Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Don’t Painted Cards Have New Pictures?

I’ve said before that I can almost understand why card companies reuse pictures. For the older players, there are simply a limited number of pictures to go around. Can’t really argue that they should have more pictures of Smoky Joe Wood on cards when there are probably only a handful of pictures out there. I also suggested that it was possible photographer’s rights would actually limit the number of pictures available for current players too. I don’t know that for a fact, but it’s certainly possible. But, how does that affect art cards?

Shouldn’t cards like Allen & Ginter or Gypsy Queen be able to produce an endless supply of pictures for any player? I assume the real answer is that they’re not actually painted cards. They’re actual pictures digitally converted to look like paintings. But, what if they weren’t?

I can’t paint. I can’t draw. I have no intention of suggesting it would be easy. But, can’t an artist paint a picture of a player however he sees fit? If a Disney animator can draw a picture of a character in any possible position, shouldn’t that apply to a player? Why can’t they paint a picture of Tris Speaker sliding into third? Why not a picture of Reggie Jackson in an Orioles uniform? Why not Bobby Doerr tossing the ball to Adrian Gonzalez, for that matter?

The cards from the fifties used to be actual paintings, right? They had some guy sit at his easel and paint out the exact card. Sounds good to me.

Is it laziness? Is it not cost effective to hire an artist? Is it not actually something that can be done? Is that talent too rare?

I can only assume the card companies want new options. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t bother doing what they can to change it up. They wouldn’t crop it differently. They wouldn’t zoom in. They’d just put the same picture of Tris Speaker squatting with his bat on every card as is. But, they don’t. Obviously, they want to mix it up a bit.

Why don’t they use real paintings?

1 comment:

  1. Companies today don't use real paintings because they cost more money than running a picture through photoshop.

    Back in the '50s most of the paintings on cards were based on photographs. Check out the cards of Sheldon Jones:
    That poor guy had one picture on just about all his cards, photo or painting.

    It is possible for an artist to paint a picture of a player without directly using a photo reference, but it's very difficult. Unless they're highly skilled, it's not going to look exactly like the player. If the artist IS good enough to do that the painting is going to be expensive. To pull off a whole set like that is very difficult, just look at the 2010 National Chicle set.


What people are reading this week