Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Interesting SAC Art Packs Statistics, Figures and Downloads - Part II

I posted yesterday Part I of my findings about the Superior Art Creations (SAC) Art Pack Releases.

I was sorting today through the ANSI and ASCII releases and also uploaded all the music files converted to MP3 to Mediafire.com for download by anybody who is interested and not able to play back the music in its original format (MOD, XM, S3M, DMF, IT and SID). You can find them all at this web address. More download links can be found at the end of this post.CRE-SACLogo250_256Colors_trans

I shouldn't have made jokes about the file duplications by some of the SAC pixel artists by saying "funny, he obviously had no directory with all his art work in it, like the rest of us hehe", because it appears that I made the same error myself a few times when it comes to my ASCII art releases. I file name duped pretty often actually so I should have kept my mouth shut, because it seems that I am the worst offender of them all hehe.

But more to that a but later. Lets start with some additional music dupes that I found. I believe the following facts might not be as interesting as the stuff in my previous post, but it is interesting for me and maybe a few folks out there and that is enough for me to publish it on my blog hehe. Sorry :)

File Name          Pk   MP3 File Name      MP3 MD5 Check Sum
mt_addi.sid 27 mt_addi.mp3 1aca2c2191c2173e2d5dc858ec9d6a21
mt_holba.sid 27 mt_holba_beer.mp3 dc14a3fc3a5ac670e4b3e2313a546055
mt_addiction.sid 28 mt_addiction.mp3 1aca2c2191c2173e2d5dc858ec9d6a21
mt_holba_beer.sid 28 mt_holba_beer.mp3 dc14a3fc3a5ac670e4b3e2313a546055

I did not catch it myself. It was Mediafire.com who does automatically a de-duping based on the MD5 hash (obviously). The fact that the files have the same size in MP3 and SID format (MP3: 4,799,520 bytes, SID: 6,142 bytes) made me wonder, because I noticed this during the conversion.

There are in fact 25 unique SID songs by Maktone, MRD and Crome that have the same size. I tried a few to see if there are dupes, but the ones I checked were fine. Below is the list of the 25 songs that I mentioned.

Obviously not, because there were two real dupes actually.

MD5 Check Sum                    *File Name
1aca2c2191c2173e2d5dc858ec9d6a21 *mt_addi.mp3
dc14a3fc3a5ac670e4b3e2313a546055 *mt_holba_beer.mp3

5e3319cd92b5229dcfd36455d5a7a598 *mrd_lazyrainydays.mp3
441187bae1564e4cf97f998adc92ee36 *mrd_graduationseasonfinal.mp3
ae4f190f150a6acb48d2fcb61aec08d8 *mrd_wondersoftheworldfinal.mp3
d407917b591cd2f4fdebdaadd6ca3c0a *MRD_RCM.mp3
654449199e164bbecc0c4e2ff11f6955 *mt_white_s.mp3
dc14a3fc3a5ac670e4b3e2313a546055 *mt_holba.mp3
a5aefa7e2c7a6cba1ce93a36cb059c67 *MRD-Airikka_High_Kick.mp3
3e3c9255d4bd5873474e1ca7346a84dd *MRD-Knark_I_Karusellen.mp3
ebf7397b9fb8a004a5d0eff788c71ed4 *mt_nag_cham.mp3
f428fbeb5742cae559a3ea53ef53ff61 *mt_kingsize.mp3
ea4c9a758e5c2972d1478be35516b8fa *mt_mortal.mp3
52a4565a7a6418d15743ae915a5b4abe *mt_hansa.mp3
1aca2c2191c2173e2d5dc858ec9d6a21 *mt_addiction.mp3
673c85d6306a3e9db345b9bbd6f7cf9b *MRD-Disco_Night.mp3
ba58e84da350b367c533901fcf49c11e *MRD_SG.mp3
c021cfeafa008da75308a026060ccf6c *crome-For_the_Years.mp3
e0aa086df18ff8892f10cfacc0c28a3c *crome-Bleib_wie_du_bist.mp3
dc91edc0775ef95f87c14cf50984b06e *!bla.bat
854553bcdf4fe85b59fdc515c1ad03b0 *mt_druid2rmx.mp3
33bb3b7b044bb8d0e8adb826e96b534b *MRD-Good_Bad_Necrotoad.mp3
25c6b194fd33085baa6fe851a42e2346 *mt_gob_king.mp3
7eaed33fd861fe5b8767ca36fc512774 *mt_fltdemo1.mp3
908997a8b0ed342b5b4f8eeab747f422 *mt_3ankare.mp3
b9c509d805eedaca308631770a8e4676 *MRD-Polymatrix.mp3
3661d853298174e0d301dfc104021924 *mrd_questoflightfinal.mp3

Btw. Just for clarification, in the case that you didn't get it already, File Name Dupe means that the two files have the same name, but differ in size and/or modified date. Full Dupe means that not only the file name is the same, but the size and last modified date as well.

ANSI File Name Dupes: 5
ASCII Full Dupes: 22
ASCII File Name Dupes: 45

ANSI File Name Dupes
Pack 7 Pack 14

Pack 8 Pack 30
RV-RAY.ANS w0-sacns.ANS

ASCII Full Dupes
Pack 13 Pack 20 Pack 33
SL-CO.ASC CH-ACE.ASC asx-bmf.txt
CH-CLASS.ASC dip-dsco.asc
Pack 16 CH-DE3.ASC asx-dsm.nfo
SL-SUB2.ASC CH-ESTRA.ASC asx-dsm2.diz
ch-mw2.asc asx-sven.txt
Pack 17 CH-MW.ASC asx-svn2.txt

ASCII File Name Dupes
Pack 6 Pack 18 Pack 25
ROY-IMPD.ASC aln-solskogen.txt
Pack 19 scr-vite.nfo
ROY-PNS3.ASC sns-sacd.asc Pack 28
Pack 13 Pack 20
CH-RNS.ASC cDr-soh.asc
Pack 14 CH-MOTV8.ASC
ROY-IMP.ASC roy-phs.asc Pack 32
HLX-SAC2.ASC sns-eur.asc dip-dark.asc
HLX-SAC3.ASC sns-pdx.asc
Pack 16 nr-sac.asc
HLX-SAC.ASC sns-stc.asc Pack 34
ROY-PCY.ASC frx-stc1.asc cDr-sweatshop.asc
ROY-NBD.ASC frx-mth3.asc
Pack 17
ARL-NGT.ASC scr-sac.nfo
RV-CNC.ASC sns-stat.asc

Special ASCII Packs (which were already included in my original count)

Pack 32
cDr-glftpd: 75 files

Pack 34
nerv-purpleous: 33 files
S!-phus9: 7 files

Total ASCII: 3,001 (instead of 3,023)

Found another music dupe, Crm_Turr.xm Pack 21 and crm_turrica1.xm from pack 23 are the same. I discovered this one by accident.

Adjusted Music Files: 425 (instead of 428)

I had the music disks not in my original count. I used the dedupe feature by Mediafire.com for the MP3 to find out, which songs in the MDs where new or new versions of older songs that were already released in SAC art packs.

Crome's I Miss You Amiga: 25 files, 5 dupes = 20 original
SvenZZon's Chip Disk: 22 files, 5 dupes = 17 Original
Total = 37 Originals

Music Total: 463 Files

SvenZZon included a little intro with his music disk. I did not realize that until yesterday. Here is a capture of this mini intro. It's from 2004 as his music disk. Code by Red and Graphics by Webpige0/SAC. Music by SV of course hehe.

Backup Link to Video on YouTube.com
Download the video in AVI format from Mediafire.com

I then also found an intro with the same file name (except SACtros where it is expected).

File Name Dupe Executable: FRX-CRO1.EXE

in Pack 18
Date Created: Saturday, May 29, 1999, 00:03:38
Size: 26,063 bytes

in Pack 19
Date Created: Monday, September 06, 1999, 14:09:58
Size: 26,331 bytes

The date and size of the executables are different so I count the re-release as a file duplicate only although its not an entirely new intro (borderline cheat hehe).

More Downloads

Okay, that's it for now.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Monday, December 29, 2008

Interesting SAC Art Packs Statistics, Figures and Downloads

I am still working on sorting through the Superior Art Creations (SAC) art packs and to make them easy accessible via the web (e.g. my web site and elsewhere). The sorting brings up some interesting facts about the art pack releases that I want to share with you. All SAC Art Packs are available for download here and also here at my site. CRE-SACLogo250_256Colors_trans 

Facts, Stats and Figures

  • 2 of the 35 art packs included  no music release at all, packs 18 and 19. All art packs included ANSI, ASCII and VGA pixel art work, but it was once  close to the release of an art pack without pixel art. Pack 08 from September 1996 was 2 files in size, but it only included one piece of pixel art, a small SAC logo by Hetero that he created for the packs SACtro (SAC0996A.ZIP and SAC0996B.ZIP). I guess we were lucky hehe.
  • 2 pixel art images in pack 33 by Asphyx/SAC were a dupe (asx-ist2_1221823_business_planningmadhat-final.jpg and asx-warlords-logo.png). The two images had been released already in SAC Pack 32 five months earlier that same year. It almost looked like as if Pasha duped a picture for art pack 27, but the images are different (p-abs.png). He just named the file for another logo the same as he did a logo for the same group that he created in the past (funny, he obviously had no directory with all his art work in it, like the rest of us hehe).
  • 2 Tracker Modules were dupes. But also the musicians duped once. Two of them, one song each in the same art pack. Crome (CRM) and Maktone (MT) included a song in pack 28, which they already released in a previous pack (crm_dustinmyeyes.XM and mt_FLT01.MOD).
  • 2 art packs did not include a File_ID.diz file to describe the content of the ZIP archive, pack 21 and 22 (shame on you Ferrex ;)).  Since art pack 29 was no member list or FTP/BBS list included in the NFO files, which makes it hard to impossible to complete my "All-Time SAC Member List".
  • 2 members, both pixel artists, used the same file prefix for some time, creating confusion, not just back then, but also today (I know, because I got confused too). Kenet and [K] used both the file prefix "k-" in various art packs. "[K]" also used "K_", with the underscore instead of the dash and Kenet used his full name as prefix in his file names. I have not checked who used which prefix when, but it surely created a big mess, when I aggregated the artwork, because you files from both with the prefix "K-" in the file name.

  • 484 ANSI art pieces were released in 35 art packs between December 1994 and March 2007. The packs also included the following ....
  • 3,023 ASCII art logos, file_id.diz, NFO layouts, FTP site designs etc. Not including the SAC releases File_IDs and NFO files itself.
  • 115 Executables (.EXE and .COM files), excluding tools, installers and viewers, but including Cracktros, BBS intros and Still Images that were converted to an executable (e.g. a BBS ad ANSI in a wrapper to show the ANSI without having the need of the ANSI.SYS driver loaded). Also included in this figure are the SACtros that came with some of the art pack releases, especially during the early days. You can watch the video recorded 13 SACtros that were released with the SAC Packs on my web site. I also captured most of the other intros from the packs already. I have not put them up on my web site yet, but on YouTube. You can download all of my recordings and more via this share at Mediafile.com and its subsequent sub directories.
  • 534 Pixel Art Images. I converted all images that were not already  in Jpeg or PNG format to PNG (e.g. Deluxe Paint .LBM files, but also old GIF files, BMP, PCX and TGA). I want to put them up on the site one day, but for now Flickr.com must suffice. I created a special collection with a bunch of sets for all the pixel art images there.
  • 428 MODs (ProTracker, TakeTracker and NoiseTracker modules), SIDs (Commodore 64 music files), XMs (Fasttracker 2 modules), S3Ms (Scream Tracker 3), ITs (Impulse Tracker), DMFs (X-Tracker) and MP3s (not including the separate music disc releases, which include music from the packs, but maybe also some stuff that wasn't released in a pack yet. I don't know yet. I need to check this.)

Tracker Music Play-back and Conversion to MP3

I just converted all the tracker modules and SIDs to MP3 format for the later use on my web site, to make the music accessible to a broader audience, because you cannot play tracker music without special software or player plug-ins. The conversion was a pain in the neck. I used DeliPlayer2 (no link, because their web site DeliPlayer.com seems to be down, but see this site for more info.) for most of the music, which worked fine, but unfortunately only one module at the time. I ran into some problems with about 15 or so of the over 400 mods. DeliPlayer said that it believes that the files are corrupted and refused to play/convert them. I checked with ModPlug Player for Windows and they played back fine.


I also tried WinAmp with the LifeAMP plug-in and the internal MOD input source plug-in, but the results were mixed. I have not checked the BASS module player plug-in and thus do not know, if it is any good. Also useful is the SidPlay plug-in for WinAmp for playing back the SID music files.

But then I discovered XMPlay, which beats all of the players and tools above. It has tons of plug-ins as well and even supports WinAmp plug-ins as well. With XMPlay was it a breeze to convert tracker music to MP3, WAV or other formats, including in batch mode and the option to save the results in the same folder as the source file. Damn, if I only had known earlier. It would have saved me hours of time that I wasted on manually converting one song at a time.

More Download Options

If you don't want to download all the art packs, but are interested in some of the stuff, then I have something for you that you might like. I sorted the original content of the packs by content type and put them into individual RAR archives. I did that already for the music files and the pixel art. I have not done yet a archive for the ANSI and ASCII art yet. I already had packages for the Intros and Cracktros available for download directly from my web site here.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

INC Rules! Flame War ANSI Animation from 1992

Okay, I changed my mind. I wrote yesterday that it will be my last post during the holidays and here I am now, writing another post hehe.

I did in the past already some sound-overs for ANSI animations, which come by default without any sound effects or music. I posted one of them with my post about ANSI animation, the Korova Milkbar ANSImation by Blade Runner/ACiD (Ansi Creators in Demand) . I didn't write a post about the other, but I also did a sound update of the ANSImation "The Bog" by Tracer and Jed of ACiD. Since I did not post about it, I also included it in this post further down.

For the Korova Milkbar video I even recorded my own voice for the spoken dialogs (something that I didn't do really for the others. The "The Bog" video has voice-overs, but heavily distorted, making my voice unrecognizable.

The ANSI animation that I just dug up recently is titled "INC Rules!" ("rulez" in "leet-speak" hehe). It is long, very long for this type of stuff, over 1 minute. The ANSI animation (ANSImation) was created by Amroth/iCE (Insane Creators Enterprise) for the pirate (Warez) game release group INC (International Network of Crackers) on the MS DOS PC in 1992.

INC had some "Flame War" going with its rival FLT, Fairlight, which is the subject of this ANSI animation. As I mentioned already, the original ANSI animation had no sound whatsoever. I added foley (sound) effects and the background ambience music to pep it up a little and make it more enjoyable.

Have a good laugh!

Disclaimer: This video tries to depict images of severe graphic violence in really bad resolution (text mode), not suitable for illiterate persons and folks with too much imagination or fantasy, who tend to see more in things than everybody else (= than there are). ;-)

INC Rules video backup link, YouTube.com

Download video in AVI format at Mediafire.com

And here is my older "The Bog" ANSI animation by Jed and Tank/ACiD from 1992 with full "voice-over". My previous disclaimer applies to this video as well hehe.

The Bog video backup link, YouTube.com

Download video in WMV format at Mediafire.com

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gateway Sucks and Other Problems with PCs

Hard words during holiday times you might think, but if some corporate Assholes try to ruin your holiday spirit, you might would feel the same as I do. To say it only in a few words: Never ever buy a Gateway Computer!. Gateway sucks and they screw you over with a smile in their face. "Merry Christmas!" Don't come back whining later, because I told you.

What's the deal with Gateway? I posted in great detail about it at my other blog over a month ago. That's right, over one freaking month ago and guess what, my PC is still broken. No repair, no nothing.

The hardware problem slows me down and also causes stress (what surprise) and anger. I am behind with a bunch of stuff, directly or indirectly as a result of the malfunctioning PC.

This is only one issue in a long list of problems that I had and have with PCs lately. After all the hassle and problems with Windows, which makes you waste a lot of time all on its own, the hardware issues are not needed to make bad things even worse.

I was close to trashing the notebook (which would have been a bad idea), so I realized that I had to do something for anger management and to channel my negative energy into something that is not destructive... like creating a video :).  Here is the result... it is actually pretty funny although you could also call this humor cynical sarcasm or something like that.

Backup URL to Video at Google Video.

You can download the original AVI video at Mediafire.com

I talked about buying a PC for a while now and came to the point where I am pretty much ready to get a Macintosh. I had some communication with Chris Pirillo and he suggested that I wait a little bit longer, because there is a product line update due by Apple pretty soon.

I am using a PC since January/February 1991. That are over 17, almost 18 years. The time that I spent on a Macintosh in my whole life can be measured in minutes. So a switch is not only a technical decision, it would also be an emotional one, almost like a divorce.

Well, it ain't going to happen this year, earliest next month in January 2009. I guess that the switch will be my "new years resolution". I hope that you, the reader of this blog, do not have issues like I do, at least not during the holidays and hope that you will have a good time with friends and family.

Cheers and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa to you! Chances are slim that I write another prost during the upcoming Christmas days tomorrow and after.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scene Pixel Art Font Sets Collection

My last post was about legendary pixel art logos of the PC and Commodore Amiga scenes and the collection with over 25 sets of logo images that I created at my Flickr.com account to share them with everybody who is also interested in this stuff.

I did now also uploaded my collection of scene pixel art font sets to Flickr.com. I created a special collection for the font set images, which includes today 8 different sets with over 500 font sets overall. I have a bunch more, but in raw format or sliced up with individual images for each character and not the appropriate format to upload and share on a social media web site like Flickr.com.

Handmade, with No Filters to Polish

The fonts were pixeled by hand, just like the logos were. Many of them on the Commodore Amiga with image editing tools like Deluxe Paint and others on the IBM PC with MS DOS, using tools like the PC adaptation of Deluxe Paint (Deluxe Paint 2 enhanced or Deluxe Paint Animation), Autodesk Animator Pro or similar tools (you can find download links to the mentioned MS DOS editors at my download page).

No Adobe Photoshop or similar modern day editors were used by the artist. Everything had to be done manually. VGA art was painstaking work back in those days and required more fundamental skills of design and visual perception and lighting than you need today, where some stuff is done automatically by the tool (e.g. anti-aliasing) or you have a filter plug-in that does the desired effect for you. Those editors also had no "undo" or "history" features. "Undo" was more like a "re-do", at least for everything that you did since you created a backup copy of the image you are working on and not overwrote with newer versions since then.

Difference between Fonts Today and Oldskool Pixel Fonts

Unlike most fonts used today on the computer, which are commonly True Type fonts, which is a vector format allowing the fonts to be scalable and remain smooth regardless of the size you choose, pixel fonts are fixed size and cannot be scaled. They are basically an image. You can create pixel or bitmap fonts for the use on a Windows PC or Macintosh, if you have the right tools (here is a tutorial how to do that),  but that is not the type of font that you will find in my collection.

The Purpose of those Fonts

The fonts in my collection were never meant to be used as a font in an operating system by different applications, such as Word processors or image editing programs. Those fonts were usually designed for a specific purpose that was known to the artist before he even started to create one. That purpose was typically a "demo" or "Intro" project, or maybe a computer game development project.

The programmer had to "slice up" the image with the font characters in it and then use the individual slices that represent a character in his code to do something with it, such as creating a text scroller or apply some other fancy effects to have text messages appear into on the screen or to make them disappear. Those effects range from simple faders, over zoomers to elaborate effects where the letters are twisted and bent and rotated or combination of all or multiple of the mentioned ones.

Here is an example of a font, which also includes maker lines that were added by the artist to make it easier for the coder/programmer to "slice-up" the font and get the individual characters out of the image.


My Pixel Font Creations

Although I was known as an ANSI and ASCII text artist in the "scene" back in those days, I also did some pixel art work. I did not do very much, because I was never more than average doing it. I realized that it is better to stick to what you are best at and leave the pixel stuff to the guys that are really good doing it, such as the former SAC member and personal friend "Dream Design", who was capable of creating astonishing pieces of art within the limitations of colors available to use and screen resolution.

I created 13 pixel art fonts, mostly for some cracktros SAC created for some other release groups. I created a separate set for those fonts at Flickr.com. I did not do that to highlight them and to show how great I am (or was), I separated them, because the legal situation for if and how you could or could not use those fonts today is not clear for the other ones that I did not create myself.

The Legal Issue

Nobody was thinking about Copyright when they created those things. There was also no commercial intention for its use, it was about reputation and getting known and recognized... "fame" basically. In order to do that as good as possible, you not only wanted that your stuff was spreading as far and as fast across the globe as possible, no, you even helped  yourself with spreading as good as you could, or your fellow group mates, some even doing nothing else than "spreading" or "trading" your work, because that was their position and job within the group.

The problem is that because nobody specified in writing if and how the work that you created can be used by others, full copyright protection supposedly is applied by default, meaning that you cannot do anything with it, without the explicit permission of the artist, who is often unknown or only known by his pseudonym or scene handle, thus virtually impossible to contact and ask.

I made the decision for my art to give up the rights on them and made all of it available to anybody to use as he likes, except to create copyright protected derivatives of it. I basically want to make sure that my stuff stays free, even if you take it and add something of your own to it.

My Most Elaborate Font

Here is the most elaborate font that I ever pixeled. It is very large, or better was large at the time when I created it, because you have to keep in mind that the screen resolution for fancy VGA stuff on the PC was only 320x200 pixels and 256 colors. The font looks small today, at least on my screen, where the resolution is 4.5 times as high as the resolution the font was intended for.


It took me over 5 hours to pixel and was used for a Crack Intro for the PC games release group "Genesis" where I was a member of at the time. I cannot show you the cracktro unfortunately, because I am unable to get it to run and capture (video) on my PC today, even with a MS DOS emulator like DOSBox. :(

I am still trying to find a way to get a capture of it. You can download it here (only 55 KB) and send me a video capture of it, if you get it to work. It can also be without the sound, which I have and can add later. I only need the video images.

I hope you liked my little excursion back in time and also the font sets that I made available for you on Flickr.com.



Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Legendary Commodore AMIGA Pixel Art Logos

I collected over the years pixel art of all kinds, especially from the Commodore AMIGA, the Commodore 64 and the PC (when people still "pixeled" there instead of "photoshop" everything).

If you do not know what I mean, have a look at this post of mine about Perspective Projection on the Computer. It touches the subject of hand-made pixel art on the side, but uses some nice examples and illustrations.

...  whoa, what is this background?! :) special occasions? buoahhhh! hehe... okay now serious again ...

I was particular a fan of logo art work, because that was something I did myself. I was never good at drawing or painting objects, people or animals. You only have to look at my ANSI/ASCII art galleries and will see that most of the stuff are logos only and if I did anything else, then the results were way below average in quality. Any of my attempts to draw people and faces resulted in something that looked rather funny, although this was rarely my original intention. So I eventually accepted the truth and stuck to what I did best, logos ... styling text/words, so to speak, just as clarification for the "normal" folks out there.

I got around to take my logo collection and do as much de-duping as I could, spending several hours on just that and upload my collection to Flickr.com, for everybody to access freely. I did not include my Commodore 64 collection, which is still a mess, but a bunch of C64 pixel art logos sneaked into the Flickr.com sets anyway.

I grouped the logos by title and not artist, creating a set for each letter of the alphabet and grouping all the set within one big collection, which you can access via this link. There are over 2,000 logos my friends, in case you asked yourself how I can spend "hours" on de-duping stuff. :)

Okay... here are some of the most famous logos of all time... the cream de la cream... the top of the top of the pixel art logos so to speak. Okay, I think you got it, so lets start with the show hehe.


FLT- Fairlight logo by Angel Dawn

Ultra famous logo, used over and over again, also on the PC later on, where almost nobody ever did a new one for them, because everybody was convinced that you couldn't come up with a better one. If you have never seen this logo before in your life then I am asking myself, how you ended up at this blog reading this post? Seriously!


TRSI - Tristar and Red Sector Incorporated logo by J.O.E.

Together with the previous logo for Fairlight, probably the most recognized scene logos of all time. Same as for the Fairlight logo... it was used over and over again, also on the PC, but in contradiction to the Fairlight case were some folks confident enough to draw new logos to compete with this one by J.O.E. and I have to admit, some did a damn good job at it. See for example the other TRSI logo by Peachy further down below.


SCX - Scoopex logo by Acid


TSL - The Silents logo by Barock


Kefrens logo by Blizzard

from the famous Commodore Amiga 500 demo "Desert Dream" from 1993


Gods logo by Bridgeclaw


Sanity logo by Cougar


 HLM - Hoodlum logo by Angel Dawn

there is also another Hoodlum logo by Angel Dawn, which has a much simpler design,

but is probably as equally famous as this one.

Mack-Melon Dezign - Prism_14-Melon Logo 

Melon Dezign logo by Mack

The "zoomed" or "ASCII style" like Melon logo text became somewhat of a trademark for Melon Dezign. They use the same motive over and over again throughout various Melon demo and intro/cracktro projects.


Lemon logo by Facet

okay, not so classic, but there is Melon, so I had to add a logo from the "Anti-Melon" group "Lemon". It's like Ying and Yang. Hey, I picked a logo that uses a ripped Melon Dezign style, okay?! hehe

Mikael Balle-scene

TSL - The Silents logo by Mikael Balle

 newline mad-shining8 

S8 - Shining 8 logo by Newline

most famous of the logos of the cracking group Shining 8. Are there any other logos? I am not sure, no joke!


TRSI - Tristar and Red Sector Inc. logo by Peachy

from the end credits part of the TRSI dentro "Wicked Sensation" from 1992, which featured also a great and equally famous piano track by the musician Romeo Knight called "Boesendorfer"


Alcatraz logo by PGCS

Logo from the intro of the winning demo of The Part 1991 in Aars, Denmark called "Odyssey" (5 disks long, running about 45 minutes, if you don't skip parts and single handedly responsible for the institution of a running time limit for demos at competitions at demo scene parties :) )

r.w.o.-kefrens logo(guardiandragon)    

Kefrens logo by R.W.O.

slash-anarchy ana-logo(3d2i) 

Anarchy logo by Slash


Parasite logo by Splatt

 razor  logo(birdsofprey)

Razor 1911 logo (I believe by Sector 9)   

okay, this logos is maybe not so famous, but I had to add a Razor 1911 logo to avoid trouble, so I picked a very old logo and not any of the new PC ones by Zebig, Facet or Kenet etc. :)


SCX - Scoopex logo by Uno


SR - Skid Row logo by Antony

That is enough for now! Again, you can find these logos and over 2,000 other and less famous pixel art logos at this Flickr.com collection of mine. Check it out, it's definitely worthwhile to spend some time there.

Uh... what happened to the fancy background? Mhhh ... I suppose that this was a queue for me to signal that this is the end of this blog post. Okay, so be it!


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Monday, December 15, 2008

ANSI Animations Part Deux

I posted in January a detailed post about what ANSI animation is, hence the "part deux" for the title of this post. If you want to know what ANSI animations are and how they are created, check out my previous post.

I discovered some additional ANSI animations thanks to PabloView. ACiDView for Windows obviously did not show them properly or I just never looked at those ANSI's right, which could also be the case. Anyhow, I was using PabloView to browse some old art packs and realized that the AAA art packs from 1991 consisted mostly of ANSI animations. The majority of the animations were pretty short, they also look a bit "rough", but you have to keep in mind that this stuff is pre-ACiD and pre-iCE material, so give the artists a break. They were kind of pioneers back then and had no clue where this whole thing would lead to one day.

At the same time I decided to make a video that highlights some of the ANSI animations from my last post, but also a bunch of really great (and long) still ANSI pictures with hundreds of lines in length.

So I ended up creating two videos. :) Here is the first one ... Background music is by Jeroen Tel from the C64.

It starts off with a bunch of ASCII and ANSI logos by myself. It shows the ASCII version of a logo first and then peels it away to show the ANSI version of the exact same logo. I thought it would be nice. Then follow a bunch of really long and really cool ANSI images by various artists (from ACiD, iCE and other groups) and then shows ANSI animations from 1992 by members of ACiD (ANSI Creators in Demand, in case you forgot)

Backup Link to video on Google Video.

You can download this video in AVI format at Mediafire.com

About the second video ...

Classic ANSI Animations from 1991 by Members of the first PC ANSI Art Scene Group, AAA - Aces of ANSI Art, Mondoman, RaD Man (founder of ACiD in 1992), Shadow Demon and Willie. I warned you already that they are a little bit more rough, but that's how it started man. Remember your history! a smart man once said. ;)

Creating thumb nail images, uploading all captures of the ANSI animations manually to YouTube and then creating a table grid in my blog post was a pain in the neck to do and I decided not to do it again for this post, sorry folks.

I made instead one video where I also added some nice music by Jeroen Tel, Rob Hubbard and JCH/Vibrants. The Individual pieces included in the video are...

  • Mondoman: Above the Law, Astral Plane, ICE Castle, Lost Castle, Seven Heaven, Shadow Gate, The Inner City 1 & 2, The Pits, Total Recall, Tower of High Society
  • RaD Man: Hamburger Heaven, Hard Kod, Logix Probe, Louder Than Bombs
  • Shadow Demon: Final Frontier, Hamburger Heaven, Hard Kod, The Pits
  • Willie: Pistol, Rush

Voila, the video...

Backup link to video on Google Video.

You can download this video in AVI format at Mediafire.com

You are still able to download the individual video captures of each animation individually in the original resolution as I recorded them in. Check out this shared folder at Mediafire.com for the individual videos. This folder also contains the previous captures of ANSI animations by ACiD and iCE.

You can also download the original AAA art packs in zip format, with the old school .ANS files included.
Aces of ANSI Art packs: aaa-8991.zip (382 KB) and aaa-vol2.zip (11 KB)


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Friday, December 12, 2008

Image to Text Converters Review

image2text_illustration Using tools like Image to Text converters is against the ethics of any serious text artist, but they became pretty popular (and also more sophisticated) after ANSI and ASCII art almost faded away into the darkness of forgotten history.

This popularity today is also the reason, why I mention them here, because regardless if I like it or not, they have their place in ANSI and ASCII art history. Even though the converter tools became more sophisticated and can produce good to excellent results today, is their use among serious text artists against the ethics and rules as it was during the prime of computer text art.

Because of its popularity I decided to add the tools that I am reviewing here also to my ASCII Art Academy, where you can learn how to create real ASCII and ANSI art and also more about the history and origin of this unique niche form of computer art.

You can use the converters for fun and the sake of it, but never try to sell off any piece of text art as your own creation, if you used a converter even for only some parts of your image, or state where you used a converter and how you improved on the results or altered them. It will diminish the respect that you will get from fellow artists, but it is honest and honesty is still of high value. The piece of art created this way, is may be able to stand on its own merits, but if this is will be the case is hard to tell before seeing the actual results.

2007_Carsten_Feb15The available converters online or off-line vary in sophistication, options for tweaking the results and what you can do with them.

I used for testing this passport photograph of mine. I always used the same image, regardless if I uploaded it, linked to it or used it with the desktop tool.

I never tweaked the image before I used it with the tools. I only used the options that were provided by the tools themselves to improve the results.

Lets start with the Online Tools.

Click on the images for a full size version of each screen shot. The small images are not meant to show you everything in detail already, which would be hard, even with 110% vision hehe.

Photo2Text.com ASCII to TEXT Converter

URL to online converter.

Here are screen shots of the tool and the three steps it takes to convert your image to ASCII art.

photo2text_1_full photo2text_2_full photo2text_3_full

This converter delivers great results out of the box. The only bummer is that you cannot specify a URL for the image to convert. You have to upload it as a file.

The results with the default options is already perfect, but in some cases does it make sense to tweak the results, which you can do in real time on the results page.

I talked about it already a while ago at my personal blog.

You have a slider to adjust the "brightness" and also a drop down box that lets you select different sets of ASCII characters that will be used for the ASCII. One of the sets even includes the emulated block ASCII (high ASCII) characters of MS DOS (I love that one hehe)

To the left, picture in 7 bit ASCII (normal text characters). To the right, picture in Block ASCII. I adjusted the "brightness" a little bit to make it a bit lighter.

Photo2Text_Results_Full Photo2Text_Results_Block

ASCII.MasterVB.NET Text to ASCII Converter Tool

URL to online converter.

As you can see in the screen shot, this tool is actually two tools in one. To the left is the form of the Image to Text converter and to the right is a Text to ASCII converter. I will say to the latter a little bit more further down below.

The MasterVB tool only allows the specification of the URL to an Image on the Internet. It does not offer an upload option to let users upload an image from their local hard disk.


I always used the setting 1 for "Quality" (best). I don't know why I should choose anything else. 

I selected as Size: 5 . The size only affects the used font size and not the ASCII width (number of characters per line in the text result). I selected "Show in HTML".

The image to the left shows the result for "In Color OFF" and the image to the right with the "In Color Option" enabled which is SLOW, so be patient.

The ASCII or ANSI is always large in size. You can only reduce its actual size (characters per line), if you reduce the image size yourself and put the smaller image up on the Internet in order to be able to use this tool with that image.

It returns good results, but then it is also easier to do so, if you do not have to deal with the problem of limited numbers of characters per line and rows you can work with. It serves its purpose and who cares nowadays, if the ANSI or ASCII is more than 80 Characters per line in width. Nobody uses MS DOS anymore anyway, right?! :)

ASCIIMasterVB_Results_full ASCIIMasterVB_Results_ANSI_full

The tool also has a neat Text to ASCII converter, which seems to be based on FIGlet.

Over 60 different ASCII art fonts are available. Also a preview of the font sets to make it easier to find out which font you like the best, without trying each and every one of them first. Most fonts are almost the same and I didn't find really cool ones.

Another ASCII font generator can be found at Network-Science.de/ASCII.

It does not provide the code, it's meant to copy and paste for email signatures for example. That's also the reason why the tool offers options like "alignment" and width in characters. It also has the option to "squeeze" the letters (by selecting "yes" for "Stretch", an obvious error) and to invert the text to be mirrored (if you think that is cool, or if you want to combine it with the none-mirrored version of the test.

GlassGiant.com/ASCII Image to Text Converter Tool

URL to online converter tool at GlassGiant.com/ASCII.

This tool provides almost no options for tweaking, except for the wight and font size. Nice is the fact that you have the choice between uploading an image from your local hard drive or providing an URL to the image on the Internet. The results are decent and usable for an out of the box/take it or leave it kind of tool.

The Homepage of the tool provides links to additional examples, which I did not include in my screen shot. My screen shot only shows the selection form of the conversion tool itself. To the right is the result of the conversion of my passport photograph.

 GlassGiantASCII_1_full   GlassGiantResults

Now lets look at some tools for the Windows Desktop.

The MagicSoft Image to ANSI/ASCII converter

Download link to MagicSoft Img2ASCII-ANSI

The interface is straight forward. You have the option to convert an image to either ANSI, Gray-scale or plain text (ASCII).

MagicSoft_interface MagicSoft_interface_largeimage

The first slider lets you specify how much percent of the pixels of the images will be converted. This setting has direct impact on the width and height of the results.

If you have an image that is 200x200 pixels and you say to render 100%, the ANSI or ASCII will be 200 characters wide and tall. You probably want to reduce that or change the font size, which is another option via a slider.

You can specify the background color and text to use.

I really wouldn't recommended to specify the Text to use, because it really uses this phrase again and again and the shading is only done by adjusting the color of the letters. If you want to do something with just words, check out the tool Textorizer, which will return much better results. So leave it empty and have the tool randomize the used characters.

A message pops up, if you select ASCII output stating that it is still in an early beta state. After looking at the conversion results, I tend to agree. It returned the poorest results of all tools that I tested. It's strength really lies in the conversion to ANSI, where it produces quite decent results.

Here are some examples.

MagicSoft_ASCII_80pix_100pc_whitebg MagicSoft_ANSI_80pix_100pc_whitebg MagicSoft_ANSI_80pix_100pc_blackbg

ASCII Generator .NET (ASCGen dotNet) for Windows

Download link to ASCII Generator dotNet V0.96

This is a collaborative open source project. You can visit the projects web site at SourceForge.net, where you can also download the latest version of the tool and the source code of it as well.

Just by looking at the interface you know that you are dealing with something much more sophisticated than any of the other tools that I reviewed above.


This tool is really the Ferrari of Image to Text converters! You have so many options to play with (in real-time, seeing the results immediately) and the results are simply phenomenal.

You can shrink and enlarge the results at will, flip or rotate, adjust brightness and contrast, the character set used for the ASCII, the font and more and more and more.
The program also supports batch processing, if you have a large number of photos or images to convert to ASCII or ANSI.

It's a free tool, only available for Windows PC, but source code can be downloaded from their Sourceforge.net project page as well, if you like to work on a conversion for Linux or Macintosh.
A web based version of the tool would be cool tool. Anybody up to the challenge?

 ASCGen - ASCII-2007_Carsten_Feb15 ASCGen-ANSI-ASCII-2007_Carsten_Feb15

I created a short video that shows the feature of the ASCGen dotNet tool. And before I get tons of emails asking what the music in the background is, it's Chris Huelsbeck's "Sade" from the Commodore 64. You can download this song and others from the good old C64, converted to MP3 format, at this shared folder at Mediafire.com.

You can download this video in AVI format and 800x600 pixels resolution at Mediafire.com.

I hope that you find this review helpful. Have fun with converting your photographs and images to Text, or better ASCII or ANSI art hehe. Again, if you want to create serious ASCII/ANSI text art, check out my ASCII Art Academy page and subsequent pages. For the right tools to create hand-made text art check out my downloads page, where you find a bunch of tools for MS DOS, Windows or even Linux free for download.

If you need some inspiration and want to see some great hand-made, oldskool and new ANSI and ASCII art created by myself and also dozens of other artists, check out my gallery pages.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC