"A Graphician's Tip Book - Part 1"


    Shaithis / Psychic Monks, Immortal Coil
      For those of you who don't know me (which should be just about everyone on
      the PC demo scene), my name's Chris Buecheler (Beekler)... or Shaithis...
      whatever.  I'm an artist and a tracker, although my skills at the former are
      much more, shall we say, refined than the latter.
      Anyway, I contacted Snowman recently, and questioned him on whether he liked
      the idea of a graphics column.  His response was very positive. Go for it.
      Write the column. Okay, So here I am...
      I'm here to give you guys, the slavering demosceners, some information on
      graphics, both for demos and for still viewing.  I know nothing about code,
      so don't ask.  I can probably tell you a bit about tracking, but you'd be
      better off asking Necros or somebody.  I'm going to start this column with
      the true basics, so anyone who has been doing graphics for awhile, disregard.
      Graphics are the pretty pictures that you see on your screen when you use
      your computer for anything.  These graphics are made up of pixels, dots of
      various colors lined up in any certain order.  When you create a work of art
      with these pixels, you have made the exact thing that this column is
      dedicated to.
      Resolution is how many pixels your monitor is displaying or can display on
      the screen at any one time.  Anyone with a monitor can display some amount of
      pixels.  (If you don't have a monitor, you can't read this, and you got
      suckered at your local computer shop).  Anyway, most monitors can handle at
      least VGA (displaying up to a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels at a time,
      horizontal by vertical).  Color depth is also a part of monitors, but we'll
      mention that in the color section.
      NOTE:  Your resolution and colors also depend on your graphics card, but
      that's more technical than I feel like going into. ;)
      Color is (as I learned in Light Color and Design class), determined by three
      factors: Hue, Saturation, and Intensity.  Hue is more or less what people are
      asking about when they say "What color is this?"  Saturation is how true the
      color is, or more specifically, how far away from grey the color is.
      Intensity is how "bright" the color is.  For example, fire-engine red is high
      in both intensity in saturation.  Blood red is high in saturation, but not as
      high in intensity.  Pale pink is not terribly high in either, and so on...
      Color depth is simply what and how many colors your monitor can display at
      any one time.  At first monitors were monochrome, or single color. Then came
      CGA, or 320x200 resolution with 4 colors.  EGA, 320x200x16 colors.  VGA,
      640x480x16.  MCGA (which people usually call VGA) 640x480x256.  SVGA,
      1024x768x256, and EVGA (Which people usually call SVGA) 1024+x768+x256+, up
      to a possible 16.7 million colors.
      Ah.  Here we have the MAJOR debate in the graphics scene.  What is art?  Must
      every pixel be hand drawn, or do rendering techniques qualify?  If you
      believe the former, you probably won't agree with me on everything I have to
      say. That's cool.  Email me.  I believe that an artist should be allowed to
      use ANY tools available to him.  What one creates with an airbrush is no less
      art than what one creates with a paintbrush, so why is Deluxepaint an art
      program, but Photoshop not?
      Sure, if all you're doing is creating a boring texture, and then putting a
      plain white font over it that says "Demos Rock, Baby!", then you have a
      problem.  I think it is the artist, however, more than the tools, that
      defines "art".
      This pretty much brings my first installment to an end.  I'm not going to go
      into any tips and tricks this time around, or the column will be far too
      long.  However, let me give you a brief synopsis of the next few articles:
        Articles Topic
        -------- -----------------------------------------
        2 - 4    Deluxepaint II Enhanced (an introduction)
        5 - 7    Adobe Photoshop (an introduction)
        8 - ?    Tips & Trix (will cover lots of software)
      I'm certain there will be more.  After all, I discover new tricks on an
      everyday basis.  Therefore I'll stop writing now and leave you anticipating
      my next column (I hope).  If you have any tips/tricks/etc. for any art
      programs, don't hold back sending them to me.  I can assure you that all tips
      WILL be credited to their rightful discoverers.  Until next time, I remain:
      Shaithis / WiCKED, Immortal Coil 
    go to part 2

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