Some original material here, as scanned from ‘Creative Computer Graphics’ (Cambridge University Press, 1984) this one I came across whilst searching through the Google Books archives, and intrigued I decided to order a hard copy. Google Books by the was is well worth a look, countless printed publications are logged and categorized dating from recent to way back. Most modern titles are subject to copyright so show just a selection of internal pages, but this is plenty to gain a flavour and if you have 10 mins to burn, I highly recommend a trawl through.

Creative Computer Graphics  - The Last Starfighter

Above: A still from The Last Starfighter (1984) this ‘Gunstar’ model is comprised of almost 400,000 Polygons, this was four times more than had ever been attempted with any other computer generated model and each frame took 5 minutes or more to render on the most powerful computer available, a Cray X-MP.

So a little more about ‘Creative Computer Graphics’, this was then, I presume,


This is a belated tribute post to the late, great Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius and whom sadly, as I’m sure you know has recently passed away, following an extended battle with cancer. A gloomy time for the highest echelon of visual futurists, following the recent death of Starwars designer and visionary Ralph McQuarrie, another brilliant blinding light flickers and fades.

Jean Giraud was one of the worlds finest comic artists and fantasists, up there with luminaries such as Federico Fellini, Stan Lee and Hayao Miyazaki . Perhaps, in fact, he was the finest, I don’t think it’s an exaggerated statement to suggest that Giraud possessed an almost supernatural ability, an artist whose oneness with his inner creative universe was matched only by his voracious work rate. It’s extremely poignant to now think that every vision forged from Moebius’s staggeringly complex creative mind has now been produced, there’ll never be another…

For this post then I’ve handpicked a just a small selection of his beautiful art, as usual, I’ve then tried to lace with as many leads out as I can for your further reading, let’s start with his

Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80’s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

1. Midwinter (1989) Microplay – Amiga/Atari St/IBMPC

Hailing way back from 1989 we begin with this wonderful in-game animation, taken from Mike Singleton‘s seminal first-person Action/Strategy game ‘Midwinter’. I actually covered the back story and game mechanics in depth a few years back, today the focus is the virtual world itself . This long forgotten classic (23 years old!) featured the implementation of many radical new ideas most notably it’s beautiful, fractal generated landscape, all 160,000 square miles of it. Upon this jagged stage of relentless grey and blue polygons the game would unfold, the above animation shows all of the objects to be found within this bleak digital realm.

This type of spinning model animation was not unique to Midwinter, as you’ll see below, but of them all this (for me) has the most resonance. Back them due to hardware restrictions, there was no texture or bump mapping – at least not in game – graphics could only run with a limited palette, though this was expanded by interlacing or dithering the colours.  Seen above this is the checkered, flickering effect as two filled blocks dance between each other. There’s also a real charm with the basic tones of this palette too, earthy terracotta, golden yellows and shades of evergreen jumping straight off the jet black background. A final note and a total giveaway of the era is the speed in which the objects rotate, the simplest and smallest revolving far faster, whilst the emulated 8Mhz processor slows to shift the larger models.

I’ll summerise to say how the subtle, simplistic genius of the design today could easily pass off as abstract pop-art.

Read more about Midwinter at Wikipedia

Midwinter Snow Witch

Midwinter Snow Bull

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi

A selection of work from the late Scottish sculptor and artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (7 March 1924 – 22 April 2005).

Paolozzi has always been a favourite of mine, particularly his beautifully composed, ultra-vibrant graphic screenprints. This post was sparked when I recently picked up a copy of “Paolozzi” a 1999 paperback publication that gives a chronological overview of Eduardo’s work. Here is the back page synopsis, note that I’ve embellished this slightly, altering present to past tense.

Eduardo Paolozzi (of Italian descent) was one of the major figures of postwar British art: A father of Pop Art a creator of key icons of

Hajime Sorayama

Hajime Sorayama

Hajime Sorayama

Once again apologies for the brief pause in posting, and the slow response to emails going to try and catch up this week/weekend. Actually part of the last month’s break has involved work on a Sci-Fi-O-Rama spin-off project with Dan McPharlin, more on that in a moment, first here’s the lowdown on this article…

Kind of a quick post this one whilst I’m prepping some more wholesome material, I had intended to run this on the 29th of March as that was, in fact, Sci-Fi-O-Rama’s 3rd birthday, but alas didn’t get time! Anyway so for no particular reason other than it was at the top of the stack here’s another hyper-real selection of Hajime Sorayama’s masterful, airbrush craftsmanship. A few notes:

First of I’m embarrassed to say I’m actually not sure of the titles here as these images are via the Hungarian Fantasy/Erotic Art bunker known as I do own a Sorayama book, but it’s in storage, so if you know how many are

Bob Peak – Camelot

Bob Peak - Camelot

Still in movie poster mode and continuing on from Mondo here’s short but sweet entry focusing on another of my personal favourites that I’d filed for posting and then – as is often the case – completely forgotten about.

The art in question is this Bob Peak example of fantastical, illustrative master craftsmanship, produced for the 1966 big screen musical adaption of Arthurian myth and legend. Despite starring possibly one of Ireland’s finest ever exports, the late, great Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave I’m not sure the movies really regarded as a classic, however, the promotional artwork with it’s strong Gustav Klimt overtones almost certainly is!

Renowned American Illustrator Bob Peak (May 30, 1927 – August 1, 1992) made a name for himself after working on the poster for the classic 1961 musical West Side Story and upon this initial success Peak’s career took flight eventually spanning 25 years and more… Within this time frame Peak became pretty much the Hollywood’s default first choice, responsible for creating iconic artwork for classics like Rollerball and Apocalypse Now, so

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