Multipaint 2019

Multipaint 2019.3 (Version 17.10.2019, Fixes to the sixth release)

With Multipaint, you can draw pictures with the color limitations of some typical 8-bit computer platforms. The screen formats supported are Commodore 64 high resolution, Commodore 64 multicolor, Commodore Plus/4 Hires, Commodore Plus/4 multicolor, ZX Spectrum, ZX ULAplus, MSX 1, Amstrad CPC0 and Sinclair QL.

Mode selector

Pull-down menus

Latest version

Multipaint 2019.3 changes the fileselectors so they are more likely to work on some macs. As a downside some fileselector features may be gone for now.

Multipaint 2019.2 fixes bugs relating to Koala import/export in the C64 multicolor mode. Also, a plus4 import/export bug has been fixed. In addition, loading BIN files for another platform activates that mode.

Multipaint 2019 is the sixth major release of Multipaint. This version introduces a pull-down menu and dialogue system, increased file safety, on-the-fly mode change, a switch for main toolbar handedness, improved mousewheel zoom, improved text output parameters, two new target platforms (ULAplus and QL) and various small bug fixes to the modes.

See also:

A blog post detailing some of the 2019 features

Pixel Polizei, a multi-platform graphics utility

PETSCII, a multi-platform text art editor

Features & Download

Multipaint features common drawing tools, color clash emulation, cut brushes, dither patterns, grid / snap, 20-step undo, spare page, magnify modes, direct executable export, export as source, import/export in native formats and much more.

Download Multipaint application for Windows/Linux/Mac (zip)

Download Multipaint Processing sketch 18.10.2018 (zip, manual not included) (Note: old source version)

Multipaint manual at Google Docs. (The manual is no longer included with the zips.)

General note

As Multipaint is written in Processing, it should run in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux 32/64 bit systems. For running the application, you need the Java Runtime Environment. Processing binaries cannot be guaranteed to work correctly across all operating system versions. The ultimate solution may be to install Processing and run the sketch instead or export the application to your system.

I developed Multipaint with a two-button mouse where the wheel works as the third, middle mousebutton. The wheel zooms and the middle button works as an instant pipette. This might be the ideal mouse for using Multipaint.

For old school pixel work, it might be better to slow down the pointer movement in your system.

Keysheet with highlighted important options

NOTE to Mac users

There may be security/quarantine related issues with the mac and depending on your mac OS and Java version, the application may have problems with finding the prefs.txt file. See further below for more information.

NOTE to Windows users

Your security software may tag the Multipaint archive as a potential malware/virus just in principle, which ALMOST certainly is a false positive. Furthermore, like with Mac, your security settings may prevent you from running web-downloaded content. Take care!

Running on Mac: NEW

Multipaint may now warn you that the prefs.txt could not be found, and the application offers to create it. If this succeeds, you may take a note of where this file is located and whether Multipaint is able to load it later.

If you run Multipaint through the terminal (./multipaint), the console log can give some clues on where the application is trying to get its files from.

Running on Mac: Old

Multipaint may have problems finding the prefs.txt file, leading to reduced features. It works on my old mini mac from around 2009 but I don't have much more personal experience on the matter. Based on Mac users' comments here are some things to consider:

  • You may try to place the prefs.txt somewhere else than how it is in the zip archive. This might be the Multipaint folder.
  • You can try to place the prefs.txt alternately to your "home" folder, the Multipaint folder, or even your "root" folder.
  • You could try checking whether the Multipaint folder and all the files are in the filesystem, and not inside the archive or as shortcut icons.
  • It might be helpful to check what folder the Multipaint load and save selectors offer you as a default. This could be the folder the program uses for reading the prefs.txt. (This does not work for me)
  • Some have reported more success in running the Linux version, after all it's a shell script for running Java.
  • If the application does not run at all, remember that the newest Java version is not necessarily the best.

Multipaint Gallery

Here are some works where Multipaint has been put to use.

Special thanks to Jonathan Eggelton who gave permission to include his work. Jon takes inspiration from C-64 game covers and loading screens. You can view more of his work through this CSDb page.

I have also permission to include works by Andy Green. Andy has been very prolific in creating ZX Spectrum art, both re-imagined loading screens and new images. To see more, check Andy's ZXart gallery and his Facebook page.

The demogroup GOTU made a demo on Commodore plus/4 called Promised Land, and told me they used Multipaint for the graphics. See the entry at plus4world!

There are also loading screens for an add-on to the multi-platform text adventure Hibernated 1: This Place is Death, which is called Eight Feet Under. The pictures were made by Rail Slave. Get Hibernated from here, it's quite an atmospheric game.

Powerdrome (ZX ULAplus) by Dr. TerrorZ

Eight Feet Under (C64 multicolor) by Rail Slave

Eight Feet Under (Amstrad CPC) by Rail Slave

Eight Feet Under (ZX Spectrum) by Rail Slave

Red Heat (C64 multicolor) by JonEgg

River Raid (C64 multicolor) by JonEgg

Toki (ZX Spectrum) by Andy Green

Doomsday Castle (ZX Spectrum) by Andy Green

Amazon (ZX Spectrum) by MacRune

From Promised Land (C plus/4) by DLST/GOTU

Für Desire (C64 multicolor) by Dr. TerrorZ

Fixertron (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Remote (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Queen (C64 multicolor) by Dr. TerrorZ

Infestation (C64 multicolor) by Dr. TerrorZ

Boabots (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Lawless of the West (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Countryside (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Star Kerk (MSX) by Dr. TerrorZ

Imjarvi UFO Incident (C64 multicolor) by Dr. TerrorZ

Sommaren e Kårt (C64 multicolor) by Marq

Inside Job (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Battlecat Action Figure (C64 hires) by Dr. TerrorZ

Unhanged (ZX Spectrum) by Dr. TerrorZ


Multipaint 2016-2019 by Tero Heikkinen AKA Dr. TerrorZ. Comments and queries can be sent to the address below:

Before asking for new features, please consider reading the manual first. The feature might already exist! I am also unlikely to add new modes, especially if they are 256-colour or have higher resolution than 320 x 200.