to loosen areas up and then refining afterwards can work nicely. And if something ends up where you think it is cool while using "dirty" tools, that's fine. Just because pixelart let's us be incredibly anal does not mean we have to be all the time.

Also agree about the red, in that it is fine. The burn is very slight and it creates a nice colour dynamic imo.

ptoing @ 7/3/2017 20:15 commented on Incommunicado

The main issue is that "pixelart" is a relatively new term. When I had my Amiga back between 92-95 and did doodles and animataion in DPaint the term was not a thing. It was just drawing on a computer and it had some restrictions.

These restrictions are now completely gone with modern stuff like Photoshop (really they have been for a while), so I guess that is where that kinda purism comes from. People trying to codify the term "pixelart".

When I started doing pixelart in 2003 there was very much this feeling of this is good practise etc, and I think that there are things that are good practise, but it depends on what you want to do. Rules can be bent, rules can be broken, esp in "art"; Let's not try and make formulas for something that does not benefit from it, let alone need it.

I personally really like restrictions, because they are like a puzzle to me. But even on a system that is heavily restricted, like the C64, you can do something where someone on here would say: "But that is not pixelart."

The question about where to draw the line is a very valid one. When does a piece cease to be pixel art?
What if cure actually took very exacting care to where every pixel goes, which pixels he deletes, how he draws the squiggles?

If he did that would it be more pixelart than if he just noodled around half the time and then cleaned up only places he felt really needed it and left others in their originally doodle state.

Another good example is Helm's Death Walks. He has a link to the original Pixelation thread with progress snapshots. The final piece retains quite a few things from the first reduced step, apart from colour changes. Pixel placement stays, size reduction and aa decisions Helm did not make himself, but he approved them.

Or look at cure's liondog. Is that pixelart? IMO it is. There is intent, and cure chose to do it at low resolution with few (relatively speaking) colours. Intent is what matters, not what other people think should matter.

I am all for learning art fundamentals, it will benefit most people. But if we try and regiment pixelart too much and box it into some artificial shape we risk it becoming stale.

Experiments like this (which again, are nothing new really), are what keeps our perception of the medium fresh and help us grow. I for one would rather see way more stuff than this than having to look at a copy of a Secret of Mana tree ever again.

ptoing @ 6/29/2017 09:01 commented on Incommunicado

Clu-what-ers? Looks pretty cool, and I would love to see a progress video of this, but I reckon that does not exist. Steps at least?

Another thing I have to think about, is the old discussion of pure pixelart and the like, and whether something like this would have been accepted if it was not done by someone well known like you.

Still great. Breaking the mold is good.

Edit: There have been other people who have done stuff similar to this in the demoscene, esp on Amiga, Mermaid for example. But never have I seen an attempt where the chaos was as controlled and effective looking as here.

ptoing @ 6/25/2017 12:25 commented on Them Apples

That's the spirit! More people giving C64 stuff a shot makes me happy. :)

ptoing @ 6/20/2017 09:00 commented on Shadow of the Colossus

Check this link to see what I mean with extra colours. There are very subtle variants of most colours that are very hard to pick out with the naked eye.

As far as the charset goes it does not matter, since on C64 you can do hires bitmap, which is 2 colours per 8x8 pixels. That mode is 320x200, so your image is 1 char too wide (8 pixels) and 2 too tall (16 pixels). The black border is OK, since the C64 has a substantial border which you can define the color for as well.

Also, if you want to reply to someone here on PJ, click the Reply link under their post. That way they get notified.

ptoing @ 6/19/2017 15:59 commented on Them Apples

Thanks :)

It's really not that hard, in this case all you need to watch out for is not to have more than 3 colours per 8x8 pixels, plus an aditional background colour, which can be any of the 16. In this pic I used mid grey as the global, which is a kinda special case, and can be used as a substitute for quite a few colours. But the BG colour is not that important in my personal experience, any colour can be made to work decently.

Technically you can use more than those 3+1 colors per block, but then it gets a bit weird in this mode because of the dither overlay, and is not really usable in a lot of cases (You can download the executable here at CSDb and run it in a C64 emulator, such as VICE/WinVICE, micro64, or others to see how the dither affects it in realtime, this pic here is just a blended image. Emu is not as good as on the real thing obviously, since the flicker for one thing is less stable on emulator, because of refresh rates, but it will give you an idea.)

You could also give the normal MCOL mode a try, which is also 3+1 colours at a resolution of 160x200 widepixels. DawnBringer has made a script to check for that for Grafx2.

ptoing @ 5/5/2017 07:26 commented on Shadow of the Colossus

This is great. I love SOTC and I love the C64. If you want I can make a C64 executable file from this and if you also want upload it to the C64 Scene Database.

Edit: just checked, and the image is a bit too big, even without the black border it is 328x216 pixels, which is 8x16 pixels too big for C64 without doing bordersprite trickery.

You also have some close to identical duplicates of pretty much every colour.

ptoing @ 2/8/2017 01:31 commented on NES/Famicom Channel 5: Heroes & Villians Portraits

Looking forward what you come up with :)