|what it is
Alas, it seems that Pixel Time is no longer, its
parent site word one of the earliest
glorious dotcom casualties. Its primary innovator Ranjit has
his own website and tells me
the Pixel Time concept may someday remerge.
In the meantime, he was nice enough to get me a copy of
my old pixeltime userpage, with
all 105 images I created. (And with a bit of the ol' Pixel Master
prose to boot.) Also, more recently I
posted some pixeltime works by other people that I had saved.
Pixeltime is one of my favorite sites on the web. It's about the coolest user-participation site out there, leaving my Blender of Love in the dust. The core idea is that people can use a simple paint progam to make 45x45 GIFs, and then submit them to themed galleries for all to admire, and to compete for real-world prizes.
The entire affair is watched over by the Pixel Master, who seems to be a cross of Mr. Rogers and Max Headroom via Blue Man Group. He comments on every aspect of the site, from previously submitted works to your choice of tool and color when you're creating your own would-be-masterpiece.
This is kind of a tribute page to the site, a place for me to display my favorite works, as well as provide commentary on my own efforts. Thanks to Pixel Time, I've gone through stages where I've become completely obsessed with the possibilities of 45x45 16-color GIFs. I've been told that there are long-term plans to add a message board to Pixeltime, much like I have on the Blender. This would be great, I've found the community on the Blender to be very supportive and interesting, and judging by the imagination displayed in many of the pixeltime pieces as well as some personal e-mailing I've engaged in, I would suspect many of the artists have interesting things to say.
As you may have guessed, these works are the result of a kind of
cheating. It started very simply; I had the (fullsize) version
of a digitial image of Mo that I knew
looked good in Black and White, because of how good it looked
in 16 shades of grey on my PalmPilot. I wrote a Visual Basic program
that took a grey scale image file and converted it into ASCII.
This ASCII could then be used to copy by hand into the Pixeltime
paint program. The first time I used it-- after I had laboriously
entered all 2025 pixels of Mo's head-- I discovered my home LAN
firewall wouldn't let me post to Pixeltime! Aargh! Also, Mo's face
looked a little splotchy, the five shades of grey Pixeltime offers
wasn't cutting it. So I upgraded my program:
I got some good results by substituting family of colors for parts of the greys. The elephant is probably the coolest example of this. I tendo to do a lot of tweaking for most images, either in my VB program, or once the program has laid out the basic pixels. For example, on the elephant I did the background by hand (forgetting the part inside the curl of trunk, whoops), as well as touching up the tusk. The "Y2K rollover globe" near the top of this page was made by zapping over a frame from an animated GIF of the earth, but every single pixel ended up being retouched by hand.
This is my only work that received an official pixeltime award, an
honorable mention in the Circus gallery. Actually, of all my circus
entries this was around my least favorite, but hey.
A few people had done some small fonts before, but no one
did both Upper and Lower case. This is a very small but still fairly
readable font that I've found very useful, since sometimes a word is
worth 1000 pictures.
A reference to "Dr. Strangelove"'s most famous scene. I thought this was an amusing entry for the "Travel" gallery.
A blatant attempt to make a picture that the PixelMaster might find worthy
of recognition (I noticed he seems to have a fondness for zoomed-out
scenes- which is a cool idea, that 2 or 3 pixels can be all you need to
make a person, given the right context.)
I like the symmetry of this one. It's actually a pretty accurate
representation of the legendary Atari 2600 joystick, once described
(back in the day) as the only joystick that you woundn't be embarrassed
to see on your desk at work, because its design is so elegant.
I do like playing with words in this format. It offers a bit more
flexibility than pictures alone, but people probably rely to much on captions.
A programmer's joke for the Y2K Gallery. It is actual semi-plausible
Perl code that produces the semi-infamous "19100" display bug. I think
the text might be hard to read with these colors, alas.
Another Y2K entry. I like the way the guy came out, all huddled in
his SPAM stockpile.
This was for the Dreams Gallery-- it's actually based on a flying dream I had.
For the Garden Gallery, I revisted a series called "Thoughts
of the Produce Section" that I came up with in college. It's
one of those "inner life of plants" things. It was tough coming
up with interesting thoughts that could fit in the space- actually,
only a few of these thoughts were original for this format. The
cucumber didn't come out too well, but I like the eggplant and the