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Old ElectricImage articles or promo material

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Was wondering if anyone had any old magazine ads or articles from the earliest Electric Image days? I found some ElectricImage Mac Week reviews from around `96 of version 2.75 and 2.8, and it got me thinking. I'd love to see some more, from way back!

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Anyone ever use Specular Infini-D before buying ElectricImage? : ) "Apple to spill more red ink!" Ha! (pretty thrilled I still own my AAPL stock from `97!)

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enjoy,

Jake

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I used Infini-D prior to EIAS. Liked it very much. The particle engine was great for its time. And I find doing 3D fonts with it easier, i.e. a more visual experience, than in EIAS.

Would have loved to see it integrated into EI rather than MetaTools' Carrara. Too much of Infini-D's spirit was lost when it was merged into Carrara. Oh well, time marches on :-)

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Somewhere in my museum of old apps and Macs there is an postcard

from EI, it came to christmas and showed a caravan with a chain of

lights between the caravan and a tree nearby.

Must be 15 years ago or more, i will have a look :rolleyes:

But the next press release (and release of V9 of course) will

be much more of confidence to all of us...

Alex

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I still have the Interactivity magazine's review of EIAS (one point something), plus their interview to the guys behind The Journeyman Project 2 (they did all the 3D with Form•Z and EI) around.

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Tomas, yes of course looking forward is always the best. But the core users, like you will always remember those early groundbreaking days. I think it is good for EAIS to remember it's history, no competition in doing that. All the stuff that got it here today. Be proud. So many others have disappeared along the way. I know I have fond memories.

I too used Infini-D before buying ElectricImage. Man did that word ElectricImage sound fantastic or what? So many possibilities in 1997 (for me). Ha. Aziz, you nailed it. Those Infini-D particles and lens flares were so far ahead of their time. And the text was pretty great. Modeling was a bit simplistic but unique. I gotta dig out my old Infini-D animations. Pict sequences laid down to M2 tape one frame at a time. Took 8 hours for 30 second tape transfer. What??? I still can't believe it. Thank God these days for Media 100, Final Cut and the others.

If any of you can scan old articles and post them here, we'd all appreciate the nostalgia ride. Cheers! Go EIAS!!

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I hesitate to do this…, because it will really show how old I am! I dug out some floppy discs of the early EI software. The black and white disc is from Jan. 1991, hand labeled 1.00Beta96. The first color logo appeared 8 months later in Sept. 1991 (Release version labeled 1.01. Notice that the three company employees names - there were only 3 total - are no longer on the disc.) There are two 1.4 Meg floppy’s with Animator, and a separate floppy for Camera, for both releases. The “documentation†that accompanied the Beta version was two or three typed pages, which I unfortunately can’t find. I was running the software on Mac II-CX’s and Quadra 700’s back then. Even with 20 Mhz of “raw CPU power†and 10 Megabyte hard drives (!?), Camera still rendered like blazes (for the time!). There was no timeline yet, no reflections, transparencies, morphs, IK or bones (obviously), ray tracing, plugins, or even shadows of any kind. But even then, it still rocked!! I hesitated to include the only article I have from Macweek magazine dated 1993. (Gee! My work hasn’t improved much since then! ;-) The day it was published, I got calls from ALL over the nation (no joke) for a week from people asking me for a job, to “help with my workâ€. (This was sooo new back then…) I had to patiently explain that there was no Animation Department at McDonnell Douglas, and I was a “department of oneâ€. It’s hard to believe how primitive things were in those days (SWIVEL Pro. was my modeler). I had to explain the process to the Macweek guy on the phone, to describe how animation was created. It was all cutting edge back then…, and EI was really paving the way! (If anyone makes fun of my age after this, I’ll have to beat you with my cane…) Chip

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I hesitate to do this…, because it will really show how old I am! I dug out some floppy discs of the early EI software. The black and white disc is from Jan. 1991, hand labeled 1.00Beta96. The first color logo appeared 8 months later in Sept. 1991 (Release version labeled 1.01. Notice that the three company employees names - there were only 3 total - are no longer on the disc.) There are two 1.4 Meg floppy’s with Animator, and a separate floppy for Camera, for both releases. The “documentation†that accompanied the Beta version was two or three typed pages, which I unfortunately can’t find. I was running the software on Mac II-CX’s and Quadra 700’s back then. Even with 20 Mhz of “raw CPU power†and 10 Megabyte hard drives (!?), Camera still rendered like blazes (for the time!). There was no timeline yet, no reflections, transparencies, morphs, IK or bones (obviously), ray tracing, plugins, or even shadows of any kind. But even then, it still rocked!! I hesitated to include the only article I have from Macweek magazine dated 1993. (Gee! My work hasn’t improved much since then! ;-) The day it was published, I got calls from ALL over the nation (no joke) for a week from people asking me for a job, to “help with my workâ€. (This was sooo new back then…) I had to patiently explain that there was no Animation Department at McDonnell Douglas, and I was a “department of oneâ€. It’s hard to believe how primitive things were in those days (SWIVEL Pro. was my modeler). I had to explain the process to the Macweek guy on the phone, to describe how animation was created. It was all cutting edge back then…, and EI was really paving the way! (If anyone makes fun of my age after this, I’ll have to beat you with my cane…) Chip

Chip,

thanks for sharing those images. The image of the black and white floppy could by itself prop up this whole thread.

Jay Roth and Mark Granger ended up at Newtek a few years back, although Jay Roth has now left - wonder if Mark is still there. I never did hear anything much about Markus Houy after EI - I wonder what happened to him ?

Thanks again.

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Hey Paul - I ran into Mark Granger years ago at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco (funny story about that for another time ;-), but don't know about the others. I agree about the black and white floppy discs - they're a real treasure from my really early days beta testing the first pre-release. Maybe I'll encase them in liquid plastic some day, and make a display out of them in my studio. It's hard to believe the entire compiled code fit on just three 1.4 Meg discs in the beginning! How times have changed... Chip

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Wow Chip I remember this article! At that time I was using InfiniD and reading those impressive articles about Electricimage. We bought version 1.x but receive a brand new 2.0! Rendering the same model with similar lighting and shadows, Electricimage was 60 times faster!

That really changed everything...

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Back when I worked at ABC On-Air Promo, they had a copy of the docs for a pre-1.0 version of EIAS. I don't recall if it was referred to as "Spotlight" still (don't think so), but they were just xeroxes that were spiral bound. Never saw the install disks for them, by then we were using a newer version so the docs were just filed away. In the Paintbox room, of course.

That room was always literally and figuratively dark. The Paintbox hadn't been used in a few years and just sat idle, though turned on. Its control was downstairs in the machine room (nothing was ever turned off down there). At the time we were still running a Harry, so the Paintbox was redundant so to speak.

3D was mostly done in a different office where they were running Prisims and SoftImage. None of the designers besides me did any desktop based 3D, since the full-time 3D guys were really top notch and their SGI's (Indigo and something else I forgot) were comparatively faster.

The ADB dongle had a very low serial number, under 100 as I recall. I thought about keeping the docs just for posterities' sake, but they were really more of a curiosity than anything else. The EIAS manuals were notoriously uninformative back then and these were no exception - just much shorter.

This seemed pretty typical though for CGI at the time. Once we upgraded the Harry to a Henry, we got new manuals for it which were only about an inch thick. This, for a machine that cost upwards of $1mil at the time ($500k for the Quantel, and another $500 for the D1 you had to hook it up to, though it would work with most any kind of tape deck.)

I sure did hate those D1's - they rarely worked right, having some 20 heads that had to stay aligned - so half the time you'd have this really expensive piece of media that could only be read back by the machine that wrote to it in the first place. But ABC kept really good libraries and records of their stuff and there was an entire room with several hundred D1's, along with 1" tapes and what not.

All useless and unreadable less than 10 years later - millions of dollars of hardware and artwork, all basically scrap.

Wait, what was the topic of this thread again...? Something about iffy career choices, I think.

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I hesitate to do this…, because it will really show how old I am! I dug out some floppy discs of the early EI software. The black and white disc is from Jan. 1991, hand labeled 1.00Beta96. Chip

Chip,

What does it say about me, when an old floppy disc really gets my blood pumping on a Monday morning? Don't answer that. Really fantastic post. I've never seen one of those puppies. So cool to see. I wish I could see and dive into the interface of the actual software somehow. That should at least be framed in a quality box and hung on your wall. I'm a little depressed that most anything I've done since doesn't live up to your space station project rendered on a 10 MB hard drive back in the early 90's. I started 3d modeling in `92 on an SGI. Props to you, Chip. That is really cool stuff.

Keep `em comin EIAS pioneers and fanboys! ; )

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Keep `em comin EIAS pioneers and fanboys! ; )

Wow Guys,

It’s amazing how this early EI stuff instantly brings us back to the days when we were all watching the industry develop out of thin air. I vividly remember when I first saw Andre & Wally-B, and Luxo Jr. for the first time. I still have tons the early clips on VHS, and I was riveted! When I got EI 1.0 Beta, I tried my first sample render, but mistakenly left the settings at 1024x768. In Renderman, it took hours (literally) to render a 640x480 image, and I groaned thinking the EI test would take forever! When the image finished in just 3-4 minutes(!), my jaw was on the ground! (And it looked BETTER than RenderMan!) After rolling up my tongue, I realized I had finally found the product that made 3D viable on a home computer, and I’ve been using it to make my living ever since. It’s great to hear from others who watched it all happen, and appreciated it as I did. Here’s to the founders of EI (wherever they are!), and especially to the current team who are working hard to resurrect the phoenix from the ashes ;-) Without them, I’d probably still be working as an engineer! Now I’m inspired to see if I can dig up any other early EI fossils I have lying around :-) Great to hear from everyone about the Good Old Days! (Anyone need an old NuVista and DiaQuest controller card?? ;-) Chip

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I'd actually bet that the old 1.0 interface looked a lot like the 1.5 interface (which was the first version I used), which honestly looked pretty much like the same one we have today. It hasn't really changed a whole lot, other than more "polish" and many more features.

A couple years back I found a version of Photoshop 1.0 and was able to run it - guess this was pre OSX - and was surprised to see that it looked very much like the same Photoshop we use today. Just with fewer buttons.

Photoshop 1.0.7 Screenshot

(not my screengrab, just a GIS)

Though when I moved into a new office, we did have some pretty old apps including this gem:

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Chip,

What does it say about me, when an old floppy disc really gets my blood pumping on a Monday morning? Don't answer that. Really fantastic post. I've never seen one of those puppies. So cool to see. I wish I could see and dive into the interface of the actual software somehow. That should at least be framed in a quality box and hung on your wall. I'm a little depressed that most anything I've done since doesn't live up to your space station project rendered on a 10 MB hard drive back in the early 90's. I started 3d modeling in `92 on an SGI. Props to you, Chip. That is really cool stuff.

Keep `em comin EIAS pioneers and fanboys! ; )

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I'd actually bet that the old 1.0 interface looked a lot like the 1.5 interface (which was the first version I used)

Actually,

EI 1.0 had no timeline at all; no graphical depiction of where keyframes were in time, and no time needle to drag. Every time you wanted to add a keyframe, you opened a window for each separate object, typed in a time in seconds or frames, and then moved the object (it took forever to set up…). You had no visual cue that a keyframe was added, and you had to keep all the other keyframed object keyframe times in your head! By typing in a time in the global window, the objects would all update. Then another 3D program came out (from Macromedia, I think) with a time window similar to what we have now, and Marcus Houy completely re-wrote the interface to what we see today. If the first version didn’t have an old ADB hardware key (which I had to exchange for our USB Dongles), I’d try and find a Mac II and load it up, just to get some old screen grabs. That would be a cool to see again :-) Chip

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I could not find the christmascard from EI anymore, too long ago, but look what i have found:

Alex

Love it! Parts number 0001?? No way. I've never seen that box. Mine is all black from `96/97. Thank you. Cool stuff Alex.

Jake

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