AuthorTopic: The History of Pixel Art  (Read 37592 times)

Offline Helm

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #40 on: February 07, 2016, 07:38:45 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.

Offline 0xDB

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #41 on: February 07, 2016, 11:02:38 pm
The history of crapxels is deeply intertwined with that of pixels. Without the one, the other could not exist and vice versa.

Offline Gil

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #42 on: February 08, 2016, 08:42:14 am
I think it was somewhere around Habbo Hotel that people started realizing isocrap wasn't the promised land :D

Offline ndchristie

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #43 on: February 23, 2016, 02:31:04 am
Perhaps consider cellular automata, especially the game of life (1970)
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Offline Cure

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #44 on: February 24, 2016, 12:31:51 am
Thanks for the featured tag on the front page. I'll update this list soon, I've been bogged down with commissions the past couple of weeks. Thanks to all for the contributions. In addition to the suggestions y'all brought up, I also considered calculator games... anyone know about 'em?

Offline Indigo

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #45 on: February 24, 2016, 12:43:35 am
some of the suggestions are a bit of a stretch to be considered a part of pixel art history in my opinion.  Such as the game of life.  The only thing that shares with pixel art is the square grid, but it has absolutely no properties of "art".

As for calculator games, the few most popular ones when I was in school were the PuzzPack collection (Block dude, Dino Puzzle, Puzzle Frenzy, and Pegs), and the Phoenix series.

Interesting factoid I learned today, the original Gameboy used a modified version of the same CPU that most graphing calculators of the time were using (including the TI-83 if i'm not mistaken)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 12:46:12 am by Indigo »

Offline Basketcase

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #46 on: February 24, 2016, 06:31:54 pm
This is a very valuable project.

Here are some moments I think are worth noting.

1999 - 2004

16color.com accumulates 40,000 user-submitted animations. Who else remembers this?

They had an app for making animations, which could upload them to the site, which hosted them as gifs. Everything shared a 16 colour palette and a fixed resolution. Tons of amateur doodles, a few absolute gems, lots of disgusting and offensive cartoons, some interesting multi-part series and animated tile things (exploiting the listing pages' layout that showed animated thumbnails in a grid). Pre-Youtube crowd-sourced animations for the masses.

Then it unceremoniously shut down, deleted everyone's stuff, and released a 'best of' DVD.

Quote
All proceeds go directly to the development of 16 Color's next version coming in 2005.

... yeah, that never happened. (Someone else should step in and make a spiritual successor.)

2008-2013(?)
imageboard.net - another accumulation of user submissions, sadly lost to the ages. Some pages are on the Wayback Machine. Not to be confused with a site like 4chan. It was basically a forum without text: threads with only images as replies to images. And not uploaded images, but ones drawn with the site's pixel-art-oriented Flash drawing tool, usually incrementally modified from the previous post. Fixed resolution, unlimited palette.

Largely anonymous, although users could make accounts. But it didn't show usernames--no text, remember!--just pixelly avatars.

Everything was posted with a share-alike Creative Commons license, and user-rated for quality and offensiveness.

Another site that could use a modern reboot.

2008
Mozilla's Firefox 3 is released, with rendering behaviour that automatically anti-aliases zoomed images. Pixel art enthusiasts are pretty much the only people on Earth who complain about this change. [1] [2]

This is largely fixed later: current browsers including Firefox generally anti-alias images by default, but offer some unofficial CSS features to allow site authors to switch it off and render fat pixels.

2010
Apple releases the iPhone 4, with 'Retina display': 4 times the screen resolution density. Pixel art hit again with unwanted smooth-scaling rendering.

A few kinda negative points. Call it History of the Downfall of Pixel Art :crazy:
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 09:23:45 pm by Basketcase »
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Offline ndchristie

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #47 on: February 25, 2016, 04:08:53 am
Quote
some of the suggestions are a bit of a stretch to be considered a part of pixel art history in my opinion.  Such as the game of life.  The only thing that shares with pixel art is the square grid, but it has absolutely no properties of "art".

I disagree with this, obviously, or I wouldn't have suggested it.

In common usage, art is a (primarily visual) subset of communication, which I would describe as the union of action, accident, and interpretation.

Animation is the assembly of images or art objects in a way which conveys life, movement, or other change.

Pixel art and animation is distinct from other artistic media in that it is the study of the way in which combinations of regular, tessellating, rectilinear cells interact visually and mechanically in a way that communicates form and movement.

Since the game of life and other cellular automata satisfy all of those criteria, and in fact kick some of them into high gear, I would absolutely consider them modes or expressions of pixel art.

I would even say these are much more like pixel art than ancient mosaics or pointilism, which don't obey any regular grid and have as much in common with most pixel art as vajazzling.  If those similarities are enough to merit inclusion, then my understanding was that this was meant to be a pretty inclusive list.  That being the case, why not throw Chuck Close in?  Why not post-it art?  Why not Girih? 

I'm not even being sarcastic -- these could easily be worthwhile inclusions in the sense that they represent explorations of color and form across tessellating surfaces which might provide inspiration, and inspiring others is a much more worthwhile goal than trying to draw a line between what is or is not pixel art.
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Offline Indigo

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #48 on: February 25, 2016, 07:25:36 am
I don't want to turn this into a debate about what is or isn't "art" - and typically I'm pretty liberal in my definition of it.  And perhaps by a more abstract definition it is art, but not in any way that provides value to the discussion of how we're using the word; the illustrative sense of the word, as pixel art inherently is.

I disagree with your common usage definition.  The one as most would understand it would be closer to the Webster's definition:
something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings

And that's more or less how I'd define it if asked. So I ask, what ideas is the game of life expressing? What skill or imagination was used?  The answers to these questions do exist, but it's not in the result of the outputted pixels on a grid; which was, inherently, procedural and without a creator. The answers lie in the design of the laws of the simulation - because that's what the game of life actually is; a simulation.

But even by your definition it's hard to fit The Game of Life in there. What is there to interpret? What is it visually communicating to you? Curiously you left out "intent" from your definition which I think is probably the most important factor of art.

Do you know where I learned about the game of life?  A science book about artificial intelligence when I was researching my middle school science fair project. If you read the Wiki article you will find zero references to art, yet it is littered with references to science and mathematics because that was it's origin.  The goal was to simplify and expand upon the ideas presented by John von Neumann who sought to find a mathematical model for a self replicating machine.  The intent was to build a simulation governed by laws which would give rise to self-replication.  I'm not trying to be authoritative about art, but it seems very clear that this is not what we're talking about when it comes to pixel art. In fact it has many properties that would be contrary to the definition of art as it pertains to pixel art.

This may come down to a personal preference, but I value concentrated information rather than an exhaustive approach.  If I wanted to learn about the history of pixel art and found myself reading about Conway's game of life, I would feel my time is being wasted because it's so tangentially related to what I'm trying to learn that it would be of almost no value.  Either way, it doesn't matter to much to me in the end what is included and I'm not trying to attack your input to the discussion.  If the goal is to be an exhaustive and inclusive list, then so be it, I just personally wouldn't find much use in that format.

I guess a simpler argument why I feel The Game of Life isn't relevant to the discussion is it doesn't have an answer to the basic question: How did The Game of Life impact Pixel Art?

I truly cannot see any way it did.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 08:51:16 am by Indigo »

Offline Ai

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Re: The History of Pixel Art

Reply #49 on: February 25, 2016, 08:11:43 am
If the goal is to be an exhaustive and inclusive list, then so be it, I just personally wouldn't find much use in that format.
:y:
Once we've really teased out all of the events that had a clear influence on the development of pixel art, I suspect that list will already be quite long. A modified Game Of Life might be relevant if you're trying to get computers to generate 'pixel art' with nice clusters, or maybe a creative scene transition/wipe, but it doesn't seem relevant to 'choices pixel artists made'.
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