V is for Video, Videographics, & TV

Early in my scientific illustration career, I worked on a series of medical or health education videos. I scripted, storyboarded, directed, and illustrated a set of multi-award-winning tapes that were distributed around the world. The last one was on HIV & AIDS, finished at the end of 1991. I worked on a Quantel Paintbox, a pioneering but very advanced electronic paint machine designed for broadcast TV. Before that (in 1983-1984) I worked on some graphics that were made on an Aurora Systems machine in San Francisco. The Aurora was developed by Richard Shoup. Both the Paintbox and the Aurora are defunct, but they paved the way for electronic graphics. And they introduced me to the pen and digitising tablet (before I'd even seen a computer mouse). I now work on a Wacom tablet and Mac.

Here I am working on a Quantel Paintbox in the 1980s. I had sole use of this machine for about seven years at the Health Education Video Unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The Paintbox altered the way I thought and influenced the rest of my career. The interface was superb.

Below is the machine in situ complete with the powerful air conditioning unit that kept things cool. Behind the camera was the editing suite, a fully component Betacam setup.

Above is my current system with an iMac and Wacom tablet. The software is Cheetah3D, a brilliant and intuitive modelling and animation suite.