This kind of information can be difficult to come by. It's frustrating, for example, to see a commercial about a rocket that can instantly be made into keychain toys using CAD files, but that includes no way of getting in touch with the company that does this. It makes me wonder what the marketing director is thinking.
As a toy development firm specializing in everything from prepress packaging design to prototype development, this kind of concrete information is very helpful. We are constantly in search of new devices to help us develop sculptures into mechanical engineering devices that fit into reverse-engineered plastic-injection molds to make toys.
Unlike most toy design companies, we create items for members of the general public, including inventors. Thus, we fill a niche in an industry that does not tend to produce the works of individuals other than the toy designers with whom they already work. CAD/CAM/CAE software and rapid prototyping devices are helping us fulfill this mission.
Karl Thain Maiwaldt
Owner (Revolutionary) K.T.M.
Toys & Graphics
The Boardgame & Toy Development Company
In "Mind Expanding Graphics" on pg. 4 of the April 2001 issue, you discussed a survey that asked readers about the effects of computer graphics on their imaginations.
I would have to say that you asked the wrong group of people. Most folks who read Computer Graphics World probably have a favorable view of computer graphics already, and that no doubt tainted their responses. Your survey simply proved to your readers that what they're doing is a grand and good thing. Amazing. You had to poll people to figure this out?
A better group to survey would have been your daughter's friends or just a random sample of people. Or perhaps you should have asked some "older" folks-anyone who grew up watching movies before 2001 or Star Wars-what they think of current special effects and computer imagery.
In any case, does it matter? Do all the Lord of the Rings calendars I've bought distort how I remember 'seeing' the book when I read it? Have classical paintings and sculptures ruined the imagery of the Greek myths I've read? Did David Lynch's dismal rendition of Dune make me not appreciate the book?
Hardly. My usual reaction when I see paintings, drawings, films, or written accounts of how other people think, see, or imagine, is, "Damn. Did they ever get it wrong." I suspect that if the Harry Potter movie shows Harry with a sideways scar, your daughter will think, "Sheesh... it's just a movie. They always mess up books when they make movies out of them."
Palo Alto, CA
The article "Flying Deep" on pg. 44 of the March 2001 issue contained an incorrect reference to AutoCAD Inventor. The software program used to model the DeepFlight Aviator was Autodesk Inventor.
We welcome any insights you have to offer that would further our readers' understanding of topics discussed in this issue, or that concern the computer graphics industry in general. We may edit your comments to conform to our style and space requirements.
Please address letters to:
Computer Graphics World
98 Spit Brook Road
Nashua, NH 03062-5737