R for… Rotozoom

Let’s talk about the rotozoom effect whose name may sound strange at first. Yet it is a very nice looking and technical effect. Its purpose is to display a picture or motive, zoom in, then zoom out and zoom in again and so on. As if this was not enough the whole thing keeps rotating hence the « roto » in the name of the effect. 🙂 As far as I know The Gigabyte Crew were the first ones who coded this brand new effect back in 1990 ! You can find it in the mythical Syntax Terror megademo by Delta Force.

As I stated in my introductory article, the Atari ST cannot display images on the whole TV screen (please refer to the  overscan and  fullscreen article for more info). Some rotozooms had to be pretty small or feature fewer colors (or planes) in order to be fast enough (as a matter of fact all kinds of tricks are used so that the effect would still look impressive).

For instance the picture below perfectly shows the size of the effect, namely 192 by 192. We are still far from the usual 320 by 200 window displayed by the Atari. Luckily this effect comes with nice colors and great pictures so that it looks very classy !

Taken from the Blood demo by Holocaust. (1994)
A crazy rotozoom that takes you high in the UFO demo by Dune and Sector One. (2012)
Another lovely rotozoom by Checkpoint for Alive13 intro. (2006)

Time for a live demonstration of a rotozoom (easier to see it live and kicking). This one, tho being a conversion of a very famous PC demo is very impressive as it zooms in and out quite far and is very smooth as well. Taken from Second Reality 2013 by Checkpoint..

Far from its classic form, some coders managed to create huge and fast rotozooms that even came with music such as the Atari ST is not even supposed to be able to play ! It shows that even an old and already seen effect such as a rotozoom can amaze us with awe.

The perfect example is in the video below, taken from 2003  POSH demo by Checkpoint. The  rotozoom we are offered here is more than a simple one as not only it goes distorting like wild but is also bigger than the usual window size !

Last but not least let’s conclude with a a demo released in December 2015 courtesy of  Oxygene. With their demo entitled We Were @ they managed to amaze us with an truly mouth gaping rotozoom ! Not only it is displayed in fullscreen (like the other video shown above) but it is also made of hundreds maybe thousands of colors ! And I love the way it teases us before showing its full majesty. Enjoy it now !

 

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