Author Topic: Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)  (Read 1417 times)

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Mel

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Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)
« on: February 03, 2014, 04:26:58 AM »
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I'm not in the mood for films, so I decided to do something else. I don't expect that everyone will enjoy this, posting this mainly as curiosity. Bit of warning: I'll have problems describing what demoscene is. I don't like how CGI is used in mainstream cinema. One of the reasons is that I was spoiled by demoscene, where computer graphics are their own independent thing.

In short demos are executable programs, just like games, but non-interactive. They can be easily confused with animation, but are very different beast. Demo art is real time, meaning that every frame is happening right there on your computer. Bellow I'm posting some videos, as examples can speak for themselves. Those are recordings, yet keep in mind that every single demo is a program, that you can launch on your system (I'm posting videos, as not everyone would like to launch unknown executable). Two demos bellow are fairly accessible - there are better examples, but I fear they could be misunderstood by untrained eye. 720p or higher resolution is recommended for watching:





Demo making is competitive and non-commercial. Rapid increase of processing power in computers became problematic - judging demos by technical merits became obsolete and utilizing whole hardware by small teams (working in spare time) is very time consuming. This are some of the reasons why artificial limits has been established for demo making. Main limitation is the size of the executable and by many this category of tiny programs is considered a pinnacle of demoscene. This demo is under 4KB (four kilobytes), which is probably smaller than your avatar:



If someone is interested in demoscene, more can be found on Pouet - website which is pretty much a central place for demoscene activities. You can also watch descent documentary about demoscene - it is focused on demo groups in Hungary, still it is very relevant:

Simple mind - simple pleasures...

Mel

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Re: Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 09:16:52 AM »
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Not that anyone gives a crap, although this is weird enough that it can get some attention. It is related to fake cocaine rant of 03. Suicide Barbie in all its glory (after first 5 minutes, it is all just credits):

Simple mind - simple pleasures...

Lottery

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Re: Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 09:34:25 PM »
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Interesting, there's a subculture and everything. I get some really strong early 2000s vibes- a meeting point of tech and art.

They remind me of benchmark tests in games.

Mel

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Re: Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 07:19:15 AM »
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Interesting, there's a subculture and everything. I get some really strong early 2000s vibes- a meeting point of tech and art.

Demoscene originated on Commodore 64, so it is about 30 years old (more detailed description of origins of demoscene can be found in documentary I included in first post). I posted newer demos, since they are easier to relate to, are more abstract and doesn't require prior knowledge of genre tropes. This early 2000s vibes are related to few things:
- Synchronization of music, which is similar to music videos (MTV culture).
- Lack of humans. Those are very rare, since making fluid animation with humans require a lot of work and/or motion capture.

Example of demo from 1995 as mere curiosity:



Demoart isn't limited to PC. Previously posted "Suicide Barbie" is running on PSP (PlayStation Portable). Same group is mostly known for their work on Amiga. Demo bellow isn't too old, but hardware of Amiga didn't change much in last 20 years or so.



Canonical example of demo from 2000 I could think of (since we're speaking about 2000s vibe):



They remind me of benchmark tests in games.

They are in many ways and it is very valid comparison. For long time demos pushed limits of real-time graphics. Often folks from demoscene ended up working in gaming industry or in computer animation.
Simple mind - simple pleasures...

Mel

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Re: Demoscene (real-time audio-visual computer art)
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 01:43:59 AM »
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I just keep coming back to this demo, which shows acid side of scene (strobes, repeating scenes over and over, symbols):

Simple mind - simple pleasures...

 

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