DOGMA - History Of Making

DMan & Senat Drinking Beer
DMan & Senat drinking their beer

   As with any creative process in our group, everything starts with a holiday. The creation of 'DOGMA' was a very serious step in demomaking for us, that is why the celebration organized in our HQ (then yet of Eternity Industry) was a bit more global and with some more hints'n'tips, than usual. Saying, that was the main source of all the great ideas, which were later materialized in 'DOGMA'.

   There are two members of Placebo on the left photo: DMan & Senat. As you can see, DMan (usually not drinking) has also yielded under the pressure of global creative process - just look at the glass in his right hand! Senat (then the Amigan already) doesn't even realize what will this Eternal Party turn to... :8)))))

   On the right you can see the image from 'DOGMA'. This coop work of Paracels and DMan opened the demo. There is not much said about the history of this picture, so everything coming below may be considered as an exclusive info...

   So. The name for the demo was suggested by Paracels, that time impressed by the movie 'DOGMA'. This is where the logotype and its 'church' style of drawing came from. Following the graphician's idea background should have been made of two letters 'e' and 'i' fulfilled in 3D. The first version of letters was made by Paracels manually. But having collided with a number of quite fair claims to the quality of his work, Paracels yielded and made a disgusting, in his opinion, step. He let DMan model and render 'ei' letters on Amiga and then convert them to Speccy. After that Paracels finished the draft work in Art Studio, having drawn the background and a proper texture for the letters.

   That is why 'Dogma Logo' is considered as a result of Paracels and DMan cooperative work.

Dogma Logo

Everybody is ready to celebrate
The Prelude. (Everybody is awaiting for the celebration ;)

   As always, the beginning was kinda traditional. The whole Eternity Industry has gathered in HQ. The table was dumped with all the needful things, such as glasses, plates, bread, etc. ;)

   On the photo, made by Spy, one can see still sober EI members. (Only God knows how did he manage to do that!) Somebody already knows about his photo-model future, somebody can only guess and somebody is already imaging how fun this all will look...

   On the screenshot to the right we see one of the first demo effects. The idea for it was evoked by yet another watching of legendary Amiga demo 'Relic' by Nerve Axis. DMan has modeled the 'planet', all the other stuff has been made by SaiR00S. Because of Spectrum limited resources the object came out a bit rough, but we did everything we could, having chosen the best point between the quality and the speed. Looking back, we still want to believe, that we succeeded, as the atmosphere of space, vacuum and unearthly light is palpable even on 3.5mhz.


Everybody is ready to celebrate II
The Prelude II.

   The second version of the previous frame. Now DMan is shooting, Spy appears on the photo. Everyone is fucking bored by the nasty process and just wants to turn to the table and... :)

   There is a screenshot of the 'Family' picture, drawn by Paracels. This is 100% hand-drawn image. The author himself considers it bad. Nonetheless the picture supports an internal plot of the demo, what is the main reason of using it in 'DOGMA'.


Making photos of SaiR00S' rotating head
Creating of SaiR00S' rotating head photos.

   This is exactly how we made photos, which have later on become an animation of the rotating head inside the cube. All the frames have been made with a white door as a background, so it would have been easier to scan and convert them to Spectrum afterwards. The camera have been fixed to the chair with a heap of old and empty shoe boxes upon it. SaiR00S was standing still on the body-shaping disk, Spy was spinning him and DMan was making photos. The disk was divided into 16 equal sectors - in order to do that we had have to remember an old school geometry course. Tipsy Senat was only disturbing us during the shooting all the time!

   To the right one can see the screen-shot of yet another demo effect. An idea to make it belongs to DMan, though after discussing with SaiR00S lens flares have been added to the first version of the effect. They made it more spectacular. 3D object was modeled by DMan and SaiR00S. As a result they got highly optimized (in the meaning of faces number) object, what increased the speed of the effect drastically.

Spaceship flying through a tunnel with lens flares

Angry Paracels of Placebo
Angry Paracels. (It seems that some cruel freak has stolen his Coca-Cola ;8)

   Paracels is very angry with something. Most likely somebody has stolen his Coca-Cola, the drug, which Paracels can't live without. Having deprived of a dose, graphician's organism began to squeeze its face muscles convulsively... %-]

   On the right side of the page you can see one more 100% hand-drawn picture made by Paracels. The image has taken part in Chaos Constructions 2000 ZX-Spectrum Graphics Compo and came 2nd. Paracels thinks that 'Havin' Fun' is the picture without its own style. Moreover he still regrets that he didn't dare to show himself completely while working on this picture. He also considers that 'HF' consists of two different graphicians' styles (PheeL and Diver), what made rather unexpected and thus contrary to desired result. That is why the image looks unfinished, and the mixing of techniques makes rather chaotic than harmonious impression.

   'Havin' Fun' doesn't actually play any role in supporting 'DOGMA' story line.

Havin' Fun

Spinnig Senat of Placebo
Senat/Placebo spinning on the bodyshaping disk

   As it could be expected, Eternal Party has turned into a real booth... Drunk Senat is trying to play a role of rotating head for the demo. Nothig good is coming out of this and he fails totally! SaiR00S is now doomed to be a photo-model and demo-star. ;))))

   To the left there is another effect from 'DOGMA'. An idea to create a 3D-scene with rotating thorns and light columns belongs to Dman. SaiR00S has also participated in creation of the objects, so thus light columns transformed into prisms splashing their lights up, and the thorny object was simplified. Flares on the edges of the object were added by SaiR00S due to his aesthetic predilections.

Thorny 3D Scene With Rays Of Light

Is He Alive? (Photo)
Creating the 1st frame of the 'DOGMA' plot slide-show.

   Here we reached the most interesting part at last. On the photo you can see the very first frame of the 4 framed slide-show. It has been made in order to support the story line of the demo. SaiR00S (lying on the floor) played a role of the pilot, whose spaceship has crashed somewhere in the desert, there are some random people crowding around him (Paracels, Dman, Spy, Senat), Crazy is shooting the whole scenery.

   Due to our plans 4 photos with step-by-step zooming to SaiR00S lying on the floor should have been made. Afterwards it should has been transformed to slide-show alike animation intended to finish the demo. Conversion, redrawing and colouring the frames have been done by Paracels. It's worth mentioning, that the process wasn't too easy for the graphician as the quality of all photos made with ancient 'Smena 8M' photo-camera was just awful. The film itself was also very old, moreover it was black-and-white shit. Therefore Paracels has been sitting no less than a day, processing each frame. You can't even imagine how has this all looked before Paracels processed the staff in Art Studio!!! Somehow the first frame has been done. Paracels called it 'Is He Alive?' (to the right).

Is He Alive?

No! He Is Dying! (Photo)
Creating the second frame.

   The camera is moving closer to the lying man. Blood can be seen everywhere around the pilot's head.

   During the processing all those photographic images the most difficult for Paracels was to colour the clothes, make it look real. The task was even harder, 'cause everything has to be done on black-and-white monitor. That is why these 4 frames look a bit too vivid and artificial in colour. No need to mention how much Paracels hates black-and-white monitors... ;8)

   The name of this image is 'No! He Is Dying!'. The story keeps going...

No! He Is Dying!

Dying???!!! (Photo)
The 3rd frame.

   Now Sair00s is alone and only the death is somewhere near him. The camera moves even closer. The lonely stripe of light falls upon his face. Widening its borders stripe is being devoured by the shadow formed by the figures standing around the pilot. We can already see the dying look of his face. Blood is leaking off the head forming some weird patterns.

   Processing this frame wasn't hard. The picture became bigger thus the necessity to work hard over details has gone. Paracels has added the overheated cracked ground as a background, what had strengthened the effect of disaster and death. There is a stylized logotype of 'Eternity Industry' on the pilot's flying-suit (graphician's trick). Maybe it was just an accidental coincidence foreseeing the incoming death of EI?..

   The name of the picture is quite corresponding to it, 'Dying???!!!', that is.


Yeah! He Is DEAD! (Photo)
The 4th and the last frame.

   This is the last frame of the final 'DOGMA' animation. It is ending the whole demo. We can see an alienate face of the pilot. He no longer belongs to this world. Light is on the one side, blood is on the other. The man is in-between. His fate is predetermined.

   While working on this frame Paracels had to sit quite a long painting the face, making the shadows. It's a common knowledge that right before the death the skin lies tight upon the human's skull, forming quite rude and sharp borders between lightened and shadowed parts of the face. This is what graphician was trying to display, using dithering so intensively.

   When the picture has been almost finished an idea to close Sair00s' eyes was suddenly born. %-)) And it has been done by the small hand-drawn animation. The effect was just tremendous!

   The name of this frame ('Yeah! He Is DEAD!') logically ends the demo.

Yeah! He Is DEAD!

SaiR00S' Rotating Head (Frame 2)
SaiR00s' spinning head. (The 2nd frame)

   There is an effect in 'DOGMA' with the head rotating inside the cube (to the right). On the photo (to the left) there is the 2nd (of in all 16) frame of this 'spinning head' animation. Many people just didn't understand that it was a head really, some even thought it was a 3D object! Yeah, right! Even if we were capable in high quality modeling and somehow managed to make really good-looking object with properly mapped texture, make it spinning fast and smoothly is doubly one of the Speccy's facilities (though, if you are a slide-show loving addict... ;)

Rotating Head Inside Cube

SaiR00S' Rotating Head (Frame 6)
Sairoos' spinning head. (The 6th frame)

   The 6th frame of the animation.

   Generally, an idea to spin someone's head visited us all during one of the gatherings at EI head-quarter. Frankly, it happened quite often: Sairoos came for graphics and objects, while Spy, Crazy and Senat did it just in order to know how are the things going, etc. Then we began to discuss different versions of effects and suddenly came to mostly good decisions. So, having that spinning head in the demo was just one of such cooperative decisions. Later on Sairoos pushed it all in to the cube and as always added some flares. Though, the idea got no harm of that step...

   While working on graphics, Paracels has collided with the necessity of drawing an original EI logotype. Full-screen signs of 'Eternity Industry' have already made everyone a bit bored, therefore we were in need of something completely new. The result of graphician's creative quest has materialized in 100% hand-drawn work called 'Reflected Visuals'. Besides the role of a logotype this image is also used as a playground for yet another animated insertion, when we see somebody's face moving closer and closer inside the widening pupil of eye.

Reflected Visuals

SaiR00S' Rotating Head (Frame 16)
Sairoos' spinning head. (The 16th frame)

   The 16th and the last frame of the animation.

   An interesting feature of the above described effect was a so-called cube faces 'corroding'. Indeed, when the faces of the simple object begin to disappear as if they are eating away by the acid, and another object can be seen spinning inside, the impression is that the second object was there all the time. But frankly, technology of this visual trick is much more than simple and there is absolutely no need to talk about it here. Let's get a look on another effect instead...

   Greets. We were thinking a lot whether demo needs them or not. Our main task was not to make them look as it looked for years already in each and every demo. At last, we somehow managed to reach an agreement in this question and Sairoos' idea has been approved. Later on it transformed into a column with attached prisms, which were some kind of 'screens' where the greets were shown. In combination with motion blur (which, by the way, presents in almost all effects) this scenery looked fascinating!


Afterparty. Smoking On A Balcony
The final stage of Eternal Party. Everyone smokes at the balcony.

   At last, when everything was finally done, we could sigh freely and let ourselves smoke at the balcony... The last time. ;8)))))

   To the right there is one of the last 'DOGMA' pictures. Paracels considers it one of his best works. Piety, almost none has noticed that because of 'Havin' Fun'. (A scene from life. Once, when Exploder was watching 'DOGMA' he saw the 'Tears' picture (that's how the mentioned work called) there and claimed 'That's it! You should compete with it at the compo!') However, 'Tears' is indeed the very good Paracels' image, in both technical and plot aspects. Besides, it supports the story line of the demo.


Senat/Placebo Is A Photomodel ;)))

   Eternal Party has reached its apotheosis. Senat is voluntarily posing for the camera! Why! It is a highly rare event really! ;-))))

   At the end here comes yet another effect from the 'DOGMA'. 'Rays' - this is how we call it. It was invented by Dman & Paracels. Dman has modeled the tricky object (according to the original technology by Sairoos), and the coder did all the rest. An unbelievable simplicity of realization and simultaneously great visuals made this effect one of the most impressive in 'DOGMA'. 'Rays' was the last effect before the legendary demo by Eternity Industry came to its end.


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