Graphical Wizardry Bears Close Watching
If you can't trust what you see on a screen, you have to be able to trust the person who's shwoing you something.Its been about 30 years since Ted Nelson wrote, in his book "Dream Machines," that computer graphics would become the cutting edge of every field, changing the way we approach almost every task. When I look at the processing power thats being applied to graphics, the size and quality of displays, the effectiveness of compression algorithms, the ubiquity of digital cameras, the increasing affordability of bandwidth, and the growing sophistication of underlying software, its clear that Nelsons prediction will soon be an over-30-year-old that we can trust.
Ironically, though, trusting Nelsons prediction means not trusting anything else. After seeing "The Two Towers" with one of my sons, for example, my strongest impression was that I would never again be able to believe anything that I saw on a video screen. Whether were talking about the incredible animation of a single fantasy character or the individual behaviors of thousands of animated warriors in battle scenes surpassing anything Ive seen before, this movie crosses a threshold.