"Framing them forever as they munch, invade, race, battle and bleep their way around planet EARTTTTTHHHHHH!"
May 16, 2012 8:50 AM   Subscribe

8-bitscapes : Artist Jamie Sneddon and photographer Kevin Rozario-Johnson take cityscapes and add in elements from classic videogames with delightful results.

Highlights include:

Mario Kart Banana PeelSwarmPac ManhattanKongSonic in Koln
posted by quin (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
These are not as cool as I was expecting. They look like stock photos and the 8-bit graphics add nothing to them. Maybe if the graphics were not intentionally pixelated, but rendered with realism, they might create something more exciting, but I doubt it.

Just seems like a mediocre idea moderately well executed.
posted by etc. at 9:00 AM on May 16, 2012

I wonder which 8-bit system capable of voxel rendering they were thinking of when they made these.
posted by Jpfed at 9:12 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was a little disappointed too. Still, "Achtung! Hedgehog" is a sign I wish I had. That thing is adorable. (Though it should probably say, "Achtung! Igel!")
posted by Gator at 9:12 AM on May 16, 2012

Just seems like a mediocre idea moderately well executed.

I'd say the reverse.
posted by DU at 9:18 AM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, I know that I found this one to be quite effective. It makes feel a physical sense of anxiety for the driver.
posted by 256 at 9:24 AM on May 16, 2012

I wonder which 8-bit system capable of voxel rendering they were thinking of when they made these.

There's at least one almost 8-bit game in 3D, although it's not voxel-based. So, the answer is "probably not the game I just linked."
posted by griphus at 9:26 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think, with just a little more time spent matching the color palette, sharpness and perspective of the 3d objects with the photos, they'd be a lot more effective in. They're almost there! Pac Man in NY may be the most effective, but,for example, the banana peel on the road is too saturated and the space invaders in the cloud are too sharp.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:31 AM on May 16, 2012

wow, note to self, don't post with your phone
posted by jason_steakums at 9:35 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

the banana peel on the road is too saturated and the space invaders in the cloud are too sharp.

Not to mention: direction of lighting doesn't match in a couple and it doesn't look like the CG elements are picking up colors from their surroundings. Shoulda used a chrome ball etc.
They also made their lives a lot easier by avoiding shallow depth of field most of the time.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:49 AM on May 16, 2012

Wow you people are hard on this. You're adding 8-bit graphics to photos, did you expect it to look realistic?

I really like the idea and love the way it was executed. But I also didn't have any preconceived notions as to what I wanted it to look like.

great job!
posted by zombieApoc at 10:07 AM on May 16, 2012

(I was sad not to see Rampage-style monsters banging the shit out of new york skyscrapers.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:32 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I believe you're looking for the pornographic parody This Ain't 8-bitscapes XXX.
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on May 16, 2012

I'm a bit confused as to why they didn't make actual sculptures of videogame characters and place them in the environments. Obviously the scale of some (like the Pac Man ghost) would be impossible, but the Mario Kart banana peel would have made more sense to do practically.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 11:19 AM on May 16, 2012

@Elbows - ...because that's not their medium?
posted by Peevish at 11:27 AM on May 16, 2012

I don't want it to be realistic per se, because the central aim of the project isn't pure realism, and it would be unfair to judge it on anything but its own terms. But the project requires some concession to realism to work effectively because it leans heavily on illusion, and some more time spent on a few things here and there could accomplish it. Like those Sonic in Koln ones - nothing else in those photos catches light and casts shadow in the same way that the 3d models do, and in the third Sonic in Koln piece the checkerboard pattern is just plopped down on the grass with no regard for how grass works, but there's nothing but time and attention to detail stopping it from blending better, from being a more cohesive whole.

...and none of that's to say that they're bad! I actually like the project. The Pac Man in NYC one is very good, I like the mood of the Zelda piece, and the Frogger one is very striking. It's just, like... the idea is to blend two worlds, but they're not quite blending, and it undercuts the themes of the pieces by almost-but-not-quite meeting its own terms. Good could be better, quality could jump across the board, for very little extra effort.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:39 AM on May 16, 2012

Cubes and pixels do not an 8 bit make.
posted by hellphish at 12:04 PM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I prefer Nullsleep's Romscapes from a few years ago.
posted by budmelvin at 1:59 PM on May 16, 2012

Coincidentally, this showed up on Kotaku today.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:29 PM on May 16, 2012

Royksopp's video for Happy Up Here does a similar kind of thing - but with somewhat better production values.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:36 PM on May 16, 2012

Since when are Mario Kart and Sonic the Hedgehog 8-bit games? I guess Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are technically 8-bit, but they're not really what people are usually thinking of when they refer to "8-bit" games (i.e. NES games).

And the photos themselves don't really have an 8-bit look to them.

I get the feeling the artist has heard the term "8-Bit" before and just thinks it means "older video games."
posted by straight at 5:45 PM on May 16, 2012

Two Sonic games were released for the Master System, Sega's 8-bit console.

But yeah, these photos are horrible and a fairly transparent attempt on the part of the photographer/artist to cash in on the "retro game" craze. Unfortunately, the execution sucks, the photos are boring and 3D models aren't 8-bit graphics.

Also, those prices are hilarious.
posted by yellowlightman at 3:32 PM on May 17, 2012

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