“Experiments with computer animation” by Negroponte and Pangaro

  • ©Nicholas Negroponte and Paul Pangaro




    Experiments with computer animation



    Three generally accepted facts are:1. Computers are getting cheap and fast enough to do cost-effective graphics on line and in real time;2. The future of computer graphics is in raster scan;3. Computer animation is emerging as a volatile art form and as a medium for scientific communication.Concurrently, we find computer animation somewhat polluted and distorted by1. The illusionary immediacies of analog techniques;2. The line gestalt of computer output microfilm;3. The transformational paradigm of the 4 by 4 matrix.In contrast, this paper dwells on on-line, real-time, color rasterscan, digital techniques and associated videotapes. Accompanying illustrations present the specific application of a “veridical memory” approach to computer graphics, distinguished from other similar efforts by:1. A 90 nano-second, writable control store;2. Noncontiguous and variable bits per pixel;3. Minicomputer support of PL/1, LISP, and LOGO;4. Advanced graphical input techniques;5. Hardware priorities indigenous to cell animation;6. Production of color hard copy.Results indicate an opportunity for complex descriptions and displays1. In which the message is not the medium;2. Through which color assumes a new role;3. With which the user works without a typeable genre;4. About which our wildest fantasies offer only modest extrapolation.Inasmuch as our work on animation is just beginning, this paper does not take a rigorous posture. Instead, we submit a collage of output, classify some of our errors, and outline likely solutions.

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