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125 comments

In other news... (5, Funny)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558844)

...lolcats turn 42.

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558876)

I'm in ur commune, stealin ur moviez!

Re:In other news... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560114)

Uuum, I don’t want to sink your boat, but how can you steal, if everyone owns everything? ;)
(And well, you can’t steal movies at all, actually. It’s physically impossible.)

Re:In other news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31561290)

HAHAHA 4chan jokes! Oh my god they're so original! Please bring us so much more of your witty fresh and mature humour!

Re:In other news... (2, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559058)

...lolcats turn 42.

I won't say "Get off my lawn!" but there was a time when ASCII art was regarded by the cognoscenti as totally cool. I remember having an ASCII rendering of the Mona Lisa on 14/11" fanfold on the wall of my machine room back in the '70s...

Re:In other news... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559100)

Apparently we have to take your word regarding the second sentence there having something to do with the first?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559680)

I assure you, ASCII are has never been "cool" and neither has referring to yourself as cognoscenti...

Re:In other news... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559822)

ASCII art is one of these things that has been around since the dawn of telecommunications and just won't go away. There's always groups of people who think it's cool. Jason Scott (of textfiles [textfiles.com] fame) as a nice video [vimeo.com] (actually about porn in the computer age) that shows fine examples of early ASCII and typewriter art.

Re:In other news... (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559116)

...lolcats turn 42.

They're a lot older than that [flickr.com].

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559248)

In Soviet Russia, Cheezburger can haz YOU!

obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31558884)

pixar did it better.

ASCII? (4, Interesting)

negatonium (1103503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558894)

Since ASCII stands for "American" Standard Code for Information Interchange I think the Soviets who created this might be offended.

Re:ASCII? (5, Funny)

riker1384 (735780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558908)

This animation was with with the Russian version, called ASCIISKI.

Re:ASCII? (-1, Redundant)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559164)

ASCIISKY.

Fixed that for you. I believe -ski is more of a Polish thing.

Re:ASCII? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559506)

Unless you mean -sky rhyming with pie, no. There's no standard for romanization of Russian. The word for "russian [language]" would usually be transliterated russkiy.

Re:ASCII? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560572)

You see Russian words ending in "ski" all the time. The Russian word for "Russian" is often latinized as "Russki".

There isn't really a standard way to transliterate Russian Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet that we use; or rather, there are multiple standards that reflect the phonetic biases of the people who invented the standards.

My own last name is a case in point. In Russian, it's spelled "". (Oops, Slashdot doesn't like Cyrillic. Full post here [picknit.com]). I spell it "Rabinovitch", my grandfather spelled it without the "t", and you'll see the "tch" replaced by "z" and/or the "v" replaced by "w".

Why so many variations? Well, "" (no, I don't know what it's called, I'm the third generation off the boat) is pronounced like the English "v", but many people (even English speakers) use a convention that originates in Germany, where "w" stands for the same sound. As for ""; it represents a sound that isn't even used in English (I myself cannot pronounce it) so whether you use "tch", "ch" or "z" is pretty arbitrary.

(And of course, there's no single standard for pronouncing my name; don't even get me started on that.)

The fun part is that no matter which convention you use, somebody's bound to "correct" you. Phillip Davis wrote a book called Interpolation and Approximation for a very specialized audience of mathematicians. Most of the letters he got about the book were not about his math or his writing, but about his "misspelling" of the name of a Russian mathematician, Pafnuty Lvovitch Tschebyscheff!

Re:ASCII? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561240)

Slavs that use both alphabets figured this out a long time ago, though.

In Serbian, there are two 'ch's, so somewhat unlike Russian. I think in Russian, the Serbian soft ch is like a Russian "ch" with a soft sign behind it. Anyway, names that end in -itch sound, like.. Mirkovic, or Ivan Ivanovic (Ivanovitch) use this soft character in south Slavic languages; In Latin alphabet they have exact analog character - there is one for all Serbian cyrillic letters (HR and parts of BiH use this latin alphabet exclusively, SRB uses cyrillic & latin).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tshe [wikipedia.org] is the cyrillic char,
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%86 [wikipedia.org] is how it is rendered in latin.

Hard 'ch' (the only Ch in Russian alphabet) is rendered like a C with an inverted chevron on top in latin:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8C [wikipedia.org]

I like a positive system of transliteration, ambiguity sucks :-/

Re:ASCII? (2, Insightful)

badran (973386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559546)

What do tits have to do with this?

PS: A-SCIISKI, sounds a lot like "What about the tits?".

Re:ASCII? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559844)

This animation was with with the Russian version, called ASCIISKI.

Russian surnames don't end with -ski. Polish ones do (See info on Sikorsky or Polanski). R-77 should be caller amraamov. Then it would look Russian.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560454)

There's a lot of Russian surnames that end in -sky. Some are of Polish origin, like Dostoevsky, some Ukrainian (Tchaikovsky), some are purebred Russian (Kandisky, Kluchevsky, ...),

Re:ASCII? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560408)

to the windooowww to the wall
til the sweat drips down my balls
til all these bitches crawl
to asciiski motherfucker, to asciiski goddamn

this is how my mind works.

Re:ASCII? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561482)

Mind? I suspect that you may have had a mind at some distant time in the past. But, today, you have no idea if your mind works or not. It disowned you, and left.

And, you probably thought you just lost your mind, right?

Re:ASCII? (4, Funny)

Xiph (723935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558912)

however, in ascii-art ASCII is an abbriviation of "Abnormal String of Characters Is the Image"

Re:ASCII? (5, Informative)

faragon (789704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558988)

Probably it is not ASCII nor EBCDIC (both dating from 1963). After searching a bit, it seems that uses its own character encoding: GOST 10859-64.

Re:ASCII? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559176)

A few ephemera:

ASCII wasn't widely used until after 1967, when it underwent a major revision. It is worth noting that the Soviet Union variously purchased, reverse-engineered and stole computer designs as early as the sixties, and when they did so, they frequently brought the charsets with them to maintain program compatibility with American and Western European software.

...however, most of that reverse-engineering happened only later, and I for one would be surprised if ASCII was used at all in Russian computing prior to the availability of Usenet and IBM PC clones.

Re:ASCII? (5, Informative)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559380)

The "images" were created using the BESM-4 computer. The much more widely used BESM-6 used 48 bit words and you can see its character encoding table here:

http://www.mailcom.com/besm6/encoding_ru.html [mailcom.com]

The BESM-4 had 45-bit words and I'm not sure what encoding it used, but it's likely to be the same or similar to the above. Note how that character table has math operators like logical conjucntion/disjunction even but lacks an exclamation mark and even two letters of the Russian alphabet. Wasn't exactly meant for word processing ;)

Re:ASCII? (1)

gael (36757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561500)

Two letters missing ? I would say only the "IO" letter is missing and it is usually written as a "IE" anyway.
The hard sign is just a bit hidden.

Re:ASCII? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31561574)

Except of course only one letter is missing and there is exclamation mark, but no question mark if you bother to read the page you linked to ;)

Re:ASCII? (2, Interesting)

davidbofinger (703269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561600)

It's got one nice feature I wish ASCII had: the code for a digit is the same as the value of a digit. That would save a little programming boilerplate.

Re:ASCII? (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561024)

Since ASCII stands for "American" Standard Code for Information Interchange

You've got it all wrong. It stands for "American Society of Cat Illustration Innovation," informally known as the LOL Society.

Pictures or it didn't happen! (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558898)

I tried and failed.

Can someone please post a more direct link? (or possibly just the ascii)
aren't we all tired of looking for the article in a link in the article in a link in the article in a...

Re:Pictures or it didn't happen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559440)

well, you tried and failed. the lesson is: never try.

IDLE!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31558954)

IDLE
    IDLE
        IDLE
              IDLE

That's nothing! (5, Funny)

d1r3lnd (1743112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558994)

A year later, American scientists created an impressive sequence of a man walking about the lunar surface...

Re:That's nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31561888)

It would have been more impressive if they'd figured out how to do it without actually sending him to the moon. The animators did things the lazy way.

Re:That's nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31562428)

Russians? Did someone say Russians? Quick, break into competitive, dick-measuring contest mode! Beat your chest as hard as you can! That'll learn them thar 'rooskis what thinks they sooh-perior!

Damm dude, not everything is a contest. This is about about an animated cat, you don't have to prove your nation is better than theirs (the fact that they were animating cats while large numbers people starved is enough). War's over, champ.

If you were into the ascii art scene or BBSs (2, Interesting)

floppyraid (1756326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31558998)

There is a well done documentary on archive.org

The guy interviewed Vinton Cerf and Philip J. Kaplan for it, amongst others you will likely recognize.

http://www.archive.org/details/BBS.The.Documentary [archive.org]

iirc, part 5 was all about the ascii art scene.

Re:If you were into the ascii art scene or BBSs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559112)

Bambi Meets Godzilla [textfiles.com] for the VT100/ANSI terminal crowd...

Re:If you were into the ascii art scene or BBSs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560240)

works with "vte" under linux...

Rotoscoped. (2, Funny)

6350' (936630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559012)

This is of course neat to see, but I think it's clearly a rotoscoped sequence transferred to a printout (which is pretty cool too). Not to quibble, but this might be a better example of full-on ASCII animation:
http://www.asciimation.co.nz/ [asciimation.co.nz] - The classic ASCII anim of Episode IV.

Re:Rotoscoped. (3, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559122)

Yes, we all know that the ASCII animation of Episode IV was made before 1968.

What next? Are you going to point out that The Mother of all Demos [wikipedia.org] is crap because you can do better things now?

Not really ascii art (0)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560556)

The animation is interesting, but it's not really ASCII art. Not as I define it. ASCII art in my books is using the particular characteristics (shape & density) of many different alphanumeric characters and symbols together to make an image. This is just the same character repeated over and over. Whether or not the animation of the outline was "rotoscoped" from a real cat, the ASCII part was certainly "rotoscoped" from a conventional animation and simply filled in with a letter. It could have been done with a pencil outline on a sheet of paper put into a typewriter.

This is a lot of work, certainly, but it's not at all technically or even really artistically challenging, even by 1968 standards.

Re:Rotoscoped. (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559130)

It isn't rotoscoped. You can see the skeletonized cat toward the middle of the video. You can also make out some cracks where the different components meet at the joints.

Re:Rotoscoped - to coin Einstein (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31562010)

Thanks for pointing that out, that makes it much more interesting an achievement. These folks surely could foresee the future of computer animation, except there is no cat [monster-island.org]

Re:Rotoscoped. (1)

imikedaman (1268650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31562082)

Considering rotoscoping involves manually drawing on top of source video, how does drawing a skeleton prove that it wasn't rotoscoped? A better argument would be to point out that if it was rotoscoped, the animation would have been a lot less stilted.

Re:Rotoscoped. (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560132)

I think you misunderstand what rotoscoping [wikipedia.org] is. This is just plan "animation", where you use a rostrum camera [wikipedia.org] to transfer your frames from paper to film. The difference here is that the frames themselves were computer generated. I'd be very curious to know whether they actually had some kind of animation software, or just used a text editor.

whyd they nee a physicist and math guy to roto? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31561788)

clealry it states they had physic and math guys working on this. besides the torso doesnt move up and down. and why the wire frame skeleton?

its quite likely they simulated the physics of motion then generated the ani from that.

Pin registration (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559054)

I think this is very fun, but it looks like they could have used some help from basic understanding of pin registration. The animations are awesome. The jumpiness of some of it is not.

Fookin babber (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559070)

n/c

Wrong title: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559090)

RUSKY ART more apropriate

Impressive? (0, Troll)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559162)

You mean like hand painting 160,000+ cels and then photographing them? To create 90 minute feature length films?

If I'm not mistaken, Disney and Warner Brothers, to name two, were doing that long before 1964.

This is somehow special because it was "CGI" -- ASCII or KOI-8 art printed out and photographed?

Bah. Go ahead, mod me down, but I"m unimpressed.

The cat starved to death (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559206)

See that? First pass he was cool. On the second, he was all skinny and shit. Third pass was the ghost. Call the ASPCA!

Re:The cat starved to death (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561484)

See that? First pass he was cool. On the second, he was all skinny and shit. Third pass was the ghost. Call the ASPCA!

Well, its wasn't their fault. They just didn't know what to feed an ASCII (or the Soviet equivalent of) cat.

Re:The cat starved to death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31562580)

ASCII Cheezburger!!!

ASCII motion is more sophisticated now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559400)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WubDqdV2r9k

You Linux types try "apropos aalib", then try the programs listed in a console. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Reverse engineering (1)

heneon (570292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559418)

Could it be possible to reproduce copies of the original ascii art printouts by playing back the video using mplayer and aalib video out?

In Soviet Russia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559498)

In Soviet Russian, LOLcats animate YOU!

42 years ago... (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31559508)

...Russian scientists with access to a computer smoked some pot.

Re:42 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560110)

From the credits, these were art/cinema students. This was some sort of a college course project.

Schrödingers cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559604)

The cat seems to be heavily quantised. At last we have a picture of Schrödingers cat!

Soviet not Russian. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559894)

Actually, that was Soviet time. Not Russian. Its unfair to the people that contributed to the film to call it Russian.

07 April 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559954)

That was when the video was uploaded.
Holy old news.

Not to say that it isn't good though, it was pretty awesome.

Well, there goes my patent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31559956)

Shit, there goes my patent for "animation via block arrangement and sequencing...with a computer"

Catscii Animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560176)

A more appropriate name would be Catscii.

How were the images generated? (1)

paradigm82 (959074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560222)

How were the images generated? Was it just hand-edited text files that were printed out, or did they have some type of drawing program? It would be cool if they had created a program with a 3d model of the cat - an animation of which was then rendered to ASCII :) I suppose it would have been possible given the technology at the time but also quite challenging - who knows :)

Interesting but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31560254)

not that sophisticated even by 1967 standards. Observe this bell labs video from the same era.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXYXuHVTS_k&feature=related

Not NEWS? (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31560994)

Text art has been around for a long time. Typewriter art for over 100 years. RTTY art nearly as long. The principles of animation have been understood for a while. Why is this news?

Mad Magazine - PDP 7 (1)

Joosy (787747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561212)

In the late 60's or early 70's Mad magazine had a few pages of cartoons ("art"?) made on a typewriter. One that struck me was a rocket, looking something like this: A H H I (imagine it in Courier ...) A few years later I had a BASIC programming class, and when we finally got a few CRTs (to replace the printout only outputs we had previously) one of the first things I did, now that things could really "move"!, was to write a program to make this Ascii rocket take off! I remember showing it off to others in the class. But, alas, this discovery from 1968 means I can no longer claim to be "the father of computer animation." Oh well, it was time for new business cards anyway ...

Re:Not NEWS? (1)

Joosy (787747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31561226)

In the late 60's or early 70's Mad magazine had a few pages of cartoons ("art"?) made on a typewriter. One that struck me was a rocket, looking something like this:

A
H
H
I

(imagine it in Courier ...)

A few years later I had a BASIC programming class, and when we finally got a few CRTs (to replace the printout only outputs we had previously) one of the first things I did, now that things could really "move"!, was to write a program to make this Ascii rocket take off! I remember showing it off to others in the class.

But, alas, this discovery from 1968 means I can no longer claim to be "the father of computer animation." Oh well, it was time for new business cards anyway ...

The printer sucked (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31562198)

Notice that sometimes the columns of type gaps between them or are run together. This printer wasn't nearly as well made as the American behemoths of the sixties.

Flash? (3, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31562320)

So in 1968, the russians take a bunch of standard characters, print them out onto paper and film it. 42 years later the Americans spend millions of dollars creating a convoluted ineficient browser plugin (flash) in order to display it.

Reminds me of a certain expensive pen...
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