How to succeed in CGI... as told by people in the early '90s (Graphics Gems)

There’s a book… actually a series, not sure if any of you have heard of it. It’s called Graphics Gems and ran from 1990-1995. My dad wrote a few articles in the second book and has all five books. Here are some excerpts from the second book, found here:,ed_J.Arvo.pdf

Another challenge was to get the gems to all pile on top of each other convincingly. I wrote a program that dropped them, one at a time, and as they fell, they were rotated to the angle that moved them the furthest down without intersecting anything that was there already. This program took a couple of hours to run, but it was much faster than trying to place them by hand. The picture was rendered with a ray-tracing program and took 50 hours on an Silicon Graphics 4D25 computer at a resolution of 2250 × 3000 pixels with four samples per pixel

50 hours? What even?

Like before, the image was designed on a color monitor producing red, green and blue pixels. For printing, we needed to convert these pixels to cyan, magenta, yellow, and black pixels (printer color space). Once in this form, the image was processed commercially to produce half-toned film suitable for printing. This final step was performed at Kedie-Orent, Sunnyvale, California, on their Crosfield digital prepress system.

They had to go through all that trouble just to print a picture? o_O
Anyway, you guys should go check out the books-,ed_A.Glassner.pdf (first book),ed_J.Arvo.pdf (second book),ed_D.Kirk.pdf (third book)
I wasn’t able to find 4 and 5, sorry, but I think these 3 are plenty. XD

Thanks for this, makes me appreciate the tools we have access to for FREE even more now!

Now imagine those people back then saying “No, we don’t need an automatic color-space converter and all that new stuff. I’d rather just do it like I always have” - and you have the Blender community in a nutshell.