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Beflix -- a bit of history

category: general [glöplog]

A language created in 63 to create abstract movies :)

http://www.kenknowlton.com/ Beflix' creator, Ken Knowlton, seemingly fascinated with mosaics.
added on the 2008-04-10 00:21:05 by _-_-__ _-_-__
From Ken Knowlton's page:

My main interest was computers, particularly their use in picture-making. The Labs had a new microfilm printer that exposed letters and vectors on 35 mm film. Some of my friends — Mike Noll, Ed Zajac and Frank Sinden — were soon making simple movies (with terrible vertical jitter because the camera lacked filmgate registration pins).

Ken Knowlton

My own shtick became a sort of greyscale picture made by filling the screen with thousands of different letters chosen for their brightness. I soon wrote a memo to department head Tom Crowley, suggesting the possibility of a "computer language" for making animated movies; his two-part response launched my career in raster graphics: "It sounds rather ambitious, but why don't you see what you can do?"

Within a year, I had a set of subroutines someone dubbed BEFLIX, acronym for "Bell Flicks," arguably the first computer language specifically for bitmap movie making. (I have also been called the inventor of the pixel, which is a bit of a reach, though I might claim independent discovery.)

I used BEFLIX, of course, to make a movie about the process by which it was made. It had no sound track, was unbearably dreary and highly schematic. But this, in 1964, was a first of sorts, and Bell Labs arranged a press conference for fellow movie makers and me to crow about our accomplishments.
added on the 2008-04-10 00:23:11 by _-_-__ _-_-__
So it turns out he did the first "ascii" art as well ;)
added on the 2008-04-10 00:32:32 by _-_-__ _-_-__
Wow, nice! :))
added on the 2008-04-10 00:40:29 by bdk bdk
jep, nice :) it's always interesting to see that a lot of the stuff we are using today has been invented 40+ years ago :) (doug engelbart with his ui for example)

added on the 2008-04-10 01:32:12 by xyz xyz
Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the site and the piece of knowledge.
added on the 2008-04-10 05:12:06 by LiraNuna LiraNuna
here, a rather widespread summery of some early computer art i've found by clicking on the beflix cloud. very scrambled page, but who cares...

added on the 2008-04-12 12:36:12 by 0rel 0rel


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