Re: Video Streams for 8-bit Commodores

From: eyethian (
Date: 2001-08-21 05:25:42

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
> The lowest spec video mode has a bandwidth of 1kb per frame and has a
> palette of 4 fixed colours - ideal for greyscale as Nate did. The highest
> spec video modes that I think can be generated provides 3 colours fixed
> each "row" and another colour per 2x2 region (one colour RAM location).
> Using raster based changes to the $D021-$D023 registers and interlacing
> colour palette is increased. The high spec mode would need 2.2kb per
> In both cases the video data could be streamed using a parallel file
> or REU (for short animations).
Hello, Nicolas Coplin-

I just checked your website describing this project. Sounds really nice.

In late 1999, I released a program called Silicon Dreams at Loadstar, a
disk-based Commodore magazine. It ran in 64 mode and could combine 100's
(1000's, too) of individual frames made up of entirely 4-bit files into a
runnable animation. 4-bit files are created by Godot, an image manipulation
program for the Commodore 64. ConGo was also able to create these 4-bit
files. I used ConGo to batch convert the individual BMP's making up an AVI
into those 4-bit files.

The runnable animation was then ZIPped up using PKZIP v2.04g. Silicon Dreams
then can decompress this runnable animation into expansion memory and
playback the resulting animation onscreen. The neat thing about this
runnable animation was that it already had 'delta-encoding' compression
apart from the PKZIP compression. Silicon Dreams would decompress an
individual frame and display it on the fly onscreen in full multi-color FLI
resolution. The bandwidth was very high, indeed!

I was able to recreate the dancing baby, in full multi-color FLI resolution
under Silicon Dreams. I was also able to playback the 'Good Times, Bad
Times' music video as found on Windows95 CD, for the first minute or so, in
full multi-color FLI resolution. The goodtimes animation file nearly took up
an entire FD-2000 formatted disk. I demoed Silicon Dreams and the animation
files at the recent Spring 2001 Commodore EXPO in Louisville, KY and most
attendees were impressed.

However, there's no sound in the animation playback. Secondly, Silicon
Dream's requirements are steep, indeed, requiring a SuperCPU unit with at
least 1Mb of SuperRAM.

-Todd Elliott

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