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Digital art

Digital art is art stored on a computer in digital (that is, binary) form. The term is usually reserved for art that has been non-trivially modifed by the computer; text data and raw audio and video recordings are not usually considered digital art, since the computer is merely the storage medium.

Digital art can be purely computer-generated, such as fractals, or taken from another source, such as a scanned photograph or an image drawn using vector graphics software, using either a mouse or graphics tablet. The availability and popularity of photograph manipulation software has spawned a vast and creative library of highly modified images, many bearing little or no hint of the original image. Using electronic versions of brushes, filters and enlargers, these "Neographers" produce images unattainable through conventional photographic tools. In addition, digital artists may manipulate scanned drawings, paintings, collages or lithographs, as well as using any of the above-mentioned techniques in combination.

3D graphics are created via the process of designing complex imagery from geometric shapes, polygons or nurbs to create realistic 3 dimensional shapes, objects and scenes for use in various media such as film, television, print and special visual effects.

The mainstream media uses a lot of digital art in advertisements, and computers are used extensively in film to produce special effects. Desktop publishing has had a huge impact on the publishing world, although that is more related to graphic design.

Nonetheless, digital art is yet to gain the acceptance and regard reserved for "serious" artforms such as sculpture, painting and drawing, perhaps due to the erroneous impression of many that "the computer does it". However, digital artists have a wide range of above-mentioned techniques - arguably more extensive than those of other modes of art - at their disposal with which to creatively express themselves.

Computers are also commonly used to make music, especially electronic music, since they present an easy and powerful way to arrange and create sound samples. It is possible that general acceptance of the value of digital art will progress in much the same way as the increased acceptance of electronically produced music over the last three decades.

One of the largest collections of digital art on the internet is