photograph by tom Upton
hanRahan: It seems that you pub-
lished papers on every area of comput-
er graphics during that era. Your the-
sis—and I don’t even know if you ever
published a lot of what was in there—
described z-buffering, texture-map-
ping algorithms, and methods for the
display of bicubic surfaces. You wrote
papers on hidden-surface algorithms,
anti-aliasing, and, of course, computer
animation and geometrical modeling.
Your interests seem so wide ranging—
not the way typical grad students today
approach research, where they’ll home
in on one particular subtopic and drill
down to bedrock on it.
your most inspirational thought during that period?
CaTmuLL: For me, the challenge was
to figure out how to do real curved
surfaces, because other than quadric
surfaces, which were way too limited,
everything was made up of polygons.
So, my first idea was to find a way to
actually bend polygons to have them