INTERVIEWS

Meats Meiers

What first drew you to computer graphics? It was the day that my dad brought home the Commodore Vic20. Eventually, he upgraded to the Amiga and I spent a lot of time with the painting program "Deluxe Paint" which also had some primitive animation capabilites. I was instantly hooked and was always the kid that was explaining to the adults how to use the programs and hardware.
What forms of artistic expression do you remember most vividly as a child? I can pinpoint exactly the time when I became an artist, it was in second grade. My teacher led all of the students out to the playground and told us to draw what we saw. Later, when she was reviewing my work in front of the class, everyone agreed that it wasn't good at all. I spent the next few months after school drawing that same scene over and over again trying to prove them wrong.
Do you have any favorite computer graphics mentors?

I have several CG mentors, here are my top three.

Duncan Brinsmead: He is the principle scientist at Alias. He is constantly pushing the envelope with 3d technology and creating tools that are a pleasure for me to use in my art, such as Paint Effects for Maya.

Ofer Alon: Owner of Pixologic, the maker of Zbrush. He is also the main programmer of the software and at the same time a gifted artist that can actually use his own software to create amazing artwork. Three things that are rarely seen in one person.

Alex Alvarez: Founder of the Gnomon 3d school and workshop. He is a pioneer in software training and DVD production. An excellent artist in his own right, he has been known to finish projects under very tight deadlines. The things that he has done with his school are a great inspiration to me.

What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH? Last year at the conference in Los Angeles. I was named a "Maya Master" by Alias and my artwork seemed to be everywhere. It was a little overwhelming. I also had a couple of books debut that had my art printed on the cover and that was also very cool.
What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why? My first year was in 1995 in Los Angeles. I have to say that New Orleans was by far the best, the atmosphere was very party like, which of course was fitting, being held in the party capital of the world. I'm not sure what was more memorable, the covention or the parties afterward....
What contributions to SIGGRAPH are you most proud of? My artwork has been shown in a bunch of different software vendors booths, which always seem to attract a lot of good attention for me. I know that If I can get my name out there in any way at SIGGRAPH, it can do great things for me because of the exposure level that it can bring.
What's your favorite thing at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH? Last year I was really amazed by the emerging technologies that were being displayed. I always walk away from that (and the art gallery) very energized for my own work. I am now focusing on artwork that I can submit to the galleries next year with my fingers firmly crossed. This year is especially exciting to me as I am part of the Gnomon/CGnetworks booth where I will be giving demo's and signing books. I really look forward to it!
What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward to? I'm exited by advances in proccessor power and developments in graphical display technology. Things like pixel shaders and real time rendering. I'm always stoked on hearing about new tech that will make my job as an artist quicker and less constrained. New modeling programs like Zbrush are of interest to me, it's great that there is software out there that new digital artists can use without having to get a degree in mathmatics.

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Last updated 9/16/04.

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