AuthorTopic: Pixel art genres  (Read 41170 times)

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #40 on: July 20, 2013, 11:11:29 am
After writing all that I did up there, I did realize I forgot to talk about flashback, even thought about an edit, but here we are.

Cyclone was on my mind when I was writing that, it would have been more useful to site the exact artist rather than the entire demo scene, which I understand cannot and should not be a blanket for any one thing.

You seem to have a very large aversion to "ego stroking", When I don't see how that can happen from this discussion. If I declared that I was at the forefront of medialantialiasminimalcolorpalettism and discussed at length on how I started the movement, I would understand where you're coming from.
If you mean some sort of collective ego stroking where we are making pixel art a bigger deal than it " should be" I think it would be more silly to admit that some of us make a living in part by doing something that we ourselves don't consider important, than claim it is important.

If the comment "stemming from a renaissance with classical pixel art" doesn't have any meaning to you, then you are not seeing or allowing me to make, what I think is a very simple analogy where classical hellenistic art, which was the inspiration for the italian renaissance, is likened to the highest quality work on the Amiga such as Lionheart and of course the bitmap brothers with chaos engine. While it is a bit of a stretch because I am letting "classical" be defined more on quality than certain "style", I am simply stating that one could see in your image similar technical qualities to older, highly esteemed works in the same way the italian renaissance was built on greco-roman work that proceeded it.. You would also find these qualities in a Big Brother, and even a little in a St0ven ( although his early work drew a lot of inspiration from highly detailed static enemy sprites in ff like games), but you would not find it in a Kenneth Fejer, or much in an indigo/danfessler or a Cure.

Pixel art is not important. To "Normal" people. It's existence never has and never will influence people in the way "real" art has, but it's obviously important to us. Perhaps writing about the work of a "living" pixel artist such as yourself was not the best way to convey my message, but surely we are far away enough from work created up to, say, the GBA to study it in a historical manner? The " how much time have you spent" thing may work in your favor in other threads, but back when I was extremely active in these forums I would look at the hall of light database almost daily for inspiration and insight; this went on for well over a year. While I may not have first hand experience with these games as you do, I have utilized the zoom function on the "ancient" works of the amiga to some rather large extent. I don't claim to be a historical expert on the pixel art produced in this era, but I'm aware of some of it's more common trends.

Alls I'm saying is I see no reason to shoot down an opportunity for discussion. Even if we're both wrong about the fruitfulness of it, Letting that be found out by actually doing the talking is better than just assuming there is no point.

Offline hapiel

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #41 on: July 20, 2013, 11:19:38 am
Ryu, Helm,  I am reading your posts with high interest! Thanks for participating and keep on going.  ;D

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #42 on: July 23, 2013, 03:25:07 pm
Of course what we do to make a living is important. But it's not necessarily art that will live an enduring mark on the world and whether pixel art will (or game art, most probably) that's a thing to leave to future historians.

Re: Ego-stroking, how it occurs. Just writing all these large texts about each other's work, it's really unsettling (at least it was to me to read the above text you wrote). Analysis can give way to ass-pats very easily.

NOTHING, literally NOTHING I've ever drawn deserves to be said to have a 'classical' (or neo-classical, which is what you're talking about) ambition. My trad skills are not there. It just makes me hold my head in my hands to read 'italian renaissance' and 'Lionheart on the Amiga' in the same sentence. As good as the pixel tech might be, the art in Lionheart looks like a freakin' saturday morning cartoon more than anything else (no disrespect and I love it for what it is, I would bet Henk Nieborg would agree).

I do not agree and do not think you should get away with making a connection between Hellenistic period (which is different from Ancient Greek Golden Century period) sculpture (is that what you have in mind?) and any sort of pixel art. It's just not there. I don't see it. Where are these pixel artists with their amazing anatomy and austere grace? Where is this 500 hour workmanship to finely chisel every last edge of every last facet? Nowhere. Even the most meticulous pixel artist will spend a fraction of the time on a piece of art that, pixel technique aside, has low culture aesthetics and proudly does so. You do not make a compelling case, so you shouldn't use 'neo/classical' or renaissance to describe pixel artists.

I was looking at this today


http://wtfarthistory.com/post/25851106717/truth-coming-out-of-her-well

Have you ever seen anything as striking and technically accomplished in any pixel art ever? Of course not. So, until someone pixels something of this caliber (and doesn't copy from a photo or already existing painting, lol), let's eat some humble pie and describe pixel art as what it is: fast, rough, pop-artish, modernist or post-modernist, computery, video-gamey, lowbrow and utilitarian, symbolic, retrofuturist, bright colourful nonsense at best or worst according to your vantage.


In any case, I don't want to be misunderstood. I am not against this discussion. I just find that the way it's been happening has been simultaneously too low ("phah! Demoscene! Wouldn't it look better as something else? Why is this even pixel art???" sorry to misquote to make it sound worse but that's how it sounded to me when I first read it) and toο faux high-brow, as I've explained. It'd take a real art historian or three to put things in their proper context and we don't have them at hand, but they might be out there, working on it.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 03:29:36 pm by Helm »

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #43 on: July 23, 2013, 04:14:22 pm
That reading is a bit too literal maybe. At least within each different craft there can be "figurative" equivalence of importance and influence internally, even if not comparable in totality of it beyond.

The attempt of listing movements I found useful so far, actually all the more useful the more specific it was, with concrete examples. To this, "Superchunk" I found particularly interesting, and served better than "Demo Scene". This mention already made the topic worth it for me personally.

Basically, what this topic should be about is what Pixel Art can be like visually. There are all these tutorials about specialist techniques, but what newbies also need is stylistic inspirations, at least a rough orientation of styles that worked out well in PA, like for certain types of games or scenes, and the particular details of circumstances and motivations (e.g. I liked when you mentioned the amiga copper blit). If anything, it is the little but interesting details you may be able to document better now than 50 years in the future; little as they are, they are often significant to understand, yet are lost first in history.

So, towards this I have a question:
How significant to PA do you believe are outlines? What ramifications does it have when doing without (like, colours)?  Do you have examples of works that did really well totally without? What is it like working with or without?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 04:41:39 pm by RAV »

Offline big brother

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #44 on: July 23, 2013, 04:48:52 pm
Funny you picked that painting. Gerome used photographs extensively in his work. Neo-Grec isn't exactly ground-breaking artistically, either.

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #45 on: July 23, 2013, 05:19:40 pm
Nitpicking, but sure: It's one thing to use photos and another to copy them and the difference is clear on the above painting, I hope. I am the last person to be against using photo sources for art, but I am against copying - a staple of the demoscene community.

Also re: groundbreaking, wasn't my point. Effort and result differs, I don't care what's new, particularily, not does this thread seem to be about that.

Offline ptoing

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #46 on: July 23, 2013, 09:44:59 pm
About the "Superchunk" thing. Yes hapiel is correct, I called it "Chunk Funk" and it came simply from me playing around with the C64 hires restrictions. I did not want to hide them, and so I put emphasis on them which resulted in exactly that style. I am not claiming that I came up with it first, but I was not consciously inspired by anything at that time. It was even before I knew about Chuck Close.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #47 on: July 24, 2013, 12:15:15 am
Personally I don't find that particular painting (result) too interesting. It's nice. I suppose it's evocative to some, but I often find these kind of pieces a little shallow (where I stand, if you imagine the painting as a pond) because I'm not searching for the things that are presented.

Show of effort can certainly give a painting an interesting background story and value (it was painted using the nose), but ultimately I find myself captivated the most by the ideas expressed (novelty of cleverness?) (in particular pertaining to physical form and not emotional impact, because I'm a monster/scifi concept artist and damaged like that), and perhaps I also like how sensitive the creation is to failure... i.e... was the artist so meticulous/skilled that a random change would ruin the piece? What's the degree of arbitrariness allowed? How deep did the artist go in optimizing each... brick? I don't mean to say that it's the artist's skill which impresses me, but rather something like... if each brick was optimized, the whole of the design is probably interesting and then I reflect on the artist's skill. As an example, I rarely find random Zbrush'ed alien heads that interesting because there can be a lot of arbitrary detail. Same with many greebly spaceships, and scifi exo armours with random plates.

With pixel art, we (almost) literally have bricks to work with, and show of optimization becomes interesting on many levels (not just likeness and pixel double duty, but also byte-use beauty / restrictions / mathematics, tile double duty on the larger scale, etc). Just like a traditional artist might appreciate a painting technique (and others can be blind to it), a pixel artist (may be same person) can appreciate the deeper layers of a sprite.

These pieces are on my wall for other reasons though

Anyways. Not sure if that was a defense of pixel art. I find that the pixel art medium often too lowrez and crude for doing the type of design work that I expressed appreciation for above... though on the other hand... lowrez is just imagination highrez and I often feel like highrez detail work is a bit of a wank. A happy accident pixel blob can be as evocative to some as the naked lady popping out of the well, I suppose.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #48 on: July 24, 2013, 02:34:41 am
Helm, you have gravely misunderstood the way I was utilizing my comparisons to the renaissance and ancient greek sculpture to pixel art. I meant to create parallels to pixel art's own history, independent of art in general. I was under the impression that this thread was treating pixel art as separated from the large scale view of art. In this manner, any work that is created now with similar aesthetics to artistically successful amiga games would be considered "renaissance" in pixel art history. There are no perfect equivalents, but work produced with a comparable level of technique and representation without the visible inspiration of classical pixel art could be contemporary pixel realism or im-pixelism depending on the style, in the same way that impressionism and artists like John Singer Sargent were not working in the same modes and methods as neoclassical ( which was yet another resurgence of classical art) artists but still creating work of great beauty and importance.

I utilize the terms " classical" "renaissance" and the like only as they are important in the timeline and development of art, and make those connections on the micro scale to that of the history of pixel art-not so much their aesthetic qualities or technical prowess.

If you have problems with me using these words simply because of the attachment they have to those qualities and level of technique ( I agree that you cannot compare the work of what we do to that of what was done in the past at an equal level upon these grounds) I can only tell you that they had meaning before those movements and that is what I am after here. Classical pixel art is art created early on in the timeline of pixel art history whose technical and aesthetic level is many degrees higher than the majority of what has been at the time. Renaissance pixel art is any art that honors those artists and time tested techniques, and modern pixel artists are ones discarding those techniques and aesthetic qualities in search of something new and innovative.

Offline Conzeit

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Re: Pixel art genres

Reply #49 on: July 24, 2013, 05:17:56 am
Hay guys.

I kinda understand where Helm's coming from because there was a time in purple Pixelation when some people would call other people PixelGods,  nobody was sick enough to say yeah, I'm a pixel god, but that did give pixelation somewhat of an air of exclusiity and avant garde.  in retrospective I can see I was caught up in that and it was not very good for my development as an artist. That kind of atmosphere paved the way for stuff that is seen as not very helpful nowdays like the idea of selout and whatnot.

At the same time, I think Happiel was doing this in a very, very playful way and I think no one here really sees the mouse(joystick?) of demoscene art as something comparable to the chisel of helenistic art...or whatever.

I think we should be allowed to play a little pretend, as long as nobody starts buying the pretend and going a little insane thinking the history of pixelart has the same relevance as the rest of history, or is even relevant to history. At this point, I think it's been made clear enough.

I think treating these words (genre, helenistic, whatever) as sacred might be in a similar level of egocentrism as treating pixelart as something to be revered, simply because it's another form of taking things too seriously.

Personally, the idea of genres doesnt interest me that much, it does seem like the kind of classification done by people who dont do art.

Now, if you want to tell me how you think demoscene people did a specific kind of dithering that you like, I'm interested in that.....call it a genre if you may, as long as you know that's a little nutty and you dont take yourself too seriously :p

TLDR: So yeah, we are not historians, but should we really be worked up about this? I dont really think anyone came here with the attitude "lo and behold, tis the story of how them pixels changed the world" let's keep it real and see what we can get out of the discussion, regardless of erroneous terms and weak logic
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 05:28:45 am by Conceit »