Ask the average person what they think computer art is, and they’ll likely mention the types of imaging effects we associate with Photoshop or maybe a blockbuster 3D animated film like Shrek. I still remember the first time I cloned an eyeball with Photoshop; it was totally thrilling. I also remember getting a copy of Strata Studio Pro and creating my first perfect 3D metal sphere (you know, the one with the highly reflective ship plate texture map). However, once we get a little more experience under our belts and have tried every freakin’ filter we can get our hands on, the “gee whiz” factor subsides, and we are stuck with the same problem that all artists and designers experience—the empty white page or canvas. Of course, each year I have many students who believe that they have found the perfect combination of filters that will produce remarkable and original works of art— without the need to exert too much effort (or leave their game consoles for very long). In the end, though, the stylistic footprints left behind by these filters is unavoidable. That is not to imply that the filters are the problem; I couldn’t do my job without the genius of Photoshop. It is the approach to using them that is the problem, or the belief that all that power will make the process of creating art any easier
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