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GrafX2 – a bitmap paint program inspired by Amiga programs (chez.com)
158 points by based2 on June 2, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments

If you are here and you haven’t seen Mark Ferrari’s GDC talk, you really should sit down and watch it. He is perhaps the greatest pallete animator of all time. Even if you aren’t familiar with the games he worked on, HN folks have likely seen his gallery of single-image animations linked below.



The second link you posted leads to a 404 for me. By going to the main website I found a link to a page that seems to be the same thing, though maybe it's reformatted a bit. Here's the link:


Sorry, I messed up the link to the main article on my site. Here is the corrected link:


I agree, the GDC talk is extremely inspiring.

Surprised to see GrafX2 in front page, since it was out for ages and it's quite niche. Anyway, I'm very happy for it since it is my favourite pixel drawing tool. It surpasses deluxe paint capabilities by far, and its usability aimed to power users is unmatched. Long life GrafX2.

By the way, the lack of credit in the cover image hurts me deeply. It is made by Ilija Melentijevic (@iLkKke on twitter). One of the best pixel artists outthere!

> By the way, the lack of credit in the cover image hurts me deeply. It is made by Ilija Melentijevic (@iLkKke on twitter). One of the best pixel artists outthere!

Are you sure that cover image lack of credit? Try look on it under the scope, especially in the left lower corner of it -- and you will see iLkKke sign! ;-)

[0] http://grafx2.chez.com//data/medias/web/happy-birthday-guys....

> in the left lower corner

Fix: "in the right lower corner"

I much more surprised as posted two posts few weeks ago on HN about GrafX2 v2.5 release, but non of them came to the front page of HN...

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17010917

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17045420

Just out of curiosity (I'm an Aseprite user); what if any advantages do you know of that might make GrafX2 preferable?

GrafX2[0] VS Aseprite[1]

GrafX2: GNU GPL v2 -- FREE & open-source, true FOSS software.[2]

Aseprite: EULA (since v1.1.7) -- open-source for personal use only, not true FOSS software.[3]

GrafX2: main lang -- C ; GUI -- SDL1.x ; addons lang -- Lua 5.x.[2]

Aseprite: main lang -- C++ ; GUI -- Qt5.x ; addons lang -- JavaScript.[3]

  Supported platforms
GrafX2: Android, AmigaOS, AROS, Atari, BeOS, *BSD, Canoo, GP2X, Haiku, Linux, macOS/Mac OS X, MorphOS, Windows, Syllable, and much more.[4,5]

Aseprite: Linux, macOS/OS X, Windows.[6]

  Performance/Memory usage
GrafX2: ~ 50-200 Mb RAM

Aseprite: ~ 450-600 Mb RAM

[0] http://grafx2.tk

[1] http://aseprite.org

[2] https://gitlab.com/grafx2/grafx2

[3] https://github.com/aseprite/aseprite

[4] http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/downloads

[5] http://grafx2.chez.com/index.php?static3/downloads

[6] https://www.aseprite.org/trial/

I trialed several different pixel art tools and really like Aseprite so I purchased a license for the full edition.

I was asking more of a feature comparison of why one would be better in terms of actually creating pixel art and animations, not a licensing and memory consumption comparison.

> I purchased a license for the full edition.

GtafX2: fully FREE, all features available for everyone.

Aseprite: only trial-versions are free, for get full features need by a commercial license.

You should maybe answer the actual question asked by parent instead.

The old DPaint was a tough act to follow. I was disappointed in just about every graphics program I tried after my Amiga was consigned to history.

Downloaded. Wow, isn't it small? Nostalgia on two fronts! :)

Brilliance (also Amiga) was even better than DPaint. I haven't found anything to compare for just the plain fun of noodling about, since moving to PC.

The best follow ups by far were Avid Matador and Discreet Combustion.

Avid bundled Matador (and FXTree) into Softimage, which Autodesk later absorbed and killed off.

Discreet were also assimilated by Autodesk, and Combustion was later killed.

That's the second time I've heard Autodesk accused of the "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" tactic in a week (albeit implicitly in this case). Is it something they are know to do?

I remember when after years of dabbling with Deluxe Paint IV on the Amiga I first used professional graphics software like Photoshop or Corel Draw and was utterly confused why everything seemed to be so needlessly complex with these tools: “Why can’t I even draw a simple line or rectangle?”

Very different use cases and target audiences for sure. Still, from my point of view it wasn’t until Pixelmator that some of that simplicity was brought back.

Ahh reminds me nights spent with deluxe paint, twiddling with pixels, antialiasing them by hand, good times.

Wonderful drawing program. It often seems as though C and SDL are our only hope.

edit: #2 link right now is another C/SDL piece of nostalgia: https://github.com/OpenDUNE/OpenDUNE

I'm glad it got a new homepage. But these days I use Aseprite for my pixel work. It's still got a pixel art interface, but much more optimized for the artist. Take a look if you are a pixel artist.


  What are your projects for the nearest future?

  Go home and eat (it's 19:00)!
  Attend to LTP3.
  Make a Multi-player Tetris game.
  Release a new version of GrafX2 (who said "nearest furture"? :)).

I loved DPaint. It was definitely the most used program on my Amiga. I found grafx2 years ago and was happy it still lives.

This program is amazing, particularly things like colour cycling (by right clicking on gradient menu), and real good brush-from-selection.

GrafX2 is to Gimp what Vim is to LibreOffice Writer, approximately.

> Vim is to LibreOffice Writer, approximately

Think, GrafX2 is to GIPM what LaTeX is to LibreOffice Writer ;-)

>>> Scripting with embedded Lua engine

Awesome ;) Can you call the palette shifters from the API? This could make a very powerful retro texture synth engine. Or gif creator!

> Can you call the palette shifters from the API?

Every user of GrafX2 should get "DB's TOOLBOX"[0] - free additional Lua-scripts for GrafX2, that has many samples on API usage.

Latest version is "DB's TOOLBOX v1.4"[1] (released on December 2017).

[0] http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12854

[1] http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=26080

This program has a great feature that I haven't seen in any other FLOSS drawing program: both right and left mouse buttons draw, and you can assign a different color to each. This is a huge productivity improvement compared to drawing with only one button, especially for pixel art.

If the middle button would center the zoomed view on the selected pixel, instead of toggling the view (a much too rare operation to deserve its own mouse button), it would be perfect.

Like many others here, I have so many brilliant memories of playing with DPaint - first on Amiga then PC. I seem to remember writing a loader for 'lbm' files so we could use the output directly in projects.

Another similar and equally amazing package was Autodesk Animator Pro - similar fond memories of using it and being blown away by how easy it was for me as an artistic klutz to create pretty pictures. There is a page with links to original source code, binaries, blog posts etc. here: http://animatorpro.org/

What I really really want is a Claris/MacDraw clone just slightly modernized. Most of the current options are painfully kludgy of over-featured.

What do you mean by "painfully kludgy" and "over-featured"?

I can understand the UI looking a bit spartan to users who never used an Amiga (like myself).

I'm also vaguely interested in alternative paint programs as well, particularly open source ones.

So I'm curious.

Plenty of pixel based options that are actually quite nice, but the brilliance of Claris/MacDraw was its vector focus with a straightforward and powerful integration of interface and features.

Haven’t found that combination together since.

I'll have to poke it in SheepShaver/BasiliskII sometime.

GrafX2 is pretty great. It has been an official Arch Linux package since 2011:


I liked this program so much, I contributed a patch to it to get it running on NetBSD a few years ago.

Is this open-sourced?

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