One of the most significant static images in the history of computer graphics, The Road to Point Reyes is one of Lucasfilm’s most important early projects. Begun in 1983, Rob Cook directed the image and conceived the scene, while Alvy Ray Smith, Loren Carpenter, Tom Porter, Bill Reeves, and David Salesin provided various elements including shading, hidden surface routines, and fractals. The single image, which Smith has described as a ‘one-frame Movie,’ took a month to render, and was eventually displayed at The Computer Museum in Boston.
Lucasfilm’s 1983 image, The Road to Point Reyes took one month to render
Syd Mead, designer and artist of future worlds, dies at 86
Syd Mead, a designer whose wide-ranging work included envisioning vehicles of the future as well as helping to shape the look of environments in movies like “Blade Runner,” “Tron” and “Aliens,” died on Monday at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 86.
His spouse, Roger Servick, said the cause was lymphoma.
Mr. Mead started out in the car business, designing for Ford. By 1970 he had founded his own firm, Syd Mead Inc., and had a wide range of clients, working on architectural interiors and exteriors, restaurants, catalogs and more.
I never knew he began his career at Ford. That’s pretty rad, and it shows. His depictions (or visions?) of vehicles and transport are honest and divine.
Aliens and Blade Runner’s sterile living environments, dank off-world Weyland-Yutani industrial complexes, and the jagged colonial spacescapes gripped my young imagination like a face-hugger. I doubt any of Ridley Scott’s motion pictures would be the same without Mead’s futuristic conceptual input. I mean look at this stuff:
Syd Mead is a very well respected conceptual designer and artist, whose work has influenced multiple generations of sci-fi creators and artists for decades. Tendrils of his work can be found alive and well in the far-away worlds in Hollywood. Obviously his most notable breakout was Blade Runner. Just look anywhere beyond off-world. Moon, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Star Wars franchise, Interstellar and even Pixar films such as WALL·E are a few notable areas where Hollywood really latched onto Mead’s futuristic visions: floating colonies, shiny white airlocks, moody AI, light-cycles, damp neon-lit cities, levitating transports and of course Cyber Trucks.
Godspeed Syd. You’ll be missed.
Ronald “The Gunny” Lee Ermey, was a United States Marine Corps drill instructor, actor, philanthropist, comedian, and of course — a gun-nut.
He was a voice-actor in one of my all-time favorite animated film (and the subsequent sequels), Toy Story. While Ermey was obviously typecasted frequently, he’s appeared in many many films. I think he enjoyed the notoriety, the work and being armed with such an iconic voice he was likely highly sought after.
His obituary in the LA Times really captures the breadth of his virtues:
[…] A decorated Vietnam Veteran, R. Lee Ermey was an outspoken, rebellious, and creative spirit who dedicated decades of his life in service to his country and to his craft as an actor or television host. Starring or appearing in over 60 feature films, his decades-long career was highlighted by earning a Golden Globe Nomination for his role as drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, which was released in 1987. While R. Lee Ermey, nicknamed “The Gunny,” often portrayed the villain onscreen, in his personal life he was known best for his sharp sense of humor and generous spirit. Ermey joined the Marines shortly after high school and has often credited the military with saving his life. R. Lee Ermey never stopped showing his gratitude to “The Corps” through his charity work with organizations like The Young Marines, Fisher House and Toys for Tots. […]
I don’t have a particularly decorated or rosy relationship with my father, but Ermey reminds me a lot of my dad. Both men were complicated, really funny, patriotic, and both are definitely gun-nuts. While my father never served in the military, he has a profound and deep admiration for the Marines and servicemen (and servicewomen) of the US. I like to think that The Gunny and my dad would have been really good pals.
I’m happy to see The Gunny was laid to rest during a particularly unique and beautiful backdrop at Arlington Memorial Cemetery:
Rest easy Gunny. ✌️