Rare Commodore 64 (C-64, C64) pixel art unearthed!

Bill Loguidice's picture

While not exactly as monumental or groundbreaking as my tongue-in-cheek title would imply, in my small world it's something fun that I wanted to share--original pixel art (much like AA staffer Mark Vasier's wonderful icons that we often use on blog posting headers, like the C-64 icon to the upper left) not seen since the mid-1980's. Without further ado, here's the public unveiling of original artwork done by myself and late friend, Ed Beck, done back in our youth on the Commodore 64, armed only with lots of time, a joystick and crude, but effective art programs.

[NOTE: All of this was captured directly from my Commodore 128D using a USB video capture device and my laptop.]

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The above was by Ed Beck in DOODLE with a joystick (apologies for my not remembering how to remove the cursor when viewing images). He had utilized a neat technique to get a more striking visual effect in things like the planetary continents by essentially skipping drawn lines. It's similar to color techniques (which we also used) to get more than the allowable sixteen colors on-screen by placing certain colors in proximity to each other and the display essentially blending them for free. Ah, the beauty that can come from needing to work around limitations...

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The above were inspired by the cover of the original 1950's version of one of my favorite books of all time, Half Magic. The colored one below, while to some maybe not as nice as the black and white one, was as close as I was able to get to the original coloring (which is pretty close considering the pallete options).

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This was supposed to be a futuristic front page newspaper. I was in seventh grade at the time and one of the very first kids to use a computer for this type of thing. I seem to recall a version where I added text (in fact, I definitely did and that's what I turned in as my report on the book), but don't see it at the moment. You Star Blazers fans should recognize the spaceship...

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Why would I create this you ask? Well, back in the "old days", there weren't necessarily computerized systems to keep score. There was also a version I did where I pasted some Print Shop clip art of a bowler on the bottom and photocopied the whole thing to make a seamless layout.

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If I recall correctly, I created this as a character sheet for some paper role-playing game whose name slips my mind at the moment.

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This is a color version of Big Pig. Again, I think I may prefer the black and white version.

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I drew this from a tiny toy I got in a gumball machine. The proportions are actually about right to what the toy looked like.

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Just like today, I was always hatching up schemes with my friends, which is probably what that was for.

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I loved the original art of this, so I decided to make my own version. Again, the non-color version may do it more justice...

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A marginal attempt at a disk title screen. I still occasionally do work under "Nu-Wave", though now it's "Nu-Wave Innovation, Inc.", officially.

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Just a design. I'm not sure if this was me or Ed, though since it's unsigned and mediocre, it was almost certainly me. (this also looks a bit different on the monitor than it does here in the direct screen capture, interestingly (there's more color bleed on the monitor))

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The above are shots of my drawing of Doctor Who's TARDIS, which I created in geoPaint, which was part of GEOS (by this time the 2.0 version). As with my lack of memory regarding how to get rid of the cursor when viewing pictures in DOODLE, I don't know how to get a full screen shot other than by doing a print preview, which isn't very helpful in this case. Still, you get the idea (and I don't recall if I used a mouse or stuck with a joystick, but the technique would have been the same). (By the way, I forgot how impressive looking the GeoPaint interface is - it's rather like a modern title)

Of course, there was plenty of other stuff I drew (more DOODLE stuff, Print Shop icons, etc.), but it's not handy at the moment. At the very least, though, you get the idea of what we did as kids/teenagers.

By the way, you might be wondering why we didn't use light pens or another alternative to a joystick. Well, these options (which we had available), simply weren't as accurate as doing the work pixel-by-pixel, click-by-click, zoomed in (and in 10 feet of snow).

We were obviously not professional artists by any means (though Ed's stuff was darn good!), but we sure had fun. I don't think you can have the same type of fun on a modern computer with modern art packages today since you really do need to be an artist to make decent use of the amazing tools available. Sadly, my computer art and drawing skills deteriorated after college due to lack of use (and more focus than ever on writing), much like my handwriting.

I eventually moved on to doing work on the Amiga with a mouse in the wonderful Deluxe Paint and have long since made available the following two images, here (1989) and here (1991). I did a few others that came out pretty good, like a muscular swordswoman and Tom Baker's Doctor Who, but again, neither is handy at the moment... After the Amiga, I really never found a pixel package or the time to do any work on the PC, though I'll surely have to out of necessity when I get a chance to make a few games.

Got any classic computer art you'd like to share? Let us see it!

Comments

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
old thread revieved. One i

old thread revieved. One i missed in the past. I can see the creative side you ahve very well in those. As a artist (in my mind only) im very impressed with this stuff on waht you had to work with. I myslef cant for the life of me draw anything "real" as in, replicate a car/ picture/ tem i have in front of me.. but if there is no refrence I used to do ok.

Old RPG? TMNT the pen and paper RPG? i played it in about 86ish? and it looks somewhat the same from waht I remeber, but there where so many back then , who knows.. We did polar bears for our team :)

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Good one, clok!
clok1966 wrote:

Old RPG? TMNT the pen and paper RPG? i played it in about 86ish? and it looks somewhat the same from waht I remeber, but there where so many back then , who knows.. We did polar bears for our team :)

You know what, I think you're right! I totally forgot about that one, but we definitely played it. That was of course the hardcore TMNT in black and white before it went mainstream.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
tmnt
Bill Loguidice wrote:
clok1966 wrote:

Old RPG? TMNT the pen and paper RPG? i played it in about 86ish? and it looks somewhat the same from waht I remeber, but there where so many back then , who knows.. We did polar bears for our team :)

You know what, I think you're right! I totally forgot about that one, but we definitely played it. That was of course the hardcore TMNT in black and white before it went mainstream.

Comics... dont get me started.. :) I was (and still am somewhat) a huge comic book geek, while i dont buy any nowdays (well maybe one or two a year) i was a $30-50 dollar a week addict back in the early 80's till mid 90's... those dang females, growing up and manging your money as such kinda killed it off (but I still ove teh indy stuff, Walkign Dead, Y the last man, BETTER than most BOOKS nowdays, Wlaking dead has some of the best emotion and sotry telling I have seen in ages (the comic, the TV series while following the comic some and being great, is not as great as the comic).
TMNT (black and white and magazine size!) one of the ones that started the independent comic book craze (and glut).. 2 points for anybody who knows what MArvel Super hero the TMNT share reason for their super power with (and are actually in the original Marvel Super hero comic!)
ElfLord- Barry blair is still doing stuff. to bad he wnet the erotic comic way when the indy comic bust came.
the Tick- thouhg much later in the indie comic boom, a great comic
Concrete- Still the singel best "thinking mans" comic IMHO
and so many more.. and I got um all ..boxed up (i try never dig them out as I read for hourts when I do).

For anybody interested the granddaddy of all Indy comics (that is not Crumb related, drug realated etc) ElfQuest (kinda credited with starting the 80's indy comic explosion is now free to read (complete run) at
http://www.elfquest.com/gallery/OnlineComics3.html
I would recomend it, a bit different, not so "macho' as most comics are as its created by a girl/female/woman. Personally Iloved um and have them all in my collection from way back when.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
That's an awesome ElfQuest

That's an awesome ElfQuest link. Too bad they're not available for download, because that would be great on my tablet (suppose I could try to view in the browser).

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Elf Quest! hehe, I remember

Elf Quest! hehe, I remember those comics. Too young too appreciate the stories back then, but loved the art.

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Fun stuff, Bill!

I must have missed this thread when it was originally posted back in 2007, so I'm glad to see it resurrected.

Several quite impressive pieces there, considering the tools, your age, and the ambition involved! The "line art" stuff was quite impressive, considering the obvious attention to detail.

I *think* I still have some of my old Atari 8-bit stuff on both cassette and floppies, but since I haven't had an Atari 8-bit machine in over 20 years, I have no means to access it and find out!

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