CinePaint mascot

claus@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install cinepaint
[sudo] password for claus:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package cinepaint is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package cinepaint has no installation candidate

What would I not give to have CinePaint available as a .deb package for the current Ubuntu 10.04. Alas, it is not meant to be (yet). A while ago, I posted on this to the Cinepaint-users mailing list, but got no response.

For those who are not familiar with CinePaint and its capabilities: CinePaint is a deep paint program actually designed for editing film, but it can also be used for photo editing. The present (Film Gimp) version evolved out of the Gimp, but due to some controversy, the developer teams (for Gimp, and Film Gimp) went their separate ways. Currently , the CinePaint developers are working on a new CinePaint version named Glasgow, which is based on FLTK instead of GTK.

CinePaint offers up to 32-bit/channel color depth, color management, and CMYK support.


Bēhance Network

Among the many graphics & design web sites, Bēhance Network is one of the sites which I can instantly recommend for anyone looking for high-quality work. Bēhance Network is basically a site hosting online portfolios, and what makes it special is, that the work displayed is often of unusual quality, even if one encounters the inevitable clichés en vogue in today’s digital art, as well as the sometimes disturbing sujets. Besides that, if the visitor takes the time to browse the various portfolios, one can definitely stumble upon some remarkable stuff.

The portfolios at Bēhance Network are divided into different categories, what makes it easier to find what one is looking for, be it photography, photo-manipulation, vector art, 3D renderings, and much more. In addition to the portfolios, Bēhance Network features ways for people to interconnect, such as various Circles; a Tip Exchange; and a Job List.

Computer Arts

Computer Arts is the UK’s leading magazine on digital arts & graphics, and when I first discovered it, I was really very enthusiastic about it and eagerly browsed it for fresh ideas. Meanwhile, I have to admit, my enthusiasm has somewhat cooled off, the main reason for this being that Computer Arts is pretty much oriented towards vector art, which is admittedly not my main focus. Still, there’s lot of interesting stuff in it.

Technique is nice, but …

Ok, I guess the title says it all. In present computer graphics, merely technically (almost) everything has become possible by now, but what I personally perceive, is (yet) an apparent lack of artistic depth—not always, but nonetheless. Ok, being a fairly new medium, what can one expect in this comparably short time span? In addition, I guess one has to take into account that most visual fx are for movies & ads, where there’s a clear objective; there are art directors & visual fx supervisors, so there isn’t that much space for “free-form” visual content, as is in, say, painting, to take but one example.

I wonder, though, why this is so. Is it that “serious” artists (read: painters) are not interested in digital art? Is it that they sort of curl their nose, that only the “established” arts such as painting are acceptable to gallerists & the public? Are artists working with “traditional” media such as paint are afraid to make the transition? Is it that digital works of art lack the solidity of a painting or a sculpture?

After having visited FMX in 2007, I stumbled upon the work of German artist, Tim Borgmann, who creates amazing abstract structures consisting of (digital) steel wire & molten glass, using Autodesk’s Softimage.

An example:

Image © Copyright by Tim Borgmann. Reprinted with permission.

Imho, those fascinating renderings show very clearly that abstract, “free-form” works of art using digital media are already there (albeit, by now, they are still exceptions from the rule) , and—still more interesting—that, by using digital media, things become possible which could not be produced using “conventional ” media; thus, in a way, the digital medium expands the artistic horizon considerably (albeit at the price that those works of art can only be viewed via display or in print).

In conclusion, I am really hoping that artists will have the courage to embrace digital art & to use it with the same freedom “conventional” artists embraced painting & sculpting.