for ToXic Mag 17
As interviews always begin this way , I'll ask you to introduce yourself to the Toxic Mag readers ? (name, age, town, job, ...)
Many people aren't scary to call me Kay Tennemann. I'm 27 years old now, I live in Hamburg (i'm absolutely glad about that) and am about to finish my studies of communication-design (it's really cool...) this year. The whole thing is financed by working as a free graphist (actually as 3D-characterdesigner and animator for a company that works on the game 'Die Fugger III'(PC).)
How and when did you start computing ? On which computer ? You're also a (good) graphician, why have you choosen gfx ?
It all began about ten years ago with my Atari 800XE and i've
been true to Atari computers since then. You can read more details
about that in an interview for GFX-Zone at :
The same interview was released in an UCM-issue. I don't want to bore the readers again with the same shit again.
Which machines do you have, and which do you still have ? Which is your fave one ? Why ?
During my digital interests i had an Atari 800XE/520ST/1040STF and STE/Falcon, Amiga & PC. I still have them at home, except for the STE & the Amiga, which i sold, to buy a Falcon. My favourite sweety is my lovely 800XE, on which i made my first steps. It was fascinating like no other machine i saw before and after that one. (although the Falcon was really near to it... =) ...) I really had a lot of fun wih my Falcon, but falcon-scene-life fades, and so i spend most of my time working on PC. In these days the ST is more interesting for Demos, because it's great fun watching Candyman's newest routs, things we've just seen on Falcon before....
What is(are) your job(s) in Cream ? You're also a member of ACF, I'm right ? Is ACF dead or just asleep ?
Apart from creating gfx, i spent the last years telling the Cream guys that there's an active scene and kicked their butts to ...do things. But things changed. Now the guys are damned active and they have to kick me to get working for the scene =) . ACF is alive like TCB or The Lost Boys... i mean it exists and sometimes i get some bits of news from Jacky, but after 4-5 years without a release we can without doubt consider it dead. But don't be surprised if there'll be happening something in the future.
Remember, Cream has been half dead for about two years.
What do you think about the demo scene ?
The demoscene has been a really important part of my life and it will be in the future. Without it i wouldn't be in the position i'm in now. The permanent competition forced me to improve my gfx-style and made me spend more time intensively with the elementals of graphics. I probably would't have come in contact with graphics without the scene life. But the Atari-scene in general, especially while it shrank, became more and more some kind of family. Parties are still a place to meet some good friends, that's really nice... But it's really cool that you still meet guys, who aren't active, but who are still sceners and attend to parties. But i got the feeling, that the innovative times (90-93) are over. The sceners don't present really new things (also on Amiga/PC). They rest on their achievements and just copy each other. In the good old days, you got a lot of heavy stuff to see, but nowadays most of the stuff is just 'nice'....
You have written articles in the "Falcon-Szene" column in ST Computer, the latest * Atari Magazine * still available in Germany. You stopped writing for ST Computer in December 98, why ? Can you tell us your best moments while writting in this column ?
Writing the 'Falconscene' was real fun and it wasn't an easy decision for me to cancel, but i had reasons for that. First, the last 1 1/2 years, my motivation faded and the articles became more and more lame. And near the end i just wrote down my stuff without passion, but i better stop here talking about that. My priorities changed and the last two years i spent more time with 3D-graphics. Added to that, the feedback of the readers tended to zero, what erased the last piece of motivation to go on. So i decided to stop writing the articles not to lose the last bits of fun in the scene and better support it with more releases in the future. When i canceled the articles, i had the hope, that somebody - with more enthusiasm - would walk in my footsteps and present the scene more alive than i did in the end. Scene-reporting should be more than just writing about the facts. I unfortunately have to realise, that the new authors create lamest shit as i did in my worst times. It's a real pity....
The first years were real fun. Interviews with ruling crews, or visiting JADE at his Software company (that had a journalistic aspect, the firm's speaker lead me through the office. =)...). The last cool thing i remember was our interview (Tao took part...) with Mad Max. I needed about two weeks to get in contact with him and he was really amazed by the fact that there is still an active scene and that we did not forget him. Impressed by that, he came to the Siliconvention in Bremen and brought some new songs... I also rememer the issue in April '98. I was totally blocked and i nearly did not write anything. But i had the idea to create an article full of fiction like Falcon-Quake, etc, and i nearly died of laughter while writing that.
But i also made some astonishing expieriences. When i realised the contact to the magazine 'ST-Computer' and they showed their interest in scene-articles, i used the next occasion on the Atari '68X-convention', went to the people and said: 'Hey, we have got a good forum there, so come together and let us use it.' (i was realy naive to believe in the guys.) But i rapidly learned, that it wouldn't work that way... Apparently they prefered to get interviewed, instead of saying:' Look here I have some interesting stuff i could report on.' So i stood there on my own and it didn't take long, that i was blamed to be on my * egotrip * (of course everybody was just talking about that behind my back).
I've always watched myself as a kind of moderator for the scene. But i learned, that when you're in the public, you're more faced with jealousy than with positive feedback. But i kept on writing my stuff, although some people tried to blame me for every little printing-bug. These guys take themselves too seriously. I had my fun, because i knew that these guys pretended that they don't care about my articles, but went to the kiosk to buy the latest issue every month...
But at least the positive experiences strongly exceed the negative ones and at this point i honestly want to thank everybody who supported me in these years.
What are your faves demos, games, softwares ?
Of course all the ACF, CREAM and AVENA productions...'cause they're connected with special memories, but also not to forget milestones like the Union Demo or later the LAZER-Demos. On ST i had a lot of favourite games and it's not surprinsing, that most of them are from Thalion/Eclipse... But also the Bitmap Brothers brought me a lot of fun. And i spent a lot of time playing Dungeon Master.... After the golden days, i used to play on Jaguar, but today i spend only little time playing games, only sometimes Quake II on the internet... ( i just moved to 'the other side')
Software: Of course my loved pixelprograms: Deluxe Paint ST (I love you!), Indypaint(we had good times together), Escape Paint(if i should ever pixel in TC again, it's you..)...NeoN (I made my first 3D steps with you)...CINEMA 4D XL (I can't live without you) 3DSMAX(Nice, to know you).... oh, and of course GOD ! Photoshop...
What do you think about Linux ? Is Linux in a good way to break M$-Windoz's dominance ? Do you use Linux and M$-windoz ?
I use Windows, of course and i don't know anything about Linux...i don't really care about that. I just use the system, which is required for the software i need. But i wish, that fresher concepts like e.g. BeOS, would be more accepted....
Do you still have got your ST ? what do you do on this machine ? You also use some Pc software for your gfx, no ?
Of course i still own my ST and my Falcon, i would never give them away. But today i just use them for watching demos, or if i have to do some pixel grafix, i switch on my Falcon and... ceremoniously reactivate DPAINT or EscapePaint. But it's long ago, when i used the last one.... I still have fun in facing the limits of ST-graphics for pixeling. For TrueColor i preferably use my PC. I got the feeling that i reached all my aims in TrueColor-pixeling so it's not motivating anymore, also because the AMIGA/PC scene output has become real shit in the last three years. That's why i lost all my motivation to take part in Competitions. That's different in 3D. On on hand i always try to improve my skills in modeling, texturing, lightning etc. It's still a real challenge to create a good Picture. On the other hand you can realise an idea really fast, instead of working hard over weeks. Another aspect is, that fixed pictures are really nice, but my main interest now changed to animation. Because of that i mainly use my favourite 3D-package CINEMA 4D XL, and for my job 3DSMAX & Charakterstudio. And of course the indispensable Photoshop....
What do you think about PC and Mac ? And about Atari computers and of course clones ? Have you heard something about the forthcoming Phenix ?
Of course i'm tired of the marketing strategy behind the PC and i'd really prefer to own a freaky, powerful machine (like the Falcon, when it came out). But the Power of modern PC's is too heavy that you don't have to think twice, what machine to buy...at least when you don't want to do just demos, but work seriously. In my job the fastest machine is just fast enough...so the MAC disqualifies itself, and you get more for your money if you buy a PC. The MacOS in not really up to date and its advantages in graphics-software are also gone. On the other hand it's ridiculous that a bad OS and badly coded software slow down the fastest PC-hardware.... By the way, '...do things.' wouldn't have been realised without a PC. Candyman doesn't own an ST, so he used PC+PacifiST to code his parts, and half of the graphics was done on PC (I did't have the time to pixel the menu etc. But the loaderpics and the Cream-logo are of course pixeled!) If you use the PC to keep the Atariscene alive, it's more than OK, isn't it ?
When i first heard about Phenix, 2 years ago, i was really enthusiastic. It was the dream of every Falcon user and it had a lot of capacities for a couple of years, but today it is just a bad joke, compared to actual hardware. So Centek eliminated itself with the long delay of the release. But i'm still interested in what will happen there. The other clones are not interesting to me, but they seem to be important to some users anyway. It's nice to see, that still things happen. But because of the missing fresh software it won't be a real alternative to PC/MAC.
What are your hobbies ?
Graphics, graphics & graphics... and i recently started to make music, what's really amazing, because in this area there's a lot to discover for me...
Who is also your fave artist ?
During my onw graphical evolution only Esher did not lose anything of his fascination... a genious guy... but i don't really have a favourite artist. On some of them i appreciate aspects of their work. i'm impressed by many artworks from which i even don't know the names of the artists. I love it when a picture tells a story or visualises a great idea, which forces to think about and pushes me to improve my own work.
What kind of music to you listen to ?
Are you a Tao fan :) ? Do you love soundchippies ?
Actually i'm listenong to masses of Hip Hop, but also smooth electronic music...depending on my emotions, i keep chilling on Goa.... Soundchipmusic wakes some old memories. You have to love them as an Atari-freak. Of course i have the ST Sound-emulator on my PC =)....C64-music rocks, too.... When Tao comes along with a new piece of music, i'm usually highly impressed. Although the style doesn't really rock, it's really amazing, what kind of sounds he gets out of the machine. And after some time listening to the tunes i realise, that i also like compositions....
Thank you to answer my silly questions. Anything to say ? Greetings ?
Jep, I won't spread hellos to all other graficians into the ATARI-scene who still doing her job =) Besides the AVENA-spongos. Last saying...hope that CREAM does more such cool "...things" and maybe we set a signal that the ST isn't dead and have still the potential for fat demos...our next one for the EIL show what I mean =)...
After the release of "...Do Things" rumours have said that all your gfx for the demo were rendered or done on PC but you told me that the 2 great loader pics were handmade artwork : could you confirm it and tell us about how hard it was to get back to a 16 color system ?
I don't really understand questions about that, because all information is given in the demotexts. But once again : Yes, all pieces of more or less 'unimportant' graphics in '...do things.' (texts, memberlogos, musicmenu and effect-textures) were made on PC with Photoshop. The 'comic'-story was drawn by hand and then scanned (it's actually just a storyboard for a 3D-animated movie i'm going to do). The title-pic of the story is rendered, but the Cream-logo and the loaderpics (...confusing, ...infusing) are pixeled in the traditional way. When we started the project, i didn't intend to pixel anything, but as a graphician it is a matter of honour to pixel logos and pictures. Pixeling on these piccies was astonishingly fun and i experimentally used new dithering techniques on the ...confusing-pic, while i used more chessboard-like dithering (a technique i used in my ACF-times) on the second pic. Like i said before, pixeling on ST is definitely more interesting to me now than on Falcon, because of the bigger challenge of the ST limitations. It's like cycling. You don't unlearn the technique. Added to that i could use my expieriences i made in the last years.
But i have to get some things straight basically. I'm pixeling for ten years now and i don't have to prove anything to anybody. I'm now a professional graphist, what changed my view on graphics fundamentally... I still really like the special esthetic of pixelpics and i respect the technical abilities of a graphist. But good technique is no excuse for a boring or copied motif. A graphist should have own ideas he wants to visualise, All graphics in '...do things.', rendered or pixeled, are made exclusively for the demo and that's all that counts. In the last years there were to many demos, which just contained old, ripped or badly pixeled graphics. Being too lazy for pixeling, wasn't the reason, why i used Photoshop. If that would have been the reason, i could have used old unreleased graphics for the demo. My intention was to present a demo in another esthetic and fresher look. I created the '...do things.' graphics in a way i would have done for a multimedia-presentation or for a webdesign. Transporting that style to ST needs long expierience in ST-pixeling. And believe me, in '...do things.' there's no pixel placed in a way i did't want it. Using Photoshop is no fake, it's cool, if you know how to use it. But be surprised by our next demo, where you can find more graphic-experiments.
We old-school-graphists created scenestyle so why shouldn't we change it again...?