It’s been quite a while since I posted anything on this site!
Not that I haven’t been doing anything, but a lot of it happened on other (social) media (On csdb, On Twitter).

The main thing at the moment is making pixel pics (pixel art if you like), which led to a nice HTML/JS project.


The past years I mostly made cartoons and sometimes tried to make (Commodore 64) games, but somehow my focus is shifting towards more pixels and demo’s.
It’s probably caused by me being ‘drafted’ into the demoscene group F4CG.
And that was caused by me making this picture:

Inspired by our cat getting sick (unfortunately he didn’t make it).

I didn’t see me as much of a graphics man. I do make cartoons and drawing them sometimes is nice, but mainly it feels as a means to and end and technically I’m really not good.
But making this picture added another dimension to drawing for me: the drawing process was just a joy, sketching and then keep on working on it for several evenings, cleaning, editing, reworking.

Finding the right tool is an ongoing process. In the lead is definitely Multipaint at the moment, but this one was started with Pro Motion NG.
I used the lettering tool to write a text with a regular font and then edit it by hand. That part wasn’t fun.

Next I did a demo for Christmas 2020. I came up with it pretty late and did everything quite hasty, which it shows. It feels a bit like I ruined a pretty good idea with bad execution, but the pixeling was still fun. The music was a quick hack of Jingle Bells.
BTW: I just listened on NTSC for the first time and it’s pretty messed up: it sounds like a tune by drunken Chipmunks, haha!

Picture for the last part

I used an existing 2×2 character font from CharPad and split screen to add text.

The result on NTSC

I made this one very quickly as a little joke to the ‘team leader’ of my demo group:

lettering done with the text in Pro Motion NG

I wanted to draw my, by then late, cat as a dedication. I started to draw some lines and although not realistic in any way I liked the ‘attitude’ of it which resulted in this picture:

Because I liked the pixeling but not the lettering I started to search for a way to make lettering easier, so I could try to do cartoons in native C64 format.

A text tool

I started a project which is not final but certainly usable for me. You can try it online here: https://sipke.gitlab.io/geosfontsinkoala/

It uses the proportional fonts made for the GEOS operating system for the C64 and can import files in Koala format. It adds the single colour fonts to the multicolour picture and can generate a C64 executable with split screen. You can also export the text as sprites.

Making this tool is a lot of fun and already I’ve used (parts) of it to make several pictures

A test with the ‘Backwood’ font
The final font I went with
Not a good cartoon, but surprisingly easy to make

Drawing as a means of expression

A picture on my Twitter feed led to this picture which has been the best experience drawing pixel art so far for me (I’ve even called it cathartic) and possibly the picture I’ve reworked the most to get it right.
It feels like I’m expressing parts of myself through these drawings/demo’s.
More of that please!
At the time of writing it has a score of 9.2 out of 10 on csdb, which is ridiculous, considering what real wonders come from the C64 scene! But it still makes me very proud!

here I exported the text from my new tool as sprites to put them in the top border. I reworked them just a little bit, which is very easy with SpritePad.

Aaargh Condor! compo

In januari started a graphics competition on the csdb.dk site ‘Aaargh Condor!’ . The challenge was to make a title picture for the horrible game with the hilarious title ‘Aaargh Condor!’:

That really inspired me and I made two pictures, both with the basic idea ‘what else could make someone go “AARGH CONDOR!”?’

With this one I had a sort of ’60s sitcom in mind: ‘Oh what has condor done now?’
This one speaks for itself I think. This time I did a little research what a condor really looks like 😀 (on the first one someone mentioned my condor really looked like a vulture).

One of my demo-group mates also had an idea and asked me to visualize it. There was some back and forth discussion and I ended up with two versions. This gave my mate an idea and he combined both into this little ‘animation’ based around the C64 vs. Spectrum rivalry:

Where next?

It feels I just started on my pixel journey and I feel there’s still so much to learn (although I doubt I’ll ever be technically proficient) and things I want to do. So there may be a bit less cartoons and games in the future, but more pixely thingies.
Who knows?

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