3d digital artist
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I shared my first computer with my brother in 1982. I liked everything about programming it, writing my first game which I called ‘Goldmine’, the object of which was to run a little man around the screen collecting as many gold bars as possible within the time limit.

This was really a fun introduction to computer graphics. Because of the limited character set, I created my own user defined graphics. I was inspired by how each letter was represented by an 8 x 8 grid of one’s and zero’s. It was a wonderful moment when I typed the letter ‘A’ and my 4-colour, reprogrammed little man appeared at the cursor instead. My game however, never left the confines of our living room.


I began to personalise my own software. My first image was painted by mouse with Deluxe Paint on a Commodore Amiga A1200. I copied a still image by pausing a video recording of a road runner cartoon featuring Wyle e Coyote in an angry pose . Some appropriate sound was taken from the cartoon too with my sound sampler. My picture and the sound were mixed and flashed up for a few seconds before the loading of the software.

Next I painted a digital image from a Polaroid of my cat. It was printed by my brother when he wrote a program to dump the screen to our dot matrix printer.

I was interested in games programming right up to the late 90’s and as 3d graphics were a key part of any game.

Many computer games of the day such as Mercenary, Hunter and Captain blood, shared a common feature, that of presenting a 3d world on a 2d screen. I was inspired by these to buy some 3d graphics software called Imagine for my Amiga, aiming to develop my own 3d games.

I continued to have a connection with computers both at home and at college and when I went to study for a Bsc in Computer Science, I opted to learn about computer graphics. 


Programming in a variety of languages was an everyday part of the course in almost every subject and using the Pascal language, each student was given the task of representing objects in 3d space,. By using a simple library of software routines called the graphical kernel system. We began simply in a classroom cutting out complex to shapes to fold and glue. My object was an Octohedron, much like the shape of a football, I folded and glued it with a little help from my friends!

I represented my Octohedron in the computer and was able to scale it, rotate it and move it. When a fellow student had progressed to displaying multiple objects and lighting them, his computer program was demonstrated and I was very impressed by its potential.

Little Blue Man

Later on, when I bought my first PC, I was on the lookout for something better than ‘Imagine’. The wait was over when a magazine cover disk gave away full version of AMAPI 4.1. My experience of programming 3d software and its inner workings gave me an extra sense of knowing that what I had obtained for a couple of quid was worth its weight in gold, not just because of what it could do, but because of the sheer amount of hard work that must have gone into developing it. These were key to my eagerness to see what more it could do, so I sent for the instruction manual straight away and began learning.

Over a number of months I began to experiment, and subsequently either bought or upgraded my Amapi software to newer versions. The advancement with home printers was still in its infancy so somewhat aimlessly I continued to find out how to create different objects using varying techniques.

AMAPI had its drawbacks, it was great at designing objects, but to render with materials applied such as wood or metal etc left something to be desired. I needed something else if I was going to texture my objects.

I purchased CARRARA 2 for this purpose and was instantly away with ideas for experiments trying to find out what it could do. This time I had the internet for help, amazed by its lack of complexity, I upgraded to Carrara 4 and then to version 5 and now version 8 Pro. 

With the capability to import Amapi files it was perfect for making my 3d models look much more realistic with textures and new levels of photorealism that AMAPI could not provide on its own.

Golden Child

I found that ideas themselves often became limited by not having the human body as a reference either in the picture itself or as a guide in the 3d modelling process and so I invested in POSER 5, software capable of ageing a model, articulating the joints and changing expressions and facial features of several male and female standard models. Since there was a plug in for importing Poser into Carrara, it was the next choice. 

When I worked on Digital now, run by Disability Arts in Shropshire I used photoshop elements 2. Since then my own software collection has been completed with the additions of photoshop cs3 and Corel Painter 12, which are both great for enhancing the rendered images for print.