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O'Reilly Open Source Software Convention

July 17-20, 2000 in Monterey, California


Why Does an Artist Need Python?

Larry Cuba

Track: Python
Date: Thursday, July 20
Time: 11:45am - 12:15pm

One form of experimental film art is based on algorithmically generated images in which the resulting animation is not pre-visualized by the artist. Unlike conventional filmmaking, in this experimental art, the film emerges from the process--the result of exploring certain mathematical structures and mining them for their visual consequences. The artist is both programmer and end-user combined, and the software that generates the film is always in development through the entire production process as each animation experiment leads to the next. The mathematical and algorithmic nature of this work means that the tool of choice would not be a standard 3D modeling package, but a programming language with which to describe the algorithms. We'll discuss the evolution of computer-animated films with various computer languages over the years (FORTRAN, GRASS, RAP, Z-GRASS) and now Python, and view video clips of the animation.

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