Posted by midiguru on June 20, 2009
Remember the Mac IIci? Great computer, for its day. Back in 1992 or thereabouts, I found myself with a loaner machine in my home. On it was a copy of Photoshop.
I can’t draw, so Photoshop was an ideal program with which to discover the joys of being a visual artist. Apply three or four filters to areas selected with the magic wand tool, apply a few color contours, and you can end up with stunning abstract textures that you might never think of if you could draw. I had a few of my best images printed (not cheap, in those days) and framed (not cheap either). Four or five of them hang on my walls today.
Computers are a lot faster now, and I’m sure Photoshop is more powerful too. But it’s also expensive! Plus, I don’t need a bad case of mouse hand. So I’ve been able to resist temptation.
Last night I was looking for some basic photo processing software to crop some images, and downloaded Gimp. Oh, no! It’s Photoshop! And free! (Yes, I know it’s properly GIMP — the Gnu Image Manipulation Program. I just hate names that are in ALL CAPS.)
I still don’t own a digital camera, but I do have a nice scanner in my office, so old family photos are fair game. Not only that, but the possibilities for presentation of digital artwork have progressed rather markedly. In 1992, there was no such thing as a personal website, let alone flickr.
The possibilities go far beyond that. I’ve had a look at Ren’Py, a free program for building interactive visual novels. The folks who created it seem to be devoted to anime-style comic books, but you could do a slide show with it. The slide show could be nonlinear. It could include embedded Python code that would do some odd or provocative things.
This could be fun!