I was born on 31st of January 1962 in London, England. I attended
Queen Elizabeth's Boys School in Barnet. When I was thirteen I
made a pottery dragon which later went on to become a character
in one of my sets of fairy tales.
Other pleasures included playing the Mock Turtle in Alice in
Wonderland which made me interested in writing plays, and building
a stepper-motor-controlled graph plotter in the machine shop.
I made a circuit to interface this device to my programmable calculator
so that musical tones corresponded to step directions, leading
to my first vector graphics computer generated picture.
I also did a project on the teletype terminal which implemented a graphics package. I had to join up the dots by hand. The model I chose to visualize was a Renaissance chalice by Paolo Uccello.
As an undergraduate I studied Natural Sciences for two years,
including Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Crystalline Materials.
In between I really got my graph plotter to work with a BBC Microcomputer
with an 8 bit processor and 32k of memory. Interested in drapery
I started to devlop analytical buckling models for elastic surfaces.
Not really what I was supposed to be doing but . . .
I had a very happy time doing a Ph.D. with the DUCT Development
unit. They were a company spin-off from Cambridge University Engineering
Department, part of Deltacam Systems Ltd. David Sturge was my
supervisor and Jon Hunwick a close collaborator. My first project
was with John Miller (no relation) to build a physical manifestation
of the chalice by Paolo Uccello.
We used to dream about animating dinosaurs using computer graphics.
One night, deep in the basement, a large spider fell off the wall
and ended up underneath my desk. It grew larger and scarier in
my imagination, so the next day I got Jon Hunwick to model a spider
in the CAD system. This got me interested in rendering it realistically.
I was supposed to be rendering machine parts but . . .
I became interested in representing all forms of natural phenomena
including fur, terrain and water.
© 1975-86 Gavin Miller. All rights reserved.
Off to Canada