Amiga and Commodore news and topics not covered in the other forums
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:48 pm

I'd really like to think he's genuine, and forgive me if I'm wrong... But no, I don't care if the angle is ever so slightly different in the real Porsche picture and Jim's picture, the difference between 320x200 without correction and compensating for the intended aspect ratio is beyond refute. If you believe my pictures are flawed, please, by all means, you take the time to find a model Porsche that is actually similar to the one in Jim's, then you can paste the two together to compare. Yours was not the same model by any means. And I wouldn't be surprised if your side view was stretched, because the Porsche you posted looks a lot taller in the front/rear views VS the side. My friend, the man who designed this stuff has already spoken, if you're not willing to even entertain that, then it's very hard for me to personally feel you're genuine. But that's me...

If you don't like that comparison, here's one from Test Drive II, a Canadian game.

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^Original 320x200 with no correction, notice the Amiga 1000 has a widescreen display....


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^ With aspect ratio correction to put it in 4:3 - Looks like the Amiga 1000 now...

Eric, you're a good man, you're doing the right thing for the board... 20/1 he's got something to say about those pictures too...
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:59 pm

All right... I back down with all previous objections to our new forum member. He's actually right... Upon researching it more heavily, Jim's designs for those cars do not look like the real cars. I tested them year after year, they all looked better in 320x200... "In this case" it should be said. And I would imagine we are both right and both wrong in our judgments on this. Hopefully Jim himself might be able to answer the question, but I'm wondering if Jim was looking at distorted artwork in the first place? Perhaps a HAM picture sent from PAL land and it was therefore distorted on Jim's monitor? I can't give a logical explanation as to why all of Jim's games for example should be in 4:3, but indeed those very pictures do not represent the cars... BUT... Jim did show that video, he posted it as a matter of fact, I'm kind of thinking JIm actually did paint that car in 4:3, that's my honest belief, he worked on NTSC machines which absolutely stretched 320x200 into 4:3 - I've got a million examples of it... Just so we're clear this is major issue and I've researched it heavily...

I jumped to conclusions because I had already researched the Porsche thing and Ferrari with my Test Drive II video.

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^Porsche 959 I believe, 320x200

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^ It's way off with 320x200

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^ Stretched into 4:3 it looks like the real deal.

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^ As perfect as possible, without a doubt Test Drive II was meant to be stretched into 4:3

Now for Jim's Porsche pics... Yeah, time after time, car after car, same results on my end... I would like to state this is YOUR job to prove me wrong, not mine... I would have paid much more attention if you had put the effort in actually putting the two cars side by side like I have.

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^ 320x200, strangely, the wheels look way off this way...

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^ But the two cars do fit rather nicely here.

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^ in 4:3, nope, not this time, although the wheels... The wheels...

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^ No contest this time, umm... The car looks right in 320x200, not put into 4:3 - our new member is at least right in that aspect...

Now I wouldn't normally discuss circles, because in NTSC mode 4:3 circles, in Deluxe Paint, were never circles... In this case the wheels look correct in 4:3, that would not happen unless Jim himself used the free form circle tool and made it himself. Or, I'm not sure how often Jim used Deluxe Paint, if this was for a paint program, he might have made it on board and maybe it did not have the same issues as Deluxe Paint.

I think what we have here, quite possibly, I'd love to have Jim's input, it's a case where yes, our new member is right, the Porsche does not look right and it is stretched... But he's also wrong... He thinks that we're screwing with Jim's art... Now, these Porsche pics were apparently part of some software package if I'm reading correct. I'm not sure which one, but he did those for a reason, to include them as examples on some software. I think Aegis Image and Aegis Animator? Aegis, if I'm remembering from Jim's interview, were the company behind Ports of Call, which is a German company. Their graphics I guess were so bad that Jim completely redid them. Is the same Aegis? Did Jim maybe visit Germany and make those pictures on a PAL Amiga? Did Aegis send him HAM pictures but due to the differences in PAL/NTSC hardware, Jim saw a distorted "model" in the first place? I'm thinking in this case he may not have based them on 35mm pictures, but instead on what Aegis sent him...

Ummm... Eric... I'm not sure what you should do here... I think the only option is to ask Jim and see what he wants... Because... I think what you posted is what Jim made, but that it was also did not match the cars....

Woooo....

Tricky one here... Welcome aboard Amiga_Meng... Apologies for being so snappy, we have researched 320x200 NTSC games heavily, and it's almost universally supposed to be in 4:3, in this case... I'll differ to Jim himself, but I do have reason to believe Jim meant you to see those pictures in 4:3 - But the problem is the cars are wrong the way he showed them... Very, very very tricky... But there you go... I did all the research for you!
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:31 am

Hey everyone, just read a reply Jim Sachs made to questions from both intric8 and myself on his YouTube channel concerning his Porsche pictures. Here's what he had to say about them:

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It would have been so great if he had come here to take a look and say exactly which one was his vision, but I don't blame him, we all have a lot to do and he's already doing more than enough by just reading what we said.

I have to say I'm still a little confused honestly... He mentions the wheels, so, it's a circle thing. But was Jim aware of how Deluxe Paint did not feature perfect circles in a 4:3 environment? I believe anyone looking at them back in the day would have thought them as circles, but I've seen plenty of people point to "perfect circles" when a game is in widescreen for the Amiga, despite everything else on the screen looking correct in 4:3 - Sooooo... It's hard... With Jim's Porsche pictures it's even harder for me because I feel like his wheels look better in 4:3 than in widescreen. But is is perfect? It's round, that's for sure. But is it "perfect"?

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Indeed it is... Pretty damn close anyway. The wheels came out to be a perfect circle in 4:3, which in my eyes means Jim meant those pictures to be in 4:3. That's not always the case with circles, a lot of circles might look better in PAL mode/widescreen, this was because of the most popular paint program, Deluxe Paint, not giving you a prefect circle in 4:3, it was mathmaticly thinking of 320x200, which is very wide. So just because a circle looks perfect in widescreen, it does not mean it's supposed to be widescreen as opposed to 4:3. There are plenty of examples where circles are off in 4:3 but everything looks correct there.

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^ In PAL mode/Widescreen those wheels are not a perfect circle. Now, it's not "obviously" wrong, as in, I'm sure most people assume that's a circle even in PAL/Widescreen... But it's definitely not as close to a circle as it is in 4:3, and it's worth mentioning how my previous post mentioned the wheels looking better in 4:3 even though the car may have looked more like the real Porsche in widescreen. I was able to match the better looking circle when side by side even though I could also tell the overall car matched better in widescreen.

Given how Deluxe Paint, the most widely used Amiga Paint program, never did display circles quite right in 4:3 due to programing, I believe Jim's circle being perfect in NTSC mode speaks volumes. There are many examples of games not having perfect circles in 4:3 but where everything else is obvously intended for 4:3, it was just that paint thing. There might be a game with a perfect circle in PAL mode, but still be best viewed in 4:3 NTSC mode. However, the opposite is not true, at least I've never seen it. If there was a perfect circle in 4:3, it could only mean it was meant for 4:3 most likely, as PAL users would have likely not had the same issues with circles. You wouldn't come across a perfect circle in 4:3 but find that everything else looks better in widescreen. Given that Jim points to the wheels, and given that his wheels are indeed perfect in 4:3 despite issues with circles in the most popular paint program, I have to say, and it might not be popular, but I believe Jim wanted us to see these cars in 4:3. It's strange because he mentioned basing it off of several things, including sales brochures... So, you'd think his car would line up perfectly with the real thing.

Given that Jim didn't come over and take a look himself, we can only guess, but I believe in the context of how circles usually don't mean that much with aspect ratios and the Amiga (given the previously discussed Deluxe Paint issue) the fact that his circles are perfect in 4:3 I believe speaks louder than the car lining up better in PAL.

Who knows... Originally I thought it lined up better in 4:3 but I based that on a picture that was taken at a higher angel, as Amiga-Mang pointed out. Jim's picture did line up better in 4:3 there, but not quite so much when the car was more in a side view, as Jim's pictures are... But did Jim base his art on a complete side view? Perhaps his view through pictures was slightly higher and he just made his into a side view. If Jim had been looking at the original Porsche picture I posted and had based his artwork around that, simply making it completely in a side view, that would explain why it looks the way it does. But we don't know. I feel like I don't want to bother Jim too much about the same thing, he's already been a super great sport on all of this.

I can't say I have the answer as to why Jim's Porsche does not match up with the real deal, but after reading Jim's response, again, barring him looking at himself and saying exactly what he saw, I believe what was posted here is what Jim intended all of us to see. It's still a beautiful picture, it's just, in this case, it's not perfect to the real car. It might be odd, but I really believe that's what Jim intended us to see.

So... Yeah, we're both right, we're both wrong. I have no passions with Porsche's, I can't afford one... I can't look at a picture of a Porsche and immediately tell if it fits with the real thing. I do know, without a doubt, Jim's games and much of the artwork I've seen of his looks best displayed in 4:3, as NTSC Amiga's stretched the 320x200 display to fill a 4:3 monitor. That's a fact, and I've got more than enough evidence to prove this as well as words from Jim himself on the subject. The Amiga, in America, was displayed in 4:3.

I assumed, perhaps wrongly, but certainly with enough of the past on my side, that the Porsche was meant for 4:3. Amiga-Mang pointed out that Jim's pictures in 4:3 do not line up right with the real Porsche. Now, he didn't pick the greatest picture to prove this point in my mind, nor did he line the two up to show it, but his passion was strong enough that I took a look... and... I even took a second look. In my first look I happened to find a Porsche picture of a similar design to one of Jim's that did make Jim's look better in 4:3 - That was of course, slightly higher in angel where as Jim's picture is a complete side view. So I took a second look and was surprised that indeed, in example after example of complete side views of the real car, Jim's picture did not look correct in 4:3, it looked correct in widescreen.

I can't tell you why... I can point to other things besides the wheels though, for example, I also believe things like taillights look more accurate in 4:3. I feel the height of the the front bumper matches better with the real car in 4:3 as well as the dimensions of the door, but I agree with Amiga_Mang, the cars line up proportionally better in widescreen. Despite this, based on Jim's words, I still believe these pictures of his were meant to be in 4:3. Maybe he looked at a similar angel to the one I looked at originally and just decided to turn that into a side view... I don't know... Only Jim knows and I don't think we convinced him to come take a look himself...hahaha...

But given the words from Jim, I hope anyone else who sees this and thinks it's off will respect showing these in 4:3 regardless of how it lines up with the actual car, because it's simply what Jim saw most likely. Regardless of the dimensions, these cars were designed with care from Jim on a 4:3 screen. I can't speak for intric8, who, for all I know got another meaning from Jim's words... This is his post, this is his site, so he'll do what he feels is the best thing to do, but personally, and I have gone back and forth on this in a rollercoaster ride, so I hope my opinion means a little, I really believe Jim wanted all of us to see this in 4:3, and I believe intric8 did the right thing posting them that way. And on a personal note, putting aside dimensions of the actual Porsche, I also feel, and felt from the beginning and still do, that Jim's pictures looked best in 4:3 - Compared to only his own pictures in 4:3 and widescreen. Just looking at the two, I do feel it looks best in 4:3.

It's been a strange but very interesting look at all of this. I was completely ready to say maybe I was wrong on this "one" example of American 4:3 content. I just want all of you to see this stuff as the artist intended you to see them. I truly feel that is the best thing we can do for the sake of history. Usually, given examples of real life objects, the truth can be found, and with American games the truth has been thus far 100% the stuff was meant to be in 4:3, but I hope everyone understands my passion on the issue is for the artist. These things are works of art, no doubt in my mind. They deserve to be shown how the artist intended you to see them, and sometimes, given how everyone else shows this stuff how Europeans saw it (in widescreen), sometimes it might even be worth showing a PAL game which was meant to be looked at in widescreen in 4:3 as well, simply because it should matter a little how American's would have seen it regardless of the artists original intent. When nobody else shows this stuff how American's saw it, there should at least be a few examples of that. But, given that there's so few examples of anyone online showing American games the way they were intended to be seen by the artist, it makes it all the more relevant for those games and artwork to be shown in 4:3, lest history forever record these games in a way the artist did not mean for you to see them...

And, in this instance, it might make you scratch your head a little because the cars don't match perfectly... I don't know what Jim saw exactly, what liberties he might have taken, and I will of course stand corrected if he ever takes a look and says otherwise, but I believe I've taken a very deep and hard look into this issue and I've asked questions to Jim and he responded... Again, I'm pretty sure Jim wanted all of us to see this in 4:3, and I hope everyone will respect how I came to that viewpoint. Thank you though, Amiga_Mang, for speaking up, because this issue was worth looking deeper at... I hope you're satisfied with my investigation and conclusion. I think we're both right and both wrong... It was meant for 4:3, but it does not look quite right in 4:3 when compared against a real Porsche. It's still a sweet picture regardless and I also feel it looks better in 4:3 artistically, and I do believe it is displayed here correctly, probably for the first time ever in a forum, maybe the internet (outside of JIm's VHS video) in the correct 4:3 format as Jim would have seen it.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:52 am

As a final note, and as just my opinion... Which may or may not mean much... Despite Jim's pictures not matching perfectly with a real Porsche, I do believe "his" picture looks BEST viewed in 4:3. I'm not just saying that because of what Jim said or his thoughts on the wheels... I mean when I look only Jim's Porsche in both 4:3 and in widescreen, I do believe, just looking at it, that the picture itself looks best in 4:3. I can't point to why, it's just a feeling, an artistic feeling. That's how I feel. And no, I don't feel everything on the Amiga looks best in 4:3, not at all... But I do feel Jim's Porsche picures, if you have no experience with what the Porsche really looks like, I do feel it looks best in 4:3. Probably because it was designed that way... Sometimes you can't point to why it looks better, it just feels better. In this case, not only do I believe Jim intended it to be in 4:3, but I would ask anyone who feels the need to pounce on Jim or say perhaps it should be shown in widescreen because it will match the car, otherwise people might "talk", I'd ask them to really take a good hard look at Jim's Porsche pics in both widescreen and 4:3 and try to take out the dimensions of the actual car... How do you "feel" that artwork should look?

I didn't bat an eye when intric8 posted this and displayed these pictures in 4:3, they looked absolutely fantastic. I normally have a very good eye for things that have been distorted. I'd like to think I'm good as feeling those out and being impartial, just looking for the vision of the artist. I have seen plenty of screenshots of many games where I instantly looked at it, maybe having no experience at all with that game or the subject the picture showed, but I could instantly tell it was being distorted.

I felt none of those feelings with Jim's Porsche pics being in 4:3, no red flags were tingling my senses. Obviously, a red flag would be thrown for anyone who knows the dimensions of that car, I can see why. Still, I'd ask everyone to try and forget about the real Porsche and look at Jim's pics in both modes... I believe most would come to the same opinion, they look overall better in 4:3.

Aspect ratios have always been a weird and messed up thing with the Amiga and many other early computers/consoles. It can be so very complicated, although there are some simple guidelines to follow at times... But it's a deep issue and there's a lot of explaining concerning it and what was meant to be seen, what country it was viewed in, and what country it was made in. Deep issue, a very important issue, always worth discussing.

I kind of wish Amiga_Mang never brought the dimensions to my attention, because now I'm always going to think of that... But I'm also glad he did, because it was worth investigating further, because the dimensions were a red flag. Had Jim made it clear he wanted us to see that in widescreen, I would have dropped all objections and wished for it to be shown that way. But I'm glad my original feeling was right in this case... and I do honestly feel, IF you can put aside the cars dimensions, which I have no problem doing, his pictures simply look better in 4:3, just my opinion though.

I really believe he made the overall "look" of the car correct in 4:3, including the height of it, the wheels, the tail lights and height, even the doors match better to the real car in 4:3 but for whatever reason he made the length of the car shorter than the real deal. Artistic liberty? It would make sense for his work to match the real car perfectly, but just because it does not is not a valid reason in itself to say they should be shown in widescreen.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:22 am

When I posted those pics I never thought it would take us down this road - what a journey!

I think it's worth noting that Jim used "reference material". As a fellow illustrator that means he used his eyes and hands, and got as close as he could or wanted. He didn't have (or use) a digital scanner and trace photos. So it's natural for small differences to occur from photographic perfection.

Having Jim respond was an honor, and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that his Porsches were not done in Deluxe Paint. In any case, based on his comments on the wheels and comparing his own video to what I did (stretching his pics 40 pixels vertically), I'm convinced they are how he originally intended them: a little tall, perfect wheels, a lot of awesome.

If Jim said they should be shown where the wheels are round, i.e. circles , then the pictures here meet that requirement. The 320x200 images do not. I think that's that.

On a side note it isn't just the wheels that get fixed. For example, Shot, the black crossbar behind the seats - look at the angle of that compared to the blue targa you posted above it. When corrected the black crossbar gets fixed to the correct angle as well, as does the vent-wing window. Lots of little things do. The slight height issue I think was an artistic choice, or a best guess, at the time.

His own comments about the red Porsche ease my mind even more and explain future adjustents he made to compensate.

After he finished the first one all the rest were likely modified clones, so they all took the same base shape - but he did extend the wheelbase slightly and lower the height a touch.

With perfect wheels his vertical heights were slightly exaggerated. And I think that's fine. All the other angles are spot on.
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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:01 am

Indeed. I think we can all be a little guilty of forgetting the "human" nature of art. Because we can point to a real life example of Jim's art here, and we can pinpoint something wrong (in this case, the length of the car) it can be easy to jump to conclusions. Even I, when I noticed Jim's car fit inside of the real car better in widescreen, I was completely guilty of forgetting about all the other little details that make art, art! I did notice the wheels, which I'm happy about... But I forgot to look at the door! The door is perfect in 4:3! There's all these little things about Jim's art here that combined should make it clear it was meant to be in 4:3...

But none of us are perfect, nor should art have to be perfect to be fantastic. It's more perfect in my eyes that Jim was able to look at some pieces of material out of the corner of his eye and basically guess the car into existence. We don't know what he looked at, even pictures aren't always perfect. If the picture had been taken with a wide angel lens, the car would have been made longer to it's real life counterpart. If a telephoto lens was used, the car would have looked shorter compared to real life. But no matter how many possibilities there are with what he based it on, there's a human behind that computer being an artist. And as always with Jim, this time and everytime, he made a great piece of art!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:49 am

One last thing on this.

Jim Sachs sent me a direct message stating that, essentially, the corrections I made were correct.

I wanted to post his comments here. I was extremely honored for him to take the time.
JimSachs.png
Message from Jim Sachs on how his art should be viewed on modern machines today. Received June 6, 2016.
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MatsP

by MatsP posted Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:53 am

It's enough to look at the wheels, they will be oval if you don't stretch the images. In USA they use 320x200 that fills a 4:3 screen, so the height of the images should be stretched to 240 pixels to make them look correct on a display with square pixel aspect ratio.
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MatsP

by MatsP posted Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:38 am

Here's another 320x200 image by Jim Sachs. Look at those wheels... as I said, the height has to be stretched to 240 pixels in order to fill the 4:3 frame. And never mind circles in paint programs, Shot97, they are mathematically correct but since the "pixels" in NTSC mode aren't square, the circles will be oblong. The wheels drawn by Jim are made by hand, not by using any circle tool.
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