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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001

Interview: Simon Allardice, Chair of Web Graphics

By Jessica Fernandes
24 July 2002

What first drew you to computer graphics?
My background with CG isn't the conventional one. I've been a software developer for many years, working on everything from games to safety routines for nuclear reactors. I started working with internet technologies in the early 90's - I still have copy of one of my reference books from that time with a single paragraph describing the World Wide Web as "an interesting experiment for physicists".

As the Web grew, the visual aspects of it always fascinated me. Admittedly, in the early days, that didn't mean a lot - when you talked about Web Graphics, you meant animated GIFs or the pain of working with websafe color schemes - but as the technologies appeared and matured I was right alongside them. I've seen a lot of things heralded as "the future of Web Graphics", and seen most of them disappear. But always, my continued interest and passion is not about where Web Graphics are now, but where the technology will be five or ten years from now.

What was the first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH?
Los Angeles 2001.


What contributions to SIGGRAPH are you most proud of?
Creating the inaugural SIGGRAPH Web Graphics program.

What's your favorite thing at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH?
I'm obviously biased, but I'm extremely excited about the new Web Graphics program this year. While Web-related content has featured in several previous programs, it's the first time there's ever been substantial content targeted at Web Graphics developers. For several years, I would get the SIGGRAPH Program, and pore through it, wondering: where's the Web stuff? I always saw it as something missing from SIGGRAPH - and over the past 18 months, I got the chance to create the kind of program I had always wanted to see.

What near/intermediate developments in CG do you look forward to?
With the growing prevalence of alternate devices - handheld and tablet PC's, etc - there's a growing demand for different, visual methods for navigation on the internet. I also anticipate seeing more and more innovative ways of visual presentation of dynamic information. The crossover of talents from other areas of the CG industry is something I see growing - there's tremendous amount of talent out there that is somewhat marginalized at the moment; the animators don't know much about the web, and the web developers don't know much about animation. That's all beginning to change.

People make SIGGRAPH what it is. Here a small sampling of the people here in 2002




This page is maintained by
Jan Hardenbergh
All photos you see in the 2002 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY