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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001

Interview: John McIntosh, Chair of the Computer Animation Festival

By Jessica Fernandes
24 July 2002

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, 1999.

What year/city was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was the most intense? Why?
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 proud of?
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 SIGGRAPH?
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 to?
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.



What's your favorite ET piece of all time? Luxo Jr.? Just say no to flying logos? Outside In? (that funny sphere inversion thing?)




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