Gavin Miller: Cambridge and Before

The Journey Begins

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.

Gregorin in Pottery

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.

An Englishman's Home

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.

Off to Cambridge '80-'83

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 . . .

Drapery Study

Still at Cambridge '83-86.

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.

Chalice Reborn

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 . . .

Boris the Spider

I became interested in representing all forms of natural phenomena including fur, terrain and water.

Oscar and Sailing By


© 1975-86 Gavin Miller. All rights reserved.

Off to Canada