Nicholas Croft - Technical Biography 2023

Nicholas Croft Cords CG

Nicholas Croft graduated from an Electronics Engineering curriculum in 1982 and was quickly drawn into the world of "C" language computer programming. Early in his career, he worked as a product specialist for instruments that recorded both analog video and digital file images to 35mm film. It was during this period that he met, then befriended, Richard Welnowski and learned the art of photography.

Nicholas then worked as a Field Service Engineer for a Computer Graphics and Image Processing systems company and spent many hours in the evening exploring the potential of this system, long before Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator became commonplace.

Around this time, Peter Zaleski introduced both Richard Welnowski and Nicholas Croft to Polish director Zbigniew Rybczynski, who needed full-time engineers to help debug his first high-definition video studio. Nicholas helped Richard to improve the performance of this system through a series of productions, each of which added new technical capability to achieve another level of visual effects. The piece 'Capriccio #24', with music commissioned from Michael Riesman of the Philip Glass Ensemble, is an important example of the capability that was realized during this time. Standard definition video DVD-R's, that document this work, are available by request. Selected on-line media are also available.

With the advent of the personal computer and full color graphics cards, Nicholas renewed his interest in the field of computer graphics. Nicholas designed and coded the DPPP, his own paint and image processing program which was modeled on the earlier system, yet extended based on the knowledge he gained through his initial experiments in this area.

Nicholas showed preliminary versions of this paint program to Zbigniew Rybczynski, who saw how he could use, in his own work, the potential of the core methods that Nicholas developed. At this time, Zbig hired Nicholas to design and code the Take Design program that was to be used in the creation of repeatable camera moves for a one of a kind robotics rig. Selected DVD media that document this work are available by request

Once high fidelity sound cards became available for the PC, Nicholas started to explore the application of his "C" programming skills to sound. Nicholas would open a digital file, then write numbers into it based on the evolving science of sound synthesis. A range of people helped to further this work into musical projects, including drummer Mario Cardenas, sax player Charley Krachy, synthesist Neil Alexander and composer James Umland. Selected pieces from these collaborations are available on Soundcloud.

Most of this work was completed by the year 2003.

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