July 10, 2001 12:17 PM   Subscribe

JAVE is an tool that helps ease the pain of creating ASCII art. In the days before GIFs, ASCII art roamed the plains of the Internet; people created hundreds of text-based pictures. Some spectacular examples are out there, but the rise of the graphical web has put a crimp in this art form. Perhaps tools like JAVE and FIGlet can help stave off the end.
posted by snarkout (13 comments total)
obligatory reference to ascii pr0n... don't forget, you can run figlet from your shell as well. If there aren't enough figlet fonts to suit you, you can make your own
posted by jessamyn at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2001

Back in the BBS days, I used to manually create "high ASCII" (or extended ASCII) art, which used the special characters displayed when you held down the ALT key, hit a three number sequence on the number keypad, and release the ALT key.

It still working in the Windows age. Try starting a DOS window, turn off NumLock, and try typing the following:

[alt-176] [alt-177] [alt-178] [alt-219] [alt-179] [m] [alt-250] [e] [alt-250] [alt-159] [alt-250] [i] [alt-179] [alt-219] [alt-178] [alt-177] [alt-176]
posted by waxpancake at 12:42 PM on July 10, 2001

don't forget www.asciibabes.com (not rated x, dont worry if you're at work like me)
posted by pinto at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2001

When I was a wee lass, I took a computer class that involved hand-coding graphics in characters representing each permutation of on/off pixels in a 2x3 grid. I believe we were working on TRS-80s, and we had special graph paper for working out our designs.
posted by redfoxtail at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2001

Here's a good chunk of Star Wars Episode Four done as a (very complete) ASCII animation.
posted by jbushnell at 12:53 PM on July 10, 2001

Which, crap, was linked to from here before.
posted by jbushnell at 12:57 PM on July 10, 2001

But if it isn't hard to do, doesn't that diminish the coolness of ASCII art?
posted by jpoulos at 1:11 PM on July 10, 2001

I miss good old fashioned Warlording...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2001

self portrait (2001)

               kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk   kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
               kkkkkkkkkkkkk                     kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
               kkkkkkkkkkkk                        kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
               kkkkkkkkkk                            kkkkkkkkkkkkk
               kkkkkkkkkk                              kkkkkkkkkkkk
               kkkkkkkkk                     kkkkkkkk   kkkkkkkkkkk
                kkkkkkkk                  kkkkkkkkkkkkkk kkkkkkkkkk
                kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk      kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk  kkkkkkkkk
                kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk    kkkkkk      kkkk kkkkkkkkk
                kkkkkkkkkkk   kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk   kkkkkkkkkkkk
                 kkkkkkkk  kkkk  kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk  kkkkkkkkkkk
                 kkkkkkk kkkkkkkkkkkk    kk kkkkkkkkkk  kkkkkkkkk k
                 kkkkk  kkkkkk kkkkkk    kkk kkkkkkk    kk kkkkk  k
                 kkkkk   kkkkkkkk kkk     kkk           kk kkkkk  k
                 kkkkkk           kkk      kkk         kk  kkkk  kk
                 k kkkk           kkk     k kk        kkk  kkkk  kk
                kk kkkkkk       kkkkk     kkkkkkk  kkkkk   kkkk  kk
                 kkkkkkkkkk    kkkkk       kk kkkkkkkkk    kkkk  kk
                 kk kkk kkkkkkkkkkkk        kk             kkkk  kk
                  kkkkk    kkkkk  k         kk             kkkk  k
                  kkkkkk          k          k             kkkk  k
                   kkkkk          kkk      kkk             kkkk kk
                   kkkkk           kk                      kkkkkkk
                    kkkk                                   kkkkkk
                    kkkkk                      kkkk       kk
                     kkk       kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk      kkk
                      kkkk     kkk              kkk      kkk
                        kkk     kkkk           kkk      kk k
                         kk       kkkkk      kkkk      kk  k
                         kkk         kkkkkkkkkk       kkk  k
                          kkk                        kkk   k
                           kkk                       kk    kk
                           kkk                       kk    kk
                            kkk                     kk     kk
                            k kk                   kk      kk
                            k  kk                 kkk       k
                            k   kkk              kkk        kk
                            k    kkkkk         kkkk         kk
                           kk       kkkkkkkkkkkkk            kk
                           kk          kkkkkkk                k
                           k                                  kk
                          kk                                   kk
                         kkk                                   kkk
                        kkk                                     kkk
                      kkkkkk                                     kkk
                    kkkkkkkk                                    kkkkkk
                kkkkkkkkkkkk                                  kkkkkkkkkkk
             kkkkk  kkkkkkkkk                                kkkkkkkk  kkkk
         kkkkkk     kkkkkkkkk                               kkkkkkkkk    kkkkk
    kkkkkkkk         kkkkkkkkk                             kkkkkkkkk       kkkkkkkkk
kkkkkkkk              kkkkkkkkk                           kkkkkkkkk             kkkkk
                        kkkkkkkk                         kkkkkkkkk
                         kkkkkkkk                      kkkkkkkkkkk
                          kkkkkkkkkk                 kkkkkkkkkkk
                             kkkkkkk                kkkkkkkkk
                                 kkk                kkkkkk

posted by iceberg273 at 1:32 PM on July 10, 2001

Let's not forget png2html.
posted by riffola at 1:40 PM on July 10, 2001

Back in the day I used to do ascii art (yes, by hand) for one of the many computer art groups out there. Get a request from someone's BBS, bust out AcidDraw, & crank out some pretty cool looking stuff (if I do say so myself). Much of it's still available out there somewhere, if you feel like looking around artpacks.acid.org for awhile (hint: get this zip file, get a viewer and look for any file starting with "ze-" -- ignore the stupid comments and remember I was 16 at the time :).

It was fun stuff & led to me meeting some cool people, but the popularization of the web pretty much led to the downfall of the text-based BBS & thus me not drawing anymore. Still, it's kind of interesting to see things like this.. ahh, the memories :)
posted by zempf at 2:19 PM on July 10, 2001

Yes, I did it back in the day too, with my C128D. I initially did all of them by hand with ZED-128, a text editor. Then I found a program that would convert geoPaint pictures to ASCII, and I was blown away. "Earth in Hand", one available through my link, was done this way - not bad for line art.

ASCII art was fun. Still is. Be sure to see afn.org too - lots of GEnieUS there.
posted by hijinx at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2001

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