From Programming to Paint - a glimpse into how technology has evolved the world of art



Art and tech: bringing creative expression to new heights


In our last post, we learned about how creativity applies to coding. From thinking out of the box, to problem-solving, to bringing your imagination to life, creativity is at play at every juncture in the process. In today’s blog, looking outwards instead of in, we explore some ways technology has opened up new horizons in the world of art and other creative enterprises - enabling a wider scope of possibilities.


While traditional forms of art and design are what we know and love, advancements in digitization have led to the development of various applications for artists and designers. These technological marvels have allowed creative minds to expand their reach to a whole new level, showcasing the impact of technology in the field of art in innovative ways.



Digital art


The age of digital art began in 1965, riding on the information technology wave from the 1950s through to the 70s. New forms of art that apply technology or are created on digital platforms themselves have widened the forms and possibilities that ‘art’ can encompass. Software such as Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Procreate and Corel Painter makes a wide array of tools and art styles producible in compact programmes - imagine having a whole arts & crafts store’s worth of supplies squeezed in your little tablet or PC!


From paints to chalks to airbrushes, name it, there’s a digital version of it. The best part? You’ll never run out of pigments or canvases! And things that would’ve been impossible or inconvenient to do - like extending a canvas, or combining different types of media - have now become possible with just a few clicks.


Animation


Have you ever seen (or perhaps, drawn) a flipbook animation? The kind where you draw each scene and flip the pages to make it look as though your drawings are moving? Well, for a long time, that was exactly how 2D animation was done, but with a lot more detail - one minute of animation could take more than 1,000 painstakingly drawn frames, depending on how many ‘frames per second’ or how smooth the animation appears when played.


With advancements in computer science, the process of animation was starkly sped up: the advent of 3D animation presented a brand new ball game, allowing for rendering, lighting, and the use of programmes that simplify the drawing and animation process (be it 2D or 3D) through 3D model libraries, photo painting, automated coloring through deep learning, and more! Only keyframes need to be drawn and motion can be modeled through a programme, making the process much smoother and less time-consuming.


Now, even children can try their hand at animation! Innovative learning platforms like Scratch and Stop Motion Studio enable them to explore the world of animation with customizable characters and backdrops with a child-friendly drag and drop interface. There is an immense amount of creativity and logical thinking at play when children use these digital platforms to bring their imagination to life.

While traditional forms of art and design are what we know and love, advancements in digitization have led to the development of various applications for artists and designers. These technological marvels have allowed creative minds to expand their reach to a whole new level, showcasing the impact of technology in the field of art in innovative ways.


Opens up endless possibilities


The use of technology in the arts has opened the doors to brand-new applications. 3D rendering, for example, simplifies the prototyping process. This technology can be utilized by architects or product designers, giving them a better picture of how something would look before it’s built or manufactured. 3D printing, then, could enable these digital prototypes to be printed into small-scale physical models. It can even produce ready-to-use items from mask extenders and keychains, right down to self-assembled furniture.


3D art also led to VR painting, most commonly known through the Google tilt brush. Artists such as Anna Zhilyaeva, better known as ‘Anna dream brush’, have blown our minds with their intricate VR art pieces. VR painting has even been applied in fashion design, and as a tool to enhance learning for adults and children alike.


Technology has brought in a new era for art and creative expression, and it continues to evolve. It is only natural, just as how technology has seeped into many aspects of our everyday lives. As the very first video artist, Nam June Paik aptly put, “Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body's new membrane of existence.”


The ways technology has brought art to new frontiers are endless - from game design, electronic music, interactive stagecraft, robotic art, and other emerging media. Many top-tier universities now offer interdisciplinary programmes that explore the intersection of computer science and arts. There is still so much more to explore and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see how much further the marriage of these two fields will take us.


Wishing you’ll immerse yourself in the ever-evolving world of digital art,


Zubaidah



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