Spotlight: Seeing in Stereo – IRIDAS Interviews Steve McPherson of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop

Steve McPherson began his career in computing in the early 80’s doing systems administration on Cray Research supercomputers for such customers as NASA Ames Research Center, Lockheed, and Apple Advanced Development. At that time systems like these cost between $20 and $30 million. When Silicon Graphics came onto the scene in the late 80’s, Steve recognized an opportunity to move toward VFX work. By then the cost of a single seat (hardware and one Alias license) had dropped to around $100,000. In 1996 Steve moved his base of operations to England where he helped found the first Silicon Studio training center in the Europe.

Today, Steve is working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ as Systems Architect on major large-format 3D projects.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ first became aware of FrameCycler playback solutions early in the fall of 2002. Steve approached IRIDAS to see if they would consider building a direct-from-disk high resolution stereoscopic player for the Sesame Street project. IRIDAS said they would and the collaboration began.

Within weeks Steve was performance testing beta versions of the product and was immediately impressed. “Lin was brilliant, supportive, and his team was swift on fixes. At times it felt we were really pushing FrameCycler DDS Bi-Channel into unknown territory”

By November, 2003, the FrameCycler was officially in operation in the Creature Shop™.

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