What exactly is Digital Archaeology?

Documentaries surrounding recreation efforts are nothing new.  It’s safe to say they may even be thier own subgenre.  When it comes to historical art preservation (and emulation) documentaries, they usually are centered around the journey of the preservation.  One documentary of note on this subject would be Tim’s Vermeer, showcasing the painstaking efforts of an engineer, with no artistic background, doing his human best at a faithful recreation of a Johannes Vermeer painting.  Much like Tim’s Vermeer, documentarian Stuart Brown has fallen down the rabbit hole of digital archaeology and while considerably shorter, it too is quite to experience to behold.

The documentary featuring the digital archaeologist’s journey to recreate the lost pixel art piece ‘Four-Byte Burger’ is an exceptional piece of work. The artwork is considered to be one of the first pieces ever created on an Amiga, but was lost due to the lack of a save feature. The documentary chronicles the painstaking efforts of the digital archaeologist to restore the artwork, which required a deep understanding of the original hardware limitations, pixel art techniques, and colour palettes.

The recreation process involved adjusting the colour balance of the initial 30-colour palette, outlining the elements using Photoshop, and applying a clipping mask to paint freely on a new layer. The restoration took a day and a half of careful work, and the image was saved out and converted to indexed colours, preserving the original pixel integrity. The image was then scaled up to 1200 by 1600 pixels and displayed on an Amiga using an IFF format.

The documentary highlights the significance of ‘Four-Byte Burger’ as part of the transition to digital art and the importance of understanding its techniques and limitations as part of the broader history of computer graphics. The digital archaeologist’s efforts to recreate the lost artwork are commendable, and the documentary provides an excellent insight into the world of digital archaeology and the importance of preserving digital artworks. Overall, the documentary is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history and evolution of digital art.  You can watch it now, free on Youtube and below.

Ready to take a byte out of your next project like Scruff McGruff “took a byte our of crime”?  Well?

If you would like to discuss specifics about an any corporate project you’re interested in jumpstarting, reach out to us! Trifox Creative is always here to make your business dreams a pixel-filled reality.