interviewed 28 July 2003 by Tai-San Choo
Darin Grant is the SIGGRAPH 2003 Computer Animation Festival
committee chair and currently Manager, Technical Directors & Software
at Digital Domain.
|What first drew you to computer
||I was born and raised in Cupertino, CA, the
home of Apple Computers and the heart of Silicon Valley. Computers
were an everyday part of my life from
the first programming class I took when I was just 8 years
I got my first bite by the CG bug when I saw some animations
that some kids
had put together using pirated copies of Electric Image and
I was blown away that people could render out these image
sequences on a
home computer. In college, I focused on Computer Graphics
and was lucky
enough to get a tour of Digital Domain my junior year. I
fell in love and
have been working here since two weeks after graduation.
|Do you have any favorite computer graphics
I'm fond of any of the founding fathers
of Computer Graphics. When it comes down to it, anyone who
has made a significant contribution to the industry is a
mentor to me. If there were SIGGRAPH trading cards, I'd probably
have the whole series.
|What was the first time you
contributed to SIGGRAPH?
I've actually never submitted a single
submission of my own. The first "contribution" that
I ever made was to be a juror of the technical sketches sub-committee
| What year/city was your first
SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why?
First was Los Angeles, 1997 (although I'd
been reading the proceedings before that). On many levels,
that was the most intense SIGGRAPH for me because it was
right at the beginning of a big downturn in the visual effects
industry yet it was the biggest SIGGRAPH ever. I was trying
to absorb so much while also trying to ensure that I'd have
a job in the future.
But I believe that this SIGGRAPH will eclipse that one in
intensity for me. The Computer Animation Festival Chair is
one of the most challenging things that I've ever done and
|What contributions to SIGGRAPH
are you most proud of?
||I'm very proud of my volunteer contributions
to SIGGRAPH but I think the thing that I'm most proud of is
pushing to ensure that Digital Domain submits each year. I'm
the unofficial voluntary DD Sketches
coordinator and I make sure that all of our submissions are
in, the tapes get made, and the acceptances get cleared for
presentation. I do it because I feel that it is incredibly
important for "industry" to give back to the SIGGRAPH
community and I hope that DD stepping up to the plate has encouraged
other companies to contribute more as well.
|What's your favorite thing
at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH?
||I loved the Papers Fast Forward session last
year and expect it to be terrific again this year. Getting
all of those authors up there in short order really captures
the energy and spirit of SIGGRAPH.
I also loved discovering the SIGGRAPH Studio last year.
For many of us that attend the technical sessions, it's an
undiscovered country of incredible experiences and community.
I got a rapid prototyped CG model made in the Studio last
year and it's one of the coolest
things I own.
|What near/intermediate developments
in CG do you look forward to?
I'm very excited by Hardware Rendering
technology. The work being done there is definitely closing
the gap between what is done in software to what can be done
on hardware in real-time. I'm also excited by the closeness
of the industry to creating believeable, photorealistic CG
humans. Each new development and discovery brings us that
much closer to realizing that "holy grail" of our