Chimera Glow Dots



Have a look at Rob Fearon’s piece, “We Love Glow” when you get the chance. A man after my own heart, playing with the kind of looks afforded by modern software and hardware. That’s what I call “retro reframed” and it’s how I roll. What we’re working on appears retro, but actually wouldn’t be possible on older hardware (at least not at a reasonable frame rate).

Alpha-blending? Forget it. The best we got was transparency and masking, on, or off.

Additive blending? Don’t be silly. Overlays, sure. That’s your lot.

I’ve spent all day working on this. I’ve learned that I’m not as fast as I used to be. I’ve learned that music doesn’t help me relax as much as it used to. And I’ve learned that somewhere along the way, life hit me so many times, so hard, that I plain and simple forgot how to just let go and flow. I’m not saying I’ve got it back, but I recognise it. And yes, I’d like some more of that please.

I’ve coded quite a lot, learned some more C++ techniques, got half a graphic editor going, got some glowing graphics going and reverted to Spectrum graphics as opposed to the 3-colour (+black) C64 sprite. The proportions are wrong, the blocks are pink, the glow is Ready-Brek, but I’m happy for today.

What do you think of that big pixel look on the left by the way? That with some glow maybe? (Don’t worry about the white pixels, they’re just masking)

So what does the title of the piece refer to? Well, the illusion that more is being done than it actually is. I don’t need to do anythign fancy in real-time, other than let the hardware take care of alpha-blending. Everything can and should be faked.

The effect was achieved by adding an external glow filter and a gradient overlay from top left to bottom right at about 50%. The graphics have been scaled up from the Spectrum original enormously.

Now for some animation.


2 thoughts on “Illusions”

  1. Sha that “we love glow” link reloads this page.

    Your gfx have a certain charm to be sure.

    You’ve tagged this with “vector” are you using vector gfx some place ?

    1. Link fixed, thanks for that!

      I’ve tagged it with vector, because the whole glowing vector look is what inspired this glowing look in the first place. Line-based images tend to lend themselves to that look, but it seems to work for scaled up retro stuff too.

      I would appreciate some input from a real artist, for sure! 🙂

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