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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 6:24 pm

I actually recorded this video in December of last year for my one year YouTube anniversary. So forgive that I don't have a proper write up on this. For all new Amiga related videos I do I want to write an article I'd be proud to have read that I believe is both linked to the video as well as separate. As in for those that choose to watch the video and read the post they will get something out of both that they couldn't get from one or the other.

But it would be kind of a pain to do that in this case since the material is old. Still, I feel there's something a few people might enjoy in the video if they care to take a look.

I'm showing off one way in particular I still find use for Amiga software. In this case Deluxe and Personal Paint on the Amiga. Two top quality (better than most of the best PC paint programs for a LOOOONNNNG time and still better than a lot of the free ones) paint programs on the Amiga that I still find enjoyment and use out of.

When I do reviews on the Amiga, should the game cooperate with my screen capture program, I like to take various screenshots, mostly for use with making a good quality title card. It might be kind of sad to say it, but I spend more time than I care to admit making those things... Things that most people don't even notice and are so small as to not make the greatest difference when people look at it... That's why I've started making the first 8 seconds of my video the title card, so people are forced to see the effort I put into it. That puts a lot of extra time into the video editing process, not only for the title card, but in order to show it in the video I must first COMPLETE the card! Before I would put flying text at the start of the video for the title, process it, start uploading it, and then finish the title card before I published the video. This was much better for my lazy work ethic... haha... But because of the work I put into them I really want people to see them first thing in the video, nice a large.

I can't draw, I have little artistic ability with my hands, much to my great sadness. I always wanted to draw, the sad thing is I think I was better as a child looking back. These days I make up for that in other artistic areas. I make music, I fix various old things, improve upon them, I take 35mm pictures and 8mm movie film... And I create these opinionated reviews on YouTube. I take great time to make the videos look as close to how I see them as possible, I'm sure others might roll their eyes when they first see my videos because of my choices in achieving that... But it's true, I have an artistic mind in many areas and my videos are done to a high standard with myself.

Then there's those title cards! I have all sorts of methods to make those look good. My methods vary from system to system and topic. For the Amiga, when I can get those screenshots from my actual machine I love to open up Deluxe Paint and Personal Paint and play around. If you look back on my videos you will find many of the title cards were created straight on the Amiga with minimal editing done on modern hardware. I work on the picture on the Amiga, I convert the image from IFF to .png on the Amiga, and then I transfer it over to modern hardware. There I may only increase the canvas size to 16:9 and do a little bit of work in a paint program to fill out that 16:9 image for today's videos and YouTube's title cards. But usually the exact same picture I created on the Amiga is in 4:3 in the middle of that 16:9 picture.

I have a tremendous amount of fun doing this, it can be highly enjoyable... When I'm not in a rush of course...haha... Then it can be terribly stressful! But I just wanted to share this because this is a real modern use for this machine and it's software. You don't "have" to do it by any means, but I believe it adds a layer of authenticity. True retro bliss.

In this particular video I'm creating a title card for my very first ever review on YouTube. That video was of the Amiga educational game Discovery Spelling. A great little kids games using the Amiga's built in voice synthesizer. Games that use that just don't get enough attention, good or bad. I made that first review in December of 2014, before I had even thought up a title for the series. I only knew I wanted to mostly do reviews of old games, but with all kinds of retro things thrown in. The video after that was The You're Not Stupid Guide on installing Amiga games to hard drive. I knew right away what to call that one, best title I have. I made a title card for that video and just about every one since then... For my second full game review, Carling the Spider on the VIC-20, I thought up "Gaming Memories And Review" and named that one 1x2 for season 1, episode 2. I then went back and named Discovery 1x1. But all that time there was no title card, just a bland YouTube screenshot... This video was very special for me because I'm going back to that first video. A video that had so much emotion behind it... A man who has been in the background commenting on videos for such a long time finally creating his own.... To show them right! Because nobody else would! I no longer wanted to bitch behind the scenes, I put my money where my mouth was, and put myself out there for everyone to see. And I showed myself... Not too many game reviewers will show themselves. I chose to do it very early so everyone would have a face to go along with the talk, so it would mean more... I truly believe it helps.... Plus if you show yourself early everyone will get used to you and start to think you don't look too bad. :) haha.... But that first video, and quite honestly ALL my videos mean a great deal to me. I have never released a single video I didn't want to see myself... That's all I've ever promised anyone, I'm proud of every last one... EVERY LAST ONE... So here I revisit that first video and make use of fun and great Amiga paint programs. I think there's some stuff to learn for anyone paying attention... And I do believe everyone into old computers can still have fun using these Amiga paint programs, they're fantastic! And if you're making reviews, video or through the written word, I think you'll find working on the actual Amiga may even bring your work that little something extra. Even if people can't pinpoint it, they'll know there's something special about it. That they will.

Here I create a title card on my actual Amiga 500 for my very first ever review on YouTube.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 6:43 pm

...so people are forced to see the effort I put into it.
LOL I can so relate to that!

I have to say, when each of your new videos gets posted, I'm often captivated the current state of your beard - I know, it's weird. It's pure beard envy (mine, if I let it go, looks basically like patchy mange). Keep doin' what you're doin', man. Artistic expression may be found in so many ways. Good for you for finding what you like to do and actually acting on it.

FWIW, I've gotten two degrees at two different art schools over the years. There is a certain amount of drawing talent some are born with, for sure. Some of my teachers in L.A. were gods walking amongst children. But for all of them, it required constant practice. If you drew a lot, it would come naturally. If you only did it here or there, it would always be a bit "off". And ultimately two things change everyone forever who try: 1) taking a class (even at a community college on a weekend) where you can draw live nudes. That's a game changer. And 2) taking an intro to perspective class. Do those two things, and you'll surprise yourself.

Work at it a bit each week, and you might impress your friends. You'll produce hundreds of drawings across the live-nude class, and 99% of them will be total garbage. But 1 out of every hundred will shock you at how good it is. And you'll keep it. After 2-300 drawings, 3 keepers... that's the beginning of a portfolio right there, Shot. You should give it a ... shot. ;)

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 7:10 pm

That's much my philosophy with photography actually! I HATE how digital has taken over the world. How a film format with benefits over digital and its own artistic merit regardless of "better/worse" quality has been completely shunned by both amateurs and professionals. We're looking at the coming death of something that could never be replicated and photographers don't give a crap for the most part!

But these days, for the kids getting into it... They're so used to taking a thousand pictures, deleting the ones that are bad and even taking bad ones and making them okay through computer programs... It's just... So sad... Even professionals... They've lost that artistic edge... Utterly... They do a wedding and they take over a thousand digital pictures to sort though later...

Photographers never learnfrom their bad pictures... When I started with 35mm I took roll after roll...and much like you said, almost all of it was garbage... Pic after pic... but every once in awhile I surprised myself... My 15 year old self just starting out... I was developing a style that no photographer on Earth can touch, because it's all me! But I PAID for those mistakes... I sent them in to be developed or I developed them myself... A pain shot through my body when some out of focus or just boring appeared... It hurt so much because some of those pictures were once in a lifetime chances... But I looked at them... I studied them... And I remembered the pain... I remembered them, I tried to get it right the next time... And eventually...

Well I dare say I can shoot a wedding on film and use only a couple rolls, 72 pictures and almost all of them will be pure magic. A thousand pictures are not needed to tell a story, less is more... 72 might even be too much, but to keep them happy... But of those 72, 65 are keepers... Worthy of being blown up and shared with a generation after generation... You just can not say the same for professionals taking thousands of pictures and getting paid a thousand dollars to do it.

All artists in the photography world would benefit greatly from supporting the film medium. Get yourself a camera, buy yourself some film, support some American jobs, take some pictures you'd never be able to take with a digital camera, and become a better artist.

- My artistic photography rant inspired by your artistic drawing/painting rant. :)

I really should try... I watched Bob Ross every weekend for the longest time... I loved his stuff... But water based paints couldn't really do it... hahaha... His stuff was expensive! I had drawing books, I remember really liking my version of a pirate ship... I don't know, practice does make perfect, but I do believe some people have certain abilities and others don't... If they don't, they must try WAAAY harder than someone born with those talents. I compensate through other means, and I've created some pure magic if I do say so myself...

Look no further than this gem, what I believe will be the greatest work or artistic expression I'll ever do in my entire life.

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 7:28 pm

What are some examples where you purposely create content in a way that forces others to look at your hard work? - and about the beard: haha, the funny thing is I couldn't really grow one until I was like 27... I could mostly fake it but there were thin areas that I was not proud of...and looking back at myself as a teenager trying to grow one...HA! I couldn't even come close so I tried a goatee and I just wish I never bothered... I've had some strange choices in styles over the years... Including a small time with a mullet... I regret none of it other than trying to grow that bad beard! It got better in my early 20th but up until 27 I had to trim quite a bit of it to make it look complete.... Now when I see people doing that I can't help but laugh because I know they're only doing it because they can't grow a full one! Magically, for some reason, it started to come in fully! Perhaps it had something to do with the slightly thinning hair on top switching positions? DAMMIT! haha... I have to say I do dye the beard when it gets big like that, only because I've got Irish in me... My hair is this strange mixture of black/brown/red/grey and the red REALLY shows up in the beard. So when I plan on keeping it for awhile I dye it to better match my head. Currently it's only stubble... I go through phases... Sometimes I want one, sometimes I don't... I never keep it for more than a couple months though. Thanks for the beard compliment though, I am proud of that sucker.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 7:50 pm

Nice short film - feels a bit like a love letter of sorts. I like the way the colors and light bleed around sort of organically in some of the shots.

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 8:50 pm

Quite a love story.... hahha... I've been through so much crazy stuff with that girl, if you knew it all you'd think I was the biggest idiot ever for putting up with some of it... So I made this... A sort of letter to anyone who ever asked "why?" - If they watched that film, they'd understand why. Even people that can be bad can also be so great. And of course she's beautiful, so that helps... It's one of my most viewed videos on YouTube, I imagine through no help from my subscribers! haha. But that's even more amazing, because I didn't really promote that anywhere, and I doubt anyone subscribers to me based on rare films... So it all came from people just searching for super 8 films... And I think it's been shared a little bit too... I've thought about entering that into some kind of contest, I'm sure it would place.

I've always loved the magic of super8 film. Film truly is "magic" in the sense that it's an illusion. It's nothing but a hell of a lot of still pictures being moved fast enough to fool your eyes into thinking you're seeing movement. Video is just not the same process, especially with the way digital movies try to save space. A video these days pretty much only treats a part of the frame that has changed positions in another frame as something that is moving. If the background has stayed the same, it basically shows a still picture for the background... So much natural flow is removed from digital video. I'd love to get my hands on some 35mm movie film... It would cost a small fortune but I'd make it worth it...

I believe people should still be using super8 to this day with their family stuff... Another art people have lost, the art of telling a story in a small amount of time. One 50 foot roll of Super8 movie film will only last you 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Not a lot of time... But you'd be surprised at how I can struggle to fill that time... People can record hours of family stuff on their camcorders these days, but will anyone want to look back in the future? You'd be lucky if your kid all grown up wants to spend time fast forwarding through all of that stuff most likely, let alone friends or strangers. But super8 stuff... The 3 minute story of a baby learning to crawl/walk... An adventure at the sledding hill... Your home city... A trip to the ballpark... Another medium I highly recommend for those artistically minded, there couldn't be a single regret in that stuff. Just so much to that stuff, a film most obviously "lesser" in terms of quality than even the worst smart phones these days... But it's that canvas, those colors, something you can't possible fake convincingly. Not to me anyway, I do see people try to fake super8, you can't fake the randomness of film with a thought up program.

This is why my channel is not really about old computers. It's something I love quite a great deal and will always be a focus... But it's hard for me to personally understand why some of my viewers can love a certain Amiga game or even this detailed topic about computers... A computer that's 30 years old... Some of us love the C64 or VIC-20 or Apple II, much older still... They can love these old games... But can't find the same love for an application like Deluxe Paint... There's so many hours of fun to be had delving into the deeper software of the Amiga library. People certainly did back in the day! Those things cost a small fortune! Why just the games?

Why just the computers? If you can love a 30 year old computer, why not a film format dating back to the 60's? Why not a silly game of POGS that us 90's kids ate for a very short time before spitting out... Why not old VHS tapes or vinyl records or cassettes? I can't say everyone will like what I post, but I sure know I do. It's always amazing to see how many people out there in the world can connect with you based on liked common interests... I never thought I'd connect with other Amiga users over the love of that machine... None of my real friends seemed to give a crap... But then I posted some stuff on YouTube, and people do care... It's amazing how much people can care... and how much they can also not give a crap! haha!

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 16, 2016 10:05 pm

I thought I'd post some examples of the artwork I've done with the help from the Amiga. I'll put little notes for all of them. Some of them I did almost everything on the Amiga end and some of them only minor things, but I used Deluxe Paint/Personal Paint for all of the following screenshots. Most are probably not my best by any means, you can do quite a lot these days in modern paint programs... But what they lack in quality they more than make up for in pure retro class if I do say so myself! Judge for yourselves.

Image
^The subject of my video linked earlier. Here I took a picture drawn by a friend on modern software and converted it over to the Amiga. There I added stars in the background, and the fonts. This is the actual 320x200 4:3 picture the Amiga outputted, without 16:9 borders added.

Image
^ I took a screenshot on my actual Amiga and edited with both Deluxe and Personal Paint. It was originally a 640x200 medium resolution shot with only 4 colors! I increased the colors to 16, added the fonts and the start of that cool blue gradient on the sides. On modern hardware I extended the 4:3 picture into 16:9 with the continued blue gradients. Had a lot of fun with this one.

Image
^ Screenshot from actual Amiga and messed with again in both DPaint and PPaint. Added titles and dithering on fonts. Added my face on modern hardware. The Amiga end is in 4:3 but since the borders were pure purple it was easy to put it into 16:9

Image
^ This picture also has its own video. Look up Gaming Memories And Review Deluxe Paint for that story. Here I took a shot of myself from a super8 film and transfered it over to the Amiga where I messed with it quite a bit. I had to play with the colors to get that yellow font in there but not mess up my face. Using another picture on the Amiga I pasted that floppy disk in and painted it. The left and right borders were added on modern hardware to make it into 16:9 - Probably the most fun I've had doing a title card.

Image
^ A simple screenshot of the title screen but added some stuff here and there.

Image
^ Had a lot of fun putting the real SimCity logo from another picture into this screenshot from the gameplay and then coloring it. I really love the way the SimCity logo came out after messing with it. Easter eggs I'm sure nobody caught is that I changed all of the text in the upper right title bar. Rather than the city name there is "Shot97". The date says September of 2015, when I released the video, and I have "$36" - Which was actually the number of subscribers I had at that time... Man it's been a slow road. Again, nifty little left/right boards added later on to put it into 16:9

Image
^One I spent far too much time doing on the actual Amiga when I should have just done it on modern hardware... This is the combination of 3 different screenshots, each with their own color palette, making the pasting of them into the one a very tedious process. That space ship needed a lot of work and I had to be very careful with altering colors or the planet would look bad. I used the Might and Magic logo from another screenshot and put it in there. Took a lot of time to get it to look good with that color palette. But I think it turned out looking great. Rather than the left/right boarders I added a longer right boarder and started the Amiga 4:3 part on the left, so the planet would be there and space would be on the right. I love the way this one turned out.


Image
^ Only minor work done on the Amiga for this one. Pretty much took the screenshots on the Amiga, converted them to .png through the paint programs, and then messed with them on modern hardware. This gave me the chance to put many screens in one picture and have that transparent Sierra logo. Getting those high quality screenshots was still thanks to the Amiga.

Image
^ I thought about only doing this one on the Amiga, but felt I could tell one hell of a quick story by just using the Amiga screenshots on modern hardware, which I did. One of my best title cards I believe.

Image
^ My most recent Amiga review. Again, several screenshots taken from my actual Amiga were converted to modern .png format by Personal Paint and transfered to my PC, where I put several elements together and blurred the sides into 16:9 - Another one of my favorites.

There are other Amiga games on my channel, but for whatever reason (usually the game wouldn't let me take a screenshot) I didn't utilize the Amiga in the title card making process. I do my best to make those look as good as possible using CRT pictures in that case. As much as I love real pictures of a CRT monitor, for the purposes of a title card, I do see the beauty in that clean, crisp, well defined pixel art you get from a screenshot, and I've gotten every bit and more enjoyment out of making these cards as I did playing the games.

Deluxe Paint and Personal Paint are both must haves for any Amiga lover out there. :)

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TenLeftFingers

Posted Tue May 30, 2017 3:18 pm

Some very nice work there! I want to spend some time with these programs. Although I've gotten so used to working with layers these days that the fun might turn to frustration if I don't adjust my expectations accordingly.

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Tue May 30, 2017 4:28 pm

I'm mostly doing layers these days, for the added umph. I just know with the amount of time I spend on the title cards that if anybody happens upon in a search;they will click on my video.


Image

This image had 24 layers in it. Given the fact that I try my best to take actual pictures off the CRT monitor, there is no simple turning the background color transparent. I have to manually "paint" what I want to be transparent. All because I feel it looks better. Takes far too long. Videos are delayed because of the title card.

Image

But then there's this... Screenshot from the actual Amiga but messed with in Deluxe Paint and PPaint. It was fun; it was a thousand times easier, and it will STILL be the first video anybody clicks on when searching for that program. So in the end I'm not quite sure what I gain with 24 layers of wasted time. :D lol

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Wed May 31, 2017 2:55 am

Image

New record... 29 layers... sigh... But I know that's the video I'd click on.





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