Issue: Volume 35 Issue 5: (Aug/Sept 2012)

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By: Karen Moltenbrey
When Pixar released Toy Story in 1995, the box office was abuzz over this animated full-length film crafted in the new CGI medium. For several years after, classical 2D animated movies co-existed quite nicely alongside their 3D animated cousins, but it didn’t take long before 3D computer-animated features became the norm rather than the exception. The same can be said of the gaming world: The 32-bit/64-bit fifth-generation consoles ushered in the era of 3D gaming. By the time the seventh-generation systems (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii) hit the market, realistic, complex 3D game characters occupied robust 3D worlds—a trend that continues, even on handhelds.

Today, 3D CGI dominates the entertainment realm. Every once in a while, though, a 2D film or game will pop up and garner attention that is well deserved. At the 2012 Oscars, the 2D animated films A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita caught the eye of critics, the latter giving the CG movie Rango a run for its money. In terms of gaming, 2009 appears to be the year when 2D titles began making a comeback. But these are not the primitive, pixelated games of yesteryear. Rather, they utilize sophisticated tools and take advantage of present processing power to make beautiful art interactive.

Here we look at a pair of 2D games that implement new technology to make 2D images pop.

When Pixar released Toy Story in 1995, the box office was abuzz over this animated full-length film crafted in the new CGI medium. For several years after, classical 2D animated movies co-existed quite nicely alongside their 3D animated cousins, but it didn’t take long before 3D computer-animated features became the norm rather than the exception. The same can be said of the gaming world: The 32-bit/64-bit fifth-generation consoles ushered in the era of 3D gaming. By the time the seventh-generation systems (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii) hit the market, realistic, complex 3D game characters occupied robust 3D worlds—a trend that continues, even on handhelds.

Today, 3D CGI dominates the entertainment realm. Every once in a while, though, a 2D film or game will pop up and garner attention that is well deserved. At the 2012 Oscars, the 2D animated films A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita caught the eye of critics, the latter giving the CG movie Rango a run for its money. In terms of gaming, 2009 appears to be the year when 2D titles began making a comeback. But these are not the primitive, pixelated games of yesteryear. Rather, they utilize sophisticated tools and take advantage of present processing power to make beautiful art interactive.

Here we look at a pair of 2D games that implement new technology to make 2D images pop.

Fine Tooning
Ubisoft Montpellier’s Rayman Origins sports a retro 2D look created with a ...
Second Act
Multidimensional characters shine in a unique interactive story

 
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