PublisherNew York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
Place of PublicationLong Island, New York
DescriptionOriginally recorded on Ampex 2-inch Quad videotape at NYIT, 1979. Restored and transferred to DVD by C. Park Seward, Video Park Inc., November 2011. Duration 3:00.
Renowned artist Ed “Emsh” Emshwiller (oils, 16mm film, video, videodisc, sci-fi magazine covers) used a Guggenheim grant to fund a 6-month project at NYIT, home of the group now known as Pixar. They had the first full-color (24 bits per pixel) raster graphics in the world. Emsh created most of Sunstone’s elements with Alvy Ray Smith’s full-color paint program. Smith designed shots with Emsh that didn’t exceed the group’s capabilities and wrote software hacks to create those shots: the face pushing through the cement (c30 sec.), the blinking eyes (c10 sec.), the third eye exploding with color (c40 sec.), and all titles and held cards (c30 sec.). Lance created the 3D tongue and path (c20 sec.). All compositing was done using the newly invented alpha channel. The most difficult shot was the spinning cube (c20 sec.) which took 56 hours using Smith’s 3D texture-mapping program. Garland wrote the software that grabbed and colorized the video of Emsh’s son (c30 sec.). Emsh created the soundtrack by recording a lawn roller on a concrete driveway. Sunstone is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.