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Submitted on
October 3, 2012
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Milestones of Digital Art

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 5:05 AM

Digital Art surrounds us everywhere, here are some of the milestones of the genre that lead to the world of Digital Art we know today. This is not meant to be complete, it simply highlights some points in the history of Digital Art that are interesting and maybe even surprising. There are videos!

If you ever created Digital Art, you know that the computer is merely a tool, but never the one actually creating the art. Photoshop may be powerful, but I haven't come across the "Create Awesome Art" button yet ;)

1982 - Adobe introduces PostScript 

PostScript as a programming language has changed the work of designers 30 years ago. In short, PostScript was able to interpret any data (vector f.e.) into printable raster graphics, which require dpi settings; Type as well as graphics. This was necessary to allow the same output on any laser printer that supported PostScript, making it easy to share and exchange files without the danger of accidental changes.

However nowadays .PDF is used for cause and typefaces are rendered using the TrueType of OpenType language; InkJet Printers have widely replaced PostScript ones, mostly due to being cheaper, especially in the last 10 years. 

Still PostScript opened the path for Adobe to become one of the most, if not the most, influential companies for Digital Art, being both a concurrent and inspiration for Microsoft and Apple. 

1985 - Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry on a Commodore Amiga 

The Commodore Amiga was one of the first Personal Computers (PC), notably famous for its graphical and audio capabilities compared to other PCs at the time.
Andy Warhol appeared at the launch of the computer and demonstrated its graphical abilities in the video I linked above. The final result comes close to his most famous style of art, high-contrast stencil like imagery. 

1987 - Adobe Illustrator

This is a commercial video produced by Adobe introducing Illustrator 25 years ago.

Created with the intention to provide the user with non-raster graphics to serve for a variety of purposes, such as Type- and Logodesign, using the previously by Adobe developed PostScript format. The vector output of Illustrator makes it possible to scale graphics without quality loss. 
Over the years, Illustrator has become more and more powerful, adding functionalities and compatibility with other programs. 

1990 - Adobe Photoshop

Here's a little video on how the first Photoshop interface looked like and how to work with it.

Firstly intended to be merely used to display grayscale images on monochrome displays, it turned into a complete image editing software distributed firstly by Adobe in 1990 for Macintosh computers. 
Until today Photoshop turned into a powerful image editing software, but it also makes it possible to create art from scratch, using f.e. its Brushes. This makes it possible to create artworks in high quality and techniques similar to traditional tools with all the benefits of digital software ( CTRL+Z :P ).

2000 - deviantART is launched

In a wave of what we call "Web 2.0" many websites came to life that allowed users to share their own content with the world, and deviantART is one of them. Being able to upload your work without restrictions makes it easy for everyone to share their hobby or work with the world. The ability of gaining feedback and inspiration from others at the same time, has helped many artists in growing and making a profession of their art! 

moon n sun by adamTNYKandinskii by jSepiaSteven Paul Jobs by theexperiential
iso castle by foolChildren's room by AleksCGDon't trash your dreams by AquaSixio
Home of the dwarfs II by SchnetteSpace Diving by nicebleed83Parade by C-91
The Rock Chick Maker Game by Asher-BeeFord Tractor Graveyard by DDDPhotowildr by Kunisaki

We've come a long way, baby.

Add a Comment:
Windklang Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible how proud they were - today for us it just goes without saying really.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention :)
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Indeed :) It's amazing how far we've come in such short time :nod: 

It was a lot of fun researching this :XD: 
Windklang Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Really cool you did the work and researched it - even though it was fun :)

Thank you for sharing!!
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
ChelseaHantken Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012
This article almost made me teary :') I had no idea how far back digital art really began... incredible :)
pica-ae Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
I guess you could go back even further, but it is of course all in the context of how far computers were developed at each point in time :)

dolphinwing Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Funny how digital art started in the 80's but a lot of professors at art schools still don't really accept it.
pica-ae Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Yeah, it is a shame that it is not more appreciated by the… "professionals" ? "fine art industry"… i dont know, i think they might feel threatened by it :giggle:
dolphinwing Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
It's cuz they feel like it doesn't require as much labor as traditional methods, and you don't "have your hand" in it. Basically they think all you have to do is press a few buttons and voila
pica-ae Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
yeah I wish that button existed :lol:
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