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Deluxe Paint V box cover - OEM re-release on CD
|Initial release||November 1985|
5.2 / 1995
|Operating system||AmigaOS, GEM, MS-DOS, and Apple GS/OS|
|Platform||Commodore Amiga, IBM PC, Atari ST and Apple IIGS|
|Type||bitmap graphics editor|
The original Deluxe Paint was created for the Commodore Amiga 1000, and released in November 1985. It was eventually ported to other platforms, including a DOS version for the PC which became the standard for pixel graphics in computer games in the 1990s, the only competitor being Autodesk Animator Pro.
Deluxe Paint began as an in-house art development tool called Prism. As author Dan Silva added features to Prism, it was developed as a showcase product to coincide with the Amiga's debut in 1985. Upon release, it was quickly embraced by the Amiga community and became the de facto graphics (and later animation) editor for the platform. It was used almost ubiquitously in the making of Amiga games, animation and demoscene productions. Amiga manufacturer Commodore International later commissioned EA to create version 4.5 AGA to bundle with the new Advanced Graphics Architecture chipset (A1200, A4000) capable Amigas. Version 5 was the last release after Commodore's bankruptcy in 1994.
With the development of Deluxe Paint, EA introduced the ILBM and ANIM file format standards for graphics. While widely used on the Amiga, these formats never gained widespread end user acceptance on other platforms, but were heavily used by game development companies. Dpaint was used by LucasArts to make graphics for their adventure games such as Monkey Island, and is the source of the name of the main character in the Monkey Island series, Guybrush Threepwood - the character's name derived from a particular filename used to store his image data, which was named "guybrush.bbm".
Early versions of Deluxe Paint were available in protected and non copy-protected versions, the latter retailing for a slightly higher price. The copy protection scheme was later dropped. Deluxe Paint was first in a series of products from the Electronic Arts Tools group—then later moved to the ICE (for Interactivity, Creativity, and Education) group—which included such Amiga programs as Deluxe Music Construction Set, Deluxe Video, and the Studio series of paint programs for the Macintosh.
Commodore Amiga versions
- Deluxe Paint I (1985)
- Deluxe Paint II (1986)
- Deluxe Paint III (1988)
- Deluxe Paint IV (1991)
- Deluxe Paint 4.5 AGA (1993)
- Deluxe Paint V (1995)
Deluxe Paint II Enhanced 2.0, released in 1994, was the most successful PC version, and was compatible with ZSoft's PC Paintbrush PCX image format file. The MS-DOS conversion was carried out by Brent Iverson and its enhanced features were by Steve Shaw. It supported the CGA, EGA, MCGA and VGA IBM-compatible PC graphic cards, the Hercules, Tandy and Amstrad proprietary video cards and the main of the first Super VGA video cards (manufacturer dependent) modes, enabling it to support up to 800×600 pixel screen resolution with 256 (from 262,144) colors and 1024×768 pixels with 16 colors.
Atari ST versions
Unlike modern graphics editors, such as Adobe Photoshop, most Amiga graphics editors were heavily oriented towards the bitmapped and bitplaned display modes of the native Amiga chipset, and in Deluxe Paint this was most prominent.
The Amiga natively supports indexed color, where a pixel's color value does not carry any RGB hue information but instead is an index to a colour palette (a collection of unique color values). By adjusting the color value in the palette, all pixels with that palette value change simultaneously in the image or animation. Creative artists could use this in their animation by using color cycling.
Deluxe Paint III added support for Extra Halfbrite. New editing modes allowed one to stencil certain colors, and perform blurs on the stencils to produce an effect that could be made to look similar to light-sourcing in a 3D program. Deluxe Paint III added the ability to create cel-like animation, and animbrushes. These let the user pick up a section of an animation as an "animbrush", which can then be placed onto the canvas while it animates. Deluxe Paint III was one of the first paint programs to support animbrushes. This is similar to copy and paste, except one can pick up more than one image.
Deluxe Paint IV, which did not include Silva as the lead programmer, was significantly less elegant and crashed more often than the predecessors, though it did offer significant new features like non-bitplane-indexed Hold-and-Modify support. Version 4.5 AGA appeared the following year, addressing the stability issues and providing support for the new A1200 and A4000 AGA machines and a revamped screen mode interface. It appeared in both standalone and Commodore-bundled versions.
The final release of Deluxe Paint, version 5, supported true 24-bit RGB images. However, using only the AGA native chipset, the 24-bit RGB color was only held in computer memory, the on-screen image still appeared in indexed color.
The reliance on an indexed colour model allowed for a different way of working, not found on many paint programs since. The intimate linking of palette and image data made DPaint an excellent tool for creating bitmapped icons, animation and game graphics before true colour images became commonplace.
"[" and "]" hotkeys could step through the indexed palette, turning indexed-pixel-painting into a fast two-handed mouse+keys process, and the right mouse button would paint with the background colour (instead of bringing up a context sensitive menu as is common in modern packages)
For example, transparency was obtained as simply as selecting a background colour index (a single right click on the palette GUI to change). Colours could be locked from editing by use of a stencil (a list of colour indexes whose pixels should not be altered in the image data). And simple colour-cycling animations could be created using contiguous entries in the palette. It was easy to change the hue and tone of a section of the image by altering the corresponding colours in the palette. (The specific section needed to use a dedicated part of the palette for this technique to work.)
Brushes can be cut from the background by using the box, freehand, or polygon selection tools. They can then be used in the same manner as any other brush or pen. This functionality is simpler to use than the "stamp" tool of Photoshop or Alpha Channels as provided in later programs. Brushes can be rotated and scaled, even in 3D. After a brush is selected, it appears attached to the mouse cursor, providing an exact preview of what will be drawn. This allows precise pixel positioning of brushes, unlike brushes in Photoshop CS3 and lower, which only show an outline.
Animations stored in IFF ANIM format were delta compressed (only the differences between current and previous frames are stored), making animations smaller and faster on playback.
Deluxe Paint was a hit for EA.
- Deluxe Paint Animation
- Brilliance (graphics editor)
- Photon Paint
- Project Dogwaffle
- List of raster graphics editors
- Comparison of raster graphics editors
- "Frequently asked questions about Monkey Island".
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