A few words about myself

Now I’ll talk a bit about myself, so that whoever is reading this blog knows whose thoughts he’s reading.

My name is Nicolas Fauvet, 28, living in France. I got married almost a year ago, and a baby is soon coming out oh his mother’s… hum… belly. The name is secret ! No hints ! EDIT: I’m now almost 30, and the baby’s name is Arthur :)

I’ve lived in Africa when I was young, for 8 years. It’s a part of me I can never forget, and I think it made me the open-minded person I am.

I’ve got a MSc in computer science from the Orsay faculty (Paris 11). I chose all the computer graphics, interaction and virtual reality options I could (not many, though).

After that, I’ve been a PhD student for 4 years at the CNRS-Limsi, in Orsay. During that PhD, I researched in the fields of Virtual Reality, massive fluid dynamics data visualization and haptic exploration. I’ve also been teaching Computer Graphics the whole time at the undergraduate level (BSc). It was a fantastic experience.

After those 4 years of vacatio… hum… hard work, I started the « real-life » work (’cause you know, research isn’t work…) with some IT consulting. Consulting firms are evil, everyone knows it, but I was unaware of that fact… at the beginning. Pressure, low salary (a thesis doesn’t count as experience), lies, manipulation, etc. The day I woke up I immediately started looking for something else, I had to get out or I would be stuck for years of depression. My consulting missions were boring as hell, simple, non-challenging, and on top of everything, too away from anything I liked (computer graphics).

Hopefully, I found a computer software company, working on computer assisted design (CAD) for shoes. Yes, shoes, and leather handbags, and real estate maps/furniture. But let’s only talk about shoes. I’m working on a an application that enables a designer to draw directly on a 3D model of a shoe, using a Wacom Cintiq screen/tablet. It means that with a plastic pen, you are drawing directly on the screen, on a 3d model, with numerous drawing tools (ala Photoshop). I’m working on these tools, and 3d in general. There’s a lot of work to do, a lot of potential enhancements to the application. It’s written in ADA, a bit weird at first, but I got used to it. ADA is so strongly typed that we almost never have to debug anything !!!!

I’m interested in computer games and 3d graphics since the age of 15, if I remember correctly (when I got my Ti-92). I used to program games with a friend during school time, it was really interesting. I found it to be logical and easy. For my 16th birthday I had my mom buy me a big C++ book. In college, I learned a lot of things from the demoscene, and coded my first dynamic 3d scenes, in software. I bought that awesome book from Mickael Abrash, « Zen of graphics programming ». Man, it was full of assembly rendering code he used in quake, such a good time. After that I learned how much DirectX and Win32 code could be ugly, and I ran the opposite way towards OpenGL and NeHe’s tutorials. After having studied computer graphics (along with general computer science), I got my master’s degree, and started my PhD thesis on virtual reality and massive scenes handling. At that time, I was the professor, and I could give back what I learned during the last 5 years. My best human experience ever.

I haven’t stopped coding in OpenGL since the days of the NeHe tutorials, and now it’s my real work. I have tried DirectX a number of times. I bought several books on the subject, and the only one that could have me pass to the dark side was the Wolfgang Engel one (really liked the style). But no, I couldn’t, just too ugly for me. My « closest to DirectX » experience was with XNA (within Teapot Studio, because you don’t actually code with DirectX but you know it’s underneath (what a relief). DirectX has changed, I could give it a last try, but OpenGL has changed too, and I’ve got to catch up with it’s latest advances.

I’m a computer graphics books devourer, I love them, and it’s actually the only thing I’m collecting. I’m reading too much and not coding enough, my head is full of game and rendering algorithms. I hope I can put out some of that living knowledge base into my daily work, cause at home I’m busy exploring and studying games. Yeah, ok, playing games, and WoW, but only to keep myself informed!

Why « droune » ? The history of nicknames are sometimes strange. I used to nickname me « doctor oon », because I wanted to be a doctor (in computer science), and « oon » meant « out of nowhere »… I wrote it « dr_oon », which a friend of mine pronounced « droune ». So it became droune.
Why « Matumbo » ? It’s my main World of Warcraft character’s name, I like it. It’s taken from the name of a bad guy in « The Pretender ».

Ok, now you know a lot of uninteresting things on me, and I could spend a few hours at work not working :)

Cheers.

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