P for … Plasma

Let’s write today about an effect called plasma. Pointless to bore you with technical details, first because I am totally green at coding and secondly because it would just find you uninterested. Yet I need to recall that the 1985 Atari ST can only display 16 colors at once. As it happens, a plasma is a colorful moving carpet. I’m not 100% sure about that but I would say that Delta Force were the first to experiment with lots of colors to make something that could be call a plasma. You can see one in 1990 Syntax Terror demo by Delta Force for instance, a second example in the 1991 Lightning demo by The Pendragons and a third one in  in 1991 RGB Plasma by Omega :

But check these 3 first examples right now  :

Tons of colours suddenly invade the humble Atari ST that is not supposed to handle more than 16 mere colours ! Can you guess the shock met in the early 90s ?

Here is another one. Like I said the many colours is the main feature of this effect. Of course its motive can differ a lot from one example to another (and it has to be different to look interesting) 🙂

How many colors ? Surely hundreds ! Excerpt from the blitter plasma screen by The X’Press Crew (1992)

Honestly I cannot say if coding (understand « create ») such an effect is very hard since it has been here for ages, maybe since the late 80s. Unfortunately I cannot tell you when it was first seen 😦 Anyway a plasma always looks very nice even though it should not be displayed too long either.

Differences between plasmas include colors and shapes but also the pattern of their « waves ».

 

Same effect but different shape ! A beautiful plasma taken from the Phototro demo by Hemoroids. (1993)

 

Taken from Oh no!! More froggies by Sector One. (1993)

Today a plasma is considered « oldschool » as it belongs to the effects that were first seen in the very early 90s and early 90s. Yet today coders still come up with a lot of ideas and patterns to update this effect. Obviously it is not met as often in modern demos as it used to in the 80s and 90s, even though some productions tend to mix modern effects with classic ones.

Even if this is an old effect I still like it a lot with its countless colors on such limited hardware. It is always like opening a nice gift under the xmas tree. Enjoy this excerpt from the demo Oh no !! More froggies de Sector One and dare tell me that you don’t like these plasmas (unfortunately no sound during that part) :

Want so more ? Then have a look at 1992 No Cooper, a surprisingly very colourful demo by demo crew 1984 :

And what about this gorgeous plasma, stylishly displayed in the 2011 Summer Delights demo by Dead Hackers Society ? You may notice that the displayed windows is larger than usual and that is another trick called overscan.

To end with plasmas let me show you a very peculiar example as this one is moving on the sides of a rotating  mapped  cube ! Taken from the demo Second Reality 2013 by Checkpoint.

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