Released in November 1985 for the Amiga 1000, Deluxe Paint is an iconic graphics editor created by Dan Silva for Electronic Arts. Deluxe Paint was used for developing hundreds of computer games during the 80s and early 90s, mainly due to its animation features. Later, there were several updated versions of the software and versions for other systems than the Amiga.

Deluxe Paint is an iconic graphics editor created by Dan Silva for Electronic Arts

  • Amiga (OCS) Deluxe Paint 1,2,3, and 4 releases
  • Amiga (AGA) Deluxe Paint 4 and 5 enhanced releases
  • Apple IIGS Deluxe Paint release (1987), developed by Brent Iverson
  • MS-DOS Deluxe Paint II release (1988), supporting the 256-color VGA standard
  • MS-DOS Deluxe Paint II Enhanced (1989), supporting super VGA video modes
  • Atari ST Deluxe Paint  release (1990), supporting the STE 4096-color palette


Deluxe Paint Versions History

Initially, Electronic Arts was developing a graphics editor called Prism. Dan Silva enhanced Prism with many extra features and the Deluxe Paint I was released in 1985 for the Commodore Amiga 1000. The program was so ahead of each time that it was immediately embraced by the Amiga community and famous artists such as Andy Warhol started to create computer art for the first time.

Introducing the Amiga

Creating on Deluxe Paint..Deluxe Paint 1,2,3 (Amiga OCS)

Dan Silva was the leading programmer in the first three DPaint releases (up to III).

  •    Deluxe Paint I was released in 1985, supporting 4096 colors on the Amiga
  •    Deluxe Paint II (1986) added features such as pattern and gradient fill and the ‘Effects Menu’
  •    Deluxe Paint III was released in 1989 and was the first program to support 'animbrushes' and 'cel-like animation'. DPaint III also added new editing modes and supported the ‘Extra Halfbrite’
  •    Deluxe Paint IV (1991) offered significant improvements such as the HAM-mode support for creating images with up to 4,096 colors on screen. In addition, animation tools were enhanced.

Deluxe Paint 4,5 (Amiga AGA)

Commodore International commissioned Electronic Arts to develop a Deluxe Paint version for their A1200, and A4000 machines featuring the Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA). 

  • Version 4.0 (AGA), appeared in two versions (standalone and Commodore-bundled versions)
  • Version 5.0 (AGA) was also released in 1995, following Commodore's bankruptcy in 1994. DPaint V supported true 24-bit RGB images
  • Supporting the expanded HAM 8 mode, access to over 262,000 colors

Introducing the IBM PCs

Deluxe Paint II and Deluxe Paint Animation for IBM PCs (MS-DOS)

Released in 1988, Deluxe Paint II for PC required MS-DOS 2.0 or higher with 640 kB of RAM.

  • Supporting all PC graphic cards of the era (CGA, EGA, MCGA, VGA, Hercules and Tandy)
  • There was also an enhanced version called 'Deluxe Paint II Enhanced', released in 1989

In 1990, there was also an animation program from Electronic Arts. The Deluxe Paint Animation for the IBM PCs:

  •    Easily animate images
  •    Supporting 320×200 screen resolution with 256 colors
  •    The program was used in the development of many video games in the '90s

Boxed Deluxe Paint IV from collection..Released in 1994, Deluxe Paint II Enhanced 2.0 proved the most successful version for IBM and compatibles.

  •    Supporting Super VGA video cards
  •    800×600 screen resolution with 256 colors on screen (from 262,144)
  •    1024×768 screen resolution with 16 colors on screen (from 262,144)
  •    Compatible with ZSoft's PCX image format file

Introducing the Atari ST

Deluxe Paint for Atari ST (GEM)

The Deluxe Paint ST was released in 1990. The software was developed by ArtisTech Development and published by Electronic Arts.

  •    It was significantly different than other versions of Deluxe Paint
  •    Supporting the 4096-color palette of the STE
  •    Was awarded "Best Application Software Of 1990" and "Best Art/Graphics Package" by the magazine ‘ST Format’


Similar Product Releases from Electronic Arts

Deluxe Paint was the first of a series of similar products from Electronic Arts which included:

  •    Deluxe Music Construction Set (1986) for the Amiga and the Macintosh
  •    Deluxe Video III for Amiga (1990)
  •    Deluxe Paint Animation for IBM PCs (1990), mentioned earlier
  •    Studio series of paint (Studio/8 and Studio/32) in 1990, and animation programs (Studio/1) for the Macintosh


Video Games Development & Other Uses

Many hundreds of Amiga and IBM PC video games used Deluxe Paint for the creation of graphics and animation:

  •    LucasArts used Deluxe Paint for their adventure games such as “The Secret of Monkey Island” and “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis”
  •    Deluxe Paint was used for the development of other successful games such as Another World, Eye of the Beholder, and Dark Seed
  •    Deluxe Paint was used for the development of iconic FPS games in the 90s, such as Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, and Quake

Other Notable Uses

  • Deluxe Paint was used for the creation of video graphics in the 1989 film “Murder on the Moon”, starring Brigitte Nielsen
  • Deluxe Paint 2 was used by the webcomic "Unicorn Jelly" by Jennifer Diane Reitz
  • It was used in the video clip of the very successful single "Move Your Feet" by 'Junior Senior' band (Art collective Shynola using Amiga, 2003)

The famous Tutankhamun's gold mask..

Interesting Facts

  • The famous Tutankhamun's gold mask that was widely used in Deluxe Paint was a creation of the EAs artist Avril Harrison
  • Dan Silva left EA in 1989 and joined the Yost Group, which developed Autodesk's 3D Studio
  • In 2015, Electronic Arts released the source code of "Deluxe Paint I" for historical reasons





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