The History of Computer Graphics and Digital Art Project
Describe your field. Why are you interested in Computer Art/ Computer Graphics and what (event, need, idea, hope, obstacle) caused your involvement? Summarize your line of development (the essence of your input to the field) in relation to concurrent technology.
I am a landscape photographer whose work concentrates on the water in the landscape near my home. I became interested in using computers in my work when I started work on a website to display my photography on the internet. In order to do this I taught myself to use Photoshop software. It was during the preparation of pictures with Photoshop that I started to use the zoom tool to zoom in on small areas of my scanned photographs. This echoed the way in which I used a 300mm zoom lens to take close-up pictures of water in landscapes.
Does the computer allow you to think visually about some topic or process in new ways? How has this influenced your work? Describe your ultimate accomplishment.
The computer is allowing me to explore the process of abstraction in a much more immediate way than previous methods. The use of image maps or hot-spots is providing me with a way of visually representing the creative processes involved in making my pictures. I am a beginner in the use of computers in art so my ultimate accomplishment at present is my website.
Has the field of computer art and graphics progressed in the ways that you expected? What has surprised you? What do you like about its progress and what do you wish had happened differently? What do you think the future holds for visual computing in science/art? Please make some predictions or wish lists for the near- and long-term future.
As a relative newcomer to this area of activity, I have no expectations about the way computer art and graphics is progressing. Because of this I don't believe I have seen enough yet to make any comment on its progress. Like many people I wish that Steve Jobs had licensed the Mac operating system to other computer manufacturers instead of restricting its use to Apple Macs. I would imagine that the future for visual computing in science and art is a bright one as the visual representation of data often makes it easier to interpret than written information/numbers on a page. I think that the use of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to represent data spatially will increase quite strongly in the future.
Describe your dream environment for enhancing your project ideas. What are your preferred tools for creating and how do they work? What tools (hardware/software) you have used initially had the strongest impact on your work?
Ideally my work could be improved with the use of an inexpensive digital camera that had the image resolution of medium format film. A printer, ink and paper that produced prints with the same appearance and archival quality as Ilfachrome photographs would also be useful. I use a Canon 300mm Image Stabilising zoom lens on a Canon EOS camera to take my pictures which are then scanned onto my PC using a Nikon film scanner. The use of Photoshop and Dreamweaver software packages has affected my work the most in the last few years.
Describe how you think specific advancements in technology, such as wireframe, hidden line removal, scanner, laser, HTML, Java applets, or any other advancement determined the way the approaches to creating art/graphics evolved?
I don't have enough knowledge to answer this question properly. The use of art and design software and inexpensive computers has made it easier for us to create computer art and graphics but this can be at the expense of the quality of the resulting images.
How would you characterize the milestones (every ten years) in the development of computer technology? Which ones were most influential in art/graphics?
I suppose the first important milestone in the development of computer technology to me was the use of the Graphical User Interface and mouse pointer of the Apple Mac and Windows operating systems. After this would be the increased speed of computers and availability of inexpensive printers. The last few years have been characterised by the easy availability of scanners to input images onto a computer and software to manipulate these pictures.
Which persons would you indicate as the pioneers in the particular areas/stages in which decade?
I am unable to answer this as I have very little knowledge at present of people working in computer graphics. I imagine the people who developed the Graphical User Interface and mouse pointer would have had a key role in the development of computer art/graphics.