Ai-Aardvark website wrote:As of April 1, 2006, David Rawlins is retiring from AI modeling.
From David R:
When Craig Crawley and myself started AI Aardvark in December 2002 we were excited about setting out on a new venture, and it's been a lot of fun, and we've made some dear friends along the way. But, neither of us ever anticipated the huge amounts of time that would be required to build new models and make paintkits. And as time went on and the quality of our models and repaints improved, it took even more time to produce a finished model. Craig effectively dropped out of AI modeling well over a year ago, and today, I am doing the same.
This decision was not arrived at lightly, nor in haste. In fact, I made the decision that I was going to call it quits in June 2005. But, there were some models I wanted to finish, and I've always believed it's better to finish on your own terms, rather than linger for months doing nothing before finally announcing that it was time to close up shop. And even back in June of last year, I knew the exact date I wanted to announce my decision, April 1.
And now that time has arrived.
I'm not leaving the 3d modeling world, but I need to learn more on the animation end of things, and I've about milked all the knowledge I can out of AI model building, so it's time to move on to something that's more useful in the real world. Next week, I start learning Maya.
I would be remiss if I did not mention some of the fine people that I have met in the last 3 years in the AI world:
David Carter: The first person who contacted me in the fall of 2002 about an ai 727 model I had made. David lives in Australia and has been a steady mind to discuss the ins and outs of FDE's as well as keeping us on plot when we were in danger of drifting off. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of aviation.
Craig Crawley: Craig came to 3d modeling with no experience, and over the course of 2 months, and about 30 dc-9 fuselages, made one of the first AIA models, the dc-9-30. Craig changed the AI world with his 747's, in their many variations and seemingly endless number of engine types.
Boback Shahsafdari: Boback joined Aardvark shortly after we started, and is known throughout the FS world for his meticulous repaints and no-nonsense way of dealing with things.
Daniel DiBacco: Danno was also an incredible painter, but mysteriously dropped out of sight a few years ago, and except for a few brief contacts has vanished from the FS world.
Peter Pavlin: Peter is an amazing painter, and created the 747-400 paintkit for Craig's model, raising the bar for AI paintkits. In fact, Peter's paintkit was used to make repaints that look better than many UI repaints. Peter also developed a utility that we use to this day to add specularity to models without the need for tedious and time consuming text editing. Peter has not been active with AI for many months now.
In addition to these guys, we also had gathered together quite a group of beta testers and what we called "Independent Contractor" repainters.
Beta Testers: Chris Reuter, Ralf Winkler, David Freed, Arnaud Solvay, Mark Lupus, Tony Fosler.
Painters: Phillip Tan, Steve Tran, Federico Permutti, Alexis Solvay, Denis Schranz, Kaveh Payandeh, Tony Fosler.
These people have made a major contribution to the quaility of AIA models.
What's going to happen to AIA now? Well, we had lots of discussions about this, and the consensus is that without an active modeler, AIA has no reason to continue. Rather than flail around for months, pretending that various people are going to take up modeling, we all agree that the right thing to do is to close up shop. So, in a few weeks we will be shutting the forums down. For the immediate future, the website and forums will still be viewable as a resource for people looking for information, but there will be no more posting. The repaints pages will also not be updated after today.
There's no need to despair though, the AI world right now is in very good shape. In particular, Evolve AI is producing models that are certainly as good as any model AIA has produced, and a heck of a lot better than some of our more "vintage" models.
And so, I leave AIA now. In addition to learning more 3d stuff in the future, I may even have time to actually fly in FS now... I also plan on spending more time in my canoe, away from humming computers and glowing screens.