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Before getting serious with digital art, it’s important to get to know about its types.
It appears that more types of digital art keep coming in as the years roll by. Of course, we cannot say that it is entirely unexpected when technology, too, keeps developing every year.
While there are many different types of digital art out there, we have decided to include 15 of the most popular types right now because it is possible that you have heard most of them before, hence, making it easier for you to understand them better when going through this guide.
What you can expect today is a thorough definition as well as the purpose of each type of digital art. Along with that, we will also venture a little bit into the methods and try to simplify every one of them.
So, if you’re new to digital art, you’ve come to the right place. Now, hang tight and enjoy!
Types of Digital Art
- Types of Digital Art
- Fractal/Algorithmic Art
- Dynamic Painting
- 2D Computer Graphics
- 3D Computer Graphics
- Pixel Art
- Digital Photography
- Digital Collage
- 2D Digital Painting
- 3D Digital Painting
- Manual Vector Drawing
- Integrated Art / Mixed Media and Hybrid Painting
- Raster Painting
- Computer-Generated Painting
Fractal Art is a form of digital art including the use of mathematics. This process of deriving art through mathematics is also termed as algorithmic art. There is a specific type of beauty involved in the culmination of this art form which is considered as a part of computer art and digital art, being a part of the greater family of new media art.
New media art, although a metaphor for signifying the interruption of modernity into the presentation of art, is born from the pure art forms generated from the ancient periods. The factor of modernity changed it into digital art with the advent of technology.
Image via dantepfer.com
Fractal art is an amalgamation of generative art and computer art, which give eminence to a new form of abstract art in which a new kind of software supporting the calculation of the fractal structures is adopted.
These structures are calculated mathematically to produce fractal images, videos, and art. It requires a specific set of skills to profess this art with an apt for digital mathematics and a flair for handling software data.
Fractal art could not have been developed with hand, but only with the use of computers can, the mathematics be solved professionally to produce the desired images.
It includes the use of iterative methods to solving non-linear and polynomial equations of fractal structures, thereby producing the results into images and visuals.
Data-moshing can be termed as a process whereby media files can be manipulated to produce the desired visual effects or images when the file is decoded.
The status of the decoded file allows the entry of snippets from other media files and editing of the existing ones. This data-moshing process is most common in videos rather than images.
This is because the decoded video files have more scope to be manipulated than images that do not have too much space.
Modern video files have a complex method of not crossing the storage space. This is done by not downloading the entire image on the device, but only snippets of the image is downloaded.
Image via datamoshing.com
The frames which store the entire picture are called the I-frames where the median file can be represented without any additional information or data. The other frames where only a part of the image can be saved are the P-frames and B-frames.
The P and B-frames only contain the difference of the information gathered from the previous incomplete file and the remainder of the next file, instead of storing the entire image. The P-frame and B-frame is used to manipulate media files which are encoded.
The videos that we encounter on a daily basis on television, YouTube, or any other movies that you watch, all have elements of data-moshing incorporated in them to make them more attractive to visuality and artistic perception.
This is produced as an amalgamation of the P-frames and B-frames. Usually, this kind of manipulation produces a repetition of the images resulting in a defect in the video. This is where the images must be improved to put them on display.
Dynamic painting is considered as the most modern and advanced form of digital art. Historically, the denotation of art was assumed to be created by the hands of man himself and art was supposed to remain in that terrain.
However, modernity and Industrial Revolution gave birth to technology and the adoption of new methods of turning physical labor into mental labor, where the work of the manual laborers was demolished and was instead replaced by the use of specialized skills to operate these machines produced by capitalist giants.
Dynamic painting developed as a form of digital art, where the art or picture was painted by an autonomous system, namely a computer, where there was minimal physical labor used to complete the work.
Image via fineartamerica.com
However, maybe a glimpse or the supervision of an artistic mind was required to complete the painting process. However, most of the digital painting is done without the supervision of a mastermind.
The modern machines attempt at making the realm of digital paintings more independent and immune to control, so in a few years, you will not need humans to control the work, but just the machines doing the service themselves.
The different types of dynamic paintings include music, visual arts, software art, architecture, and literature. Music and art have always complemented each other.
Most of the iconic musicians and artists collaborate and weave an entirely historic piece of art which is persistent throughout generations. Digital painting transforms this music and art into a musical digital painting, which is more professional as it is creative.
The area of visual arts, software art, architecture as well as literature is used as a canvas to paint their digital stories in. The use of these different genres only increases the scope of creativity as well as employment.
2D Computer Graphics
Traditional paintings and drawings had a particular charm about them for sure, because of their authenticity and the hard work put behind them to turn them into masterpieces.
This art was well appreciated, until the advent of technology and the use of computers which demanded that art be transformed into digitally specific claims which could be applied to the modern world of entertainment and media.
2D computer graphics are derived from 2D dimensional models like texts and digital images. It works on transforming the traditional forms of art into digital art which can be used in projects and animation for the media and entertainment industry. 2D graphics are generally derived on traditional graphics like typography, cartography, technical drawing and advertising.
Image via pngfly.com
All these domains are extremely beneficial for promotions or for running a business and 2D graphics play a major role in securing the fate of the company through its skills and expertise.
2D graphics are extremely beneficial for businesses or any other franchise because it can be converted to any area of output and can be utilized to fit many aspects of the digital market instead of just one.
For this reason, important documents and accessories are always saved on the device in the form of 2D graphic designs, for its flexibility and multiple usability. 2D graphics has recently taken the internet by storm because of its usefulness in every aspect of digital art which is utilized for any business or academic purposes.
3D Computer Graphics
You must have come across this term several times while watching videos, movies or learning a concept that involves animation. The 3D computer graphics is a modern concept which has come in with technological advancement and the development of the computer sciences and is a modified version of the 2D computer graphics.
The 3D computer graphics has the task of representing the three-dimensional aspect of geometric data which is found in almost every model or structure. The 3-dimensional computer graphics calculates these geometric data and stores it in the device for future reference.
The 3D computer graphics are also used to render 2D images to provide it with a better representative quality. There is not much difference in the processes involving the 2D and 3D graphics when it comes to the programs and software that these two forms imbibe to produce the calculations.
Another important aspect of 3D models is that the model aspect is only defined by the mathematical representation of the structure. A 3D model only becomes graphic once it is displayed.
This type of digital art is mainly associated with videos and images which are used for movies, games, or aesthetic ventures.
There is a specific software where the pixel art can be produced, and it supports the 8-bit and 16-bit computers, including some graphic calculators and video game consoles. Pixel art is a pure form of aesthetic used in the elaboration of video games and other animated videos where it produces the desired effect which is incomplete in the case of other forms of digital art.
The idea of pixel art eminently emerged with the idea of modernizing of video games. This means that the aesthetic level of the video games created must match with the societal standards and expectations on these games.
This form of visual ecstasy can only be achieved with the adoption of pixel art as a form of digital art to infiltrate movements in the characters of the video games. What you see on the screen or play with is an intersection of several software programs to produce the desired art.
In case the video games or images need to be modified, or new effects need to be produced, the process of spriting is taken over. Spriting is specifically a term used to denote the editing and specialization of the already existing pixel art that you have produced.
This term was invented with the discovery of computers, which introduced the use of digital cameras to produce the perfect shot which other cameras could not achieve.
Prior to the advent of digital cameras was the era of photographic films stuffed into camera rolls which after being clicked, took a long time to be developed. Even after being developed, these pictures weren’t as professional as expected.
However, with the introduction of the digital camera and the advancement of technology, the concept of digital camera was born. This modification is a boon to photography and soon took a flight during the 1990s.
These digital cameras used electrical photoreceptors which were embedded in the camera itself and helped produce the perfect shit. Following this, photography was made accessible to almost all individuals because it was introduced on the cellphone which either had to be a smartphone or an android phone.
However, the sanctity and the perfect shot which could be produced by digital cameras were not present in cell phones. So, professional photographers who are in business usually invest in DSLRs because of its features and clarity.
This form of digital art was invented with the use of computers where editing and photoshopping came into the picture. Photo-painting is done in succession to digital photography. After clicking the perfect picture and viewing it on the computer, there are a bunch of professionals who are equipped to handle the editing part specifically.
The photo painting is not a manual process. Rather, the digital picture is painted on the computer itself with some tools downloaded from certain software and apps.
Photo-painting is a very crucial editing skill which should be undertaken by every photographer. The company which hires a professional editor who is well versed with photo painting is better equipped to send out pictures dictating the company’s goals. This is extremely beneficial to the company because the edits will put them on a pedestal.
Since photo painting is available on apps which is downloadable, it is accessible through phones as well, which can be easily linked to social media. However, not everyone can do photo painting. A certain amount of skill is required in that expertise.
We are all familiar with the concept of a collage because we use it in our day to day lives, when we tend to edit pictures or create memories. However, just as the definition of a normal collage goes, digital collage is slightly different.
This means that instead of putting several whole pictures together, different textures and ideas are taken from several sites and then collaborated under one picture.
Image via sarahclawrence.com
Digital collage is said to be present under the domain of photoshop which is a well-used edit feature, used by almost every business to make the picture more appealing.
The process of digital collage is a complicated one and will require particular skills to fulfill the criteria under its operation. Photoshop is accessible to everyone on your smartphones or any other device and is used at an alarming rate for updating content on social media sites. It has been widely used for fashion blogging since it is such a profitable business at present.
2D Digital Painting
Digital painting forms the crux of digital art right now and is effectively one of the most practiced digital art forms of this era. By this era, I meant the era of technologically advanced machines which come in handy in almost all digital art operations. With the help of the computer, 2D art can be undertaken professionally, using multiple features which it can entail.
Image via Haneen Z
The cruciality of 2D digital painting for business propaganda and campaigns is reflected in the company’s success in the long-run. 2D digital painting is basically digital painting on a plain surface with no added effects.
It is a very basic form of digital painting which is required to be very catchy for visual as well as artistic satisfaction. 2D illustrations are imperative in a company’s marketing process to gain publicity by putting the goals and aspiration out in the form of artistic representation.
2D digital painting fulfills this need and is preferred over hand-drawings which come with a lot of imperfections which may take ages to re-do. 2D art is digitized and can be altered with the app itself. For this purpose, all companies hire an exceptionally skilled group of digital artists who specialize in the creation of 2D digital art.
3D Digital Painting
Another imperative part of the digital painting domain is the 3D digital painting, a more popularised version of 2D digital paintings.
This precisely implies that it contains features which are common with 2D digital paintings, but is a more specialized version which can also be rendered. Basically, the 2D digital illustration forms a base on which the 3D digital painting is structured.
In the 3D digital paintings, extra effects can be incorporated into the illustrations. This concept of digital art has been more popularized and widely used than the 2D digital painting model. It has been recorded that the 3D model of digital painting has a better chance of catching the eye of customers than the 2D model, resulting in an increase in consumer traffic.
Image via rebloggy.com
Consumer traffic is a profitable aspect of businesses because it puts the company on the radar where it is at par with other competing businesses in the market.
Recently, there has been a spike in the job requirements for 3D digital artists. It is a highly specialized job that requires extraordinary training courses and skill adaptation to be suited for the job.
The most successful companies have a special wing to incorporate 3D digital artists, who work very diligently to maintain the standards of the company by coming up with new designs and creative ideas.
Manual Vector Drawing
The term “vector” is used to refer to a certain format that allows images to be saved while still being available for usage within a painting. ‘Bezier curves’ is the French-based term used for representing the mathematical basis of vectors.
Vector painting includes shapes and lines that can be represented in geometrical formulas. One can control their colors, shadows, transparency, groups, and so on.
The size of manual vector paintings can be converted from small to large without compromising the quality and sharpness of the piece. These changes can be done by simply entering the desired dimensions of the painting.
One advantage that comes with a manual vector painting is the artist can set its resolution and size up to the printer’s maximum potential of handling it.
Creating a manual vector painting requires simple shapes such as triangles, circles or squares. Another method is to create custom shapes with hands and make use of provided tools to transform them.
Manual vector painting is different from raster art because one has to work on it the same way they would be working on a sculpture, hence, leaving aside chances of spontaneity or intuition. In other words, it is less unlikely for the artist to be able to express or impose his/her own characteristics into the art when working on a manual vector painting.
Even so, his/her original choice of colors, composition, subject, etc, can still be observed by a knowledgeable audience.
Integrated Art / Mixed Media and Hybrid Painting
The original meaning of this term is a combination of more than one form of art, also known as “interdisciplinary art”, that is mostly used in learning environments to help the audience grasp a concept better, or can also be for the sole purpose of entertainment.
The gist of integrated art in the digital world is to merge two or more media in order to achieve one single piece of art.
In this type of art, there is a lesser influence of restrictions when it comes to the digital environment rather than mediums which are conventional. The artist has immense control over how he/she wants the outcome to look like.
Image via bluethumb.com.au
Following the concept of integrated art, a mixed media or hybrid painting is the outcome of using more than one media or even multiple software on the same artwork. One popular sample of such style is a vector-raster hybrid painting. To achieve a mixed media, the artist has to make use of the shapes/lines from vector along with one brush style from raster.
The merit of using more than one software helps increase the contrast level as well as the sharpness of colors of vector. You can learn more about such graphic design programs here. The same benefit applies to the main palette of raster too.
In many cases, Bezier curves can be used in the background to help smoothen shapes and lines of raster without involving the artist’s effort. By using this method to smoothen curves, it prevents any possible loss of resolution. The default storage format for this particular hybrid is raster.
Another very important domain of the forms of digital art is raster paintings. This is a form of digital painting which has been popularized because of its innate resemblance to that of a real hand painting. Since the other forms of digital art was giving out a rather virtual image of illustrations, deep down, traditionality is always appreciated more than virtual illustration.
So, to give it a more aesthetic vibe, traditional forms of painting are converted to digital art where there are apps you get a brush to make your own painting online.
It resembles an actual painting because the drawing takes place in strokes. Given the features, not everyone can do raster paintings without having to know the art of using a brush in reality first, before applying it on the computer.
To illustrate art in its raw form digitally, raster paintings are the best way to go about it. But other than this, it is not advisable to go for this form of digital art on a professional basis. The diameter of the creation is very restrictive because it is as low as 72 dots per inch.
In addition to this, the image cannot be expanded. Corrections to the image is also a very long and hard process which can be fatal if certain targets have to be met for the business.
A computer-generated painting is an artwork in which the artist gives instructions to the computer on how to “paint” a desired piece. Keep in mind that the term does not mean the computer creates a painting by itself.
The artist is still fully involved in many ways including planning the concept, subject, color combination, etc.
The same way a composer makes music without having to touch a musical instrument, the artist in computer-generated paintings also inserts multiple commands into the computer without the intervention of hand drawing.
The outcome of computer-generated paintings are very similar to that of a raster. Besides that, the result that will appear on the finalized painting will be a complete makeover.
This way of creating art is done without seeing the immediate results and having to work until the final instruction is given to see the outcome. Therefore, one must be familiar with many instructions before generating one unforgettable masterpiece.
Some of these types are easy to take on while some need extra effort before you can master them but learning about digital art is as fun as discovering what you can do with a paintbrush in your hand.
All that is needed is to pick one type of digital art, a bit of practice with dedication, then you can create your own masterpiece in no time! That being said, we’ll wrap then and hope to see you again next time!