by AJT of PULSE and Haplo of Zuul Design

    What is demo making? Some say that it is art. But demo making is only a strange mix between fun, almost-professional quality artwork and a philosophy of out-breaking the already-imposed technical limits. The only factor demo makers have to respect is "beauty", because it is fundamentally our unique underlying limit.

    If we want to consider demo making as an artistic process, common sense dictates that bitmap and 3D artists are - due to the laws of logic - very important in this artistic creative formation. In practice they are not!

    Most bitmap artists do not CREATE their own pictures. They usually choose a photograph or some kind of already existing picture (comics or paintings) and they translate it to a video screen display. It does take time, it needs a lot of qualities, though, objectively, there is no art inside. It is just some kind of ugly copy job, mainly because we change the medium and loose the interesting aspects of the original piece of art.

    When, in the beginning of our century, photography was born, nobody thought that this "technology" could be used to obtain something different from what people already knew. People used the photography in the same spirit and goal as painting. In 1997 we would find it stupid and non sense.

    But it took 50 years to understand that photos and paintings are radically different. Our bitmap "artists" just behave in the same way, since they are trying to copy other forms of art, ending up in an ugly mix between photo/painting/comics original themes and "computer world". There's no particular sense in here if one considers that a demo's prime objective is to outbreak limits and such. Most bitmap artists are just good technicians in what they do. They don't even have a unified vision of art - which is very pathetic.

    On the other hand, raytracing artists always choose the same themes: bottles of wine, monsters in space, space crafts, living rooms... With consistently the same material (marble, metal, chrome), and a worldwide inclination to put many lights, shadows and reflections in their scenes. And that's boring. These days, the "good" 3D artist is the one who performs hyper realistic works - which is much pitiful. "Good" 3D artists must usually use anti-aliasing processes, pixel-hiding methods, object-hiding geometry... Everything relies on the technical master-ship of the tool-user.

    The opposite is more constructive in truth: The computer world is a universe of concepts. Sceners should better explore the way of concepts instead of the techniques themselves. Use pixels, show wire-objects, use reduced palettes and resolutions. Develop a new imagery directly linked to the computer. And no more realistic material mappings.

    To be effective, art needs to yell. Here, scene graphicians should promote and develop a real computer art. With the idea of discovering a new form of craftsmanship which would be able to represent and support the computer's (subversive?) culture; something able enough to transcribe our actions, feelings and hopes. This cannot be achieved by deriving disciplines like oil painting, video, photos and comics. It has to come from our own artistic knowledge. Working on a 320 by 256 screen has NOTHING in common with painting. It's new means with new rules.

    Let us draw a parallel between Imagina and Sigraph. There workers, try to make wanna-be movies. Many say that introducing computer technologies in the creative process of making movies is a revolution.

    And fundamentally "revolution" means to come back at the point of the start.
    No art. No creation.
    No evolution. Nothing.
    Computer imagery is reduced to an n+1 tool at the disposal of movie makers.

    TODAY THERE IS NO INDEPENDENT COMPUTER IMAGERY! Computer Art doesn't exist... instead we have "Synthesis images".

    To explore a new artistic field, we first need to demarcate it and create some kinds of structures. If one has no limits one can't outbreak them. We need to build some walls in order to destroy them later on, and create the seemingly never-to-be-seen-today, "WOW effect". It's the same with Jazz music; without themes, the musician can't make any kind of variations.

    Have you ever seen a picture representing a hard disk's FAT or a download directory?
    That would be scene art!

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