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As author Dan Silva added features to Prism, it was developed as a showcase product to coincide with the Amiga's debut in 1985.

It was easy to change the hue and tone of a section of the image by altering the corresponding colours in the palette.

(The specific section needed to use a dedicated part of the palette for this technique to work.) Brushes can be cut from the background by using the box, freehand, or polygon selection tools.

It was eventually ported to other platforms, including an MS-DOS version which became the standard for pixel graphics in video games in the 1990s, the only competitor being Autodesk Animator Pro.

Deluxe Paint began as an in-house art development tool called Prism.

Deluxe Paint III added support for Extra Halfbrite.

New editing modes allowed one to stencil certain colors, and perform blurs on the stencils to produce an effect that could be made to look similar to light-sourcing in a 3D program.

The intimate linking of palette and image data made DPaint an excellent tool for creating bitmapped icons, animation and game graphics before true colour images became commonplace.

"[" and "]" hotkeys could step through the indexed palette, turning indexed-pixel-painting into a fast two-handed mouse keys process, and the right mouse button would paint with the background colour (instead of bringing up a context sensitive menu as is common in modern packages) For example, transparency was obtained as simply as selecting a background colour index (a single right click on the palette GUI to change).

Deluxe Paint III added the ability to create cel-like animation, and animbrushes.

These let the user pick up a section of an animation as an "animbrush", which can then be placed onto the canvas while it animates.

With the development of Deluxe Paint, EA introduced the ILBM and ANIM file format standards for graphics.