Amiga Tribute by Eric Schwartz

Does anybody still use Amiga computers to create animation? Eric Schwartz apparently does and he recently finished this nicely animated tribute to Amiga computers, created on an Amiga 4000T. (via Waxy)


  • chris

    That’s nice, but can he run Portal on his Amiga?

  • http://checkeredgeekcartoons.blogspot.com Zach

    That is the most creative use of an internet meme I think I’ve seen in a long time. It’s also the work of someone who is truly geeky, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

  • http://pantsinmotion.com Squozen

    Forget running Portal, he can’t even see the YouTube video on an Amiga. :)

    Eric Schwartz has released a lot of great animations on the Amiga, but dude… seriously, it’s time to let go and move on.

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Nicely done. Also nice to see that Jonathan Coulton’s march to global domination is continuing apace.

  • http://www.cartoonmonkey.com Chad Essley

    Fantastic! Still have my 060 A1200.. :0)

    It was and is a great machine.. hope mine never.. dies..

    Eric Schwartz was part of my inspiration to get into computers and animation, and I got a chance to use the Amiga to create six animations that aired on Sesame Street many..many years ago. Back when mac’s and PC’s were still unable to run full screen animation at 30fps, 720×540. Dpaint IV.. aahhhh (Closest thing is now TVPaint) Thanks for the great post!

  • Gobo

    Wow, Eric’s STILL using Amigas? Amazing, really. It’s become his signature.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    I remember eagerly awaiting the latest Schwartz demo anims on those blue floppy discs. It was weird that they were called floppy discs. They were in hard blue plastic cases, not really floppy at all. I guess what’s important is this: they were floppy inside.

    The AMIGA is no longer of practical use in technical terms, compared to any modern PC, but the thing was doing its magic almost twenty years ago, long before affordable PC display and audio hardware were capable of similar performance. It booted into the OS in under eight seconds. It provided my introductions to digital graphics and MIDI music-making, so it’s a fondly-remembered relic. I earned my first money for animation using an accelerated 1200. When I dumped all my AMIGA stuff on ebay, it had retained over 60% of its value. No Mac or PC equipment does that after ten or fifteen years.

    If anyone is interested in software for the PC that exactly emulates DPAINT right down to every keyboard shortcut, try PRO MOTION:
    http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/
    It has no HAM capability, so it’s limited to 256 colors. It essentially IS DPAINT.

    PCs are finally (as of about 2003) up to the task of AMIGA emulation that runs vintage software as fast as the original hardware: I have this installed on a spare PC and it works well, although I never really use it any more:
    AMIGA IN A BOX

    Fun stuff:
    http://www.archive.org/details/AMIGA

  • http://collideoscope.blogspot.com/ Adam

    Amid, be sure to post the response video from an Atari ST zealot when it becomes available.

    (The Amiga still has fans in 2008?)

  • http://www.electricminstrel.com Brett McCoy

    Wow, very nice! Amiga was my first introduction to real multitasking and digital cel animation (via DPaint IV), as well as 4-track audio. The software I use now, Mirage, reminds me a lot of DPaint IV. Maybe Bauhaus, now that the Mirage line has been discontinued, can call whatever their new product is going to be DPaint VI :-)

  • http://www.dougwilson83.blogspot.com Doug Wilson

    Yeah! Deluxe paint was my first intro to animation… Long live the amiga.

  • http://jmac.org Jason Mcintosh

    Long ago I bartered with someone online for a set of VHS tapes full of bootleg Dangermouse episodes. There was room left over on the last tape, so he topped it off with a pile of Eric Schwartz thingies he had lying around. Delightful!

  • http://jamessuhr.blogspot.com james suhr

    what nice animation! this only proves once again it doesn’t matter the equipment, only the hands it’s placed in.

  • Kris

    Oh, Eric Schwartz. You have been in love with your Amiga since a time when I was too young to care about computers.

  • http://www.grotto11.com/blog Brian Tiemann

    I find it rather cute that he’s even doing the credits in a retro style—”squigglevision” went out around 2001…

  • Monty

    Why is he such a furry?

  • Steve Gattuso

    Eric’s going to laugh when he sees this. If you understand enough about the plot of “Portal,” then the whole thing becomes perfectly appropriate.

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com John Paul Cassidy

    I’ve been a fan of Eric Schwartz’s work since my big brother Peter showed a tape of his cartoons to me in late 1991 or early 1992! Amazing that he still uses Amiga! (Do they even make those anymore?) Peter and I used to use one (and I even did a bit of animation work with it), a few years before we got a PC!

    Monty,

    Furries are his trademark! (Amy the Squirrel is his trademark character.) He’s one of the masters of it. :)

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    This is a really well done piece, what a great tribute to an under appreciated machine. I still have my Amiga 1000 in my garage, but I haven’t powered it up in years. I did a few pieces that made the rounds in the 80′s: Happy Guy with Sculpt 3D and Dance of the Stumblers made with Aegis Animator. I loved my Amiga, Guru Meditations and all.

  • Magnusson

    Wouldn’t casting the Amiga as GlaDos be a kind of “anti-endorsement” of sorts?

    I guess he wasn’t able to get Portal to play on his Amiga.

  • http://www.foxhack.net/ Dave Silva

    Kinda ironic. Black Mesa, as of Half-Life 2, is the name the good guys use to name their er, organization.

    So he basically said Windows was the good guys.

    Good job, EWS.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It was also the Amiga that led to the very first subbing of anime videos in the fan community though the efforts of those that programmed their own subtitling software for it. You can not deny what it created out of a few closet cases in the country to an explosion of interest in the medium.

    Noticed a bit of Eric’s work is up on YouTube I still like to check out now and then (makes me ashamed I never got at least an A500 myself from my mom who bought me a crappy Atari model instead)…

    Coyote II – Road test
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M-62vNnyl0

    The Anti-Lemmin’ Demo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgzBZjhh2Bo

    Quality Time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhYmCNDbXy0

    A Walk In The Park
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7oNlDlIe8

    At The Movies 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kgIYHtU4Ks

    Plight Of The Artist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyrgC6XTp28

    Remote Possibilities
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtxQ_u_AftA

  • http://billfieldtrip.blogspot.com/ Bill Field

    Did he have anything to do with “Whatever Happened To Robot Jones?” it echos it nicely- Great work- wonderful song.

  • Mark Borok

    I miss my Amiga 2000. It died a few years ago and I never got to finish my film that I had been (very slowly, over 10 years) working on.

    My software of choice was Zoetrope. Anyone remember that one?

  • Matt Sullivan

    Ah yes. Eric Shwartz. I’ve never seen someone so tragically committed to an aging platform.

    *pats Eric on the back* “It’s OK Eric. You can finally learn how to use a PC now. There now….Shhhh….shhhhh….it’s OK…..have a juice box…”

    *whispers behind Eric’s back to his friends* “Quickly now! Throw those aging Amiga consoles into the fire!”

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    ..tragically committed to an aging platform

    What’s tragic about it? It’s a self-imposed limitation that’s part of the process, an artifact-ridden vehicle that’s an active part of Schwartz’s chosen aesthetic. The focus is steered by the medium fighting back. Using contemporary software and hardware, Schwartz would be merely a very good animator. Wielding the clanking husks of the zombie AMIGA platform, he stands out as an artisan, wrestling with the obstacles thrown up by the use of antique, rough-hewn ROM chips filled with blue smoke and the screeching spirit of Jay Miner. Or maybe Schwartz is just a particularly stubborn furry pornographer.

  • D

    My Amiga 500 is missing a caps lock key but still doing fine. I love it and Eric Schwartz was an inspiration to me as a 10-year-old–I used to order his animations on floppies from a place called “Turtle Lightning.”

    TVPaint is currently the vehicle through which I express my undying allegiance to the Amiga. I don’t know why…it’s like the Mac now, without the whole “trying to be cool and laid-back” thing. The Amiga smiled at its own flaws. The only self-deprecating platform?

  • http://exitplanetwhom.blogspot.com gavin

    I loved our family’s amigas. One after the other, like upgrade pets. I remember discovering strip poker. Spent days on that when Mum and Dad were out of the house, or in the garden. The graphics were enlightening, but I remember the day I won. The game designers had inserted a mutated pic as the winning shot. It was like it was drawn by a child with less understanding of human anatomy than even I had at the time (I must have been about 8). Very dissapointing, anyway, found this demo. Pretty impressive…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUv0jSYRBZo&feature=related

    I’d love to see the still demo shots for deluxe paint again. I think there was a lamborgini, a motorbike… Things I couldn’t care less about at that age, but I remember studying them regardless. Also had an amiga 3d package with a model of a guitar. Anyone?

  • http://gerarddesouza.blogspot.com Gerard de Souza

    James Suhr said:
    “what nice animation! this only proves once again it doesn’t matter the equipment, only the hands it’s placed in.”

    Amen. Amen.
    The amiga or the software or whatever didn’t animate this, the artist did.
    Beautiful lip sync among other nice animation. I never heard of this gentlemen but I imagine he’s versed in all the modern apps too….just chose the medium of the AMiga. Really, If one is going to to an ode to the amiga , do it on the amiga.
    I stiil have my DPaint enhanced…used to use it animate and create sprite characters in EGA and 256 colors. I see he also used Disney Software’s ANimation STudio. A cool program at the time….had a neat little booklet and some morgue animation included….We were given a beta version where I worked.
    Awesome work.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    What FP had said about it is very true. Some people like to put limitations on themselves with whatever tool they use, it would be like say a photographer using real film over a digital camera as he or she may have a sentimental attachment to it or would rather go through the extra need to figure out the details such as lighting or what speed of film they may use. That’s one of the things I miss out of the digital age when you don’t have to think too much over the outcome as it would come out the way you want without the need to make adjustments.

    Again, I find it sad I wasn’t part of that generation of computer whiz kids who had the Amiga, despite my mom having bought a Commodore 64 in the mid 80′s that my older brother hogged up precious hours on (and still thinks he’ll get it to work again). When I saw this very promotional video while at a Software Etc. around ’89, I went “This is MY computer!”…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY27PC9FWT0

    But I didn’t, and I missed out on some pretty cool add-ons like this…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1OVWfmynPw

  • http://www.brucelaing.com Bruce Laing

    Good Grief!

    Haven’t heard of him in years.

    Brings back a lot of memories of Amy the Squirrel and the Aerotoons.

  • totalblender

    Very neat animation, I’d love to see this rendered in HD quality, youtube really kills the anti-aliasing. Amusing shots at Windows even when Windows can easily and very inexpensively blow away the Amiga (true for or many years). Not to mention taking aim at Apple with the boing ball, their continued use of the PPC up till the end of 2005 helped keep the Amigas alive by helping keep the price of the PPC CPUs down to something tolerable. Eric has a pretty rare and sweet Amiga, I seem to recall that there were less than 300 of the high end 4000T models built before Commodore went belly up (How many did Escom build after Com folded?). Aimed mainly at Video Toaster users, I find it ironic that a Mac G4 was used for the final edit :)

  • http://www.amigaworld.net/ Joel

    Truth being said, “It’s still a marvellous machine”. As one great person said, “One Word, (Friendly)”

    We should move on, with the latest Amiga in our X-Mas sacks…

  • KimmoK

    “(The Amiga still has fans in 2008?)”

    Amiga has mostly been a fanles (passive cooling) computer. ;-)

    But yes, Amiga still has a lot of fans and a few tens of thousands of users.

    http://www.amigaworld.net
    http://www.morphzone.org

    “New” Amiga HW can be bought here: http://www.acube-systems.com

    Amiga OS and games & applications can be run at least on following platforms: Classic68kAmigas, ClassicPPCAmigas, “new”PPCAmigas, native x86 (Amithlon & AROS), MorphOS, Linux (UAE, also LiveCD), MacOS, PocketPC PDAs, Xbox and windows

    Source: http://amigasys.extra.hu/index.html