Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Michael Jansen has some computer generated pictures I really like. This is for instance the background on my computer at the moment.

But his pictures are not the kind of pictures I'd want to print out and have on the wall. I like them on the computer, not on paper- and I think the reason for that is games. His topics and his styles are very game-inspired, the realism that's more than realism: all details in place but not smooth and fluid, rounded as in a drawing. They are obviously built trough squares and with pixels, kind of like the statues in Legoland, Denmark. This is also, I assume, why his pictures of objects floating in water or flying seem to work better than of objects and particularly people standing. The effects of gravity is subtle, expressed in the way bodies distribute weight: complicated to achieve while drawing free hand, even worse when the image is built or contructed rather than drawn. When floating or flying gravity is already defied, and the slightly unreal weightlessness of the figure enhances that sensation and brings the images over to the fantastic.

I think this is also a reason why the games I have seen with really good animation are not of humans or even the earth. There was one really gorgeously animated game which never became a great hit - with clay figures... When I come home, I'll check the name, unless it suddenly pops up in my mind. The game was a bit too much of an enigmatic world of riddles, which tended to rely on association rather than connotations for clues - but it was absolutely geougeously animated, and I loved the music. Anyway - the figures have weight, which is a goal for the serious animator - weight and mass - and it's a lot easier to give non-familiar objects that illusion, than familiar ones. We know what gravity and speed do to humans, but not to Erochnaqs from Eritrpathyx.

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