AuthorTopic: The History of Pixel Art  (Read 77076 times)

Offline Atnas

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #60 on: March 15, 2016, 07:29:37 am

Maybe the first thing that hypothetical aliens will see of us is pixel art. Thoughts on its relevance to the timeline?

Offline Reo

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #61 on: March 16, 2016, 01:32:27 pm
Huh had no idea you had actually added the Överhogdal tapestry! I was gonna suggest that as it is actually located in my hometown.  :huh:

Offline MAVW

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #62 on: March 17, 2016, 07:15:03 pm
Maybe the first thing that hypothetical aliens will see of us is pixel art. Thoughts on its relevance to the timeline?

"those guys on earth really don't know what classic pixel art is all about, they're just trying to be artsy"

ok, serious now. I don't know if it holds relevance to the timeline because, as I understand, the arecibo message is not about graphic content and rather displays a series of informations that just happens to be in squares.
I'd (kinda) compare it to converting image to a sound format, it's just another form to display the information.

I believe the only exception is the human figure as it is literally the graphic representation, for this I think it shows that even "non artists" agree that squares are really good way to go for lo-fi communication.

maybe an honorable mention for the human figure?

Offline Jeremy

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #63 on: March 19, 2016, 05:01:30 am
I'm glad Susan Kare is on the list, she's somebody who's had a great influence outside of the pixel art space as well.

Offline hapiel

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #64 on: June 18, 2016, 03:45:16 pm
It's insane to say eBoy didn't leave an impression on the popular perception of pixel art. It's like, a thousand times more influential than the cultural footprint of pixelation.

Speaking of eBoy:
Perhaps there should be a mention of the iso-era? A time when dozens of isometric pixel art tutorials popped up, such as the Rhys Davies complete guide? When deviantArt was flooded by isometric artwork and created subcategories for this.. When isocity, pixeldam, the joint and many more isometric collaboration projects opened. It seems to be in the early 00's to me.
I joined the pixel world thanks to the iso-era! (And playing Habbo Hotel)

Also, another popular culture thing which I haven't seen mentioned yet: The post-it wars, and all the other popular forms that people recreate old game sprites!

And how about software? Does the availability of ProMotion, GraphicsGale and MSpaint influence us and our history?

Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #65 on: October 25, 2016, 12:05:31 am
I've added a lot of new images, and condensed some entries.

New additions to the timeline:
1964 George H. Heilmeier invents the LCD
-maybe it's better to use the year in which refined LCDs really took off as computer screens and affected change in pixel art? whenever that was...

1994 Hagenuk MT-2000

1989 Atari Lynx

1990 SEGA Game Gear

Vari-Vue is interesting, but I'm not sure that it's specific to pixel art. Either way, It's been difficult to find any precise information on the company and their products, and with lenticular images dating back to the 17th century, this technology might be tough to pin to a single date.
- - -

With that, a few questions for the community:

Does anyone have an early screen-grab from the early days of pixelation? Or any information on early graphing calculator games?

Is it worth mentioning early game developers for cellphones? Jamdat? Glu Mobile? Gameloft?

I will also take suggestions on what to remove from the list to make it more succinct or relevant.

Offline RAV

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #66 on: October 26, 2016, 04:29:27 am
I think you handled LCD well by foreshadowing its later importance. I'm not sure about mentioning dither in particular at the very end.
The rise and fall of dither in popularity had several factors, has a bit more to do with the processing than the display.

Don't you think the first IBM PC and Mac are worth mentioning though? Today, pixel art is most of all an indie PC phenomenon.
Their first popular 3d shooters like Wolfenstein employed pixel art textures, as a precursor to Minecraft. The Pixel moved on as Texel.
Also, the introduction of the voxel as "3d pixel" seems relevant to me. Both mark the move from the literal physical pixel to the virtual logical pixel.
Both of these are significant steps that all modern implementations of pixel art games today very much rely on, even as pure 2d games.

Then what's become as important today as hardware in the past, is software development frameworks and game engines. They are the new consoles. From RPG Maker / Game Maker to Unity, to the Internet web browser, that's how pixel art gained massive popularity again. That's what made all the new pixel smash hits possible. Hrrm, maybe even mention emulators and homebrew scene?

Good work by the way.


« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 04:37:41 am by RAV »

Offline Ai

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #67 on: October 26, 2016, 08:04:41 am
The mention of dithering makes more sense with the context of CRT being the previous technology. Dithering worked pretty well on a CRT. Although to be fair, increasing screen sizes may have contributed to the 'blatant' appearance of dithering on LCD screens.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #68 on: October 26, 2016, 04:28:17 pm
I agree that there can be a preference of techniques based on display tech. But I think it's a mixed bag in what happened with dither, and other factors are more important. So I'm concerned if it may look like the display tech is the deciding reason for or against dither in particular.

The primary motivation for dither was getting around the limited colour depth for things that required more colour. Displays were capable of more colours long before the processing. Dither was already on the decline before the LCD, because of the higher colour depth in processing. And if we still would have had 8-bit by the time LCD became popular, people would still have dithered like hell. Dither often looked like crap on CRT too, because of the crappy preset palette of consoles. But the need for more colour was so strong people did it anyway.

Now as you mentioned, later on with LCDs, something interesting happened, because of the ever higher resolution, dither started to look good again on LCD. Or let's put it this way: pixels became so small, that they became the equivalent to the rgb components of real pixels in the old days. In that, dither colour could become literally indistinguishable from actual colour. But the problem then is, why bother? why complicating your work when you don't need it. We have all the colour in the world. That's what makes dither pixel art retro in the actual sense, because it has problems justifying itself in the modern world.

But that's only half true either. Because besides some subtleties in looks, I've seen people sometimes do interesting effects with dither in a way that obviously relies on being dither. That's the situation we have now. People are looking for ways to differentiate themselves on the market. They see most games don't use dither. So maybe let's try make something with dither. But just being different isn't enough. It must be different in an interesting and relevant way.

"Because I rely on dither, I can do feature xyz."
"Because I don't use dither, I can do feature xyz."

Which side has the better conclusion to that. That's what decides the fate of dither today.

The success of pixel style or technique is no longer about hardware. It's about the features a chosen style or technique can provide or support.



« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 04:35:11 pm by RAV »

Offline yrizoud

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #69 on: October 27, 2016, 02:24:59 pm
Somewhere around 2005-2010, CRT technology got abandoned. I think it's important to note that LCDs got standardized to display square pixels, no matter their resolution, while games of the previous generation used a VGA screen mode,  where pixels are 20%taller than they are wide. A lot of websites don't bother with the difference , and the screenshots of these games are not corrected for display, they appear "flatter" than they should.