Is it Art or is it Digital?
Part II: From Pixels to PIXAR
In my last post I discussed my late son Scott's pixel magic in creating art and animation for the 1992 computer game, "The Last Files of Sherlock Holmes". Here I will show a progression of my own digital experimentation using the medium that has exploded from 256 colors and a 320 x 200 screen resolution to 16.8 million colors and the screen resolution I am currently using on my old 32-bit machine, 1024 x 768. I am about to set up my new 64-bit computer and am ready for the next level!
While I was still working with 320 x 200 I perfected my abilities learned from son Scott for other projects, a scene from one pictured at the top of this post and others directly below. I was lucky to have a deeper frame to work with for these illustrations. The Sherlock Holmes game required about a third of the area below the scene to be reserved for game buttons.
What we artists have today at our fingertips for digital expression is light years ahead of what we had in the early 90s. And even now when we have arrived at this point, I continue to sense some hesitation when talking with traditional painters about digital artwork, or especially digital "painting". I understand their loyalty to a medium that will always be in a very special class by itself, but for me, the digital world is more exciting because it has dramatically expanded the box of artistic tools available in the form of the scanner and exquisite paint programs. It also can be a liberation from the limits, expense and clutter of paint, brushes and canvas. Before I had a scanner I simply drew right into the computer on an early version of a Wacom Tablet using a beautifully intuitive program called Fractal Design Painter. I now own the newest incarnation of this program in Corel's Painter 10. The original was much simpler and easier to use, but that's the way things are and I have to accept that. *Sigh*. Here are a couple of illustrations done with that earlier program at a 640 x 480 screen resolution. The scene with children was for a book illustration and the one below that was for an animated computer storybook background.