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Photoshop Tennis
September 9, 2001 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Photoshop Tennis -- Lauded graphic designers (including a well loved mefi member) participate in a volley of skills: "It's a pretty simple idea really. One player emails a photoshop document to the other containing a single layer. Each player progressively adds a layer until the match is over, either by time, withdrawal or mutual consent. A guest adds comments in real time and the people watching vote for a winner"
posted by katexmcfly (28 comments total)

 
lol.. i remember when everyone was publicizing this stuff to death... i think they had mschmidt (sp? the k10k guy...) playing some other dude at first, and when i saw all the links and mentions, i thought it was some adobe sponsored event where the web celebrities played tennis. i think two weeks went by with me wondering why everyone was making such a big deal about it before i accidentally stumbled onto coudal's site and found out what it was really about. baka eric.
posted by lotsofno at 10:47 PM on September 9, 2001


I know a few of the folks involved in this, and though it may be interesting at times, I've long since lost interest. I can only take so much of "hipster" designers getting together for a vigorous round of circle jerking.

Of course, were I inducted into that elite corps of designers, I'd probably have far more positive things to say about the endeavor.
posted by aladfar at 11:05 PM on September 9, 2001


Time to bring out the gimp.
posted by crasspastor at 11:12 PM on September 9, 2001


Aldafar, I completely agree -- some of the flexing resulted in the collective eye rolling of many who cannot be impressed by gimmick & audacity. I still think the concept is brilliant, and some of the test rounds lacked pretension and had an air of earnest collaboration that impressed me.
posted by katexmcfly at 11:18 PM on September 9, 2001


Last time I checked this out, I had a look at some of the creations. They were mostly generic designery stuff.. boxes here, weird polygons there, some fancy colours, irrelevent text and polka-dot effects. It didn't quite seem like there was a method to the madness.

Now if there was a brief for each piece.. it'd be pretty interesting. But, some of the pieces already created look nice, but.. I just like to see some meaning behind art.
posted by wackybrit at 11:52 PM on September 9, 2001


the matches are mismatched. shots clearly out of bounds aren't called just because it's zeld...... a. nintendo power!!! mario tennis is really fun... what was i saying again?
posted by elle at 11:57 PM on September 9, 2001


wackybrit: where on the site does it say this is art? at least, in a non tongue-in-cheek context?
posted by kevspace at 12:03 AM on September 10, 2001


kevspace: I don't know if it does say art anywhere, but it looks like a form of art to me. Some companies have meaningless abstract art like that on 20ft boards in their foyer. Perhaps these guys should be trying to sell their creations ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 12:21 AM on September 10, 2001


It looked interesting, but I couldn't get past the front page - all the links pointed to http://www.coudal.com/tennis.html# and thus didn't go anywhere.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:12 AM on September 10, 2001


It looked interesting, but I couldn't get past the front page - all the links pointed to http://www.coudal.com/tennis.html# and thus didn't go anywhere.

Is this ironic?

If no, just use a brand name browser with JavaScript enabled.

If yes, carry on.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:01 AM on September 10, 2001


Yeah, this is one of the most stupid things I've ever seen. Ever.
posted by kchristidis at 2:11 AM on September 10, 2001


found it interesting at first, but wont be looking anyomre - i get bored really easily and have a really short attention span... although i do thi...
posted by semper at 4:54 AM on September 10, 2001


I tried playing with a friend and it was fun.

Although I love seeing people say "circle jerk" every time a site contains more than 2 well-known designers.

It's about as predictable as some of the tennis matches I've watched.
posted by jragon at 6:04 AM on September 10, 2001


"I can only take so much of "hipster" designers getting together for a vigorous round of circle jerking."


I know. i prefer my circle jerking meta-style.
posted by bliss322 at 6:30 AM on September 10, 2001


Opus_Dark: no, it wasn't ironic. Was your comment ironic? MSIE 5 sounds like a "brand name browser" to me, and Javascript is certainly turned on. That site's simply doing something weird with its links.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:10 AM on September 10, 2001


Mars: did you click on the checkerboards on the right? They are what take you to the tennis matches.

It's true, the hrefs on the left appear to alias to other urls, but it shouldn't affect your being able to view the past matches on the right.
posted by Karl at 7:24 AM on September 10, 2001


Although I love seeing people say "circle jerk" every time a site contains more than 2 well-known designers.

I know, but I just couldn't help myself. I almost pulled out a few lines about the evil "A-List Cabal". Thankfully, I thought better of it.
posted by aladfar at 7:32 AM on September 10, 2001


It kind of reminds me of that old party game where everybody tells part of a story, except this is competitive, and not as entertaining, and the end result gave me a headache... ok nevermind, I'm gonna go lie down now...
posted by fizgig at 9:09 AM on September 10, 2001


As fizgig said, sorta, it does remind me of the exquisite corpse in a way. in a way. I happen to really enjoy this concept and, I will go as far as to say, am inspired by a lot of it. I do agree that there seems to be a bit much out-of-bounding though. The entire removal of the image/serve during the beginning of last friday's match was a bit obscene. I am glad that Coudal put up some of the test matches. They seem to be less hostile and a little more fun to watch: as people build layers instead of obliterate them.
posted by tenseone at 9:41 AM on September 10, 2001


Less primitive: Gridcosm

http://www.sito.org/cgi-bin/gridcosm/gridcosm
posted by gdog at 11:33 AM on September 10, 2001


Photoshop tennis is one of the best things online I've seen in a while. I find it educational, inspirational, and fun. Seeing raw ideas (free from client pressure or prolonged polishing) from designers with styles totally unlike my own is so mind-opening.

The matches that feel like collaborations are more fun (to me) than the competitive ones, but I still find it all wonderful. If I taught a design course, I would include PS Tennis analysis in the syllabus.
posted by halcyon at 11:48 AM on September 10, 2001


Yeah, I'm totally for it as well. I'm no designer, but I love to play around with this stuff, and to see how people who are trained or otherwise confident with their work do that is fun.

Actually, I think it would be very much fun to have an amateur's match or something - for people who enjoy making a site or two but have no training or don't work as designers.
posted by mikel at 12:21 PM on September 10, 2001


Gimp Golf? How about Flash Football?

Actually, to thow out some ideas, how about any of these games judged in real time. For example, a tennis match would continue until judge or judges cried foul, awarding a point to the artist that stayed within the 'boundaries'. But then what artist wants boundaries? And who wants judgement pronounced upon them? But what if the boundaries set out tried to encourage creativity & cooperation? Hmm.

How about chess, combining some aspects of the above mentioned Gridcosm with Photoshop Tennis? Many ways to approach it. Your pieces could be previously selected design ideas. You could simply pick squares and create, but be asked to incorporate neighboring designs. Possibilities could be endless...

The appreciation does go to the people who instigate and propogate this collaborative concept though, Photoshop Tennis and Gridcosm and others. Brilliant way to learn, to teach and inspire.

Hmm, I'd like to get up the guts to participate in something like this...
posted by mutagen at 12:39 PM on September 10, 2001


ahhh, now I get it - the weird thing this site does prevents you from doing "Open Link in New Window", which is how I habitually open links, but doesn't stop you from recycling the current browser window. ok, it's broken and evil, but at least now I can see the games...

It's pretty cool, but you really need the commentary to get any grins out of it.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:27 PM on September 10, 2001


The art group iCE has a projectsimilar to Gridcosm.
posted by Su at 4:29 PM on September 10, 2001


Hullo. Thnx for the thoughts about our tennis thing. My only comment is that we had no real plan when we started this nonsense and so far have pretty much have stuck with it. What's interesting to me is not so much to see what the two featured artists do with the game, but more to find out what we are all going do with the game, over time. We haven't imposed any rules for playing or judging or commenting and don't really plan to. We'll just see where it goes. In any case, it's a good way to goof around on Friday afternoons.
posted by coudal at 5:18 PM on September 10, 2001


Mars Saxman writes
Opus_Dark: no, it wasn't ironic. Was your comment ironic? MSIE 5 sounds like a "brand name browser" to me, and Javascript is certainly turned on. That site's simply doing something weird with its links.


I have frequent "discussions" with people whose religions discourage the use of JavaScript. The dead-end "#" thing is a common consequence of disabling JavaScript. Sorry. Was really trying to help, but was treading lightly in case you were a zealot...;)
posted by Opus Dark at 9:36 PM on September 10, 2001


Hey, I say keep it up! Between the witty commentary, the usually just downright silly content, and the fact that there's actually a winner, I've always thought it was pretty obvious that it was all tongue-in-cheek fun. If you're thinking of it as a "pretentious designscene circle-jerk," you're missing the point. there are a lot of other things on the web that are more worthy of your contempt .
posted by chrisege at 12:24 AM on September 11, 2001


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