You may have noticed in the 3D visualization world there has always been teapots used to test renders or textures. A teapot also made a cameo appearance in Pixar’s Toy Story movie in the tea party scene.
Why a teapot
Grab a cup of tea and sit back and read up on the history of the Utah Teapot also known as the Newell Teapot. It occurred right here where I live in Utah at the University of Utah (U of U) back in the 70s. U of U had one of the top computer graphics visualization research departments in the world and was partnered with Evans & Sutherland back in the day. The co-founders of Ashlar, Adobe, & Pixar all came from the U of U. I would love to head up to the U and see what they are cooking up now in the various research labs.
The Utah Teapot
”The Utah teapot or Newell teapot is a 3D computer model which has become a standard reference object (and something of an in-joke) in the computer graphics community. It is a mathematical model of an ordinary teapot of fairly simple shape, which appears solid, cylindrical and partially convex. A teapot primitive is considered the equivalent of a "hello world" program, as a way to create the easiest 3D scene with a somewhat complex model acting as basic geometry reference for scene and light setup. The teapot model was created in 1975 by early computer graphics researcher Martin Newell, a member of the pioneering graphics program at the University of Utah.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_teapot
The History of The Teapot
”The teapot was made by Melitta in 1974 and originally belonged to Martin Newell and his wife, Sandra - who purchased it from ZCMI, (a department store in Salt Lake City). The teapot was eventually donated to the Boston Computer Museum but now resides in the Ephemera collection of the Computer History Museum. It's cataloged as "Teapot used for Computer Graphics rendering" and bears the catalog number X00398.1984. It turns out that the idea for modeling the teapot was brought up over concerns that Martin didn't have enough interesting computer models. Sandra suggested modelling the tea service (they were sitting down to tea at the time). He got some graph paper and a pencil, and he modeled the entire tea service by eye. Then, he went back to the lab and edited Bezier control points on a Tektronix storage tube, again by hand. Hence, he also digitized a spoon and a cup and saucer” http://www.sjbaker.org/wiki/index.php?title=The_History_of_The_Teapot I am surprised Martin Newell did not model crumpets with the tea service. ”The original teapot, from Martin Newell's PhD thesis, consisted of 28 Bezier patches.” http://www.holmes3d.net/graphics/teapot/
It is now at the Computer history Museum and I hope to go see it someday. I hear the museum is amazing. http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/X398.84 Pixar even gave out a walking teapot with 3D glasses for SIGGRAPH 2009. You can see endless variations of the teapot rendered in Autodesk 3ds Max. on a Google Image search http://bit.ly/fRdRoc .
Now you know,