Interview: John McIntosh, Chair of the Computer Animation Festival
What first drew you to computer graphics?
In the mid 1960's I was bowled over by the advent of broadcast graphics
as they appeared in the network identities and network news show
opening sequences. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the first
3D fly through and the colors, all of a sudden it was like candy
for the eyes!
Years later I finally met the artist that created
those animated graphics, Harry Marks. It is not a coincidence that
Harry Marks produced the Electronic Theater this year.
Do you have any favorite CG mentors?
I have been extremely fortunate to have studied and worked with
some great artists; Wyn Bullock, Frederick Sommer, William Christenberry,
Walter Hopps and of course Harry Marks. These are all designers,
photographers and curators - some of them use computers, others
have never touched a computer.
What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH?
I am a recent contributor to SIGGRAPH. Jill Smolin was kind enough
to invite me to make a presentation at her educators forum in LA,
What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was the most
Dallas, 1990. I never thought I would return to Texas.... The most
wasted was New Orleans 2000 and the most intense was last year in
Los Angeles. Alcohol was abused in New Orleans and I was fully engaged
in the Computer Animation Festival in LA. I nearly lost my lunch
in New Orleans. I lost my voice in LA.
What contributions to SIGGRAPH are you most
I did my best to maintain the tradition of excellence in the Computer
Animation Festival. But, my one contribution may be the fact that
I did not permit wholesale editing (for time) of the submissions
to the Electronic Theater. We juried and showed the work as it was
submitted. A simple but important precedent to establish. I am also
very happy that I could convince Harry Marks to participate in the
Electronic Theater this year. Harry is a legend in the computer
graphic industry and it is an honor to have his participation.
What’s your favorite thing at this year or last year’s
There are so many things to see each year but, I never miss the
ET, the Art Gallery or the Special Sessions. This year will not
be an exception.
What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward
I am very interested in the continued development of optical capture,
laser scanning and synthetic 3D still and motion images. We were
really seeing some impressive progress before the dot.Coms imploded
but we should see more tools in the near future.