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Friday nostalgia: mind-popping 3D art of the 1990s

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 | Posted by Jim Thacker


This sort of thing looked amazingly cool in 1993. No, really.

The 1990s. Borne up on a wave of cyberculture, and under the influence of a mind-expanding substance known as ‘POV-Ray‘, a band of geeks, visionaries and the unemployed set out to create art. With a capital ‘F’.

With the death of early web hosting services like GeoCities, much of this work was feared lost forever. But thanks to PC Magazine and its article ‘Head Tripping 3D Art of the Early 1990s’, which someone was kind enough to write in and recommend, 12 gems from the period have been restored and placed on public display.


This one probably didn’t, though.

All of the era’s trademarks, including checkered floors, fractals (and for some reason, disembodied eyeballs) are present and correct. And oh, those bump maps. If you brushed up against one, you could lose an arm.

Those of a certain age will remember, with a pang of shame, just how futuristic this stuff seemed at the time.

Younger readers should just bear in mind that these images aren’t that much worse than the ones you saw in magazines and on CD covers at the time. (The Shamen and Future Sound of London were serial offenders.)

And that the stuff you’re into now will seem just as dated by 2026. Just you wait.

See the complete rogue’s gallery on the PC Magazine website

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