Talking about animations could make some people angry and I can already fancy some coders yelling at me ! Well I don’t think it will wage a war but in demos most coders used to brag around that their effect was done « realtime » that is to say calculated while being displayed as opposed to « precalculated » (almost an infamous word !).

However, as a demo lover, I am perfectly aware that a lot of effects are « more or less » precalculated (cough, cough !) but I don’t mind, this is part of the show… as long as we don’t have to wait too long before anything is displayed on the screen. 🙂

It can also happen that we are presented with animations, in other words animated sequences that were first generated on PC then replayed on the Atari ST, a bit like a video sequence. Used the good way animations are definitely a plus, something we could not afford to see as a real effect or that would take too long being calculated. Let me remind you that the Atari ST was created in 1985. As a consequence replaying an animation on such limited hardware is already quite a challenge !

Anyway, before showing you some examples I would like to apologize as some examples may not be full animations. Don’t be offended if I misquoted some of your work and let me know about my mistake so that I can fix it.

Animations are seldom included into demos first before they take a lot of space, secondly before you need skills to create them on PC (and last but not least because everyone will understand that it is not a « real time » effect but who cares ? 🙂)

A short and looping sequence showing a drop of water. Short but beautiful as the rest of 1992 Relapse demo by Cybernetics.
This is not clearly stated as being an animation but I don’t think I am wrong putting it here… Taken from 1993 Dreams demo by Animal Mine.
The introductory sequence of  1993 Braindamage by Aggression and Kruz was really impressive when it was released !

As some animations are pretty shortly seen I sometimes wonder how coders manage to make them fit into the whole demo… Part of the magic of demos I guess 🙂

In the gorgeous screen shown above (and taken from 2001 Odd Stuff demo by Sector One and Dune) the clockworks are rotating, being clearly an animation but the white text you can spot was drawn and results from programming. In the screenshot below which is taken from 2003 Fantasia demo created by the same two bands this is a full animation though. Never mind as both really look great !

In the next example taken from 2003 Hallucinations demo by Reservoir Gods, green balls bounce on the screen seemingly forming some sort of a caterpillar. Undoubtedly an animation and if I am right it is even a conversion of an screen first seen on the Atari‘s rival, the Amiga.

Animations have always been part of demos, even tho in the « good old days » no one would say they used animations. Now with recent techniques they look more beautiful than ever and bring style to quality demos ! As a demo lover I will always appreciate seeing them.

Now time for some action ! First let’s admire the introduction of 1993 (yet unreleased) Final demo by democrew Extream :

We move on with the amazing introduction of Braindamage demo I already mentioned earlier in this article (note that the video starts after about 30 seconds of loading) :

Let’s continue with a very original demo being mostly done in black and white and called Monogatari by Cerebral Vortex (2013) and showing an awesome tunnel :

And our last example comes from 2010 Talk Talk 2 demo by Excellence In Art, a band that has always produced stylish demos full of love and passion !