Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
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Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
The Temple is the last track of The Mind’s Eye, a series of short 3D, computer animated films released in 1990 on VHS videotape. (yeah, almost 30 years ago) It loosely told the tale of Earth, from creation onward. I was completely enthralled with this video and wore out this section of tape a few times.
This track, the whole tape really, marks when I truly came to believe that 3D computer animation had finally matured past a nerdy diversion and into a mainstream entertainment medium. The animation was bleeding-edge for 1990, and the soundtrack was synced well and pretty good all on it’s own.
Sure you still needed top-of-the-line hardware, and probably had to write half your own software, and motion was still rather stiff, and hair?, never mind about hair. But it was getting easier, and cheaper, and more artists were flocking to the medium. The boundaries of worlds were being pushed rather than simply trying to replicate reality. To me, this was the official opening of a new frontier.
There were 3 more collections in The Mind’s Eye series, one released every two years until 1996; Beyond the Mind’s Eye, The Gate to the Mind’s Eye, and Odyssey Into the Mind’s Eye
(You may recognize the surroundings and birds from the second installment, Civilization Rising, (or 03 per the video itself) as the animation between about the 50 second mark to about 1’20” looks to be from just before this video.)
The Temple is the final installment in The Mind’s Eye and it’s the part of the tape I would wear out every time. Between the bleeding-edge animation (for 1990) and the (well-synchronized and most excellent) soundtrack, this track marks when I believed that 3D computer animation had finally matured past a nerdly diversion and into a mainstream entertainment medium.
You may recognize the surroundings and birds from the second installment, Civilization Rising, (or 03 per the video itself) as the animation between about the 50 second mark to a minute-twenty looks to be from just before this video.
I’ve collected the links to the videos from Beyond the Mind’s Eye and will begin posting them next week.
Love can transcend the most formidable of barriers – and it can show off some impressive computing power for 1990. (note how many things are moving independently)
[Thanks to Craig Reynolds for the link to the original version! Stanley & Stella in Breaking the Ice]
The fifth installment from The Mind’s Eye: A Computer Animation Odyssey
This week’s installment…
You are in luck; no long-winded post today. (two are almost complete, just needing more wind…) So you get the next video from The Mind’s Eye early!
The Mind’s Eye: A Computer Animation Odyssey is a compilation of computer animated shorts set to an electronic music soundtrack. While it appears to be some pretty rudimentary computer work, back in 1990 when this was released, it was some seriously cutting-edge animation. I wore out several tapes and it solidified my love for animation and electronica.
Creation is the first chapter (of eight) from the video and begins the loose story of a world’s evolution.
Over the next few years a total of 4 Mind’s Eye videos were released (as well as a host of spin-off videos) with soundtracks composed and performed by the likes of Jan Hammer, Thomas Dolby, and Kerry Livgren (of the band Kansas). Although they’ve since been released on DVD, this first installment is still hard to find.
I’ll be posting the other seven videos from this first compilation, about one per week, and see if I can track down offerings from the rest of the Mind’s Eye series.