Meet the Makers – a bill miller

a bill miller

Tell us about yourself.
I’m an artist that works with digital media in a lot of different capacities. We settled back in SE Wisconsin a few years ago because I now teach at UW Whitwater in Art and Design as well as Media Arts and Game Development. We have two children and live out in the country for the time being. When I’m not in a computer lab, capture studio, or at my desk in front of a machine, I’m either binge watching an old televisions series or out in the yard/woods/field.

What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
I’m going to show a few videos that I made over the last year. The involve some of the work I’ve been doing at Whitewater in our Motion Capture Studio. Normally we use the space to generate motion data for use in student animation and game projects. I have been collecting the bad data – the stuff the students don’t want where the system broke down or recorded something it wasn’t supposed to. I use that noisy motion data to animate things like groups of text characters or cloth simulations. The videos are examples of that and are only available online for purchase with my video ‘album’ “post gridworks” on Undervolt & Co.

I may also be bringing some cut vinyl stickers/decals with me for fun. It’s not officially part of what I’m showing since it’s a really newer thing, but they are pretty fun too so if you see me – make sure to ask for them!

a bill miller

Why is making important to you?
I can’t stop making things. Even if I try to put everything away and take a break, in the back of my mind I’m thinking of things to make. Sometimes those are things like animation, video, websites, but other times it’s things like a rig for my hops to grow up, something I want to cook, or even stickers I want to cut in vinyl. To me, a big part of making is that it gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts or ideas in a way that’s more fun, creative, or direct – than just talking about it.

What was the first thing you remember making?
That’s a tough one and nothing in particular comes to mind. If I dig back deep enough it would probably have to be something like plastic model car kits with my dad. They were always really hard and dad ended up doing most of the work and I could never get the decals to work right and my paint jobs weren’t very good either.

a bill miller

What have you made that you are most proud of?
If you count children, then that’s something I’m really proud of. But if that’s too weird or generic I’m also just proud to be able to have made or built houses. I could go on about both of those things… kids and houses… I met my partner Kate when we both worked at Habitat for Humanity as Americorps members in the Twin Cities area. It was definitely challenging and rewarding to learn construction.

a bill miller

Given an unlimited budget, what would you make?
I have a dream to build a private Imax style projection dome. I know exactly how I’d do it and even have a dome about the right size… but for now the kids are using it to play on and I don’t have all of the pieces to make the projections work with it. But eventually it will be installed in our home somewhere so you can privately view films or whatever with like surround vision. lol