Modern technology has redefined many things in our lives. The way we communicate; the speed and efficiency when we travel; and the way in which we entertain ourselves. Not only this, but a raft of electronic devices and computer simulations have revolutionized science. The advance of the computer has altered mathematics, one of the purest forms of reasoning. Even art has been forced to rethink its approach and the boundary between artist, mathematician and programmer are becoming increasingly blurred with art of digital.
Not so long ago art was restricted to static creations, such as a photograph or oil painting, with the artist then exhibiting their work to the passive viewer. Today, computer-based visual art is not longer inert. It evolves and develops right in front of us, allowing the audience to interact in a way that makes digital art a formidable medium.
Digital art, like a subservient pet, responds to the owners (or viewers) actions. For example, from the slight movement of a computer mouse, or more impressively, tracking the motion of different parts of the body. The interaction of the viewer can change the character of the work, transforming them to the artist.
The early days of digital art and computer graphics were dominated by scientists and research technicians as they were the only people who possessed the knowledge to operate the computers of that time. Since then, the number of artists using technology in their work has increased so dramatically, that artists are now programmers and programmers are now artists.
“Computers have heralded a revolution, not only in the way that visual art can be produced, particularly in computer games, but the way in which the viewer can interact with movement and the environment,” says Paul Ayliffe, Creative Director of Black Rock Studios, who developed racing game Pure. “When I was a lead artist 15 years ago, I was regarded as a well-known artist; simply the natural ability to animate with basic tools. With the blistering pace of technology, all artists are now equipped with a versatile digital art portfolio or experience in CG visuals.”
If gameplay now offers the player more exploration and control, then Spore surely delivers this in abundance. It is widely regarded as a revolution in gaming and perceived a modern day coloring book. It’s not a game that relies on trigger-happy reflexes, more closely it resembles a tool to create; an alluring galaxy to discover other people’s creations and content. Never before has the traditional gamer been handed so much freedom to do what their instinct and heart desire.
Blizzard Entertainment, the powerhouse behind popular World of Warcraft, has heavily capitalized on the recent appeal from online gaming communities. It has an estimated 10 million subscriber’s worldwide, with 7.5m of those users paying a $15 month-by-month subscription – generating a staggering $1.35bn in revenue per year. And let’s not forget the launch of Wrath of the Lich King in November to add to this figure.
The millions of illusive gamer clans around the globe are relishing the opportunity to execute new and elaborate tactics on one another. There is a distinct buzz going around the online gaming community, and this multi-billion dollar industry is underpinned with gamers who proudly call themselves artists – reinforcing the blur between programmer, artist, and viewer once again.
Even Doctors are turning to digital artists to help patients understand their illness and course of treatment. Artists turn medical images from 3D anatomical scans into less imposing forms, giving patients clarity and improving the communication with their doctor. This digital procedure is also being used to raise awareness among people with diabetes of the serious side-effects of their condition.
To appreciate the point of dynamic digital art and design, you need to be there; experience the energy and creativity; touch, feel and use your imagination. Digital art is the present and future, and it is no wonder that businesses are welcoming this form to encourage a wider audience.
Aurora is a leading full-service design agencies in the UK, with digital art integrated within all of its creative platforms.
“The main focus for us is to educate and inspire our clients as to what can be achieved through the use of digital arts,” says Paul Danbury, Managing Director of Aurora. “It is very encouraging how our clients, and the industry as a whole, have embraced the infinite possibilities of this medium. It’s imperative as an agency we keep with the rapid pace in which technology is evolving and are proud to be involved in such a vibrant market.”
We now live and survive in a digital age. An age where life merges into art and art is the ideal way to express life. Never before has life had so much life!
Memory Saving in What is Now a Digital Age.
With amateur photography gaining in popularity, digital cameras are becoming the norm. The convenience of digital cameras over traditional film cameras coupled with recent advancements in picture quality have meant more pictures conveying happy holiday memories than ever before.
Back in 2003 12.8 million digital cameras were owned, a marginally larger number than film cameras, 33% of households were seen to own a digital camera by the end of the year.
Cameras such as these in combination with other digital products such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and MP3 players all require media on which to store the digital data. Flash media, memory cards, and microdrives were designed in combination with these digital products. Unfortunately, as with computers, digital media does occasionally suffer from corruption which in turn can cause stored information to become locked away in the storage media, supposedly inaccessible.
A wide variety of digital storage media forms exists today, all with varying storage capacities dependant upon make and model. 8MB through to larger 6GB microdrives are now possible.
First placed into this market by SanDisk Corporation in 1994, CompactFlash Memory has become the most popular storage media of late. This media uses flash memory semiconductor technology able to house audio, text, video and images on flash chips. Being non-volatile and also solid state (no battery is required to keep the data stored and no moving parts exist) has made this technology tough and reliable, just right for portable digital products.
Sony and Toshiba created Memory Sticks and SmartMedia cards, respectively, which also turned out to be very popular. Memory Sticks have become the dominant storage media type for their products, digital cameras, Clie’ handhelds and computers. Other manufacturers also use Memory Sticks, in particular, Konica. SmartMedia cards tend to be rather thin and fragile, and have a top capacity of 128MB. Similar to solid state technology, no moving parts, and a small size are perfect for active and constant transfers between digital devices.
Initially introduced in 1998 with a capacity of 170MB, IBM Microdrives are also now popular and have grown in storage size to be able to cope with 2GB. Although solid state memory cards like CompactFlash are more impact resistant, microdrives have been seen as reliable and very economical with regards to digital devices.
Whatever format you use, be it one of the aforementioned, or some of the other varieties e.g. SecureDigital, xD-Picture Card, MultiMedia Card, Mini CD-R/CD-RW, more and more people are relying on digital media and its associated problems, rather than traditional film.
Gone are the cases of film overexposure and damaged film rolls, income the hardware failures and data corruption. Data organization and storage now uses the FAT file system. Corruption of this filing system results in the digital device that houses the memory card not being able to locate the data, whatever is stored being ‘lost,’ although remaining on the memory card.
Corruption typically occurs when a device is low on power or when memory cards are removed while the power is still on. Such circumstances result in the file systems not pointing to the data. Hardware failure tends to come from damage, e.g. by rough handling or accidental breakage, to the digital media so that it is unable to properly connect with the associated device which needs to read the data.
Various data recovery companies, such as Vogon, MJM, Storage search, CBL-Tech, and Ontrack, are readily available for any of the data recovery difficulties you may encounter with digital storage medias and their associated devices. A wealth of experience and data recovery innovations mean that most data that is ‘lost’ is, in fact, retrievable with the right techniques.