Cause and effect, action and reaction. Two facts of life which directly and indirectly affect the day to day shape of the future. Influences of all manners have results however slight they may be, which mould our world and behaviour to the point in which we live. Over the years of human existance, society became exposed to points of view and theories from those outside the pedantic acceptance, which if successful became accepted as logic and were taught to following generations. Our education has been advanced by the inspiration of independant thought.
The wheel wasn't invented from conformed logic, it took a radical thinker, a man confident of his own thoughts when society ridiculed his preternatural ideas. In the old times people wanted to prove the world flat simply because their minds weren't capable of thinking otherwise. Today like all times of old society still imposes rules of logic. We still copy the actions of our friends and mentors following like sheep, down the accepted pathway of society, afraid to stray and take our own route. This very situation exists in our scene, yet those transcending minds of revoloutionary thinkers have contributed their own ideas and innovation to an otherwise dull and imitative culture. These people are the inventors.
The scene began with an individual thought, somebody decided to invent something that had never before been done; a computer demonstration. The idea successful in its practical form inspired others to follow this new trend and thus the scene was born. Deviating from the normal pattern of demos, groups began trying their own ideas, their own ways of achieving impressive visual and audio entertainment. Soon began the process of evoloution. Demos developed further and further, coders soon invented new routines, new layouts, taking old ideas just a little further each time. Eventually demos reached a standstill, there were few demos that looked different to the last. Disatisfied with the tedium of such demos groups began to apply different styles and unique concepts that would identify them. It would be impossible to state the exact sources of inspiration over the years, but a few of the prominent groups will never be forgotton.
The most outrageous group of this kind was Budbrain, the inventors of the comical and unserious motif. Although this group and their productions remain legends of the scene years after, they were at one time scorned by traditionalists who condemned their mockery of the scene. Due to the popularity among informal sceners both Psycho and Diablo earned high status and to the horror of the dedicated and serious sceners at the time, charts began depicting Budbrain as one of the leading crews. Anti Budbrain intros were created as a way of undermining their popularity, claiming them to be 'false' sceners with no real talent. Soon enough, the pressure forced Budbrain to end their activity in the scene, yet behind them they left a remaining influence. People began to realise that the scene should be fun and not just about breaking new records. Following the Budbrain period many groups began to inject an element of humour and cartoon style animation into their releases, groups such as Animators, Fraxion, Scream and KGB released productions highly inspired by the Budbrain influence.
Around this time raytracing was becoming very popular outside of the scene. Raytracing began development at the hands of an enlightened hobbyist programmer on the Commodore 64 and was later completed on the Amiga. The 1st raytraced animation to grace our screens was 'The Juggler', which inspired 'The Magician', which lead to further developments. Today we can see just how far raytracing has come; films, games, CD covers, posters and a whole host of other media utilise this theory. This is perhaps the most inspirational addition to the world of computers since they were invented.
As the talent among sceners started to evolve further, demos began taking different directions. Groups either became famous for their advanced gfx, music or code as opposed to the individual feeling within their demos. Realising that demos looked much alike, few groups decided to introduce the theory of design. Soon appeared original title sequences, gfx interaction and atmospheric soundtracks. However, the scene was turned on its axis when the group Melon took the design theory to new heights. Instead of the dull, black backgrounds and starfields used throughout previous demos, Melon introduced the extreme use of visual innovation in the form of ambient composition and slick screen wipes. This assisted their demos to flow as a single presentation within a surrounding of a theme. There was something so much more appealing about this idea, far more appealing than a collection of different routines appearing without formation. Maintaining the credibility of competetive coding, gfx and music abilities Melon recieved the commendation of both traditionalists and informal viewers. Productions such as SOS and Human Target were identified as individual demos, the likes of which had never been seen before. Never before this time had the scene been influenced to such a great extent and then began the new design trend. Demos began to appear accompanied by pastel backgrounds and trippy music, yet with a certain style of their own. During this period the scene began to see a lot of varied design concepts, some more advanced than others, but each demo had its very own unique identity.
On the other side of the scale were Sanity. A group making demos for the sheer competition factor, which involved breaking existing records and achieving the impossible. As Sanity became vastly popular and accepted by the scene, lead coder 'Chaos' began to invent new routines, not new concepts of displaying vectors or bobs, but new, never been seen before routines. Sanity's World of Commodore introduced routines such as the Zoom rotator and the dot tunnel which soon became copied by scene coders everywhere. Infact about 90% of demos following Sanity's 'WOC' involved some kind of variation on these routines.
Other inventors could be named as Spaceballs for their unique dance demos 'State of the Art' and '9 Fingers' displaying polygon dancers in a one routine show. Demos such as LSD's Jesus on E's made additional contributions to the rave demo concept which was continued for years after.
The Virtual Dreams demo '242' introduced the theory of animation packing with 29mb crammed into a single disk. Following this demo many groups began to copy this theory and the scene saw many more digitised video demos, but also raytraced sections within a selection of the standard routines. To my belief this also inspired the chunky2planar theory which, upto this very day is used within a massive majority of demos.
Unfortunate to say the most recent source of influence in the Amiga scene came from the PC; games such as Wolfenstein and Doom. Demos began involving various doom style routines, some better than others while other groups came up with texture mapping emulation using blitter tricks.
Along side the trend of texture mapping, theories of goraud and phong shading, env mapping and realtime raytracing entered the scene. These techniques have since been advanced in one form or other which brings us to the stage of present scening. Currently we are awaiting the next development fad, but the great inventors of the past have since moved onto new pastures leaving behind the sheep with no shepherd to follow.
Are there any independant thinkers left in the scene? It appears not.