Tuesday, November 24, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

An Ode to Kai’s Power Goo

Christopher Phin:

Power Goo’s features—the ability to smear regions of an image around and paint bits of one photo onto another to create composites—seem unexceptional today, but in the ’90s, this was mind-meltingly exciting stuff, not in and of itself maybe, but in how easy and fun Power Goo made the process.

Just look at that interface! That’s the thing I remember about Power Goo at least as much as the images you could create with it. It really felt for a few years that this was how software might look in the future: not staid, rectilinear, essentially monochrome buttons and menus, but big, juicy, floating 3D buttons and big, exciting levers that you pull to change variables. It was a future that lots of people thought was horrendous, of course—silly Fisher Price exuberances getting in the way of your work—but after decades of the command line and the established modern GUI conventions, it was at the very least new, and I’d argue intoxicating too.

See also: Bryce 2, Kai’s Power Tools 5.

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