
I come from an artistic family but I never developed conventional drawing skills. Instead I was fascinated by mathematics, in particular the relation between algebraic mathematical equations and the shapes they could generate when plotted. When I discovered that computers could be used to calculate and draw the results of these equations I was hooked. I could now draw pictures mathematically without needing pencil and paper. In addition, I was very excited by some of the educational films I saw when on TV when I was in elementary school, in particular the films made with funding from the Bell Telephone company. These used animation to illustrate scientific principles and I wanted to do more of this.
I tried making simple animations in high school with paper cutouts but it was too hard. Again, when I discovered computer graphics in college it seemed a natural to use it to produce the animations I had imagined but could not produce with conventional tools. Finally, I had always been interested in space exploration but never pursued that as a real career. When I got to JPL all these interests and skills came together to make the Voyager fly by animations. I wanted to make each frame of the movies look like a Chesley Bonestell painting. I'm not sure I succeeded, but the motion of the animation adds its own dimension of interest to the images.


