There are only a few people from my elementary school that I’m still in touch with. One of those people is Eric Bates.
I was friends with him all throughout elementary and high school. In particular, I remember playing around on 3D Studio and a very early version of Photoshop with him in Bobby Salmaso’s drafting class. We were also known to play a networked game of Doom during many lunch hours. He had some pretty advanced 3D modelling skills, even in those days, and I have always been a bit jealous of his talent.
Outside of school we worked on a project together to recreate a map of our high school on Duke Nukem 3D. His attention to detail and the way he constructed complex warping methods around the map to give the illusion of a multi-floored building blew me away. I think he liked my ample use of glass and the way one could simulate an experience of shooting out the windows next to the cafeteria. There was something cathartic about seeing all that shattered glass spray out on the floor.*
Eric and I are still in touch — though not very much now that he lives in
Japan . He’s still animating and his latest piece, Sayonara was just featured on Cartoon Brew. Here it is:
Sayonara from Eric Bates on Vimeo.
Here’s his description:
A short story about two unlikely friends saying goodbye. A young man named Charles just lost his home. He spends one last day with his best friend, a sea turtle, before moving on.
This graduation project was made while at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. It brings together a lot of the research I had done over the three years I spent in Kyoto, and is based abstractly on my own experiences living in Japan. Most of the concepts relate somehow to my experiences, friends, foods, things I saw, and things I felt over this time; in particular the idea of saying goodbye to close friends.
He’s also created a making of video. Fantastic work, Eric. We always knew you were destined for greatness.
*It turns out, simulating shooting up a school in no way makes one actually want to shoot up a school — but if this had been a few years later, we probably would have been too worried about what others thought to make the map.