The Amiga Computer Makes a Comeback
The year was 1992. I was not even in college yet, but I had a passionate interest in art and animation at the time. I spoke with a friend of mine who was learning video graphics back then. He said, “You’re welcome to use my “Amiga computer.” “You can use it all you want and it can teach you to do small animated segments.” At the time, there were no popular programs to teach you Photoshop, nor Illustrator, nor animation. Only giant studios were experimenting with special effects! I was just a young artist in search of a visual answer to watch my drawings move and come to life!
I was shown a small and bulky looking computer, named, the Commodore “Amiga 500.” I soon realized that I could use up to 32 color bits and that was after I made color combinations, a big “wow!” back then! I introduced myself to basic animation paths, and I reanimated some of the samples provided in the tutorial. I too learned to paint a scene of an underwater aqua world, and made the fish swim, sea horses float up and down, and the oceanic algae move to the left and to the right, another “wow!” But it proved to be a bit limited to me and a bit too slow.
I was using the grandmother of the new Amiga 1200, the computer my friend was using in 1992. He had gotten the new model and he could export graphics from the Amiga computer to the videos he was making and quick! I was blown away! My friend was like a magician, talking about “targa files, video files, graphic files, and Amiga chips, etc. He would let the graphics render for hours and hours. Audio, video and pixels all merged like some alchemical new creation. All of this computer magic took place in his little video studio, in a small room of his own. I was lost. I was only a young classically trained artist at the time, and the terminology just overshadowed me.
Back to now. It is June, 2014, and I just looked up the name of Amiga Computer on Google, out of curiosity and nostalgia. The Amiga appears to have never left this digital world, even when it stopped being produced, it came back a few other times. In fact, the Amiga is now back again! Check out the new Amiga 2014 Multimedia Package, a compilation of video games made by the Amiga computer from the 80’s and the 90’s.
I even found a link to Andy Warhol’s drawings on his old Amiga computer in the 1980’s. There are paintings of his Campbell’s soup and Debbie Harry! Here is a link to that article. Thank you Amiga computer for always coming back, richer in color and better in your multimedia expressions!
– Dolores “Lolly” Hernandez, Staff Writer, Phoenix Genesis
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