Nowadays 3D is everywhere (not even talking about forthcoming virtual reality) but in the golden days of the Atari ST, that is to say the mid 80s, 99% of games were done in 2D. Even tho the first 3D objects existed they were still far from hitting home computers. Yet demos coders tried and managed to create 3D objects  of varied sizes, colors and shapes.

3D hits your screen in this appearance of TNT Crew into the Union Demo released in 1989 !

I have to confess that I didn’t know the screen above and wow ! I am truly impressed ! I also admire the work seen in the 1991  Decade demo by Inner Circle. In the part called  Solid 3D by The Red Herrings we are offered 3D objects  made of complex shapes, sometimes so complex indeed that the whole result is really far from smooth. Yet I have to be grateful to the pioneers who dared face that kind of challenge and hence offered us a show of great quality !

That shape is pretty sophisticated but as a consequence the whole object moves pretty slowly and jerkily…

In the 90s some demos like The Vodka demo by Equinox (1991) or Beyond by Kruz (1992 – screenshot below) brought 3D objects into a new dimension with huge, coloured AND fast shapes ! Coders, well at least very skilled ones, had found the formula to generate 3D of high quality.

Now 3D objects are big AND smooth !

Democrew Holocaust was mostly known for being insanely good at coding huge and very fast 3D objects. Often enough they even managed to display these objects on wider parts of the TV screen, namely in what is called  overscan (or fullscreen when using all available pixels). Check the size of the window below compared to the previous screenshots. Taken from the 1993 Rising Force demo :

When the coders of  Holocaust make 3D they do it BIG !

It would be totally unfair to write about 3D objects  and not mention a milestone demo as far as 3D is concerned : the Synergy megademo by Synergy. (1993)

Some coders were maybe more skilled than them (hey, I said maybe :)) but surely they gave us an amazing show, about 20 minutes long full of magic, technique, design, synchronization, great ideas all of this supported by an awesome soundtrack brought by one of my all time Atari ST musician, Scavenger. By the way check my « coup de coeur » as you will find more videos of that demo.

In the late 90s and later on new techniques were developed to create mapped 3D or environment mapped objects but this is another story and other articles 🙂

Now it is time for fast and furious action first with an excerpt from the Vodka demo by Equinox :

Please sit back and relax to fully enjoy the very long 3D show included in Synergy‘s demo. I hope you will love the perfect harmony of this demonstration and its great soundtrack as much as I do !

Last minute update : the recent STNICCC 2015 coding convention brought us its share of wonders, one of them being the awesome We Were @ demo by Oxygene. The part featuring morphing objects in 3D (and in overscan) is so great that I cannot resist showing you :