1989's Prince of Persia, by Jordan Mechner, featured superbly realistic animation when such things were a rarity in computer gaming. Now, two decades later, he's published the original footage of his little brother leaping to and fro, from which each frame was traced and digitized.
Jordan began his pioneering work while still an undergraduate at Yale University. Dissatisfied with the stilted movement of characters in computer games, Jordan borrowed the technique of rotoscoping that he had learned about in his history of cinema class. In 1983 he began experimenting by filming his karate instructor, Dennis, doing a variety of martial arts moves. Then he traced images from the film and used a Versawriter graphics digitizer tablet to copy the images onto the computer. On March 19, 1983, Jordan finished a test of this to see if it would work in a game he was developing, and in his diary he recorded his excitement: “When I saw that sketch little figure walk across the screen, looking just like Dennis, all I could say was “ALL RIGHT!”” Jordan’s game Karateka (1985), a Japanese-themed karate game, became the best-selling title in the country and Jordan had established himself as a video game designer even before he had graduated
Here is Ben Kingsley, villain of the movie version of Prince of Persia, being wrong about experimental rotoscoping footage.
Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out […]
Trump wants to roll back regulations that promote low-power light bulbs, even though at this point the industry has moved on and isn’t likely to do much in the way of modernizing incandescents. His interest is, as always, deeply personal: he thinks LED lights make him look orange. “The light bulb,” the president began. “People […]
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]