http://www.tfs.net/~stevenb/root.htm



First, I really don't maintain this document anymore, the new site is
online at
The Pillar of Seeing Please trust me it is better but I am leaving this here because
of old links, and
people who hate frames, but trust me it is better over there!


Welcome to the KarmaStorm Galleries Website! The focus here is on
web-based GIF89
animation as a medium of artistic expression. There are two key
requirements:
The image, hopefully, possesses some artistic merit, and I am afraid I
am the one who
must make that call. And there is something about digital art in general
I can't quite put my
finger on ...I don't believe it lends itself well to overtly abstract
expressionism. It is so
strongly rooted in technology that I have trouble seeing it successfully
transcend the
technology used to create it. So if we are putting our face on a flatbed
and animating the
colorized scans, and calling it art -better get back to the mac. I am
just a layman but that
kind of stuff doesn't wind up here. The same goes for video. Go turn on
the TV if that is
what you want. Of course the opposite horn of the bull is relying so
heavily on the
technology used to create it that you might as well be creating "art"
with a spirograph or
splattering paint on one of those rapidly rotating plates. I see great
animations every day
on the web that are really the work of programmers, and not the artists
who push the
buttons. As far as KarmaStorm goes, this includes animating downloaded
or purchased
models. I want to see the work of hands, even if this is a digital
medium, and I prefer
creatively utilized primitive shapes to fancy but sterile mesh objects.

Secondly, we are talking about web-based animations. They have to
transmit over existing
web arteries, and display on most home-based computers without a lot of
proprietary plug
ins. This limits file size obviously, and forces us to pare whatever we
are attempting to
express with these animations down to a minimum. There is no room for
unneccesary
frames, pixels, unused colors, or extraneous elements of motion. It is a
minimalist art both
by default and by necessity. Size is the envelope I find myself pushing
all the time, and I
find it challenging to see just how much I can express with X number of
frames or size in
pixels. You would be surprised what you can do if you must.

I use POVRAY to create my animations with no help from a modeler, so I
tend to favor
cruder but nicely produced graphics of that nature. You could spend a
lot of time
exhausting the possiblities of what you can do with spheres, cones and
other very basic
geometric solids before you have to start worrying about meshes and far
more complex
forms. All of my animations where produced with such objects, so don't
be so quick to run
out and buy that expensive modeler. Learn the basics first - you may
find as I have that it's
sufficient to express whatever you wish to express.
And there are other formats for animation that are increasingly coming
into play, but the
rugged nature of the .gif format and its near universal visibility to
modern browsers should
not be overlooked in our rush to ever-increasingly complicated plug-ins,
and larger file
transfers. After viewing some of the images in the gallery, I think you
may agree, at least
in part , that .gif can be very effective in our attempts to dynamically
express the
extraordinary qualities of kinetic art.

Steve Bennet