Ancient Art of ASCII (The)

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Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot
Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot
Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot
Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot
Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot
Ancient Art of ASCII (The) atari screenshot

Information - Ancient Art of ASCII (The)

GenreGraphics - Picture EditingYear1992
Language[unknown]Publisher[no publisher]
Box / InstructionsEnglishSoftwareEnglish

Becker, David

LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
SerialST TypeST, STe, TT, Falcon030 / 0.5MB
ResolutionHighNumber of Disks1 / Single Sided / HD Installable
Dumpdownload atari Ancient Art of ASCII (The) Download / MSAMIDI

Instructions - Ancient Art of ASCII (The)

                           The Ancient Art of ASCII
            Version 1.0, Copyright David Becker, July 24,1992 A.D.

Long, long ago, when computers could be found only in universities and
government agencies, back when a CRT was a type of registered retirement 
savings plan and nobody wanted to touch a mouse, thrived an art form 
remembered by only a few.

Get out your pocket protector, find that DEGAS picture of Snoopy and lets 
revisit "The Ancient Art of ASCII".

For those who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, ASCII art is a
"picture translated into text". By placing small and large characters of
the alphabet in spots corresponding to a pictures light and dark areas, you 
can trick the eye into still perceiving the original image, now converted
entirely to text! This illusion works best when viewed from a distance. As you
walk farther and farther away from the ASCII art, the actual image becomes
more and more pronounced. When we visited our local university's open house as
kids, there was always a long lineup waiting for a Spock ASCII image to print
on the teletype.

There is still ASCII art around. If you hunt about on Compuserve or
GEnie you're bound to stumble across a NUDIE picture here and there. Now 
here is your chance to convert the family photos into ASCII. Just think of 
the fun you'll have. Toss the Polaroid camera, you can send printed ASCII 
pictures of the kids to Grandma!  

Enough goofing around. Lets run the program named ANCIENT.PRG and get serious.
You are going to need a monochrome monitor and some DEGAS .PI3 pictures. 
I've thrown in one of my baby pictures for you to experiment with. 


This program yields the best results with full, screen size faces. Complex
small pictures don't convert to text very well. Scan just the kids heads Dad!

After the opening credits, wiggle the mouse or press any key to reveal the
main dialog. This dialog can be toggled on and off with the RIGHT mouse button
from this point on. Here are the eight available options in order of

Load and Display a DEGAS picture 
This option displays the fileselector and asks you to choose any monochrome 
DEGAS picture file ending in .PI3 
The image will be loaded from disk and shown immediately on your screen. 

Density to ASCII Translation Table 
This is the heart and soul of the program. Here you can configure what
characters the computer assigns to what densities. As the current DEGAS 
picture is scanned, left to right, top to bottom, the computer assigns a 
number to each of 2240 square regions the size of one ASCII character.
Each region can have a density from 0 (white with no black dots) to 90
(solid black with all dots filled within the square). You will be able to 
watch this scan take place during ASCII art creation, 80 columns across by 
28 rows down.

The human eye perceives different ASCII characters as different shades, from
light (usually a period or comma) to dark (an uppercase W, M or B). It's up to
you to decide what combination of ASCII characters is best assigned to each

The dialog box shows each ASCII character with its density number beneath.
Just click within any box and then press the desired character on the
keyboard. When you have created a new translation table you can save it to
disk using the bottom left "Save to Disk" button. Use the extension .TBL

These .TBL files can be loaded using the other button appropriately titled
"Load from Disk" at the bottom of this dialog box or if named DEFAULT.TBL it 
will be auto loaded when the program is first run.

The very last button within this dialog allows you to compare different ASCII
densities side by side. Three boxes will appear awaiting a keypess. Every
time you press a key, the corresponding ASCII character fills one of the
three boxes. By viewing these side by side, you can discover which characters
look dark together and which look light. You can continue trying different 
combinations until you hit ESC or press any mouse button.

Experiment, my default translation table is not the best. If you come up with
the perfect table, upload it to Compuserve or GEnie for all to share!

Scan Picture and Create ASCII Art 
If you have a DEGAS picture displayed then this button begins the creation
process. You will be able to see each region being scanned and ASCII
characters replacing the picture! Hit ESC to cancel the scan at any time.
Press the LEFT mouse button to skip a line and move the cursor down. The
remaining characters within skipped lines are assigned blank spaces.

Load a Custom Text File into Memory 
Here is a neat option. Instead of using the translation table you can use a
custom text file created within any word processor. This option doesn't work
with scanned images and photos but works great with solid black shapes, 
borders and irregular objects.

I have included a shape creation routine in this program. When you are
viewing the DEGAS screen (without the main dialog visible) just press any
function key from F1 through F4.  

F1 ........ creates a larger circle everytime you press it

F2 ........ creates a larger square with every press

F3 ........ larger and larger triangles 

F5 ........ one big heart for those sentimental creations 

You can press UNDO to restore the original DEGAS or ASCII picture. 

You will have the option to skip spaces within your custom text file or 
leave them in place. I've included a demo text file in this archive called 
LOVE.TXT for you to look at!

Save Current ASCII Art to Disk 
The fileselector will appear and you can save your ASCII creation as text 
or as another DEGAS picture. If you wish to view ASCII art from the GEM 
desktop you should take advantage of the option to strip the 80th character 
from every line. 

Print Out the Current ASCII Picture 
This option sends your new ASCII art creation directly to the printer. You 
may want to fool around with line spacing on your printer to achieve 
different effects. 

Search and Replace Single Characters
Here you can automatically replace any one type of ASCII character for any 
other and have the computer search and replace globally over the entire 
picture. This option can be fun to experiment with. 

Extras, Hints, Tips and Reminders 
*  You can shift your DEGAS image on screen one pixel in any direction by
   using the arrow keys. This can produce interesting effects.

*  Don't forget you can use the UNDO key to redraw the screen with your 
   original DEGAS or ASCII image.

*  Press the HELP key to view the opening screen, version number and 
   copyright notice.

*  F1 through F4 creates solid black geometric figures for you to play with.

*  I've included some demo text files in this archive. Check them out. 

      You use this program at your own risk. It is FREEWARE. Have fun!
                        Copyright 1992, David Becker
                            Compuserve 73030,3562
                               GEnie D.Becker8
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