PC Graphics Historically Bad

by Art Fag City on October 8, 2008 · 4 comments Events

YouTube Preview Image

I’ve been surfing through youtube quite a bit lately as part of a larger post I’m working on and have found a few unrelated jewels thanks to a few particularly good user accounts (I’m looking at you crystalsculpture, crystalsculpture2, and crystalsculpture3).   One such find includes the above animation featuring a talking floppy disc with a barret describing himself as computer graphics application software program.  Even in 1985 PC graphics were remarkably ugly.

On a related note, some of the comments in the youtube thread are fairly informative.  I’ve posted them below for the tech geeks and video artists in the crowd.

Q: Is this real time or prerendered?

A: It was done in real time. Not pre-rendered. The Mindset had an ‘overlay’ box that could combine live or taped video with the graphics from the Mindset. Some scenes, like the schoolroom were pre-recorded on videotape. But, most, like the doll-house furniture and the typewriter used live video with a programmed animation.

By 1992 there were a lot of options for animation. The Amiga had been introduced and the PC Clone performance was at least a little improved. The problem was that any PC based animation almost always had to be pre-rendered because of the lack of a custom chip to move the bits in hardware rather than software.

Q: This can’t be from ’85!!!

A: There were better pre-render systems in 1985 based on Compaq and Targa. But, there were really only two machines capable of doing real-time animation. The first was the ZGrass, which I also owned, and the second was the Mindset. The Amiga wasn’t introduced until a bit later than this. And, even that mostly relied on pre-rendering animation.


KAT October 8, 2008 at 2:24 pm

pArt oNe

KAT October 8, 2008 at 9:24 am

pArt oNe

Jaaaaay October 9, 2008 at 2:37 am

no way those graphics are awesome. that would scare the crap out of any kid who saw it in 1985

Jaaaaay October 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm

no way those graphics are awesome. that would scare the crap out of any kid who saw it in 1985

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