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Vol.32 No.3 August 1998

Teapots and SIGGRAPH, Forever

Karen Sullivan
Computer Graphics Cover Editor

Lynn Valastyan
Computer Graphics Production Editor

August 98 Columns
From the Editor Entertaining the Future

Karen Sullivan
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How does one possibly represent SIGGRAPH’s 25 years of offering the latest and greatest at its annual conferences on the two flat pieces of paper that comprise the covers of Computer Graphics?

We struggled with this issue for months and finally decided to do what every SIGGRAPH member would appreciate — have some fun!

Front Cover

The front cover contains Ken Musgrave’s image, The Incandescent Teapot. This whimsical image was Musgrave’s response to the “call for teapots” issued for SIGGRAPH 89. Who would have thought that the teapot would look so great against this mountain? (For a more serious series of renderings of the same mountain, see his website).

The Incandescent Teapot was modeled and rendered in custom software written by Musgrave, in his early days working with Mandelbrot at Yale. The software is highly portable and runs on just about any UNIX machine, as well as Macs.

“My early visual experiments like this led, to my considerable surprise, to my gaining an international reputation as a computer artist,” Musgrave explains. “After completing my Ph.D. at Yale in 1994, I went on to an assistant professorship at George Washington University. Since then, I have worked at Bethesda Softworks (a PC games company) and Digital Domain. I am now developing genetic software and a procedural planet at the Skunk Works of MetaCreations in Scotts Valley, CA. I have slowly made the strange and wonderful transition from seeing myself as a computer scientist to seeing myself primarily as a computer artist.”

Musgrave can be reached at MetaCreations, 5550 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066; tel: +1-408-430-4217; fax: +1-408-438-9671; email:; Website.

Karen Sullivan
13901 N. Florida Ave. #E79
Tampa, FL 33613

Tel: +1-813-265-3799

The copyright of articles and images printed remains with the author unless otherwise indicated.

Back Cover

Just when you thought that all possible uses of the classic teapot had been exhausted, another grand idea surfaces! This issue’s back cover shows parts of Gershon Elber’s constructible Utah teapot which can be found on the SIGGRAPH 98 Web site. Elber invites you to download the files for the teapot pieces. Print the pieces, cut them up and then start putting them together to form your very own classic teapot. It is sure to be a conversation piece!

We’ve printed the pieces on pages 99 to 103 in this issue of Computer Graphics. However if you don’t want to cut up your issue, obtain the files from the Web site. They are available in low and high (50 percent more pieces) resolution and complete instructions for assembly are included.

Elber can be reached at the Department of Computer Science, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, 32000 Israel; tel: +972-4-829-4338; fax: +972-4-829-4353; email: