A Biography Of The Pixel

A Biography Of The Pixel

Description

The pixel as the organizing principle of all pictures, from cave paintings to Toy Story.

The Great Digital Convergence of all media types into one universal digital medium occurred, with little fanfare, at the recent turn of the millennium. The bit became the universal medium, and the pixel--a particular packaging of bits--conquered the world. Henceforward, nearly every picture in the world would be composed of pixels--cell phone pictures, app interfaces, Mars Rover transmissions, book illustrations, videogames. In A Biography of the Pixel, Pixar cofounder Alvy Ray Smith argues that the pixel is the organizing principle of most modern media, and he presents a few simple but profound ideas that unify the dazzling varieties of digital image making.

Smith's story of the pixel's development begins with Fourier waves, proceeds through Turing machines, and ends with the first digital movies from Pixar, DreamWorks, and Blue Sky. Today, almost all the pictures we encounter are digital--mediated by the pixel and irretrievably separated from their media; museums and kindergartens are two of the last outposts of the analog. Smith explains, engagingly and accessibly, how pictures composed of invisible stuff become visible--that is, how digital pixels convert to analog display elements. Taking the special case of digital movies to represent all of Digital Light (his term for pictures constructed of pixels), and drawing on his decades of work in the field, Smith approaches his subject from multiple angles--art, technology, entertainment, business, and history. A Biography of the Pixel is essential reading for anyone who has watched a video on a cell phone, played a videogame, or seen a movie. 400 pages of annotations, prepared by the author and available online, provide an invaluable resource for readers.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0262045036
ISBN 13: 9780262045032

03 Aug 2021
Jacob Gaboury

ISBN 10: 0262045303
ISBN 13: 9780262045308

02 Feb 2021
Harry Lewis

ISBN 10: 0465026567
ISBN 13: 9780465026562

21 Sep 2011
Douglas R. Hofstadter

ISBN 10: 059323829X
ISBN 13: 9780593238295

14 Sep 2021
Kai-Fu Lee

ISBN 10: 3319307657
ISBN 13: 9783319307657

01 Dec 2021
Sheldon Axler

ISBN 10: 1541675819
ISBN 13: 9781541675810

18 Mar 2021
Jeff Hawkins

ISBN 10: 1439170916
ISBN 13: 9781439170915

01 Oct 2011
Siddhartha Mukherjee

ISBN 10: 0062651234
ISBN 13: 9780062651235

05 Oct 2017
Jason Schreier

ISBN 10: 1603580557
ISBN 13: 9781603580557

03 Dec 2008
Donella Meadows

ISBN 10: 0990582930
ISBN 13: 9780990582939

27 Jul 2021
Robert Nystrom

ISBN 10: 0735223947
ISBN 13: 9780735223943

22 Mar 2022
John Markoff

ISBN 10: 1324003995
ISBN 13: 9781324003991

22 Feb 2022
Ananyo Bhattacharya