Computer-Music.com contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music. Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com

Computer-Music.com  contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music.
Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com



 

<< to previous page <<

to this article's front page

>> to next page >>

Introduction: My Long And Winding Road

This article is about my long and time consuming quest to find the tools to create computer graphics to enhance the experience of listening to my music online. My goal is to tech some of what I learned and to, hopefully, save the you much of the time and expense involved in undertaking such a quest on your own. While recounting my journey from one graphics software package to the next I will try to include some of the concept I learned in the process. One major problem an amateur often encounters in choosing their first graphics software is that making an intelligent buying decision usually involves understanding technical features about which the user often has little or no knowledge. After several years of this I have a lot of "if I knew then what I know now" thoughts. After reading this maybe you will know now what you need to know rather than wasting lots of time with false starts and dead ends. As I write this opening paragraph I already know this article will have to be very long. But I think it will be worth it especially if you are new to computer graphics. After 10 years of interest in this subject I still see myself as an amateur in graphics of any kind. I am a professional music composer and sound designer for computer games and my desire to enhance my music demonstrations with tightly coordinated visuals is what caused me to take the graphics side more seriously. Because of my special, particular interest in the topic I will not be focusing all of the requirements of a typical artist, modeler, animator, texture designer etc... Instead I will be focusing on the concept of the most bang for the buck and for the time investment. How can I produce the most visually interesting visuals to go best with my audio with the least investment in learning time, production time and monetary investment as well. Because I have run into so many of them via the internet I know there are many, many composers in a similar situation so I am confident there is a large enough audience for this article to make it worth the effort to write. This particular angle is why I think this belongs on a computer music oriented web site. But even if you are not interested in music but just are starting out in computer graphics you may find this article helpful.

About the same time I got my hands on my first computer at TI994/A I became interested in computer graphics. My first PC was a PC XT 4.77 MHz  / 8 MHz. In those days they had a Turbo switch so you could change speeds. It also had a 360k 5 1/4 inch floppy drive and about 128k (Kilobytes, not Megabytes) of RAM. That is about one eighth of one meg of RAM. No hard disk. Before you start snoring let me reassure you that this will not devolve into a story of the good or bad old days of the early PC. But it is relevant to understand how increasing PC power changed the process of creating graphics, especially 3D. In those days I would occasionally buy one 2D or 3D or animation package or other. They were all interesting in their own way but one thing they all had in common was that they were severely limited in what they could do or what you could do in a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of effort. Most of them also suffered from not having the benefit we have today of years of advancement in graphical interface design. In other words, they were often hard to figure out, hard to use, time consuming and required lot of the user in every way. Given all that I usually found the results I could achieve were not worth my investment of time and money. Its not that these early programs were bad. I just did not see the huge investment worth the payback at that stage in their development. So I have very little to say about this period except to it gave me a bit of a feeling for what I did and did not want from a future purchase.

Fairly late in those 'early years' I purchased a very promising looking program called Bryce 2. It was very cool but crashed so often that I found it completely unusable. It was the first program I had every found that was so unstable I could not put up with the crashing in spite of it being a really nice program in every other way. A few years later after a few more packages had gone under the bridge I decided to try my hand at computer graphics again and see if things had improved. I purposefully chose a program that seemed very simple and easy to use as well as potentially quite fun. This was Amorphium 1.0. 

<< to previous page <<

to this article's front page

>> to next page >>

 

 

For questions or comments contact the webmaster at
(you will have to remove the parentheses and  spaces; sorry but spam is a problem)
 dgriffin (@) computer-music (.) com
Copyright 1996-2004 Donald S. Griffin - Computer Music Consulting. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 04, 2004.
Privacy Policy