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Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-11
08:40:22
 SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Hello Folks,

Herewith I try to suggest a new GFX mode, the SPECM: Simulated PETSCII in Extended Color Mode.

As I clarified with Luca previously, it is a new mode, that uses the ECM mode, but instead of the original first 64 characters (A-Z, 0-9, ect) I swapped them with the PETCSII graphical elements from the original charset.
It is not a fresh new concept, I am sure a lot of ppl used them in the past in adventure games, demos.
The difference is: to offer a more or less standardized charset for the scene to help the first creations.

I made the charset in CBM PRG Studio.
Then I used Krissz's online PETCSII editor, still with only C64 colors.
But I hope soon there will be other ECM editor supporting free/loadable character sets and the Plus/4 color palette.

My charset version (need to finetune or change back to original in 8-10 positions).

(OK, I made few modifications compared to original PETSCII to better fit for nice shading between two colors, and for the better MMS logo I modified 4 more characters , please forgive me my selfish personality )

And a result I now finetune in the last one week, but please keep in mind:
-It is still in C64 colors, but setting the grey shades, similar or better result can be expected with Plus/4
-I do not treat myself as an artist, but a gfx support guy (I hope you understand the difference ):

A little help: a skeleton skull with a red eye
Not converted, fully hand drawn from zero.

(part from Darksiders2 cover https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3780580/PS4_Inlay_ESRB.0.png )

As I do not want to spoil this page, I do not upload the PRG here, just the CSBD link: http://csdb.dk/release/?id=160360

My idea is to define and create with the +4 scene a more or less standard SPECM charset and after ECM editor become available, use it as a more advanced PETSCII mode.
Starting charset will be donwloadable by anyone (I created a charset in CBM Program Studio in .CST form, compatible with more programs).
Certainly it is very easy to create, and just the skeleton of the SPECM mode to make start easier and a more standard way.

Marq's PETSCII (my fav editor, easiest to edit screen) does not support yet any ECM mode, and it would be a major change in the concept.

Probably some support will be added in few programs to support Plus/4 palette, then we can create and save/share our SPECM GFXs soon.

It could be a great mode to support demos GFX and small games with intro screens, not to mention, how much easier to move it on the screen than a HIRES gfx (speed, memory size).
A full screen SPECM takes 2.5KB in the memory, while a full HIRES is 10K.
(I am sure, some demos already using this modewith self made editors made by the the groups)

Due to the complexity of the mode, probably no efficient converter can be created.

But I can tell my experience, that the speed of such GFX creation is two or three times faster, than with HIRES, not to mention multicolor.
(OK, it is only me, but I feel it much easier, despite the limitations)

Posted By

Luca
on 2017-11-10
16:06:34
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Oh well, no, I would say no
One defines his own selections of chars in ECM, mostly from PETSCII, some not, and calls it "graphic mode"? No of course. But it still is a very interesting field where the users can do very well, indeed. And the skeleton picture is a very great one!

Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-10
16:43:02
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Nope, the idea is agree together on a standard charset, and THEN call it a graphic mode.

But we may accept some level of artistic freedom too, not available in PETSCII

As I see, traditional PETSCII has some limitations in shading, have only "rude" transitions, and hard to do diagonal ones.
As you released and made some very good character based arts, I am sure you know what I mean.

I tried to correct these weaknesess/limitation during this concept art (wwanted to show the possibilities in a character based screen), but certainly it is still not the final stage (nor the GFX, nor the charset).
I plan a much finer version especially for Plus/4, when (if) an ECM editor will be available. More colors, more shades...

Posted By

carrion
on 2017-11-11
04:40:35
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

guys. nice concept I'll follow the thread to see what comes out of this.

also please. upload the file to CSDB as moderators want to delete the entry because it doesn't have the .prg file to download.

Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-11
08:39:44
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Yepp, I just read that, seems I was too tired yesterday to upload the PRG too.
I have troubles to take my kids from my PC, you know, like the riot on the Bounty.

Well, they say on CSDB that this mode is known and used, but I could not find a single release.
They have multicolor PETSCII (?) and Fli PETSCII with a converter, but those are different things.
Sure i will upload it, in Micro64 it looks even better than this. (have a similar nice CRT emu YAPE has)

UPDATE:
uploaded, thanks for warning :-)

Posted By

George
on 2017-11-11
07:22:25
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Great graphic.
I call it Fantastic-MMS-Mode.

Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-11
08:56:38
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Thank you all the feedbacks!

Actually I will work out a better version of the fontset, and we may agree, that the last 4 chars are for "free for personal use/modification".
And then it will be closer to something standard, especially no MMS logo inside :-D

The biggest problem with the ECM's 64 char limitation, that is is technically speaking the half of the PETSCII character variations, as even inverted characters are not possible, so the inverted ones should fit into the 64 characters.

Some of the original PETSCIIs had to be dropped to get some inverted shapes of some others. That's why maybe picture by picture some finetuning is required in the fontset. or maybe create three ot four different ones for different styles. (picturisque shading, non-figurative, robots :-) ,etc )

Posted By

carrion
on 2017-11-11
10:11:56
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

I'll look closer to this mode because , actually was thinking of ECM for some time now.
The inspiration came from Atari guys who use 5 color mode (128 chars) to do actually all they modern nice gfx. What they do is the change char generator every xx lines and fill whole screen with 4-5 chartist to do the gfx. then they can change colors every line (they have 128 colors in this mode).
So basically what they do to achieve these nice looking pictures is charset mode and changing the char generator every few lines.
When I discovered that I automatically thought about how we could use it on Commodores and I think there's still space for this kind of experiments.

Your's idea is one of the possible approaches which also could do nice results.
will invetigate
later

Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-11
16:34:01
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Today's product with my little daugther.
She enjoyed a lot more (VS PETSCII) to able to draw grass around the dragon.



Posted By

George
on 2017-11-11
17:58:19
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

She has the talent of her father! Great Dinosaur!

Posted By

MMS
on 2017-11-13
17:49:48
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

Thanks Guys for the feedbacks!

Update: final version with some better form of tail, more legs (LOL), better feet and my daugther "logo" on it (not really good, but eh, I am no good in logo).
And yeah, now she is a registered scener on CSDB, haha!

I feel sorry, that I can show here only C64 stuff, but that's life without a proper +4 ECM editor.
I show these pics to show this format's potentials.
Anyhow, if you do not like to see these limited colors here, just let me know

(The more I test, the more possibilites I see...Some great concepts in my mind)



One question: as you can see, there is a huge color difference between the two pictures.
One of them is Micro64 with PEPTO color cheme, while in the editor there are at least 10 color schemes for C64 you can chosse from.

The question: in case an ECM editor will emerge, which Plus/4 palette it should support?
Please vote!

(I prefer in YAPE the "Measured colors" palette, while Plus4Emu default also seems to be accurate to me)
(And in which way the selected Palette can be shared? )

Posted By

Chronos
on 2017-11-13
18:13:18
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

interesting concept!

Posted By

SVS
on 2017-11-14
02:46:38
 Re: SPECM GFX mode - concept phase

@MMS: definitely you are a "gfx support guy" AND "an artist".



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