Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Time Marches On
I found this video of copying the Mona Lisa using Microsoft Paint intriguing. The technology is not new, of course. It's not a breakthrough I'm reporting here. It's a kind of signpost, though.
I remember watching Geppetto dance with Pinnochio at the drive-in theater when I was young. My children watch it from time to time on a battered VHS tape. I look at it differently now. Not solely as entertainment.
Men conceived and drew that marvelous thing all by hand. That skill is dead now, more or less. No one needs it. It's the buggy whip of animation.
You can generate all sorts of things like those two figures dancing digitally now, and change them almost instantly into two fish, or Godzilla and Tom Brady, or whatever else comes to mind. There is painstaking work still, of course, but of a different sort than the ink and paint of Walt Disney. It's all ones and zeros now.
I know how to paint an oil painting. Not well, but how it's done is no mystery to me. And I know how to manipulate images on a computer screen, too. I've used MS Paint in particular before too. I found it interesting that the artist began by blocking in the Mona Lisa in the time honored fashion of the oil painting, just without the turpentine. Then they nudged the process 1500 years further along, and brought it to its completion.
We see so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Da Vinci, yes, and Walt Disney and Milt Kahl and Art Babbit; and some man or woman in a cubicle too.