Thursday, December 23, 2010

Modularity

Unless you're also a computer science major, you're probably still puzzled at what I meant when I said
Forget modularity
Forget reusability
Forget modifiability
To keep it simple, these are the three things any well-written computer program's code must be:
  • Modular means that it is separated into the different parts of the program, each doing only what they're supposed to do.
  • Reusable means the code is general enough to be used later in a different program
  • Modifiable means that the code is structured and commented in such a way that it's clear what each individual part does, thus allowing a hypothetical future coder to change it.
In the context of computer-drawn art, modularity means that the character can, for example, be separated into his individual body parts (I can, for example, select just the head and rotate it alone) and from the background. Reusability means that his expressions aren't too specific to the situation that I can't put the same image in a different setting without it being an appropriate response. Modifiability means that if an expressin appropriate to the situation needed doesn't exist, I can take an existing one and change, say, the mouth.

Of course, none of this is possible when the art is a scanned pencil drawing, unless you're penciling on acetate cells.

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