La fressa d'en Glen

Glen’s Rumblings from Barcelona


Hi, I’m Glen Fraser, from Barcelona (most recently), Montreal (less recently), California (ages ago) and Alberta (not long after the Devonian Sea dried up). One of many Glen Frasers around the world, but – as far as I know – one of few living in Spain. I’ve worked in virtual reality, realtime 3D graphics, animation, motion capture, interactive audio. I enjoy photography, music, fiction, poetry, computer programming… I am interested in, well, just about everything (cloyingly, I even like long walks). I consider myself to be a “Glen-of-all-trades.” (Hmm, must I accept the: “…and master of none,” that goes along with that? Sigh. Yeah, it’s probably true.)

In recent years, I’ve been consulting on immersive and interactive projects. I specialize in both graphics (OpenGL, C++, Vive/Rift, Cinder, openFrameworks, …), sound (mostly with SuperCollider, but also the Ambisonic Toolkit, Max, Reaper, …) and interaction (using input devices of all kinds, from webcams and Kinect to Leap Motion, smartphones, custom sensors, networked devices). If there’s a tool or framework that does graphics or music, I’ve probably tried it.

In the not-so-distant past I collaborated with the Wú Collective, Barcelona Laptop Orchestra, and Insectotròpics.

Prior to living in Spain, I worked for many years at Softimage in Montreal, as part of a talented team building 3D animation, modelling, rendering and compositing tools for artists (first SOFTIMAGE|3D, aka “Creative Environment”, later XSI). Some of my prouder achievements include co-developing XSI’s non-linear “Animation Mixer”, as well as forays into live puppeteering and real-time virtual theatre. I also played an important part (however unenthusiastic at first) in the port of SI|3D from “high end” Silicon Graphics machines to run on Windows NT. It was a pleasure to visit and work in regular contact with customers from the effects, animation and game industries, from studios from around the world including ILM (Jurassic Park, Star Wars), Digital Domain (Titanic), The Mill (amazing commercial work), Animal Logic (Babe, Happy Feet), Tippett (Starship Troopers), Manex (The Matrix), Sega, Nintendo, BUF, Hybride, Meteor, Blue Sky, Centropolis, Pixel Liberation Front, Namco, Capcom, Stan Winston…and many more.

A long time ago (back in the mid-1990s), I helped create the software for a number of VR projects. First, at the Banff Centre for the Arts, with artists such as Brenda Laurel and Rachel Strickland. From there, I went to Telepresence Research (my slightly pompous title: “Head of Software and Systems Development” – I was “head” of a technical team of one) to create the Sapporo Virtual Brewery Adventure (1994) with Scott Fisher and Perry Hoberman. The Sapporo “VBA” was an immersive museum installation (using a Fakespace Boom 3C+ display for the immersant, along with 12 custom stereoscopic viewers for spectators) experienced by more than a million people in the first few years after its opening.

A few years later, I guest edited a special issue of the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics newsletter, with a focus on real-world applications of Virtual Reality (November, 1996). For a couple of years in the late 1990s, I also co-edited (with Scott Fisher) a regular column on VR, in the same SIGGRAPH publication.

After a long hiatus from the VR world, I find myself back in this field (it’s much more crowded this time around). Since 2013, I’ve collaborated with Immersence Inc., initially to bring Char Davies' classic immersive artworks (Osmose and Ephémère) back to life, running on contemporary VR hardware and software – replacing two large racks of graphics and audio gear by a single PC. Recently I’ve continued consulting for Immersence, contributing to new immersive projects.

On a different note, I might as well mention… Here’s a half-hearted pitch for a book of poetry I published: “Woo! Buy it…

You can contact me by email at my-first-name at this-domain-without-the-word-blog-before-it. Not so hard to guess, really.

(updated 2016-12-23)