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Vol.33 No.2 May 1999

COMPUTER GRAPHICS Continues to Evolve

Gordon Cameron

May Columns
About the Cover

From the Editor
Previous From the Editor Column

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

Over the past few years, we've been trying to expand the content and accessibility of the newsletter - hopefully adding items of interest to our readers and subscribers in technical, artistic and education fields. Part of this effort has involved seeking out interesting, diverse and stimulating focus topics, and I've been lucky in managing to hook up with some superb guest editors.

Another very important development has seen the magazine trying to gather a selection of top-notch columnists to write regularly on a wide range of relevant topics - and in this regard I feel especially proud to be working with such a great bunch of people. Our current roster of columns is, I think, very impressive in terms of range, interest and writing quality, and I'm delighted to focus this issue of the magazine on these columns and the columnists themselves.

You may also notice that this time around the production people have been hard at work, and we are experimenting with a new look for the magazine. I do appreciate any feedback you have, and please feel free to contact myself or Lynn with any comments you might have.

In light of all these changes, we'd like to get a grasp on how you perceive the magazine - which parts you like or perhaps dislike, and understand how you'd like us to improve. With this in mind, please take a few minutes, if you can, to fill out the questionnaire on page 5 and 6 and fax or return via paper mail to Lynn (also watch the website for the survey to appear there). Your comments are very much appreciated, and we will pay very close attention to what you say when deciding on any future changes.

I'd like to take the opportunity to wish a fond farewell to one of our columnists, T. Todd Elvins, and thank him for his incredible job with VisFiles. I am very sorry to see him go, but am grateful for the effort he invested in building such a tremendously interesting regular column. At the same time, I am delighted that Bill Hibbard of the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) has agreed to become the new editor/columnist, and you can read his first fantastic column in this issue. Many of you will know Bill from his work on VIS-5D, among many other things, and I'm delighted to have him on board.

I do hope you enjoy reading the issue, and best regards!

Gordon Cameron
Software Development
3510 boul. St-Laurent
Suite 400
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 2V2

Tel: +1-514-845-1636 ext.3445
Fax: +1-514-845-5676

Gordon Cameron spent his childhood skimming stones at the beach in Banff, Scotland as well as doing his first programming stint at age 13 on a kindly neighbour's Apple II Europlus. From there, he headed down the slippery computing slope, (if such a thing exists), writing for a couple of computer enthusiast magazines before completing a university degree in the Granite City of Aberdeen and heading to Edinburgh to work briefly as a Research Associate in the Robot Vision Group at the university's AI department (artificial intelligence as opposed to artificial insemination :-)).

Following this, a few years at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre saw Gordon working on massively parallel machines (where he could simulate the skimming stones), being introduced to the worlds of scientific visualization and Computer Graphics magazine editing*, as well as being amazed at how quickly "cutting edge" technology turned obsolete.

Following the old (but somewhat dodgy) adage that a "change-is-as-good-as-a-rest," Gordon accepted an offer in 1995 from SOFTIMAGE Inc. in Montreal to work on motion capture and performance animation. He currently acts as Project Leader for Animation in the 3D team (where he can model, animate and photo-realistically render the skimming stones). He attempts to have hobbies outside computing (such as playing the harmonica in an average fashion, and reading books not wholly consisting of code excerpts), and hopes to return to a state where he can skim stones in real life once more. He edits Computer Graphics magazine, but most of the real work is done by the talented band of contributors, columnists and Production Editor Lynn Valastyan.

Lynn Valastyan
Computer Graphics Production Editor
1435 Wales Drive
Wheaton, IL 60187

Tel: +1-630-462-9552
Fax: +1-630-462-9652

Lynn Valastyan is the Computer Graphics Production Editor. Her role involves working with Gordon to secure high quality materials and moving them through type, design, approvals and printing. She has assumed this role for nearly 20 years, and her "gentle nudge" has been felt by many an Editor and contributor.

As yet another example of how things have changed in the industry, Lynn's early work on Computer Graphics involved typing articles on a typewriter, submitting them to a typesetter for reinputting and receiving "galleys" in return. She then "cut and pasted" with real scissors, creating a dummy layout for the designers to follow. Ah...the good old days.

Lynn is a freelance writer/editor working out of Wheaton, IL, a charming suburb west of Chicago. She holds a B.S. in journalism from Northern Illinois University.