That just wont do, I thought as I stared at a newly rendered
image. Its almost like a photograph and thats not what I want. I
recalled how I would struggle for days to capture a feeling in an
oil painting. Now, some thirty-five years later, I am still
struggling. Only now, I have traded in my palette knife and oils
for surface maps and meshes. New tools but the same old struggle.
In the early digital days of Apples, C-64s, Ataris, et al., there
were few if any applications that allowed the level of expression
that I am offered today. I now have a plethora of applications to
choose from with an unprecedented array of options for digital
self-expression. This evolution took less than 20 years. Are we
tracking along similar lines as did earlier artists?
Many of us
strive to render photo-perfect images. Is that not what the early
masters were doing? How many of us rendered a flag to portray our
solidarity with NYC and the World Trade Center? Why create when
there are photographs available? Perhaps self-expression or
recording history in artthe same age-old reasons. The merging of
computer aided design, art, and rendering has forged a Digital
of sorts. What we are experiencing now is a birth
of the New, through digital tools and a vast, interconnected
community of digital artists. We can see art in real time as the
artist completes it thousands of miles away! Renderosity is a
gathering of artists, just as artists gathered in Europe in great
halls to discuss art. Those art communities spawned great artists;
will great art be spawned from this community of digital artists?
Will we follow in the footsteps of our ancestors in discovering new
ways to express ourselves, starting with photo-realism, will we be
forging into gaussianism, scatterism and beyond? I dont know. I do
know that some of the art posted on Renderosity will one day be
recorded by historians as an important part of early digital art.
While I sat staring at my pristine render wondering what was wrong,
I realized that I was not searching for a photo realistic render at
all, but a more impressionistic landscape. Maybe its just a phase
Im in. I wonder how many others are going through a phase as well?
Future historians may or may not write about what is happening
here, today, but I assure you recorded or not, it is
There is web site that maintains games and emulators
for early computer systems. It lists some of the early, fixed
palette, pixel-by-pixel gaming artists of some twenty years ago. I
smile to know my name is listed there. Twenty years from now, as I
relax in front of my wireless digital picture frame gallery,
running turn of the century works from the Digital Renaissance, I
will smile, because your name will be listed there.
About ddm: Artist,
Engineer and occasional armchair philosopher. Over the last 30
years, Doug has sold traditional large canvas artwork, developed
and sold computer game software and artwork, and showed and sold
traditional B&W fine art photographs. He is a published digital
rendering artist, and has already booked 5 shows in 2003 of his
current digital photographic impressions artwork. Throughout the
70's, he painted and sold artwork using traditional mediums such as
oils and pastels. Then as co-owner of Artworx Software Company Inc.
in the 80's, he developed several popular software games for the
emerging computer market. In the 90's his artistic efforts turned
to traditional photographic artwork, working exclusively in B&W
from 35mm to 5x7 large format. Then in the late 90's he
experimented with digital rendering tools such as Terragen, Poser,
Bryce and 3D-Max, and was published in Taschen's 2002 Digital
Beauties book. Over the last several years, he has combined his
knowledge of traditional B&W wet darkroom techniques and his
traditional artwork background with software and computer skills to
develop a new look in photographic art. Something he calls digital
photographic impressionism, a blend between art and photography. In
addition to operating his own business, Final Impressions, he is
also working on a limited edition digital art book and is in the
process of building a community of other Alternative Process
Digital Photographic artists.
We're happy to announce the launch of the Magazine Interact Forum's
Back Room, "The official online extension of Renderosity Magazine"!
This will be the
place to go for editorials, magazine
excerpts, discussions, and plenty of surprises. Also, if you
haven't done so yet, you can subscribe
to the magazine or buy single
. To find your way there, go to the Magazine
, and click on the link to the Back
at the top. Every couple of weeks, we'll be highlighting
an article, review, or editorial from past issues of the magazine.
Our first feature is an editorial from Issue #1,
"The Digital Renaissance"
(pdf) by ddm