Collection: Early CG Art

This pool is intended to collect examples of early computer generated art drawn electronically from the advent of computer graphics (roughly the mid 1980’s) to the start of the era of modern graphics, the internet, and widespread GUI based operating systems (roughly the mid 1990’s). These artworks evoke the image of early computing display technology similar to the raster graphics of DOS, Windows 3.1 or PC98 games, or from consoles of the Super Nintendo era or earlier.

These are rendered in graphics that predate 16-bit (true color) graphics and in their original form would have featured a color palate of 256 colors (8-bit) or fewer, and used some form of dithering to blend colors and form gradients. Images from the era were typically the resolution of one of the following display types or smaller (although the height or width might be longer if the viewer was intended to pan the image vertically or horizontally).

Common display technologies of the era included:

  • 800x600 with 256 colors (SVGA)
  • 640x480 with 256 colors (VGA) or 16 colors (EGA)
  • 640x400 with 256 or 16 colors (PC98)
  • 320x200 with 4 colors (CGA)

Because of the low resolutions and art styles they are likely to be taggable as pixel art or retro artstyle. Ideally these images will be in a lossless format (PNG or GIF), and not converted into JPEG which would introduce depredation. The composition of the characters and subject matter in these images may be appropriate for being tagged as 1990s (style) or 1980s (style).

These works would have been distributed either by floppy disk or CD (sometimes in the form of a game), by early electronic Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) that predate the common adoption of the internet, or by early hand crafted websites with hostnames typically ending in *.jp. They may feature BBS phone numbers, such early web addresses, or be dated in a way that indicates they originated from this era. It is extremely unlikely to find these images on modern art hosting platforms, such as Pixiv.

This pool is not intended to host modern pixel art, 2000’s era pixelated oekaki, or remastered, revised, and redrawn art from this era in a modern form, nor is it intended for traditional media of this era that had been subsequently scanned.

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