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Copper

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Let’s look at how to make an 8bit computer produce graphics normally seen on an Amiga.

The Spectrum Next contains extra hardware that lets us very accurately control when things happen relative to the screen being drawn. This is done using a piece of hardware called the “copper”.

The copper is a processor external to the main CPU and can be given a list of instructions to follow that are synchronised to the generation of the screen. By cleverly manipulating the Spectrum Next’s registers we can create some impressive visual effects normally only seen on 16 bit machines like the Amiga.

In this video I explain how to create the classic copper bars effect, some nice gradient backgrounds and parallax scrolling. The full source for this is available on my github, linked below and a detailed explanation of the code is on my website also linked below.

If you manage to make anything with this, let me know in the comments or send me a message on Twitter - @ncot_tech

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