Monday, August 14, 2006

Christmas Comes Early


Every year the computer graphics community's annual jamboree, SIGGRAPH, takes place in a major city in the US. And every year I don't go. Every year Pixar (yes that Pixar) give out free wind-up teapots in different colours. Why do they do this? Well, the reason why Pixar dish out free merch is that they make a piece of software called Photo Realistic RenderMan which is used by the majority of VFX studios worldwide including the one I work at. Pixar started out as a software company and made short films to showcase their technology. Eventually Disney invested a heap of money to make a feature film, which was called "Toy Story" and you know the rest. But they still make the software, so they have merch for the punters.

Next obvious question: "Why a teapot?" Well the teapot is a very specific teapot, known as the Utah Teapot (because of where it was created) and it is an iconic piece of computer graphics history. It's also a very useful surface for a wide variety of CG experimentation because of fabulous topological wonderment that I won't bore you with here. Suffice to say, it's part of the heritage. And who wouldn't want a cute, wind-up teapot? Well I would, but since I'm never at SIGGRAPH I've never got one, I've had to watch enviously as the tops of my colleagues' monitors become filled with red, green, blue, mirrored, gold, glow-in-the-dark and transparent teapots whilst mine was bereft.

This year my luck changed. I was able to successfully bribe the Plane Queen (who was attending SIGGRAPH because she's a bigger nerd than me) to bring me one of this year's teapot back with promises of home-made cake. And when she arrived back in work today, having been driven crazy by the current airport mayhem she handed me a tin. And inside the tin was a black with flames patterned teapot. I'm the happiest little nerd in the class. I think I may call him Wally.

2 Comments:

Anonymous The Tall American said...

Dude. You got one with hotrod flames. How rock & roll is that?

1:49 pm  
Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

Dude, that is waaaay rock and roll. Gnarly even.

2:28 pm  

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