Bob and George
Sunday, June 25th, 2000 #86
The Attack of the Yellow Demon Disengage Cloaking Device
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In the multitude of Yellow Demons sprites available online, there is a set designed around the Yellow Demon decloaking. Upon seeing these, I wanted to use that effect in the comic, to the comedic effect that the monster appears right behind our hero. Unfortunately, as I was soon to find out, that's easier said than done when your only graphical programs at hand are MS Paint and MS Photo Editor.

Without the use of a more powerful graphical editor like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, the tools for creating special effects are rather limited. Photo Editor has the ability to do some blurring, as well as changing brightness and contrast. But neither Paint nor Photo Editor (of the time) had the ability to alter the transparency of a sprite, so the most obvious solution for showing a decloaking effect, simply reducing the transpareny relative to the background, wasn't an option.

Instead, I opted to take one of the sprites, place it on the same background color as in the comic, and blur it all to hell in Photo Editor, then copy that sprite and place it in Paint. The blurred edge would then appear to fade into the background of the comic, creating some sort of passable effect for decloaking, something similar to the wavy decloaking effect from Star Trek. Unfortunately, since the Yellow Demon was standing on the ground, the effect looks like crap there, but there wasn't much I could do at the time.

Looking back, I now realize there are many things I could've done. For example, I could have used a "floating ball" sprite instead, recoloring it to match the decloaking sprite colors. When I blurred it all to hell, there would be no contact with the ground to crapify the effect. Also, seeing what DisgruntledFerret has done with his effects, I could've tried a scanline effect to mimic a decloaking. But neither of those options occurred to me at the time, so this is how the effect turned out. You might wonder why, now that I know better and have access to Photoshop, why not simply go back and correct the effect? For the same reason I resist altering any other of the early comics: Posterity. This comic and its effect are an artifact of my skill level at the time, and I think it should remain as it is, as a reminder to people new to the sprite comic genre, that everyone sucks when they first start out.
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