Csuri’s “Hummingbird”

I did a little research after class and looked into the way Charles Csuri images are made. The images were generated with what is called “fortran programs.” Fortran programs are general-purpose, imperative programminglanguage that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. This program would run on Csuri’s IBM 7094 computer.

The IBM7094 had output cards for the computer graphics that were about 4 x 7 inches with holes in the. Those cards contained information which drove a drum plotter. Any number of boxes of cards could represent a single image. 

Csuri then entered the cards into a card reader on another IBM computer (IBM 1130) with a plotter device. These punch cards had the information to move the pen and pick the pen up or down as well as programmed instructions for end of line, etc.

For the video we saw “Hummingbird” – 1967 Csuri  drew a line drawing of a hummingbird. Then there was a made a sequence of movements appropriate to the bird were outlined. It took over 30,000 images. The computer generated 25 motion sequences for the film. Only a few selected sequences were used for the actually film. A device called a micro-film plotter recorded the images directly to film in order to produce it into a film. One card per frame was used to gain control over the motion of some sequences.  

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