[Clipart] vector aesthetics

Joshua Marinacci joshy at joshy.net
Mon May 3 06:54:46 PDT 2004

What you've written so far is fascinating.

Your five features of vector graphics perfectly describe
the genesis of cartoon animation. Taking advantage of the
new technologies of the day (photographic projection systems and
materials science in the form of cheaper film, better pens,
and eventually color inks). Scalablity in the form of projection. 
Reproduceablity enabled by the network of movie theaters across the
country. Modularity in the form of reusable cels for scenery, props, 
etc. Precsion in that it had clean lines and sharp contrast, in 
comparison to the muddier live action film of the day. And abstraction,
in that you could convey concepts with cartoon drawing that were 
impossible or impractical with live action footage.

When you get into the historical accounts of vector art, be sure to
dig into the history of futurism from the turn of the century to the mid 
fifties. The advance into printing technology enabled a new aesthetic
that mirrored what was going on the rest of the world. Cleaner printing
plates, new optical techniques, and the airbrush brought forth all of 
the imagery we are famillar with from that period. Spaceships in the 
heavens, spotlights on skyscrapers reaching upward, geometric elegance 
directly applied to architecture and art.  It was a fascinating time 
that I always enjoy reading about. (needless to say, futurism from the
first half of the 20th century is a passion of mine.)

I can't wait to read more as you write it.

- Joshua

Jon Phillips wrote:

> Hello all,
> I've been working on a writing for a little while about what I'm calling
> "vector aesthetics," which is a feature-based look at vector graphics
> and design styles that are influenced by vector graphics. I'm trying to
> get some eyes on the writing and some edits/fixes from these lovely
> knowledgeable communities.
> http://cvsbook.ucsd.edu/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?VectorAesthetics
> I'm trying to develop a large picture view of SVG, Flash, why SVG is
> important and how the art/aesthetics of SVG relates and is defined.
> The final text will be included in a book I'm trying to get published
> (in the future). Read more here: http://cvsbook.ucsd.edu/cgi-bin/wiki.pl
> if interested.
> There are various sections in the writing which are important for our
> communities to understand/look-at and is one of the reasons why I have
> been working on these texts, as I think we need to zoom out and look at
> the big picture of what we are working on, SVG, INKSCAPE, Clipart, and
> OSS, and see where it is at in the aesthetic and technical landscapes.
> Jon

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