Archive-name: dark-faq
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FAQ last updated on: August 7, 1995. V1.00
Distributed each month on The Official Dark Home-Page, Dark-affiliated
boards, and Dark Collections, this article is a documentation of questions
with answers for the cyberspace community. This document includes
information pertaining to Dark Illustrated and various computer-specific art
forms in which the organization specializes.
This list of Frequently Asked Questions is maintained by Carnifex myself,
a member of Dark Illustrateds Senior Staff. Please address all comments,
suggestions, etc. to my e-mail address:
Special thanks to Desalvo, Elminster, and Preying Menace for their
insightful answers. Acknowledgments are also extended to Acidic Soap,
Entropy, Ravage Bias, Rainmaker, and Tribe. Their assistance with this FAQ
list has also been invaluable.
Table of Contents
* 0.0 Listing of Dark Illustrateds active duty roster.
* 1.0 What is the art scene?
* 1.1 What is ANSI?
* 1.2 What is Vga?
* 1.3 What is RIP?
* 1.4 Have any other art groups released a FAQ, like this one?
* 2.0 So what is Dark, anyways? Whats the background on the group?
* 2.1 What does Dark mean, if anything?
* 2.2 What is meant by a Dark Collection?
* 3.0 How can I join Dark?
* 3.1 How can my BBS become an official Dark distribution site?
* 3.2 Who writes the Dark .NFO files?
* 3.3 Wheres the second disk of the Dark Collection: July 1995?
archive name: DARK0795.ZIP
* 4.0 Listing of commonly requested files archives.
Q0.0 Listing of Dark Illustrateds active duty roster:
A Acidic Soap, P Predator,
C Carnifex, Preying Menace,
Chemical Warfare, R Rainmaker,
D Desalvo, Ravage Bias,
Drone-Fly, Red Rum,
E Elminster, Rif-Raf,
Entropy, Riptide,
Epitaph, S Scrupulous,
G God-Fearing Athiest The, Shock Wave,
Golgotha, Spaceman Spiff,
Green Hornet The, Stardust,
H Hemp Hoodlum, Sudden Impact,
I Impact, T Tribe,
K KillChild, U Undead Corpse,
L Liquid Motion, V Village Idiot,
M Maelstrom, W WatOr,
Moby, X Xeryrus,
Morbid Fixation, Xypher Matryx,
Morkai, Y Yggdrasil.
N Neuropsychosis,
Q1.0 What is the art scene?:
In general, the art scene is a collection of groups that produce art in
several mediums. The forms of art which are most commonly used are ANSI,
Vga and RIP. There is also PC music, which is composed in various formats
such as .MOD and .S3M. Another integral role in the art scene is that of
the programmers. They are the ones responsible for making the different
programs such as application generators and programs to view the art created
by the different groups. These groups are a collection of people who enjoy
computer art, and who organize themselves in these groups and on occasion
release zip files of their specific groups art. The art scene itself has
evolved over the years and has become very competitive at times. Also, a
sort of hierarchy has developed, where certain established groups have been
dubbed the best groups in the art scene, and smaller groups striving to
achieve that level of achievement.
Q1.1 What is ANSI?:
In terms of the scene, an ANSI is the manipulation of the standard ASCII
character set, along with the use of colour or otherwise to produce
realistic or abstract pictures on the screen. An ANSI is limited to the
ASCII character set and a text only video mode. ANSIs are most commonly
drawn using the set of block characters: , , , , , , , , and . A
limited colour palette is available by using primary foreground colours along
with background colours, and various ASCII characters.
As mentioned, ANSI artwork can either be realistic or abstract - moreso, it
is clearly divided into two complementary forms, pictures and fonts. A
picture is just that - a picture. A font, on the other hand, is a strict
word, title, phrase, etc. It is usually limited to letters and/or numbers.
Fonts can also be drawn either realistically, or with a more abstract tone.
Since an ANSI uses the standard ASCII character set, it is compatible with
virtually all DOS-based computers, provided an ANSI driver such as ANSI.SYS
is loaded beforehand. It is most commonly used on BBSs Bulletin Board
Systems as a way to effectively display colour and text at a very high
speed. ANSI does not require a software specific terminal as with RIP see
below but is included as a terminal option with most terminal software
such as Telixtm, Procommtm, Telematetm, etc.
Q1.2 What is Vga?:
In terms of the scene, a VGA is generally known as any picture or graphic
drawn with a computer paint, render, or other program, in any video mode
but most commonly, in the VGA 640x480x256 or higher SVGA video modes.
Some of the more commonly used programs are Photoshoptm, PhotoPainttm,
3D Studiotm, and Autodesk Animatortm.
In general, the styles used to draw a VGA are very diverse - but they can
be divided into two large categories, rendered and non-rendered work.
Rendered work, as the name suggests, is art drawn with the aid of a
computer rendering program, such as 3D Studiotm or POV Raytracertm.
Non-rendered work is a hand-drawn, freestyle form of drawing, which
encompasses everything from simple airbrushing to pixel by pixel drawing.
A VGA is different from an ANSI in the fact that an ANSI is limited to the
exclusive ASCII character set and text video mode - a VGA is limited only
to the confines of the program in which one draws.
Q1.3 What is RIP?:
A RIP is a picture drawn using the Remote Imaging Protocol. The Remote
Imaging Protocol, henceforth known as RIP, is a method devised by
TeleGraphix Communications, to display EGA quality graphics
640x350x16 over standard telephone lines. RIP was devised as a way to
eliminate the inherent limits of ANSI, and eventually, to send full
colour, high resolution VGA as a terminal. RIP, as mentioned above, is the
primary RIP1 standard, which is limited to EGA quality. However, it has
been rumored that a new RIP standard is to be released, which will allow a
maximum image quality of 640x480x16M, through JPEGtm compression.
In terms of the scene, a RIP is a picture drawn in using the remote
imaging protocol. A RIP is different from a VGA in the fact that only very
general paint functions are available - the structure of various shapes
circles, polygons, squares, etc. along with shading specific halftone
like gradients and pixel by pixel drawing. Due to these inherent
limitations, the drawing of a RIP requires previous planning, as since the
protocol was designed to be displayed across phone lines, it is not
instantly displayed as with a VGA. Individual shapes are plotted according
to vectors, and these are used to comprise a picture.
Q1.4 Have any other art groups released a FAQ, like this one?:
Nope. It pleases us to be the first, and we hope that this FAQ helps to put
the Dark in a whole new light...
Dark Illustrated is a non-profit, special interest group which supports
various computer-specific graphic mediums such as ANSI and VGA artwork, in
addition to multimedia feature presentations. Primarily based in the
416/905 Toronto, Ontario region, the organization features an enthusiastic
team of talented young artists.
Officially founded in 1993 by Black Widow, Dark first began releasing
compilations of its recent artwork in February, 1994. To this day, Dark
Illustrated continues to provide a non-profit form of exposure through
bulletin board systems BBSs, and the Internet.
Q2.1 What does Dark mean, if anything?:
Originally used as an acronym, the word DARK was once coined for Digital
Artists of the Rare Kind. The use of the acronym within the group declined
over time, however, and eventually became obsolete.
Q2.2 What is meant by a Dark Collection?:
Each month, a compilation of recent artwork from Dark Illustrated is
released to the cyberspace community in the form of Dark Collections.
This artwork often takes the form of ANSI, RIP, and/or VGA graphics, as well
as various multimedia feature presentations. The filenames of these
Collections are archived in month/year format DARKmonth/year.ZIP.
Ie. DARK0895.ZIP
Q3.0 How can I join Dark?:
Although Dark Illustrated is a group of mostly non-professional artists,
anyone is always welcome to submit an application to join the group. As
with any job, an application requires a resume, a portfolio, and an
interview. A much more detailed explanation of this can be found in the
following paragraphs.
The resume is not a resume in the standard, printed on paper sense - in
this case, an application is filled out using the Dark Illustrated
Application Generator DARKGEN.EXE, found in any Dark Collection. The
application contains the most basic information about the individual,
such as name, telephone number, past experience, etc. In this sense, it
is much like an everyday resume. It is not required for one to use the
Dark Illustrated Application Generator when applying to join Dark -
however, some sort of resume file must be included with any application,
so the Senior Staff may reach the applicants. This must include:
Real name, alias, telephone numbers along with the best time to call,
an Internet e-mail address if applicable, past and present drawing and
art experience any medium, computer or otherwise, and in the case of
people already familiar with BBSs Bulletin Board Systems, a BBS where
one can be reached.
The official application generated by the Dark Application Generator is
in a generally foreign file format - however, any home made file
should be written in straight ASCII, 80 columns wide.
The other portions of the application, being the portfolio and
interview, are relatively self-explanatory - the portfolio being a
collection of the applicants best artwork, and the interview being an
interview, over the phone, with the prospective member.
A note on the portfolio: any number of pieces of artwork may be
submitted, but keep in mind your own standards and those of Dark
Illustrated as a whole.
The artwork in the portfolio must be of a standard file format. In the
case of ANSI artwork please refer to Section 1.1 for a definition of
an ANSI this should be saved as follows:
Clear screen, 65 character line limit.
In the case of artwork drawn using various paint programs collectively
known as VGAs - refer to Section 1.2 for a definition of a VGA, the
picture can be any video mode and any number of colours - however, for
optimal compatibility, pictures should be in the following formats:
Any picture drawn with 256 colours or less, any resolution - GIFtm
Graphic Interchange Format, c Compuserve, PCXtm PC Paint, or
BMPtm Windows Bitmap.
Any picture drawn with more than 256 colours, any resolution 15, 16, 24
bit and above colour depth - TGAtm TrueVision Targa, JPGtm JPEG,
PCXtm PC Paint, or BMP Windows Bitmap. In the case of JPEGtm
saved files, a compression value acceptable for the picture submitted
should be used. Please use your own discretion - but if unsure, please
use a value of 1.
In the case of animated artwork any resolution, any number of colours
the work should be in AVItm Windows Audio/Video, FLItm Flick, or
MPGtm MPEG - Motion Pictures Experts Group, or MOVtm Quicktime
In the case of music, any format one may use to compose may be
submitted. This would include .MOD, .S3M, .HSC, etc.
Any form of written work should be submitted in ASCII form, 80 columns
To apply to join Dark Illustrated, one must have the application or
resume, whatever the case may be along with the portfolio. These files
should be archived using PKZIPtm, or failing that, LHArctm. Other
archive formats may be used, but keep in mind that they will not
necessarily be supported. The first, and best choice is PKZIP. The
archived file can then be delivered to the Senior Staff through any one
of the following methods:
1 Uploading it to the World Headquarter BBS, Shadowdale. In the shuttle
logon screen, choose the apply to Dark option. Shadowdale can be
reached by setting your terminal program at 8N1, with an ANSI or
compatible terminal, and dialing the number 416-267-5467. Once
connected, a simple menu is available to upload the application. This
is the most favorable approach.
2 Contacting a Dark Illustrated member directly, and submitting the
application to him/her.
3 Through the internet. This can be done in 2 different ways:
a Internet E-Mail. The application can be UUENCODEd, and submitted
as a series of messages, which will be then UUDECODEd and viewed.
Please refer to e-mail contact addresses at the end of this document.
b IRC. Members of Dark Illustrated can usually be found using the
Internet Relay Chat, particularly dark. Once found, one can /DCC
their application to the member, who will relay it to a Senior Staff
4 As a last resort, the application can be submitted through any Dark
Illustrated Headquarter BBS. Please note, however, that individual Dark
Illustrated Headquarter BBSs have their own private policy - please
observe individual BBS rules and regulations.
Once the application has been submitted, a response is usually affected
within 5 business days. If you have submitted an application, and
havent been contacted by then, please renew contact and politely describe
your situation.
Q3.1 How can my BBS become an official Dark distribution site?
On the subject of distribution sites, Dark Illustrated chooses
individual BBS sites carefully, and not arbitrarily. An official Dark
Illustrated distribution site is much like the authorized IBMtm
dealer, a BBS that both distributes productions of Dark Illustrated,
and supports the group in both public relations and product support.
The System Operator may contact Dark Illustrated with a message of
application, and a representative will usually call the BBS to view it
first-hand. The message of application, like the Dark Illustrated artist
application, should include the following:
BBS name, telephone number, affiliations, message networks, online
storage, number of nodes, BBS software used, and any other pertinent
As with a normal Dark Illustrated artist application, the applicant will
usually be contacted within 5 business days of the initial
representative contact to discuss the site application.
Dark Illustrated distribution sites are not limited to BBSs, however.
Were always interested in Internet-specific support, such as FTP sites,
and/or links on the WWW. E-mail any Dark Senior Staff member addresses are
at the end of this document for more information.
Other methods are used and are available as distribution sites - shareware
distribution houses, software trees, etc. In the case of these less
modem-intensive distribution methods, please contact a Dark Illustrated
member directly.
Q3.2 Who writes the Dark .NFO files?:
With the exception of our Best of Dark 94 pack, DARK1994.ZIP which was
written by Desalvo, our July 95 Collection, DARK0795.ZIP which was
written by Carnifex, and our August 95 Collection, DARK0895.ZIP also
Carnifex, the .NFO files have been written by Black Widow.
Q3.3 Wheres the second disk of the Dark Collection: July 1995?:
We wish you good luck in finding in it! due to a printing error, the
FILEID.DIZ listed the DARK0795.ZIP file as being Disk 1 of 2, when in
reality, it was just a single file.
Q4.0 Listing of commonly requested files archives:
Filename: Description:
DARK0294.ZIP - The February 94 Dark Collection premiere
DARK0494.ZIP - The April 94 Dark Collection
DARK0694.ZIP - The June 94 Dark Collection
DARK0894.ZIP - The August 94 Dark Collection
DARK0994.ZIP - The September 94 Dark Collection
DARK1294.ZIP - The December 94 Dark Collection
DARK0295.ZIP - The February 95 Dark Collection
DARK1994.ZIP - The Best of Dark 1994 Collection
DARK0495.ZIP - The April 95 Dark Collection
DARK0595.ZIP - The May 95 Dark Collection
DARK0695.ZIP - The June 95 Dark Collection
DARK0795.ZIP - The July 95 Dark Collection
DARK0895.ZIP - The August 95 Dark Collection
DARK-FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About Dark Illustrated
These files can be obtained from the Official Dark Home-page currently
under construction, or from any BBS designated as an official distribution
site for Dark Illustrated consult with the latest Dark .NFO file for
further details.
Carnifex, Senior Staff of Dark Illustrated.
... tricks of the shade ...