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The Computer in the Visual Arts Hardcover – December 25, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0201386004 ISBN-10: 0201386003 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 650 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (December 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201386003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201386004
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An excellent introduction to computer graphics, The Computer in the Visual Arts covers the historical evolution of the computer as it relates to the creation of artwork. Author Anne Morgan Spalter interviews contemporary artists for insights into their favorite techniques and approaches to planning, developing, and outputting their artwork. Anyone who uses a PC for creating digital art should look to this book for guidance on the technical, practical, and theoretical aspects of design and production.

Although the author uses plenty of technical detail, historical facts, and art theory, the book also includes a good deal of practical information. For example, The Computer in the Visual Arts covers popular software programs; explains different types of printers, including their benefits and drawbacks; and defines terms (helpfully, in boldface) succinctly, so you can learn the basics. The chapters on 3D graphics are a perfect example, explaining simple terms such as primitives and lofting; defining more technical terms such as fractals and other algorithmic processes; and offering hands-on insight into how artists use 3D software, special effects, and rendering processes creatively.

Chapters end with suggestions for further reading and exercises you can work through on your own. The book provides loads of information on composition--that is, arranging the form and color of artwork and deciding on the use of space and scale. There are many images from contributing artists with explanations of their approach to digital art, and more of these images are included in a four-color section. The appendices to the book discuss contemporary art periods such as modernism and postmodernism, elements of computer theory such as symbolic logic, and lists of URLs and books you can turn to for more information. --Kathleen Caster

Review

Spalter simply set out to answer the essential questions of visual artists and designers about the implementation of computers in their art. But in explaining the field's history, artistic theory, the relationship of software programs and the breadth of practitioners' works, she manages to provide a luscious intellectual feast even for non-practitioners. -- USA TODAY, July 27, 1999

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had read about this book in USA Today online and heard from a number of people I respect about it. Everyone kept telling me I had to buy it. I finally finished reading it and felt compelled to post what a wonderful experience it was to add The Computer in the Visual Arts to my library.
The concepts are illustrated and written in a way that artists can understand and enjoy (how refreshing!). Subjects that I had difficulty in comprehending such as the difference between screen pixels and image pixels are now clear to me. While some may consider a minor point, it is amazing to me how much more I am able to enjoy creating images with this new found knowledge.
I was also delighted to see so many outstanding examples of art work. The color plates were particularly gratifying. If this book has a second printing I would urge the publisher to have more color images. The range and diversity of the chapters was a real plus for me and gave me a "big picture" that I have never grasped before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book and long overdue in the computer art community. The author deftly weaves together both descriptions of historic as well as contemporary art done with computer technology along with the concepts that underlie that technology in a complete yet very understandable way. In addition there are lots of suggestions of where to go to find more detailed information on all the topics covered. For the aspiring student the author has included valuable exercises to reinforce the material covered in each chapter. This book is definitely the "Foley and van Dam" (long the computer graphics 'bible' of the technical set) for the artistic aficionados of computer graphics! And, by the way, even the technical folks should enjoy this work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rafiq Elmansy on September 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In her book "The Computer in the Visual Arts", Anne Morgan filled the gap between computer concept and art concept for those who want to use computer in visual arts or miss the computer graphic concepts, while being more concern in learning tools and graphic software.

This book takes you through the history of graphic design and how the new technology comes to life with new concepts in all the computer graphic fields; like printing, 2D and 3D graphics, and how these concepts are related to develop the computer hardware and tools.

The title is accurate in delivering the idea included in the book. I find "The Computer in the Visual Arts" useful for beginner and advanced users of the computer graphics either for the visual arts or the commercial proposes.

The "The Computer in the Visual Art" book consists of 12 chapters. Anne started her book with a brief history of the computer art in the first chapter and concerned in chapters 2 and 4 with the 2D graphics, while the 3rd chapter was about the computer hardware used in the computer graphics. The color concepts are covered in 5th chapter and the concepts of the printing are described in the 6th chapter.

The 3D concepts are described in the 7th, 8th and 9th chapters, the video concepts are described in the 10th chapter and the multimedia and interactivity are covered in chapter 11. Anne did not miss to mention some of the general concepts of the web in chapter 12.

In the end of the book, Anne included a conclusion and two appendixes about the modern art periods and computer theory.

Also, Anne included a very useful illustration to describe computer concepts. Moreover, she comprised an interesting gallery of computer graphics samples.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Undoubtedly the most comprehensive, thought-provoking treatise on this important subject.
The accompanying web page is terrific!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maureen on March 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Oustanding! Anne Morgan Spalter has done an outstanding job in explaining and helping to define the Computer in the Visual Arts. Spalter has helped to magnficently define this emerging field through her thoughtful, easy-to-read prose. As an art history buff, I believe that this tome will become a timeless classic. The Computer in the Visual Arts helps legitimize thousands of computer artists throughout the world.
The images and artists represented throughtout the book are fascinating and stunning to view. The painstaking diagrams and illustrations are outstanding references that easily explain a number of complex concepts.
I hope many will refer this book to the uninitiated art enthusiast who hopes to learn more about the dramatic role the computer plays in the visual arts.
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