Making it Move pt. 2: Banana with Detail

Yesterday I posted about my early animations on the Atari 8-bit computers using MovieMaker, and linked to video of the same, but after watching them I thought I’d post notes about the different segments.


Part of a longer animation which featured the Bloom County “Banana Jr.” computer walking in and displaying a countdown. The walk was clumsy, but I loved the 3.5″ floppy shooting in, and the little “hop” the computer makes on contact.

The disk flies in perspective

Click to start animation here (opens new window)

The “zoom” in on the Banana Jr. at the start of the countdown was a feature built into MovieMaker and let you zoom in on the center part of the animation by taking that ¼ of the screen and doubling the size of its pixels, reducing the apparent resolution from 160×96 to 80×48!

ZOOM made the image bigger but at the cost of lowering the resolution


Artech was what I was going to call my imagined animation & graphics biz. I did two different animations of the logo I’d created. The first—appearing at the end of the video—was simply sliding around of the pieces. MovieMaker allowed you to animate up to six items (“Actors”) on a given frame, and since the logo had six letters, I opted to animate four sets of letters. Had I been able to animate seven objects I’d otherwise have animated all the letters in separately.

First version of the logo featuring 4 overlapping elements (Actors)

Click to start animation here (opens new window)

Sometime later (God I wish files included time and date stamps in those days!) I took another crack at the logo, this time spinning the two halves in, so I created 16 frames of each half of the word, rotating (30 degrees per increment), so you’d see them head on and as they turned you’d see the edges.  This was partially effective, but it didn’t have any dimension, so to create the illusion that there was some kind of light source, I changed the palette with each frame, so that the faces and edges of the letters would brighten and darken as they spun, which is a neat trick for making it look like you have more than the three colors (the fourth being the background) per frame actually possible!

Second version of the logo with multiple animation drawings and color cycling

Click to start the animation here (opens new window)


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