Artistry emulated in the tools

      What's happening now is the extent to which artistry is being emulated in tools these days.

I don't know what painters say to themselves when they look in the mirror in the morning, knowing that fractal painter exists.
        You know? I have questions about that.

      Knowing that you can dial up different bumpiness of watercolor paper. What does that mean? So what I wanna do is go through this in relation to to animation and motion.

        In the beginning phases

      digital tools start out emulating traditional expressive controls. In other words, what do you want to control? And they attempt to translate that into a digital form. This typically means low level structural controls offered within a totally alien environment.

      These transformations are mapped onto alien objects, such as mice. And typically, when you select things off a menu or you are issuing commands. So it's a little bit raised above the software, or a command language, which is what people used before we got to graphical user interfaces.

      If you wanted a box, you would say box. And then x center, y center, x size, y size. Color, logic, display filter or something like that. In this stage of tool, you know, when you're drawing with a box, they call it a pen. And when you're drawing with a circle, they call it a brush.

      That's about as far as the graphics capabilities actually get toward emulating brushes and pens.

        The goal is to allow traditional skills to use this tool as a transducer of its vocabulary, so that people, let's say graphic designers, can do stuff in the digital realm and take advantage of digital publishing.

      We're typically in the business of pressing a button to, for instance, register a key frame. Now, pressing a button doesn't have much to do with drawing a key frame, which is what a traditional animator would do. So that's what I mean by alien controls. Controls offered within an alien environment. You're doing something that has nothing to do with the traditional task, but you have the same kind of control.

The next stage is where the tool is emulating the creative techniques and working methods that are used.
Now, some people could interpret this as saying what we want to do is make a computer really easy to use. And that's not the point. If ease of use was the issue, the piano or even a watercolor brush would be obsolete. What's of importance here is expertise.