The concept developed for the animated opener for the Winter Olympic Games in
Sarajevo '84 needed three dimensional rotation and gradient colour shading. There
was no system available on the market with these features in 1983. With a lot of
low-level programming in assembler and with a customised interface done by
a hardware guru, Anton Schernhorst, the animation was successfully finished and
won the international contest for the Games.
This project was a great challenge involving the development of creative graphics,
writing software based on math functions at a machine-level and building a
hybrid computer system.
The Flair, one of the first computer paint systems, was developed by
the BBC in conjuction with London based company Logica.
It was based on Intel's 8080A 8 bit processor running at 4 MHz and equipped
with 48 KB of RAM and a dual 8" floppy disk drive. What we
call a hard disk today did not exist then. But the system had a fabulous 450 KB video RAM
buffer which cost well over $100,000 and held a "brilliant" broadcast quality still
image. Restricted to an 8 bit look-up table, it was the equivalent of today's GIF format.
The programming and calculations were done on a DAI personal computer which fed the Flair
with the code. The DAI was built on Intel's 8080 processor running at 2 MHz with 42 KB