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the demoscene explained

[Courtesy of Civax/CFXWeb] The demo scene is a community. These are people from all over the world united by their love and passion for the computerized art. Majority of the Demo sceners are creative, and they code (program), track (compose music) or do Art (3D models, 2d/3d pictures, logos etc.). However, you don't have to actually create in order to be a demo scener, though that's how people gain their 'fame' inside the scene so even if you don't do anything when you got inside at first, you'll get the urge to do so.
Read the whole article at CFXWeb and learn more about Demos, the history of the Demoscene, nicknames and Demoparties.

what is a demo/intro?

[Courtesy of Civax/CFXWeb] A Demo is a program that displays a sound, music, and light show, usually in 3D. They are 100% not interactive and are only ment to be watched (opposing "Game Demos" which got nothing to do with the demoscene).

Essentially, demos "show off". They do so in usually one, two, or all three of three following methods:

  • They show off the computer's hardware abilities (3D world & objects, Multi-channel Music, etc.)
  • They show off the creative abilities of the demo group (Artists, Musicians, Coders)
  • They show off the programmer's abilities (Fast and complex 3D scenes, complex motion, etc.)

Demos are an art form. They blend mathematics, programming skill, and creativity into something incredible to watch and listen to. Demos are very close to music videos beside the fact that (in most cases) the code is the most important thing and not the music.

Another form of demos is the Intro. Actually, the demos originated from intros (used to be called cracktros in the old C64 and Amiga days). Originally intros presented a logo of a group, announcing the new game it cracked, or published BBSs. Today, however, as the Democcene is no longer underground and more mainstream, intros are a common way for a group to show they can do impressive effects under very pressing size limitations, mostly in 64kb.

demoscene graphics

In the demoscene, graphics generally are of a high importance. They make a demo look good. However, the graphics in demos are not subject to be discussed at this place. We want to talk about single still pictures. Some years ago, most graphic artists that were in the demoscene used pixel based programs where you created your picture by setting each pixel after the other and finish this up to a whole nice piece of art. These days, this technique is called 'oldschool' but is still used and applicated. With time, newer techniques got more popular: People created picture in programs like Photoshop where you can paint (instead of 'pixelling') using a graphics tablet or your mouse with different brushes, styles and so on.

The third kind of demoscene graphics are the 3D-stills. In a 3D-program like POVRay, 3DSMax, .. the artists creates models, gives textures and creates an environment. The rendered output of his (sometimes pretty mathematical work) is then a piece of art too.

All these techniques can of course be mixed and exchanged to create even better thing. Pure, retouched scans are not popular.

Find examples and good articles on demoscene graphics at the GFXZone ('GFX' is an appreviation for 'graphics').

what's a wild demo?

Wild Demos are the most open form of a demo: They can generally be everything: From rendered animations to movies, stop-and-go movies, special games or anything else you can think of. Additionally, one could imagine to call a performance on stage at a Demoparty a Wild Demo.

and what's tracking?
[Started off from a description courtesy by the guys at tump.net] A 'tracker' is a piece of software that lets you creat e so called module files. By putting different samples/instruments into an order, making it sound like a song. The 'tracker'-format is much like MIDI with one bis difference: The instruments (samples) are saved together with the notes while MIDI saves the notes only and uses your soundhardware to playback. The moust common trackers out there are: Fast Tracker 2, Scream Tracker 3 and Impulse Tracker. You're called a tracker when you create MODs music. To learn more about tracking, please go to the tutorials section at tump.net.
streaming music?
Following our own definition, streaming music is somehow the opposite of tracked music. Streaming music could get streamed trough the internet: The most common format is MP3 - and don't tell me that you don't know what MP3 is :-) [what is MP3?]
alternative demo
Generally, the alternative Democompetition is just the same as the PC Democompetition with one big difference: Your demo can also run on an Amiga, very old PC hardware, C64, Atari, ... whatever you wish.
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