Blizzard of Zeros

Displaying a GIF on a Commodore 64 (via WinVICE emulator)

Created: 2020-Apr-04

Last Update: 2020-Apr-04


Tools required:


Important Notes:

Install software:



Prepare the image

Images should be 320x200 pixels and in GIF87a format.

For the sake of these instructions, we'll be using this image:

Commodore logo source image

In preparing the image, I used Indexed color mode in GIMP and reduced the logo to three colors (red, white, blue). I then cropped the image, reduced it to 200 pixels height, and then adjusted the canvas size to be 320x200 with the logo in the center.

When you are done preparing your image, it is best to save it as PNG or another lossless format. JPG lossiness, especially as you save an image over several generations, is not handled well by GIFFY. This is also true of severely anti-aliased lines which use many shades of the line color. In the case of black lines, the anti-aliased pixels will be some variant of gray, but as the Commodore only has two, plus white, it may deliver sloppy results.

Once you have saved your 320x200 PNG image, it is necessary to use GraphicsMagick to convert the image to GIF87a format:

  1. Run cmd.exe and navigate to where you saved your PNG file using the cd command. In my case, my Desktop.

  2. Run the command to convert your PNG to GIF87a which is:
    gm convert sourcefile.png gif87:outfile.gif
    ...or in this case..
    gm convert clogo.png gif87:clogo.gif
    You should see a new .GIF file, but GraphicsMagick will not return any status.


Move new GIF to the GIFFY .d64 image

Launch DirMaster and select Disk -> Open and select the gifview.d64 disk image. We'll be writing your GIF directly to this image. If you want, you can create a new disk image and put your images there but not that GIFFY expects your image to be on drive 8.

If you see a bunch of garbage, it means you didn't reboot your computer after installing DirMaster:

DirMaster - Garbage Characters

Rebooting your machine will fix this.

Otherwise you should see the directory listing:

DirMaster - GIFFY directory listing

You can drag files into and out of DirMaster, and you can right click on files to remove them or perform other functions.

Using your mouse, drag in the GIF file you created:

DirMaster - New GIF in directory listing

Once you have done this, save the image using CTRL-S or DISK -> Save. Then, exit out of DirMaster.


Load GIFFY into WinVICE

Launch the C64 emulator in WinVICE. In File Explorer, navigate to the WinVICE directory and launch preferably x64sc.exe or x64.exe if you are running an older version of WinVICE.

Attach the gifview.d64 image to drive 8 using the ALT-8 shortcut or File -> Attach disk image -> Drive #8.

You may want to load the directory to make sure you've got everything set up properly.

gifview.d64 directory listing


LOAD "GIFFY C64 2.1",8,1

and then type RUN and press enter. Using the ALT-W shortcut in WinVICE will engage warp mode which should speed loading times up.

Loading and Running GIFFY

Now enter the filename of your image without the .GIF file extension as well as the drive number (Drive 8, if that is where your GIF is).

Loading GIF in GIFFY

GIFFY will examine your GIF and begin selecting colors to use. If you have many colors, this will take awhile. This is another good place to use Warp mode (ALT-W) to speed things along. In the case of our simple image, it is only three colors. Once colors are selected, you will be instructed that once the image is fully displayed, you can use the S key to save the results in Koala format for editing or use within the Commodore environment, or any other key to exit.

GIFFY has selected colors and is about to display the image

Press any key to continue. The image will be slowly displayed. Again, warp mode is handy here.

Image is displayed

At this point you can press the S key to save the image or you can press another key to exit.

Here is the source image and the GIFFY-displayed image for comparison:


Commodore logo source image


Commodore logo destination Image


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See also: