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Some old Hi-Res pictures from the Apple II+ from back in the day


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#1 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:25 AM

Oftentimes we'd trade pictures just as much as waReZ. I don't exactly know why we did but we did. It would take a good number of minutes to watch these come up on the screen with our 300-baud MicroModems. IIRC we used a program called DXFER or DFX or DFXER something. And we could chat and see a pictures come on-line simultaneously. Really heady stuff.

I was going through my Sider 10megger which survived 32 years without being powered on once, and pulled these pics off. This is just a tiny sampling of what I found. Actually I didn't find them, I knew they were there all along. Just hoping and praying they were retrievable. Because this was my only copy of these. I must have several hundred of these. There's a few game screenshots, but, really, we collected digitized images and fine art. Game screenshots weren't a hot topic back then.

Some of the ones I found were hand drawn with my Koala pad and Blazing Paddles. To me, it is an early version of photoshop. I suppose. Back then It was not possible to dream of the modern tools we have at our disposal, both for art & graphics as well as file management facilities on a modern PC. You know things like that. Not to mention the "comparatively-speaking" insane resolutions of more than 1600x1200.

Typically these are 280x192x6 - and you had to put up with even/odd artifacting if you used all 6 colors. Through clever texturing we could get the appearance of many more colors. Slick! And also note that there was no collision detection or any easy way to determine if a pixel was lit or not. Fantastic!

You may read about the Apple Graphics screen here -- http://en.wikipedia....ple_II_graphics
And see some marvelous hi-res pictures right here! Right before your eyes!

AppleWin_ScreenShot_000000000.jpg

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AppleWin_ScreenShot_000000004.jpg

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#2 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:43 AM

Oh, what great images! I wish I'd kept all mine from back when. Just another reason to kick myself for getting rid of my stuff BITD so I could buy that fancy 386SX-16 system from Zeos!

There's something really special and great about Apple ][ art. Thank you for sharing.

#3 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:59 AM

Agreed! Thanks a bunch. I really like Apple art because of the small color pixel. Dithers can be done on an Apple that aren't possible on a real color 160 pixel mode display. Sometimes those were used to some really good effect.

#4 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:36 AM

Dithers can be done on an Apple that aren't possible on a real color 160 pixel mode display. Sometimes those were used to some really good effect.


Yeah, emulators don't do Apple II graphics justice. The six-color palette (15 colors if you know what you're doing and you have the right hardware) doesn't hold a candle to systems like the Commodore 64 or the Atari 8-bits, but graphics on a real Apple II aren't nearly as garish as the emulators would have you believe. I like taking screencaps from the actual hardware for this reason.

But either way, these are awesome pics.

Edited by FujiSkunk, Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:51 AM.


#5 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:16 PM

Yeah, totally. There are more than 6 colors possible too. We really do need some better emulation of artifacting. It's more than a simple association between pixel clock and chroma.

Back in the day, when doing pictures, I found TV's or monitors would display the 6 colors perfectly, except for... and that's where the fun is! When one cranks the color up a bit, or uses older TV's, the artifacts from one "color clock" can impact the other ones, tinting pixels with additional colors, like yellow, or orange. This can be seen on the Atari 8 bitters and an 80's era TV, even without the extra color attributes. Bump the color saturation up, or "de-tune" the RF just a little, and those show up.

Patterns like 01011101011101 will tint the "white" pixel, and that tint varies depending on whether or not it's white 1 or white 0 on the Apple. Some of the better art really took advantage of that.

Then there is the double-high-res, upping that game considerably. I never did double high-res art, as I had a plus at that time. Maybe I should go back and try it now. Need to either build a case for the joystick guts I've got, or get a stick though.

Because the Apple did that with such interesting results, I've taken to artifacting on every machine since, where it's possible. Sometimes it's not, depending on whether or not that machine employs a phase change color signal or not.

I really like the space station one.

#6 SoulBlazer ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:26 PM

Nice pics! The girl one is my fav, sharper and more realisitc then I expected from a Apple II. I wonder if that's susposed to be someone?

#7 wood_jl ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:03 PM

Agreed! Thanks a bunch. I really like Apple art because of the small color pixel. Dithers can be done on an Apple that aren't possible on a real color 160 pixel mode display. Sometimes those were used to some really good effect.

Although I have a huge affinity for the A8 and C64 graphics, I've always liked the dithering on the Apple, perhaps because the artists used it so well. First computer I ever touched was Apple II, so that early exposure probably has something to do with why I like it. I didn't know it had some special small pixel?

Edited by wood_jl, Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:03 PM.


#8 chuckwalla OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:15 PM

Cool stuff. I've always had a strong affinity for 8-bit computer pixelized graphics. Atari, Commodore, Apple - awesome images. (ie. I still play A.E. on the Atari computer and get a full dose of 8-bit graphics nostalgia each time).

#9 Kurt_Woloch OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:10 PM

OK, this somewhat intrigued me. Some of you might already know my converter program for various formats... well, I've also written one for Apple II pictures, although it doesn't quite keep to the limitations of its hi-res mode. Can someone spot the errors in the pictures below?

Ampera Apple II.PNG

Pole Position Apple II.PNG

Strip Poker Apple II.PNG

#10 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:23 PM

The "small pixel" works in an interesting way. This can be seen on an Atari too. Just go into graphics 8, set the background color to black, and the foreground color to bright white, and draw a few pixels.

What happens is each even pixel will have one color, and each odd one will have another color, two together will be white, and the colored pixels will look small, because they are. Turning on a few odd pixels, or even pixels will result in a larger "pixel" that appears to be a solid block of one color or the other.

That's the difference. A single small pixel can have color associated with it, allowing for the dither effects. Graphics 15, on the Atari offers 4 colors at a resolution of 160 pixels per line, but each pixel is fat. Can't get just part of one. On the other hand, those larger Atari pixels can be assigned a lot of colors too, and are not position dependent.

On the C64, it's higher resolution color mode does a similar thing, allowing for a small, color pixel, about the same size as the Apple one actually. That smaller pixel is more square, and that helps make the dithering effects work like they do on that computer.

Just pixel art stuff I appreciate, that's all. Not saying one machine is better than the other, just the art ends up playing out differently.

Edited by potatohead, Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:26 PM.


#11 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:48 PM

Nice pics! The girl one is my fav, sharper and more realisitc then I expected from a Apple II. I wonder if that's susposed to be someone?


IDK, but that's a real video digitized photo and not hand drawn.




Agreed! Thanks a bunch. I really like Apple art because of the small color pixel. Dithers can be done on an Apple that aren't possible on a real color 160 pixel mode display. Sometimes those were used to some really good effect.

Although I have a huge affinity for the A8 and C64 graphics, I've always liked the dithering on the Apple, perhaps because the artists used it so well. First computer I ever touched was Apple II, so that early exposure probably has something to do with why I like it. I didn't know it had some special small pixel?


I rather dislike the artifacting myself. Much of my experimentation with graphics on the Apple II was in single color white, and consisted of a lot of drunken spirals & spokes and misshapen bessel plots, bouncing lines and regressing and spinning things. Animating them and playing them back realtime from the Sider drive was another interesting pastime.

Then when I came across Blazing Paddles, that's when I went back through my extensive wARez library and gathered all the pics and made a massive 300+ image slideshow that would just cycle through over and over.

Blazing Paddles and Koala MicroIllustrator bought the effects of artifacting and dithering down to layman's terms. So to speak.

#12 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:37 AM

Well, there is the challenge of pixel art right there.

Some of the best to me is where the artist really made an impression with serious machine limits. A great example on Atari is the GTIA modes, and or the 4 color Antic F. Both have hard pixel sizes, but that also bring the potential for art too.

Dithering is limited on those, but there are lots of color options. So, "great" art is different there, because the limits are different. Apples, particularly running double high res, are a lot like C64 machines. Fixed palette, small color pixels. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen very many double high res pictures... Some good potential there, IMHO.

In general, given a machine and the usual expectations based on specs, I like it when I just view it and say, "wow" The Prince of Persia screen art on Apple is like that. Very well done. It doesn't map right over to the larger pixel sizes, so different effects end up working in that case.

Early pictures are good too, because we didn't have any tools, with people sometimes just picking the ones they want, one at a time. Great pictures done that way are special, because it all comes down to somebody, their vision and raw skill.

Some of "our" pictures, made in my peer group, none of which were ever saved, were done with simple BASIC programs, written to choose a color, use a controller or the keyboard, pixels, lines, etc... I remember spending a LONG time artifacting to get the more subtle things. Actually putting that to use for an image was damn tough. I never made anything that I thought looked good, but others did. It works a lot like pen and pencil do.

Somebody would write a program, somebody else would figure out the patterns and tricks, and still somebody else would jam on it to make a picture that was cool. Great times. When we got the drawing programs, it got more accessible. Tablets made it more so, and I wish I had a tablet. Might be fun to go back and see what I can do now.

Edited by potatohead, Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:52 AM.


#13 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:02 AM

One thing I just discovered, while examining the differences between Blazing Paddles and Koala MicroIllustrator, is that 816-Paint will make use of that huge Apple Graphics Tablet! These have not been powered on in 33 years, I can't wait to see if they work!

#14 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:37 AM

Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen very many double high res pictures... Some good potential there, IMHO.


Several games use double-high resolution, but as far as "still life" artwork goes, Tetris shows at least a little bit of what can be done. The official Tetris port for the Apple II comes in two flavors, 48K and 128K, the latter of which uses double-high resolution. Both have background artwork that cycle now and then as the game progresses. I have a few screen shots of both versions, available here (48K) and here (128K). These were taken from actual hardware, an Apple IIc to be exact.

Somewhere buried in my tub of disks I also have a program that converts GIFs into a double-hi res image format for the Apple II, preserving as much color as possible. I need to find that again.

Edited by FujiSkunk, Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:42 AM.


#15 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:24 PM

I just now noticed those links got munged by the editor, and now it's too late to edit my post. Trying again:

#16 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:35 PM

I'd love to see some modern-day programs working on modern-day PC's convert modern-day gif's and jpegs to olden-day Apple 2 series hi-res or double-hi-res. Surely this has been done?

My other picture collection has about 50-100 DHR images. These are fine art and done for the purpose of showing off vibrancy of colors and shit like that. I don't recall many game screenshots in the mix. When I power up the second Sider drive I'll post some of them right here.

#17 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:48 PM

I'd love to see some modern-day programs working on modern-day PC's convert modern-day gif's and jpegs to olden-day Apple 2 series hi-res or double-hi-res. Surely this has been done?


No doubt you can make a Photoshop script or play around with ImageMagick's bag of goodies to do stuff like this, though I would still rather see the finished product on an Apple II instead of on the PC. On the PC it's just going to look like nothing more than the de-res'ed de-colored picture that it is.

#18 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:55 PM

Right. I've de-rezzed and did all sorts of things whith photoshop. And the stuff isn't right. What's interesting is taking an Apple II sourced graphic and gussy-ing it up *IN* photoshop. You can play the world's most sophisticated connect-the-dots.

Edited by Keatah, Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:55 PM.


#19 Rockin' Kat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:48 PM

Well... not what you're really looking for... you could try using a IIgs emulator with speed control shut off running Super Convert 4 .... It has support for the Apple II hi-res graphics files as well as jpegs and gifs and what not... I used it to get some jpgs I had into something that could be used as a desktop background on my real IIgs. You'll likely want to mess with images in Photoshop before sending them through Super Convert.

http://www.whatisthe...super-convert-4

edit: Well fart: I looked into it... and while it can open Apple II hi-res graphic files it can't actually save as them.

#20 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:55 AM

More importantly, what is an easy-to-use GS emulator?

#21 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:19 AM

I must have several hundred of these.


More please.

We really do need some better emulation of artifacting.


I know what you mean. I don't know if this is from an emulator or not, but this:

Posted Image


...looks way cooler than this:

Posted Image

#22 The Usotsuki ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:01 AM

KEGS is the only GS emulator I'd consider. Apart from GS I use AppleWin.

#23 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:07 AM

We need better emulation of the 2 series period!
Applewin has not been updated in over a year.
Kegs and Kegswin32 is just about goddamned impossible to use.
Activegs seems just as finicky.
All this shit is just that, shit! Drag and drop conventions are wrong, they fucking DON'T work right.
They are inconfigurable.
Nothing works as expected. the code is all grey and crusty ands got that old-man windows96 smell. Ohh that smell. Can't you smell that smell, the smell that surrounds you!
The authors make you jump through hoops and do things only THEY know about. Nothing common sense about anything. shit. They need a lesson in making a correct user interface, otherwise don't fucking bother.
Time to get heads out of asses and make something worthwhile.
This trash is beyond tedious and current emulators are written like they belong in windows97 or something.
Programmer - head in ass = good emulators. Where's the whipping stick!?!?
Clicking on options and sometimes does nothing, supported disk images don't load. WTF??
Every existing emulator seems a waste of time and exercise in patience.

There goes one more fucking broken keyboard for ya!

Edited by Keatah, Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:27 AM.


#24 magnusfalkirk OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:05 AM

Keatah,

Too bad you don't use a Mac, because Sweet 16 is an excellent GS emulator that Erich Shepard maintains and updates. For regular Apple II emulation I use Virtual II which is maintained and updated by Gerard Putter. I agree that Winblows Apple II emulation needs some work. There is a new emulator, for both Winblows and Mac, called JACE (Java Apple Computer Emulator). Here's a link to the download site for it: http://sourceforge.n...jects/java-ace/ it is a work in progress but that's the thing, the guy who developed it is actively working on it.

#25 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:10 AM

I wonder if I could emulate a MAC and then run Sweet 16 and Virtual II?? Contemplating and emulator within and emulator..

If that is not practical or doable. What is the minimum requirements for successful emulation of both a //e and IIgs? I mean what is the minimum Mac setup. I could get something from ePay or something.

I'm not against Macs or anything. I just like one platform, and by happenstance it happened to be a PC.

Edited by Keatah, Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:44 AM.





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