Java, Windows
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Hartverdrahtet – Infinite complexity in 4096 bytes

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Worthy winner of the PC 4kB intro competition at Revision 2012 and latest example of the compact-coding tradition exercised within the demoscene, Hartverdrahtet by Akronyme Analogiker is a three minute long audio-visual trip into a procedural fractalverse, compressed into a minuscule piece of software. No bigger than 4096 bytes – less than an empty Word document, as demoscene activists like to point out – the executable file contains all the mathematics needed to generate the unfolding visual complexity and audible ambience upon a double-click. A solo effort by a talented coder who calls himself Demoscene Passivist, Hartverdrahtet reveals a mesmerizing cosmos observed through what could be an electron microscope – ethereal, greenish and a little eerie.

The real magic is in the lingo: “It’s a mix of shere-tracing, fake ambient occlusion and a lot of post-processing. And it took me nearly two months to complete it,” the programmer and recipient of last year’s ‘Echtzeit Newcomer Award‘ reveals on his Tumblr. “The shader basically encapsulates a sphere-tracing based raymarcher for a single fractal formula with camera handling. An extra post-processing shader adds effects like god-rays, tv-lines and noise to make the result look more interesting and less ‘sterile’. The different intro parts are all parameter and camera position variations of the same fractal.”

Credit goes to fellow demosceners as well: the sound synthesis was done using 4klang, a software synthesizer with a tiny footprint created by Dominik ‘Gopher’ Ries and Paul ‘pOWL’ Kraus, particularly for generating music in byte-sized intros. To shrink the file size even further, CTRL-ALT-TEST’s Shader Minifier was applied – an “uniminified” and commented JOGL2 port of Hartverdrahtet is available on GitHub. And lastly, the name ‘Hartverdrahtet’ is a reference to Hardwired, an early demoscene classic for the Commodore Amiga, that was released by The Silents & Crionics at The Party in 1991.

Hartverdrahtet runs on Windows XP/Vista/7 (fast CPU/GPU adviced) and can be downloaded here. See the info file for detailed hardware specifications. A lossless 60 fps high definition video capture – taking up 1,1 gigabytes – is available as well.

See more art and code from Demoscene Passivist here: Tumblr | YouTube | Pouet | GIThub | Twitter

  • dendy crew

    and heres one using only 1 KB:

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevewhiteproductions Steve White

    The world stopped for a moment as I watched this.  Really amazing work. 

  • http://twitter.com/ockley Karsten Vestergaard

    utterly amazing

  • http://twitter.com/loganwedwards Logan Edwards

    That is just incredible

  • dr-snipe

    Absolutely stunning

  • Vilhelm von Ehrenheim

    Shit. This blew my mindhole clear off!

  • Really….

     Dr. Snipe like senior olympic gold medalist Dr. Snipe?!?!? wtf redditor…

  • Really….

     Dr. Snipe like senior olympic gold medalist Dr. Snipe?!?!? wtf redditor…

  • Phillip Blaine

    why is it interlaced

  • http://twitter.com/dassagenhaben Alexander Scholz

    Phillip: “An extra post-processing shader adds effects like god-rays, tv-lines and
    noise to make the result look more interesting and less ‘sterile’.” 

  • http://twitter.com/captainfox Adrianus Kleemans

    wow, this is really cool.

    btw, shouldn’t it be “No bigger than 4096 bytes”?

  • kaneel

    Eh, is revision gonna be the fractal algo party? Srsly http://vimeo.com/23081358

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003729422982 Alberto Abjof

    Amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003729422982 Alberto Abjof

    Amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/dassagenhaben Alexander Scholz

    Adrianus: Definitely! Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Wrstark

    Ilikeit.

  • Alceu Melo

    My antivirus found TSPY_WIRED.A virus on every “exe” video file… does anyone have the same problem?

  • http://twitter.com/scottjanousek Scott Janousek

    Love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Carter/100003010490532 Aaron Carter

    how can i set this as my screensaver

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608958268 Christopher F. Chiesa

    MSE reports various trojans etc, yes.

  • 0BZEN

    I’d love the code so I can port that to a Oculus DK1. :)

  • 0BZEN

    Demos often gets flagged as malware. They can show the same signature.

    Now, if you can create a Trojan AND a demo like that under 4K, kudos to you.