P for… Particles

Particles are another of these effects that are theoretically impossible to reproduce on such an old and limited as the Atari ST and yet…

But what are particles in the first place ? There are sort of small balls made of light -or energy- floating around, mixing and merging, hence creating brightness changes. These days you can find them everywhere, be it in movies special effects or in video games. They are used in blasts, fireworks, storms, rain drops… except that there are millions of them !

As far as I know very very demo crews dared code particles, besides these few attempts are not very old as they were first seen in 2001. You can see the first one right below, taken from the Summer 2001 compo organized by DHS, a megademo to which many people contributed, including I. 🙂

dhs
These particles should read D, H and S but since the logo is rotating you see it reverted ! 🙂

I am very happy as this article gives me at last a chance to write about a democrew called  Paradox that has always thrived to get the best out of the Atari STe, being the enhanced counterpart of the Atari ST. I believe that taking advantage of the Atari STe improvements allowed that crew to show us many successful particles effects.

My friend Paranoid from Paradox kindly reminded me that we can meet particles in almost all of their latest productions, including their Paracon party invitations. For instance in one of them (this one), you can even witness a bald combination with a bumpmapping  effect !

This is the invitation to the Paracon Party 4. (2002)

 

And here is the invitation to the Paracon7. (2005)

Besides these shown examples, this crew also gave us an awesome demonstration in 2005 Pacemaker that you will be able to enjoy in video at the bottom of this page. You will enjoy a couple of particles effects. Right below is a montage showing the evolution a the shape made of these small balls of light.

Panorama

I really like the great choice of colors with brightest ones for the particles at the heart of this scene while others look darker.

Panorama

Paradox did it again with what is undoubtedly my favourite particles effect to be seen in one of their contributions to their own 20 years STe megademo (a megademo implying a lot of contributors and done as a celebration of the Atari STe 20th birthday in 2009).

Presse-papiers-1
Looks so great but you will have to read my article about reset screens to enjoy a video. 20 years STe megademo (2009)

And if you want more, I could name two more productions by Paradox that feature more particles but I think we have had enough and I will refer to theses demos on another occasion. 🙂

Let’s now leave just a little room for Checkpoint a demo crew that, as far as I know, only coded particles once, in their 2010 Visualize demo. Sure it looks quite raw because of the big pixels resulting from that technique called C2p, yet it is still gorgeous !

See them move and say « wow » ! 🙂

Time to pay tribute to particles lovers such a demo crew Paradox. Let’s enjoy their invitation to the Paracon 7 :

Then the best of particles with the effects seen in their Pacemaker demo :

We are still in the Pacemaker demo for a variation :

At last but not least here comes an excerpt from the Visualize demo (such a pity these nasty flashes annoy us so much !).

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