The Fingerbobs

A Scottish Atari ST Demo Crew

1988 – 1993


Atari ST
The Fingerbobs

The Project

The Fingerbobs were a Scottish Atari ST demo crew. We were active in the demoscene of the late 80's and early 90's.

I wanted to meet local people interested in making games and I'd heard Holborn Software was the place to go. That's where I met Stewart and Andy and before you knew it I was a Fingerbob.

We created most of the demos at home or in the shop. We then circulated them to Europe on floppy disks or over BBS . We did have one memorable road trip though, in the summer of 1992. We packed our sleeping bags and Atari's into a car. Then travelled from Aberdeen to Bradford for the Great British International ST Party.

What I worked on

I worked on graphics, scrolltext and drinking.

The Atari ST had a palette of 512 possible colours, but could only display 16 at one time. It had some good tools: Degas Elite, NEOchrome and Deluxe Paint were the Photoshop of their day.

The big graphic above was an experiment in "colour-cycling". The original image actually had 16 colours. One colour in the palette is set to white and another is set to blue. The other 14 are cycled so that only one is ever white at any time. This produces animation from what would be a static image. The catch for the animator is that you only ever get to use each pixel once.

What I learned

Naming things is hard. All demosceners have a psuedonym and I chose Mr Pixar. I was a huge fan of John Lasseter's work on Luxo Jr. and in 1988 Pixar was far from being a household name. In retrospect, I should have invested in the company rather than borrow their name. I'd have retired by now.