Whatever happened to Deluxe Paint... (And where the heck is developer Dan Silva?)


This one is for the old timers…

Ok so what is Deluxe paint?

Deluxe Paint (DPaint) is/WAS a bitmap graphics editor series originally created by Dan Silva for Electronic Arts (EA).

The original version was created for the Commodore Amiga and was released in November 1985. It was eventually ported to other platforms, but only had industry standard status on the Amiga

I did some digging to see why such an awesome program just stopped beign developed and I after some research I found this.

" was the co-developer of Deluxe Paint from version 4.1 on, along with Lee Ozer. Some people have been wondering whatever happened to the product series, so here’s a little background.
EA was going through a big transition from 1992 on, attempting some things that never materialized (creating standup arcade games), some things that only partially materialized (edutainment software, ala the Learning Company) and the franchise-centric EA Sports brand, which was just two guys at the time negotiating with sports agents. Deluxe Paint was part of the now-defunct Tools (formerly Creativity) division, which created everything that wasn’t a game: Deluxe Paint, Deluxe Video, Deluxe Music, Deluxe Animation, the Studio/8 and Studio/32 line of Mac products, and others.

Deluxe Paint was one of the most profitable releases in EA history at that point, but was already becoming eclipsed by the much more profitable cartridge divisions selling titles for the Sega Genesis, etc. In fact, the home game consoles were so strong that most of the company was being focused in that area, with only reluctant support for CD-ROM products on PC’s and Macs. By the time the first EA Sports titles hit the shelves, it was pretty clear that the company wasn’t interested in PC applications anymore, and killed off the entire Tools division. Deluxe Music 2 (done out-of-house by David Joiner) and Deluxe Paint V were the last applications to ship, and we were racing the clock to get DPaintV out the door before Commodore went bankrupt. It was a positively hellish time for morale, and both Lee and I left the company soon after that release.

Dan Silva had already moved on to Autodesk after the first three versions of Deluxe Paint. Lee had gotten her start at EA working with Dan on the port of DPaint III that became Deluxe Paint Animation on the PC. Chris Mayer, a former PC video card device driver engineer, maintained the IBM version of DPaint while I was there. (For the record the IBM and Apple II gs ports were done by Brent Iverson, with Steve Shaw doing II Enhanced for the PC and a bit of DPaint 4.) Chuck Swan of Trimedia, Inc. (creator of the Amiga pressure-sensitive tablet driver) consulted with us on pressure support and ARexx for DPaintV."


I will research more on where the heck Dan Silva is now.


ProMotion is kind of the spiritual successor to DPaint and Autodesk Animator, if you’re looking for something in the same vein. A lot of sprite animators use it.


DPaint on the Amiga was the first art package I ever used on a computer. I spent hours, days, weeks, months in that app when I was a high schooler.


ETA: Apparently the film clip to Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet” was animated in DPaint in 2003 :smiley:



The number of hours I’ve laid down on DPaint… I was a total addict.

Aaaa The good old times!


A little off topic, anybody remember “the Disney Animation Studio” Software?


Yes, DAS as it was often referred.

Everything was so innovative and cool back then. Now it moves at the speed of light and the quality of the competition and the available learning resources is almost mind boggling.


Egad, i have made it to “Ole’ Timer” Status!

i also burned alot of time on Dpaint, IMO it was waaay ahead of its time,
sure loved that symetry function and my maserati micro processing Amiga.
Zbrush is a nice modern alternate though!

Hope the developers went on to bigger and better things, they sure influenced me.


I’m also one of the oldtimers who used Deluxe Paint from it’s first versions released and up to the latest one. I can’t help but missing it :frowning: back then we used it for creatin titles for a small local TV channel where i lived. Oh those were the days of creativity and innovation. :slight_smile:

/ Magnus


Deluxe paint was one of the most intuitive programs I have ever used in my life.
I can understand the fact that its palette was limited, but sweet jebus, it was really EASY to animate on it.
Here is a recent BW animation by Eric Schwartz

The question is if DP had been allowed to evolve into a modern tool what would it have become?
And what is the X factor that industry standard apps like Photoshop, and hell Maya lack in comparison (And I know iti s not a fair question)



My first steps was in Deluxe Paint on A1200 (and a little bit later on Real3D).
It was awesome experience, and I made some spaceship and helicopters animations, and I am really sad I haven’t recorded them, so I can show them now.
Ahh… you gotta miss frame by frame animating :slight_smile:

I don’t remember does it had a keyframes, but I always animated frame by frame, and also I don’t remember did it have something like layers.

I don’t think it’s possible comparing with the Photoshop, because they are pretty different tools, imho, with very different approach.

I remember how antialiasing slowed down the drawing speed, and I always choose resolution something like 700x200, because it looked best on my tv. :slight_smile:


sorry to veer slightly off, but It’s probably fitting. I was a humble Atari ST 512 owner back in ‘ye olden times’ I remember getting Incentive Software’s ‘3D Construction Kit’ and practically believing the future had arrived! Many an hour was spent cobbling together whatever my 11-year-old mind could imagine. The good old times indeed…

And some info from Wiki:

Incentive Software had released games using the Freescape engine before, but with 3D Construction Kit, the company took the concept to a whole new level, giving users the ability to create their own worlds and games. In 3D Construction Kit, interaction with the world is usually limited to a cursor controlled with the keyboard, offering the possibility of interaction with nearby objects.

The kit has a very simple graphical user interface, allowing users to create and manipulate objects within the game’s 3D environment. Primitives such as cubes, cuboids and pyramids can be easily created and edited to be scaled and placed on the 3D world. Colours can be selected for individual elements, making the free roaming worlds more varied and complex. The user-created virtual world is divided into areas, reducing the processing power required to render objects. The areas can be as large as the memory allows.

Animations may also be added to the primitives, either by looping or simple moving attributes to objects, to create simple, although seemingly advanced, animations.

In order to make games rather than worlds, 3D Construction Kit also allows for the addition of conditions, using the very simple-to-program Freescape Command Language (FCL). Sensors, animations and interactivity with the elements can be added with relative ease. Players are able to move around the virtual worlds by walking or flying. Elements such as proximity sensors triggering events, enemies making the player appear in another zone of the game when hit, and the ability to activate switches in order to open doors, make the worlds created with 3D Construction Kit come to life and add a level of uncertainty to the gameplay.

The interface of the game is customisable; by adding a 320x200, 16-colour IFF screen created with any image editing program, the games created with this tool could be made to look more professional.


On my face a little tear, but it lights the room of shining colors remembering the good old Amiga days!

There’s something similar like DAS today?


A thread about DPaint and the Amiga… awesome :slight_smile:


Man, at the time Deluxe Paint was just a fun hobby in school but when I look back on it I was making the first step in my career. Here I am working at Pixar but my life wouldve been so different without Deluxe Paint. Crazy. Was a great piece of software.


So has anyone found Dan Silva yet?

All is not lost. TVPaint is another old Amiga alumni software that is still around today. It has that Amiga feel, as the interface still retains that basic setup that was common to Dpaint, DCTV, Brilliance, Toaster Paint and other Amiga paint tools. The difference is TVPaint continued development and is a powerhouse now.

Actually, when I rediscovered TVPaint on Windows back in 1999 or 2000, I dropped so many other tools I was using forever. Photoshop, Painter, Detailer, AE all vanished from my hard drives. Today I run it on my Samsung 10.1 Galaxy Note for the best drawing experience I have ever had.


Autodesk is opensourced into the wild these days :slight_smile:


I still have my originals for both DPaint II Enhanced and DPaint Animation. :beer:


I got my start in CG with Autodesk Animator. Glad to see it still has a following.


I’ve started in the industry by using ZX Spectrum for first graphics and animations, then moved on to Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and then Amiga 500.
Deluxe Paint was great because it had NON LINEAR thinking.
You were able to do more functions at th[size=3]e same time[/size]!
Not even the photoshop learned that leason, and it still doesn’t do that today.



Hewre is a demo reel of

Autodesk Animator


And here is abit more on Dan Silva on what he did for Autodesk…

The history of 3D Studio’s development began several years before its official launch in October 1990. Its early origins can be traced to Solid States, a 3D wireframe renderer that ran on the Atari 800 and was published by ANALOG Computing magazine, and CAD-3D, the next incarnation of the software, which was published by Antic Software. Antic’s software arm was being managed by Gary Yost, and thus started the collaboration with Tom Hudson in 3D graphics software development. Gary, Tom and Jack Powell were the three initial members of the Yost Group, and Dan Silva (who created Deluxe Paint for the Amiga) joined them later. The four of them worked on the development of 3DS release 1.

This part of history is told in great detail and with excellent documentation by Martin Doudoroff, an early user of CAD-3D who collaborated with the Yost Group on many projects. We strongly encourage you to read it.




Found his linked in Profile:



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