Step26: Deluxe Paint IV

Pixel Art

Deluxe paint (aka « DPaint ») is a reference on Amiga when we speak about image drawing. This software have been released by the well known editor Electronic Arts.

Deluxe paint 1 have been released in 1985 for Amiga 1000.

Version 2 have been released in 1986 and version 4 in 1991 (surely the most used).

File Format

Electronic Arts introduced the IFF format. « Interchange File Format ». IFF can handle picture and sounds (and surelt other things). The picture format is ILBM (Even if IFF was the global container of media file, pictures were often named .iff files). Today you can view picture with PC viewer (like XnView) but need to use the .ilbm extension.

When saving pictures, a format was « brush ». In famous « Monkey Island » artists worked with DPaint and the main charactere was simply saved as a « Guy » brush. The name stayed and the character was finally named Guybrush Threepwood.


One of the nice feature of Deluxe Paint is the abaility of drawing animation. The software can display previous frames.


DPaint had a lot of features. Like the palette cycling and others. It can run in various resolutions and even have a HAM mode.

Cool graphics animation of that time

Some artists produced animation, mainly using Deluxe paint I guess. Here are some of them

Eric Schwartz – Juggler Demo 2

At the end of that animation you can hear a famous sample « The biggest unanswered question is where is the money? »

This sample is also in the Blood Money game music

The sample can be found in music Earth Wind & Fire – System of Survival

Cool game

Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon

Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon is a game of 1992 were surely artists have heavily used DPAINT to create animations. The game have been edited by ReadySoft. Music by Mark Knight (also known as TDK and Madfiddler) and arts by Rui Albino, Hugh MacLeod, Jorge Freitas. Same spirit as « Dragon’s lair » but with much longer games sequences. The size of characters and the number of animations is really impressive (4 disks).

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This is a DPaint animation done in the early 90. Surely the best that can be done with tools such as DPaint. (soruce AmitopiaTV) (Done by Artist Jim Sachs who worked on Defender of the crown).

« This was the last demo made by Jim Sachs. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was the game proposal to Disney. It was made in the early 90’s. This was made from a very poor 20-year-old VHS tape – possibly the only one in existance, unless Disney kept theirs. It was all done on the Amiga with primitive tools such as Deluxe Paint III. This was all 2D, but within a few years 3D revolutionized the game industry, so I probably would have had to start over on the project. It shows how far creativity on the Amiga could go. Jim really did awesome work with Amiga. This is simply stunning work. With MYST game released only a few months after this production. Disney would have got a very interesting title. Looking at all the details that Jim put into this, its amazing to think that Disney didn’t want to go further with it. It would be a hit! »

In August 2018, James D Sachs was kind enough to answer some question on the french Facebook Amiga group.

« Each animation was played in real time from an Amiga 2500 using Aegis Animator, and recorded directly onto VHS. The only pause would have been to load the next scene, but a CDTV or CD32 would have even handled that seamlessly.
The animation of the Nautilus coming towards the camera was created frame-by-frame .Each animation was played in real time using Aegis Animator. The ANIM format (invented by my friend Gary Bonham) allowed a lot of animation to fit in a very small amount of memory.
I might have gone with AGA, but Disney killed the project before that. »




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