Thursday, March 14, 2013

President Emeritus Tom Sito SPEAKS

Tom Sito -- author, animator, director, storyboard artist and college professor -- has written a new book on the history of computer animation. In due course, we plan to pick Mr. Sito's brain about his tome in a TAG Interview, but in the meantime ...

FLIP: Were there any popular myths about CG that were shattered during your research? Any surprises?

TS: I found all the layer upon layers of interconnectiveness fascinating. How the same people popped up again and again. Like Ivan Sutherland, who wrote the first software program at MIT, was also at the government agency ARPA when they began to develop the Internet, Then he taught at University of Utah. His class included Ed Catmull, Nolan Bushnell, Jim Blinn, Jim Clark (SGI), Gouraud, Phong, Alan Kay ( laptop computers) all giants in CG development. It was Alan Kay who suggested to Steve Lissberger that he do TRON in CG, and he also suggested to Steve Jobs that he buy Pixar from Lucas.

Another revelation was how at the New York Institute of Technology, an eccentric millionaire was financing an attempt to create the first CG feature as early as 1975! Almost twenty years before it was done with Toy Story (1995). ...

You can find the rest of Tom's interview here. ...

Tom worked on this book for a long time, interviewing loads of movers and shakers in the field. His first book, Drawing the Line has been a steady seller for years.

(You can find our earlier TAG interview with Professor Sito here and here.)


Floyd Norman said...

Congratulations to Tom Sito on his new book. I'd like to add that Tom was technical editor on my new book, "Animated Life" shipping in two weeks.

Tom and I share the same publisher, I believe. It's Focal Press. Thanks again, Tom.

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