I had a picture sent to me from an old colleague this week (above). It was taken in the "fake" Getaway pub on the 4th floor of SCEE’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) offices in Soho.
It really had me reminiscing about my 9 years working for Alias – Alias|Wavefront, pre Maya...
Yes folks, there was life before Maya!
Actually its predecessor from Alias, ‘Power Animator’ used to come in 3 modules; each module was £7500! So companies like SCEE used to spend £22,500 on software alone per artist... Oh, of course you had to run it on an SGI (Silicon Graphics). That would only set you back around £40K.
Can you imagine today just contemplating that? There was no student edition; this stuff was for the elite – those with money or those who had no other choice but to borrow it to follow their dream. So lots of thoughts about working for Alias – too much for a single Blog. But the picture had me thinking about all the amazing people, the technology and how far we have come from the very first embers of CG as we know it today. One vivid image for me to mention here is the production of ‘BINGO THE CLOWN-O’. Dear Chris Landreth suffered for his art by having to put baby Maya through its paces during pre-alpha to V1.0 release.
The short is based on the stage play Disregard This Play by the theater troupe The Neo Futurists. It uses surrealistic imagery and dialogue to tell the story of an ordinary man who is surrounded by characters who insist that he is someone named "Bingo the Clown" even though he is not.
I am bias about this production because I worked for Alias, but it still makes me proud now. It was a new era for CG. I watched BINGO again yesterday, and it still does it for me... Take a look here if you have never seen it, I hope you enjoy it.