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Encyclopedia > Demo (computer programming)
Demoscene
Concepts
Demo - Demoparty - Demogroup - Compo
Parties
Current: Assembly - Breakpoint - Evoke - Scene Event - The Gathering
Past: Mekka & Symposium - The Party
Websites
Hornet Archive - Nectarine - Orange Juice - Pouët - Scene.org - demoscene.tv
Magazines
Hugi
v  d  e

A demo is a non-interactive multimedia presentation made within the computer subculture known as the demoscene. Demos are the main way for demosceners to demonstrate their abilities in programming ("code"), music ("zik"), drawing ("gfx"), and 3D modeling. The key technical difference between a classical animation and a demo is that the display of a demo is computed in real time (like people performing a play compared to showing a movie), making computing power considerations the biggest challenge. Demos are mostly composed of 3D animations mixed with 2D effects and full screen effects. The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes itself on producing demos, non-interactive audio-visual presentations, which are run real-time on a computer. ... Image File history File links Screenshot from Gift, an Amiga 64k intro by Potion This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... The demoscene is a computer subculture that came to prominence during the rise of the 16 bit micros (the Atari ST and the Amiga), but demos first appeared during the 8-bit era on computers such as the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. ... Demogroups are groups of demosceners, who make demos, products of a computer audio-visual artform known as the demoscene. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Overview of the Assembly 2004 party hall. ... Breakpoint 2004 - the real party is outside Breakpoint is a German demoscene party. ... Evoke 2002: Spectators at one of the demoshow rooms watch computer animations in 3D. Evoke is the second largest demoparty held annually in Germany (the largest being Breakpoint). ... Scene Event (SE or SE2k for short, formerly Summer Encounter 1996-2000) is an annually held computer art festival (or demoparty for conveniency) in Denmark. ... The Gathering is the largest computer party in the world (and holds the record for the worlds largest temporary network). ... Mekka & Symposium (MS or M&S) was a demoparty held annually over the easter days from 1997 to 2002. ... The Party is a demoscene event held yearly from 1991 to 2002 in Aars, Denmark. ... The Hornet Archive was a file repository for releases and resources from the worldwide PC demoscene. ... Nectarine radio website as of 2005. ... Orange Juice is a website known as the demoscene information center, sponsor of Nectarine demoscene web radio. ... Pouët Pouët, or pouet. ... Scene. ... demoscene. ... Hugi is one of the most long-lasting[1], frequently released demoscene and underground[2][3] disk magazines (diskmag) for IBM-PC. // The first issues were in German language and were released in 1996. ... As understood in sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a set of people with a distinct set of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. ... The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes itself on producing demos, non-interactive audio-visual presentations, which are run real-time on a computer. ... Demogroups are groups of demosceners, who make demos, products of a computer audio-visual artform known as the demoscene. ... Computer programming (often simply programming) is the craft of implementing one or more interrelated abstract algorithms using a particular programming language to produce a concrete computer program. ... crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... Drawing is the act of defining (or delineating) the outlines of a figure against a background, using any of a wide variety of tools and techniques. ... The rewrite of this article is being devised at Talk:3D computer graphics/Temp. ... In computer science, real-time computing (RTC) is the study of hardware and software systems which are subject to a real-time constraint —ie. ... The rewrite of this article is being devised at Talk:3D computer graphics/Temp. ... 2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models (such as 2D geometric models, text, and digital images) and by techniques specific to them. ... A still screenshot of a typical plasma effect. ... A full screen affect (also known as a fullscreen effect) is a graphics technique that is applied to the entire screen. ...


The boot block demos of the 1980s, demos that were created to fit within the small (generally 512 to 4096 bytes) first block of the floppy disk that was to be loaded into RAM, were typically created so that software crackers could boast of their accomplishment prior to the loading of the game. What began as a type of electronic graffiti on cracked software became, however, an art form unto itself, and demo makers continue to push themselves to the limits of their abilities by making these short demos to this day. A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... Random-access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data store used in computers that allows the stored data to be accessed in any order — that is, at random, not just in sequence. ... Software cracking is the modification of software to remove encoded copy prevention. ... Graffiti is the application of media on publicly viewable surfaces. ...

Contents

Comparisons

A screenshot of the 64k intro Heaven 7 by Exceed
A screenshot of the 64k intro Heaven 7 by Exceed

Various attempts have been made to define demos in terms of other forms of culture. This is a an image part of a demo animation. ... This is a an image part of a demo animation. ...

  • Demos have been compared to music videos, emphasizing the role of the musical soundtrack in their design in addition to the visual side. This comparison is made by many introductionary texts written by demosceners for casual readers.
  • Demos have sometimes been described as "digital graffiti", emphasizing the underground nature of the demoscene as well as the way demos are used to proclaim the authoring "gang's" superiority. Wired News has used this analogy in many of its articles.
  • Esthetical similarities can often be found between demos and various forms of new media art with a lot of abstract and experimental audiovisual material.
  • Demos can be regarded as a form of motion graphics. This view is supported by the major motion graphics website xplsv.tv which features a dedicated subcategory for demos.
  • VJs create live visual effects synchronized to music, and the performances may share a lot of esthetical similarity with demos. Also, both the VJ scene and the demoscene tend to be relatively closed and self-sufficient communities. [1]
  • Digitalcraft has described demos as "digital origami", referring to the creation of esthetically pleasing works by overcoming strict technical restrictions.
  • Machinima is another form of non-interactive real-time computer animation, although usually based on game engines rather than custom programming. Machinima enthusiasts sometimes regard demos as a form of machinima, and many demos can be found on machinima-related websites.
  • Juergen Schmidhuber's low-complexity art has some parallels with the size-restricted intro categories of the demoscene in the use of very compact algorithms and source data to produce pleasing results.

A music video (also video clip, promo) is a short film or video meant to present a visual representation of a popular music song. ... Graffiti is the application of media on publicly viewable surfaces. ... Wired News, online at Wired. ... New media art (also known as media art) is a generic term used to describe art related to, or created with, a technology invented or made widely available since the mid-20th Century. ... Motion graphics are graphics that use video and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion or a transforming appearance. ... A VJ is a performance artist who creates live visual effects to music. ... The traditional crane and papers of the same size used to fold it A paper Pegasus designed by F. Kawahata Origami (Japanese: 折り紙 ori, to fold, and kami, paper folding paper) is the art of paper folding. ... A scene from the popular machinima series Red vs. ... Jürgen Schmidhuber (born 1963 in Munich) is a computer scientist and artist known for his work on machine learning, universal Artificial Intelligence (AI), artificial neural networks, digital physics, and low-complexity art. ... Low-Complexity Art was introduced by Juergen Schmidhuber in 1997. ...

Platforms

There are demos available for a great variety of platforms. Currently, most new demos are native-code programs designed to run on PC under the Microsoft Windows operating system, but demos are still actively being made for many other machines including old and new computers, consoles and mobile devices such as PDAs, mobile phones and pocket calculators. IBM PC (IBM 5150) with keyboard and green screen monochrome monitor (IBM 5151), running MS-DOS 5. ... Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems by Microsoft. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section can be improved by converting lengthy lists to text. ... A basic arithmetic calculator. ...


The most important historical platforms include Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, and demo competitions for these platforms are still relatively common on today's demo parties. There are even demos running on such diverse platforms as VIC-20, Amstrad CPC, TO7, BeBox, RiscPC, Macintosh, Game Boy, GP32 and PlayStation. The Commodore 64 is the best selling single personal computer model of all time. ... The ZX Spectrum was a home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. ... The Atari 520ST Atari 1040STF with SC1224 color monitor The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was commercially popular from 1985 to the early 1990s. ... Amiga is the name of a range of home/personal computers using the Motorola 68000 processor family, whose development started in 1982. ... VIC-20 with accessories. ... The Amstrad CPC was a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad during the 1980s and early 1990s. ... The BeBox The BeBox was a short-lived dual processor PC, offered by Be Incorporated to run their own operating system, BeOS. The BeBox made its debut in October 1995 (BeBox Dual603-66). ... The Risc PC (codenamed Medusa) was Acorn Computers Ltds next generation RISC OS/Acorn RISC Machine computer, launched in 1994, which superseded the Acorn Archimedes. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... For the entire Game Boy series of handheld consoles, see Game Boy line. ... The GP32 (GamePark 32) is a hand held console built by the Korean company GamePark. ... For other versions of PlayStation, please see PlayStation (disambiguation) The PlayStation ) is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid-1990s. ...


Unlike mainstream retrocomputing, the activity of creating demos for old computers is more commonly associated with technical challenge than nostalgic feelings. The accomplishment of new and groundbreaking things is a major driving force on the demoscene, and the limits of various pieces of "obsolete" hardware are still being pushed forward by several groups. Even many PC-oriented democoders do some programming on more restricted platforms in order to get in touch with ways of democoding that are no longer available on modern PC's. The Apple II is one of the most collected computers in the world, and is popular amongst hobbyists. ...


In the 1990s, it was still quite common for different platforms to have more or less separate demoscenes. When users of different platforms participated in a single event, it was considered obvious to split the competition categories for each supported platform (e.g. having separate demo and intro competitions for the PC and the Amiga). Nowadays, the availability of decent emulators and video captures have brought the different scenes closer together. An emulator reproducing a console games playable atmosphere on a Windows computer. ...


There has also been some effort for making demos for restricted software platforms such as BASIC interpreters, Java applets, J2ME, Macromedia Flash, JavaScript, PHP and even Microsoft Office. Software platform restrictions like this, however, have not earned the respect from the majority of demosceners. Screenshot of Atari BASIC, one of the first BASIC languages for small computers. ... The Java platform is the name for a computing environment, or platform, from Sun Microsystems which can run applications developed using the Java programming language and set of development tools. ... Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition, or J2ME, is a collection of Java APIs targeting embedded consumer products such as PDAs, cell phones and other consumer appliances. ... // == Macromedia Flash == ==]] Using Macromedia Flash 8 (bundled in Studio 8) in Windows XP. Maintainer: Adobe Systems (formerly Macromedia) Latest release: 8 / September 30th, 2005 OS: Windows (no native Windows XP Professional x64 Edition support), Mac OS X, Linux (i386 only, via wine [1]) Use: Multimedia Content Creator License: Proprietary Website... JavaScript is the name of Netscape Communications Corporations implementation of the ECMAScript standard, a scripting language based on the concept of prototype-based programming. ... PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a reflective programming language originally designed for producing dynamic Web pages. ... Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity programs created or purchased by Microsoft and developed for Microsoft Windows, and Apple Computers Mac OS and Mac OS X operating systems. ...


Size restrictions

Screenshot from Gift by Potion, winner of the Mekka & Symposium 2000 Amiga 64k intro competition
Enlarge
Screenshot from Gift by Potion, winner of the Mekka & Symposium 2000 Amiga 64k intro competition

Small file sizes have been an integral feature of certain types of demos from the very beginning, when software crackers needed to squeeze a crack intro into a very small leftover area of a floppy disk or RAM. It was also important for BBS advertisement intros to be relatively small, since they were typically included in every file downloaded from the BBS. Image File history File links Screenshot from Gift, an Amiga 64k intro by Potion This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... Image File history File links Screenshot from Gift, an Amiga 64k intro by Potion This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... Mekka & Symposium (MS or M&S) was a demoparty held annually over the easter days from 1997 to 2002. ... The original Amiga 1000 (1985) with Commodore 1080 monitor The Amiga is a family of home/personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation as an advanced home entertainment and productivity machine. ... Software cracking is the modification of software to remove encoded copy prevention. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... Random-access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data store used in computers that allows the stored data to be accessed in any order — that is, at random, not just in sequence. ... Ward Christensen and the first public Bulletin Board System, CBBS A Bulletin Board System or BBS is software that allows users to connect to the computer system on which the software is installed. ...


Sometimes even the platform itself dictated some size restrictions: the size of the boot sector of a floppy disk (generally 512 to 4096 bytes) was also the maximum size of a boot block demo. The common 64-kilobyte size limit for intros, on the other hand, was the segment size in the 16-bit x86 architecture and also the maximum size of an MS-DOS-based .COM executable. A boot sector is a sector of a hard disc, floppy disc, or similar data storage device that contains code for bootstrapping programs (usually, but not necessarily, operating systems) stored in other parts of the disc. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... In computer science, 16-bit is an adjective used to describe integers that are at most two bytes wide, or to describe CPU architectures based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... In MS-DOS and compatible DOSes, and in 8-bit CP/M, a COM file is a simple type of executable file with the file name extension (not to be confused with the . ...


In later times, the practical need for very small demos had diminished, but the willingness to compete in squeezing much into little space had not disappeared. It was therefore necessary to introduce artificial size restrictions in order to challenge the authors. In modern demoscene events, there are demo competitions with relatively loose size restrictions, and intro competitions with quite strict limits of 64 kilobytes or less.


Because of the strict size limits, intros show off the programmer's ability to squeeze much into little space, often by generating graphic and sound data rather than just reading it from a datafile. Because of the extremely low size limit, 4K intros used to lack sound, or had extremely low quality music. As technology progressed, however, 4K sound synthesis has become a new frontier in the demoscene. 4K still isn't the lowest border for demosceners: some demoparties organize 1K, 256 byte or even 64 byte intro competitions. While creating a 4K might not require low-level programming knowledge anymore, sub-1K competitions require the demo coder to be skilled in both assembly programming and algorithmic optimization. (For comparison: The size of this section of article is over 2 kilobytes.)


Procedural generation techniques developed for small intros have worked their way into mainstream gaming such as Will Wright's upcoming game Spore. Procedural generation is a widely used term to indicate the possibility to create content on the fly, as opposed to creating it before distribution. ... Publicity photo of Will Wright and a character from The Sims William R. Wright (born January 20, 1960) is an American computer game designer and co-founder of the game development company, Maxis. ... Spore is a computer and video game under development by Maxis, and designed by Will Wright. ...


Demo types

There are several categories into which demos are informally classified. The most common way to classify demos is by platform or size class, but the purpose, content or style of a demo can also matter.


Intros

An intro originally referred to an endless demo where all the action happened on a single graphical screen, often to promote a BBS or a game crack. Nowadays it can refer to any demo written within a strict size limit, such as 4 kB or 64 kB. Also, any demos written for announcement purposes (such as demo party invitation) are typically called intros regardless of the actual size.


Many demosceners reserve the term "demo" exclusively for "non-intros", that is, full-length demos that compete in demo competitions rather than intro competitions. However, the current trend of squeezing a "whole demo" within a strict intro-like size limit has decreased this kind of division.


Most demo parties have at least one intro competition, where the rules are nearly the same as in the main demo competition, with the exception of the size limit of the executable file. The most common intro types are the 64K intro and the 4K intro, where the size of the executable file is limited to 65536 and 4096 bytes, respectively.


Some intro types defined by their content rather than size may also have their own names. Crack intros or cracktros, attached to a cracked game, are perhaps the oldest category of intros. Invtros (or invitros) are demos or intros which serve as invitations to demo parties. A birthtro (or borntro) can announce a new demo group, while a memtro can announce a new group member, and a jointro can recruit others. For "real life" events, there have been wedtros to announce weddings and even babytros (also called birthtros) to announce the birth of a child of a demo scener. A crack intro, also known as a cracktro, or just intro, is a small introduction sequence added to cracked software, designed to inform the user which cracking crew or individual cracker was responsible for removing the softwares copy prevention and distributing the crack. ...


The term dentro, much less common than demo and intro, can either mean a demo in between an intro and a full-length demo in size, or a short preview of an upcoming demo.


Megademos

A Megademo is a demo that consists of >1MB data. A 880K Amiga standard disk plus the packing advantage = 1MB = Megademo. The first Trackmo and Megademo was "Antitrax 2010 Megademo" (1987) by Antitrax 2010, on the Amiga computer. Megademos are quite uncommon on today's demoscene.


Trackmos

Since the early 1990s, the predominant demo format has been the trackmo, in which visual effects follow a set timeline, synchronised to a continuous soundtrack, much like a music video. The word "track" also refers to the data tracks of a floppy disk, and therefore, to be called a trackmo in the original sense, the demo should run from a diskette and use a custom-made trackloader to read data from it. The first trackmos included "Enigma" (1991) by Phenomena and "Mental Hangover" (1990) by Scoopex, both on the Amiga. The History of Scoopex (written by Antibyte / Fishwave / TMB) I. The Beginning (1988 - 1990) Scoopex - an Amiga demo group founded back in 1988 by Ranger & Shark the Master. ...


Classification by platform

There are demos for a great variety of software and hardware platforms, and the platform is still the most important way for classifying demos. For instance, a demo designed to run on PC is a PC demo, and one written for Amiga is an Amiga demo. IBM PC (IBM 5150) with keyboard and green screen monochrome monitor (IBM 5151), running MS-DOS 5. ...


It is also common to combine several related platforms into a larger group which may also have its own combined competitions. For example, a mobile demo is a demo written for a small handheld device such as a handheld phone, a PDA or a pocket calculator, whereas an 8-bit demo is made for an 8-bit machine (typically an old homecomputer). A related term, oldskool demo, may either refer to a demo running on an "oldskool" platform (such as an 8- or 16-bit computer of the 1980s) or to a demo that is "old-fashioned" in its design choices and esthetics.


Styles and genres

It is also quite common to classify demos by style and content rather than technology. Storydemos, for example, are based on a story line, while ravedemos share the musical and visual aesthetics of rave parties. The most experimental, unusual and controversial demos are often referred to as art demos or abstract demos. Many groups have a distinctive style of their own, and sometimes a demo can be described by referring to a well-known group cultivating a similar style, e.g. mfx style or Melon style. mfx is a Finnish demogroup. ... Melon Dezign was an Amiga demo group started Denmark in 1991 by Seen (not the grafitti artist) and Paleface (not the finnish rapper). ...


Demo elements

Demos consist of program code, graphics and music, which are traditionally considered the three main elements of a demo and associated with the coder, graphician and musician, respectively. The overall design is also considered very important, although most groups lack specialized designers.


Program code

Demos are executable programs, and the program code created by the coder is still considered a very important element of a demo. Although there are programs known as demomakers or demotools that allow the creation of technically decent demos without coder involvement, demo groups not using any code of their own are still widely frowned upon. It is not custom to release the source code for a demo for various reasons although a handful of notable demos have had their source code released. .werkkzeug 1. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


Programming languages

Earliest demos were typically made in machine code monitors, the same programs that were used by the crackers to crack copy protections. The next step was the transition from monitors to assemblers. The Commodore 128 included a built-in machine language monitor. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Assembly language. ...


Higher-level programming languages, such as C and C++, started to gradually take over assembly programming in the demos of the 1990s, when cycle-level timing was no longer considered as important as before and compilers were beginning to be able to produce code comparable to hand-coded assembly. The transition to higher-level languages originated in the PC scene.


Nowadays, demos programmed in pure assembly are rare on the PC (except for the extreme size-restricted categories), but assembly is still widely considered the only relevant choice for democoding on eight-bit platforms such as the Commodore 64.


Visual effects

Snippets of program code performing visual tricks, collectively called effects, have always been an integral part of demos. Effects are often used to show off the programmer's skills, although they're seldom used as stand-alone content elements any more. See demo effect. A still screenshot of a typical plasma effect. ...


Compression

Executable compression has been used in demos since the very beginning: pirated software needed to be packed into a compact and easily spreadable format, which often required some kind of compression for both the software itself and the attached intro. Early demos often had multiple parts which were separately decompressed into memory during the short pauses between parts. Executable compression is any means of compressing an executable file and combining the compressed data with the decompression code it needs into a single executable. ...


The demos and intros for modern platforms are compressed either by general-purpose executable compressors (such as UPX) or programs specifically designed for the compression of small intros. The decompressor stubs integrated in 4K intros are often well under 200 bytes in size. Some Windows-based 4K intros may even wrap themselves inside DOS-based .COM executables in order to eliminate the header bytes. Decompression facilities provided by the operating system may also be used. UPX, the Ultimate Packer for eXecutables, is an open source executable packer (EXE packer) supporting a number of file formats. ...


Procedural generation

Many size-restricted intros use procedural techniques to generate content such as textures, 3D objects and music. Some of the ideas were pioneered by The Black Lotus in their PC intros such as Jizz and Stash. Nowadays, the achievements of the Farbrausch group are well-known. Procedural generation is a widely used term to indicate the possibility to create content on the fly, as opposed to creating it before distribution. ... The Black Lotus (TBL) is a demoscene group which was founded in 1989 by two Swedish sceners who went by the handles Dickhead and Rubberduck. ... Farbrausch, or Farb-rausch, is a German group of demomakers which made themselves especially famous in the demoscene in December 2000 with a 64kb intro called fr-08: .the . ...


Procedural generation is often disguised as compression in order to increase the amusement value. See, for example, the end scrollers of The Product by Farbrausch and Zoom3 by AND. Farbrausch, or Farb-rausch, is a German group of demomakers which made themselves especially famous in the demoscene in December 2000 with a 64kb intro called fr-08: .the . ...


Video modes

Demos written for older platforms often use hand-tailored video modes rather than standard ones. Some examples:

  • FLI (Flexible Line Interpretation) makes more colorful pictures possible on the C-64 by diminishing the size of the "character chunk". IFLI (Interlaced FLI) swaps between two FLI pictures between screen refreshes, enhancing both resolution and color palette.
  • The display areas in most home computers were surrounded by borders, which could often be removed with special undocumented tricks. The removal of borders made it possible to implement full-screen graphics images and demo effects.
  • Mode X was commonly used in VGA-based MS-DOS demos, allowing resolutions up to 360x480 in 256 colors along with decent double-buffering. Pseudo-truecolor was an 18-bit color mode based on separate red, green and blue scanlines in Mode X.

Drawing 2D art for newly invented graphics modes often require sceners to first write graphics editors of their own. Mode X is an undocumented video graphics display mode of the IBM VGA graphics hardware that was popularized by Michael Abrash, first published in July 1991 in Dr. Dobbs Journal, republished in chapters 47-49 of Abrashs Graphics Programming Black Book, which is now freely available online in...


Music

Music is considered essential to demos. The lack of music is generally tolerated only in the most restricted intro categories (4096 bytes or less).


The music in the earliest cracktros and demos was often ripped from games. However, some of the groups of the time started to create demo music of their own quite early, and some groups, such as Vibrants and Maniacs of Noise, even specialized in music. Ripping is the process of copying the audio or video data from one media form, such as Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) or Compact Disc (CD), to a hard disk. ...


"Oldskool" demo songs are typically chiptunes similar to the video game music of the 1980s. The chiptune style was also used in several Amiga and PC intros of the 1990s due to the lack of need for large and storage-consuming samples. MOS 6581 and 8580 Commodore 64 SID chips Chiptune, or chip music, or micromusic is music written in sound formats where all the sounds are synthesized in realtime by a computer or video game console sound chip, instead of using sample-based synthesis. ... Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with an integral soundtrack. ...


The use of sample-based trackers greatly affected the styles of demo music, making it possible to closely imitate techno music and many other genres of electronica. Even today, most of demo music is electronic music, even though the use of streaming formats allows the use of virtually any music in the soundtrack. ModPlug Tracker in Fast Tracker 2 color mode Tracker is the generic term for a class of software music sequencers which, in their purest form, allow the user to arrange sound samples stepwise on a timeline across several monophonic channels. ... Techno is a form of electronic dance music that became prominent in Detroit, Michigan during the mid-1980s with influences from electro, New Wave, Funk and futuristic fiction themes that were prevalent and relative to modern culture during the end of the Cold War in industrial America at that time. ... Electronica is a term that covers a wide range of electronic or electronic-influenced music. ...


Many demo groups have written music editors of their own. Well-known examples include the classical PC trackers Scream Tracker and FastTracker by Future Crew and Triton respectively, and the modular synthesizer Buzz by Jeskola. Nowadays, most demo musicians use music sequencers and other professional tools for creating demo music. Scream Tracker 3. ... Fasttracker 2 Fast Tracker, specifically Fast Tracker 2 (FT2), is a software product that was one of the most widely used trackers in the world. ... Artwork from their popular demo, Second Reality. ... Triton (TRN) was a demo group active in the PC demoscene from 1992 to about 1996. ... Jeskola Buzz - Machine View Jeskola Buzz is a proprietary modular software music studio environment centered around a modular plugin-based machine view and a multiple pattern sequencer tracker (as opposed to a single pattern sequencer tracker). ... In the field of electronic music, a sequencer was originally any device that recorded and played back a sequence of control information for an electronic musical instrument. ...


In most demos, the music is played back by a stock player routine such as a module player, MP3/Vorbis player or a routine specific to a music editor. Specialized players are also rather common, particularly in size-restricted intros. Modern 4K and 64K intros often contain a software synthesizer which may even have been written with a specific song in mind. If this is not the type of module you are looking for, see Module // Modules Module files (MODs) are a class of file formats used to represent music on a computer. ... MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a popular digital audio encoding and lossy compression format, designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent audio, yet still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio to most listeners. ... Vorbis is an open and free lossy audio compression codec project headed by the Xiph. ... A software synthesizer, also known as a softsynth or virtual instrument is a computer program for digital audio generation. ...


Graphics

In demoscene parlance, graphics or GFX typically only includes the work of the graphician - that is, still images, textures, 3D scenes, 3D objects and color schemes. Effects and other code-related visualization is usually not regarded as graphics.


The traditional form of graphics art in demos is pixel art, which has been made with dedicated editors or commercial graphics software such as Deluxe Paint. The still images in modern PC demos are usually made with industry-standard software such as Adobe Photoshop. This monster (The Gunk) is an example of pixel art drawn using Microsoft Paint Pixel art is a form of digital art, created on the computer through the use of raster graphics software, where images are edited on the pixel level. ... Welcome screen dialog Deluxe Paint (DPaint) is a bitmap graphics editor originally created by Dan Silva for Electronic Arts (EA). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The technical skills of an artist were often stressed far more than originality or imagination, which gave birth to many graphics-related clichés in the demoscene art of the 1990s. Sci-fi and fantasy themes with dragons, swords and spaceships were very common, as were images of women, naked or otherwise.


The earliest 3D objects and scenes in demos were often very simplistic and were constructed by the coder, often without any modeller-like software whatsoever. Nowadays, many demos have several complex 3D scenes but lack still art entirely.


In the mid-1990s, many groups had advanced 3D routines capable of dealing with complex objects but lacked members skilled or interested in 3D modelling. This lead many demos to only have simple procedural objects such as toruses or example file objects such as ducks and teapots. The use of these stock objects is the origin of a lot of insider humor within the demoscene. A torus. ... The Utah teapot A Melitta teapot, the model of the Utah teapot The Utah teapot or Newell teapot is a 3D model which has become a standard reference object (and something of an in-joke) in the computer graphics community. ...


Design

Design, in its broadest sense, refers to everything that combines the separate elements of a demo into a consistent whole, down from the low-level synchronization of soundtrack and visuals to the overall choices in concept, structure and narrative.


Melon Dezign, active on the Amiga in the early 1990s, is known as one of the first groups that paid a considerable attention on design aspects. Melon Dezign was an Amiga demo group started Denmark in 1991 by Seen (not the grafitti artist) and Paleface (not the finnish rapper). ...


Traditional recurring elements

While the demoscene itself is already a long-running phenomenon, to this day, a lot of demos have common elements which are reiterated in most modern demos as well.


Greetings

A "fuckings" to a member of the Andromeda demogroup
A "fuckings" to a member of the Andromeda demogroup

It is traditionally standard in demos for the creators to send greetings (or greetz) and well-wishes to other demoscene groups, typically of the same platform. While these were often used in scrollers in the early days, in current, graphically more complex demos, greets are usually presented through a demo effect, such as mapping the group names onto objects or using particle systems to fill the letters of the groupname. Being greeted in a demo is usually considered an honor, especially when the demo is high-quality. While there's no rule on whom one should greet, tradition dictates that groups send greetings to other groups who they consider their friends. Other groups, usually newcomers to the demoscene who don't have sufficient contacts, prefer to greet groups whose works they consider influential or high-quality. Some groups occasionally send greetings to individual people. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 287 KB) Greetings of a demo group. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 287 KB) Greetings of a demo group. ... Greetings are social customs or rituals to show attention or to confirm friendship or social status between individuals or groups of people meeting each other. ...


Greetings sometimes include "fuckings", in which the creators can explain their dismay about another group's productions or behavior. Fuckings were more common in the early days of the demoscene, but are quite rare nowadays. Perhaps the most famous "fuckings" in a demo appeared in Nexus 7 by Andromeda, in which a voxel scroller said "The infinite Andromeda sends fuckings to -Lord Helmet- of Spaceballs for being a pathetic figure and a pityful liar!" A voxel (a portmanteau of the words volumetric and pixel) is a volume element, representing a value in three dimensional space. ...


Credits

It is very important in a demo to display a list of names of people who made the demo. These are also usually presented through a graphical effect, but some groups prefer a cinematic approach and present the credits during the opening scene as movie-like overlays, or have them as an endscroller.


Specific platforms

Amiga demos are demos created for the Commodore Amiga home computer. ... The Apple IIgs demo scene goes back to the days of the original Apple II series in the 1980s, when software crackers would put signature screens at the beginnings of games of which they had broken the copy protection. ... The Atari Demo Scene can probably be traced back to a group called The Exceptions (TEX for short) who created a series of music demos (enhanced with a bit of scrolling text and some nice rasters) in 1987. ... Game Music IV on the Commodore 64 by Charles Deenen (also known as The Mercenary Cracker (TMC) was perhaps one of the very first demos ever produced. ... Commodore VIC-20 demos are demos written for the Commodore VIC-20 home computer. ... The demo scene on the ZX Spectrum can probably be traced back to Castor Cracking Group and a few other groups back in 1986. ... Text Mode demos are real-time calculated computer animations which make use of the native text graphic mode(s) common on the IBM PC. The Text Mode Demo Scene is one of many different facets of the demoscene. ...

See also

Commons logo
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Demos

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes itself on producing demos, non-interactive audio-visual presentations, which are run real-time on a computer. ... This is a list of notable demos by year. ...

External links

  • Pouet.net

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with the emergence of the first truly multimedia computer - amiga, the demo scene got its momentum and the growing number of people began displaying and advancing their computer and creative knowledge in the fields of programming, graphics and music to make special audio/visual demonstrations.
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