Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Multipaint 2018

This year there has been no Multipaint release, so it was about time.

(Edit 16.9.2019: Multipaint 2019 is more recent.)

Get the new Multipaint from here.

Still, it's more of an intermediary version, and not nearly all to-do's and good suggestions have been addressed. But here's some:

Finally fixed the silly mac version bug where the icon graphics could not be fully loaded. I simply integrated the icon graphics with the source so nothing needs to be loaded at all here. Entirely different privacy/quarantine/malware scan etc. issues might still pose problems depending on your setup.

Left: old pepto, Right: colodore

Alternative palette support for C64 modes (loads .act format). The one true C64 palette for PCs is a bit flexible concept, so I've finally caved in to requests and allowed alternate palettes. That old pepto might still be most favourable for C64 pics on the PC screen but it might not always be the best prediction for how the image will appear on other hardware. So better prepare with alternate palette checks!

You can for example download different colodore settings as .act files from pepto's colodore site and then load them into Multipaint with the standard load icon. It would be nice to support some text editor readable palette formats (GIMP) but this was the easiest to do for now. The .act file contains 256 R,G,B byte values, but only the first 16 are loaded. A Hex editor can be used for fiddling with the values.

Note that using different palettes might produce complications when loading in png files, so better use as nearly the same palette as in the original png.

A preview window, if you can decipher it from that mess 
I added a sort of preview window (backspace on/off), another often requested feature. It's not a true floating window, and although I could have copied the solution from Marq's PETSCII editor, I am still a bit careful. This "window" can be dragged around the screen but unless in the magnify mode there's not that much room for it anywhere.

To help give more space for the preview window I made it possible to force multipaint window size in the prefs.txt, for example something closer to your native screen resolution. However this should be used with care as what works in one screenmode might not work in another.

More flexible window & icon arrangement is something I'm working towards in the future.

Not too useful yet, but at least the preview doesn't HAVE to overlap the pic
Mousewheel support has been long coming, and I finally bothered to find out how to circumvent that "ambiguous type" error message that had prevented me from using it. Hey, I'm no Java expert... I also added some customizable functions for the wheel in the prefs.txt, but these are very preliminary. The wheel defaults to magnify in and magnify out.

More undo levels, there are now 20. All memory for undo steps is reserved at the start, so I have been wary at adding too many levels, however 10 was a bit silly for pixel work of this type. In the source version, it is easy to add even more.

I added a simple aspect ratio switch for MSX and future modes, as it's clear that although MSX has the same pixel resolution as the ZX Spectrum, it gives a flatter image (depending on NTSC/PAL whatever). The simple aspect ratio is only an approximation, and won't work with the preview window.

Also, Multipaint kind of supports 256 height now. The flat aspect might not be flat enough for QL!
For those who have bothered to read this far, I can say supersiikrit screen modes are now more accessible. These incomplete, untested or otherwise experimental modes were usually only accessible from the source version. But now the application allows these modes too, but only through the prefs.txt:

C64NOLIMIT (320 x 200 with 16 fixed colors, i.e. C64 hires without attribute limits)
QLLOW (Sinclair QL 256 x 256 with 8 fixed colors) *
AMIGA (Amiga OCS 320 x 200 x 32 colors out of 4096)
COCO3 (Tandy Coco 320 x 200 x 16 colors out of 256)
BK0010 (Elektronika BK0010 256 x 256 with 4 fixed colors) *
PICO8 (Pico8 fantasy console 128 x 128 with 16 fixed colors)

*) Uses the flat aspect ratio switch

No export/import functions, so only jpg/png works with these, and I have no guarantee on the accuracy of the modes or the suitability of the Multipaint toolset for these modes, especially when it comes to the "Amiga" mode.

Again, the new Multipaint, from here.


  1. would be great having 9bit palette on msx2 screen2, sam coupé modes, zx-spectrum ula-plus palette, cpc-plus palette, thomson (mo5 and alike) - huge challenges would be Philips VG5000 (tricky display processor) and Bandai RX78 (lack of documentation) - Coco1/Dragon32/NecPC6001 seems perhaps simpler than Coco3 - NecPC8801, SharpX1 and BBC-Micro seems simple as well

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  3. A cool thing for not so art talented/experienced people like ne would be the ability to simply blend a png above or below the image and being able to adjust the transparency then. So one can start with a reference and to the pixel magic afterwards. Yet, this has to be done with a lot on external and manual conversion and still you face the issue, that color clashes are a problem by reworking the conversion.

  4. Very nice editor, thank you - from my perspective I use ZX Spectrum version. I'd like to request another feature - free rotate brush tool, not only by 90 degrees. It surely has to be some loses of brush in a range between 1-89 degree etc., but it would be great. I didn't find such feature in any of spectrum editors. Best regards!

  5. zx spectrum next version, base mode 256x192px, 256 colors, 9 bit palette .. HW sprites /256 colors from 512/ with screenspace 320x256 so you can draw static screens 320x256x256 colors etc. etc.