INTERVIEWS

Scott "Spot" Draves Spot Draves is an award-winning artist whose work is exhibited all over the world. His installation, Electric Sheep, is on exhibit at the SIGGRAPH 2004 Art Gallery.

What first drew you to computer graphics?

"Their ability to make pictures. Or more precisely my ability to make pictures with them."

Do you have any computer graphics mentors? Karl Sims, Andy van Dam.
What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH? I was in the art show in 1994.
What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why? I went a couple of times in 88-92 but haven't been back.I'm looking forward to a good run now though.
What contribution to graphics are you most proud of?

"Haven't made them yet."

Could you explain a bit more about "Electric Sheep"? It is based on genetic algorithm. Each 150 length genetic code produces a 4 second MPEG-2 video file. On a single computer, it would take 10 hours to render a single 4.5 MB animation. Currently it is server based but the next verion will use BitTorrent.
When did you start working on the project? The Electric Sheep project has been going on since 1999. I has around 5000 users per week.
Do you have problems with parasites? Not really. So far hacking incidents have been rare. There were instances where people tried to upload bad frames but those can be easily detected.
How does the screensaver work? When the screensaver is activated, it downloads the current video from the server. Then it starts rendering a single frame of the next video. Once the frame is rendered (using the Fractal Flame algorithm), it is fed back to the server which sequences it into a complete video.
What pays your bills right now? I am a VJ in Frisco. I sell my animations on DVD. I've already sold out the first production run of my DVD.
What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward to? More programmable hardware.

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