Paint Magic is a multicolor paint program coming along with an uncommon self restriction. Normally, in multi mode you can freely select three colors per tile, and the forth will be fetched by VIC from the background color register $D021. It is effective for the whole screen (for special GoDot features see: 4Bitformat). Paint Magic will now abandon the second color memory information from $D800 (Color RAM). All bytes of the color ram will be set to one single color, as if it was based upon only one register, too. Hereby we have only two flexible colors per tile left, of course restricting the artistic possibilities in a considerable extent.

The advantages are hidden, you can't in any case recognize them in the insignificantly shorter files of 37 disk blocks as against Koala. Probably they wanted to avoid color falsifications when switching between the two Paint Magic picture memory areas. Moreover, you can easier solve programming problems with Paint Magic's "Opaque" function when cutting off from a picture (whereby color 1 will be transparent) with the third color area set to one single color. If you switch over color 3 in Paint Magic's title screen (file "Title Page" on the system diskette), you can directly see PM's restrictions (this picture is "faked", you can't create it with PM itself). There's another advantage, certainly not intended: PM pictures can be easier converted to Plus4 formats, just because of the missing color RAM. The limitation to two freely selectable colors is a hardware restriction of Plus4 computers.

A PM picture starts at $3F8E and has got an autostart header of 114 bytes of length. The actual picture comes up with the bitmap ahead (length: 8192 bytes) at address $4000. It is followed by 1024 bytes color RAM. The background color ($D021) is the 8001st byte (at address $5F40), and the fill color replacing the color RAM ($D800) is byte 8004 (at $5F43). If you need to know the value of the border color ($D020), you'll find it at $5F44.

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Arndt Dettke

Copyright © 1997, A. Dettke, Last Updated - 11/02/97