The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

Category Archives: Digital Art

Technology Usually Comes Too Late

Take, for example, Richard Wagner. His ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk became reality about fifty years after his death in the form of movies with color and sound. Movies tend to use music in a way very similar to Wagner. Some games do, too: The leitmotif concept is implemented very well in Chrono Trigger, for example.

The same goes for computers. The esthetics of the 60’s and 70’s would have been very computer-friendly. Look at Roy Lichtenstein’s Head – Red and Yellow. It uses only three colors, the skin is dithered from red and white. You could easily recreate it, or create something similar, on most 8-bit home computers, or on CGA.

This is one rather extreme example, but take for instance Yellow Submarine. It was a song, it was a book, it was a movie, and it created a style of illustration that remained influential all through the 70’s. It, too, used relatively few colors, and little to no shading.

But by the time computers became small and cheap enough to become household items, the esthetics had changed. The hip thing was now fantasy art in the style of Boris Vallejo, which was a lot more difficult to recreate on a computer.

I’ve often wondered what games would have looked like if personal computers had been born a decade earlier. Alas, we’ll never know.

A WinRAR is You

This was originally a PCX, time stamp June 1992, found on an old CD-ROM. The first version of WinRAR that used the book icon was 2.0, released in 1996, so theoretically the icon might have been inspired by this graphic, not that it’s actually likely.

The oldest extant version of the program, RAR 1.54 beta (1995), still has a completely different icon.

Digital Pegasus

A Macintosh Paint image from around Christmas 1986, converted to PNG and cropped a little. Macintosh Paint supported only images of 576 × 720 pixels size.

Old Digital Art

Michelangelo's Creation from the Sistine Chapel, digitized in or before August 1992

Botticelli's Birth of Venus, digitized in or before August 1992

Jim Sachs’ Amiga Lagoon

The new header image is a detail of Jim Sachs‘ Amiga Lagoon. Jim Sachs made, among many other things, the graphics for the legendary Defender of the Crown. Of course the Amiga didn’t have an ISA-Bus, but what the heck, the old pic really got on my nerves.

(Meanwhile irrelevant due to theme change, I have instead posted Amiga Lagoon in its full glory.)

3D graphics from Legal Crime

The Byte Enchanters guys made some gorgeous 3D-rendered graphics fro Legal Crime. Some are visible only during setup. This one is shown at the beginning of the CrimeTalk setup routine (click for full 800×600 glory):