A powerful bitmap graphics program. Originally appeared on Amiga, but a version (way behind the Amiga version, though) also exists for MS-DOS. I has the odd kind of nostalgy in it - after all these years, it has only got better and the power still remains.

It's a really old program, but it's still my favourite.
As it uses an "indexed" palette of max 256 colours (not
counting the hard-to-use HAM modes) it has its limitations,
but for pixeling it's a pleasure to use it. Besides, who
needs 24 bits anyway? Eight bits are enough!

Deluxe Paint is still far and away my favorite program for the creation of artistic content using a computer - period.

Its feature set was extensive, and every feature had a well documented keyboard shortcut enabling the user to drive with the keyboard while painting with the mouse.

DP III and IV for the Amiga had features I still miss today in modern paint programs:

  • Cubism
  • perspective mode
  • "animbrushes"
  • You 'picked up' a brush with your mouse and could then paint with it, only as you painted a trail with the brush new animation frames were being created. Note some modern paint / anim programs do this but I have yet to see any as smooth and intuitive as DP. Email me if you know of any :)
  • multicycle mode
  • This let you define a brush and then paint with it, each successive stamp of the brush (which was continuous if you held down the button) would cycle every individual pixel in the brush forward by one color.

To me Deluxe Paint represents a synthesis between art and technology that has yet to be seen since the relative decline of the Amiga platform.

I primarily used Deluxe Paint II and Deluxe Paint Animation for the PC for several years. The PC versions of Deluxe Paint are fantastic in many ways, running perfectly well on even an 8086-based machine, and supporting a raft of graphics modes including CGA, EGA, VGA and MCGA and in later versions XGA and enhanced VGA. DPaint 2 also included a fantastic screengrabber called Camera, which allowed me to dissect the graphics of all but the most memory-intensive games and demos of the early 1990's.

Deluxe Paint in its various guises has been used in the creation of many games, from The Secret of Monkey Island all the way to Quake II and beyond. It is quite simply the best and most versatile pixel-level paint program. The interface of JASC's Paint Shop Pro is heavily influenced by Deluxe Paint. Deluxe Paint used several file formats: .LBM, .PCX and on the Amiga .IFF for pictures, .ANM for animations, .BBM for brushes, .ABM for animbrushes.

DPaint was originally coded for Electronic Arts (as an advanced version of a previous package called Paint) by Dan Silva, who went on to have an instrumental role in the development of 3D Studio. The manual of DP2 made the bold claim that "If Leonardo Da Vinci were alive today, he would probably be using Deluxe Paint". Deluxe Paint was generally marketed with an image of Tutankhamun's mask created in the program.

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