Biographies for Drew Perttula (mostly autobiographies)
Some of these writeups have already appeared places; some are
additional sections I wrote for the site.
6' 9" (2.06 m)
Kelsi Perttula (17 September 2006 - present)
Earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley (2000).
Enjoys home automation including homemade light dimmers and barcode scanner/electric strike for entry into his home.
2002 Theater playbill for Guys and Dolls:
Drew has worked on PLOT shows since 1990, and he recently
lit City of Angels at Masquers. For the last few years, he
has been building a computerized lighting system with fellow
lighting designer and programmer David McClosky. Drew tests all
his inventions at his home in Berkeley, much to the dismay of his
housemates. When he's not in the theater, Drew designs commerce
websites and creates visual effects for films.
2001 Theater playbill for Kiss Me Kate:
This year, for the first time, Drew will have worked on PLOT shows for
more than half his life. Drew graduated from U.C. Berkeley's School of
Engineering last year after studying computer graphics and computer
vision. He returned to Berkeley as a teaching assistant last semester
and now is looking for a job creating visual effects for movies. At
home he regularly violates his lease conditions by building giant
furniture and lighting systems. Even his W.C. has a sound system and
2002 Theater playbill for City of Angels:
Drew has lit Bay Area shows for the last 12 years. By day, he programs
web sites and ticketing systems for a ferry company; by night, he
designs visual effects for films. At home he regularly violates his
lease conditions by building giant furniture and lighting
systems. Drew is attempting to use his electrical engineering and
computer science degree to build an advanced computerized lighting
Drew is an open source nut who aims to work on visual effects
production. He builds ridiculous hardware and writes all sorts of
software. Some of his favorite answers to computer questions are "zsh
can already do that" and "I'd recommend python".
Drew took two paying video projects in the last year, yet he owns no
video editing software and does not intend to buy any. This is why
it's very important that he develop his own editing system, and
fast. You'll be able to use it, too, real soon now.
Drew Perttula is a leader in the Linux forum at Creativecow.net.
I'm Drew Perttula, from Berkeley, CA. I started the wiki, which is why
some pages are modified by my zope user drewp instead of my wiki name
I have another job doing programming, web site construction, and
system administration. I want to be working on films. I was a tester
for Silicon Grail's Rayz compositor before it got eaten. I'm a regular
gimp user, and I write python scripts to auto-generate graphics with
I'm working on a theater lighting controller and a DV editing suite.
I hang out on irc.openprojects.net in #python, #livid, #pygame, #zope,
#matterial, and #slackware.
Brief graphics and programming background
At UC Berkeley, I focused on computer graphics and computer vision. I
also took a few hardware and computer architechture courses (and
returned to TA for two of them). I took some elective dynamics and
fluid mechanics courses because I'm interested in physical
simulation. Nowadays, I work on open source projects such as a theater lighting control system
and a digital video
editor. Some other past projects are on my homepage.
I much prefer the open source world, although I have experience with Media
100, Premiere, and Final Cut Pro systems; and Rayz and Maya.
A Cuisine presentation intro
I've always lived in the Bay Area, and I studied computer graphics and
computer vision at U.C. Berkeley. I took some elective dynamics, fluid
mechanics, and robotics courses because I'm interested in physical
simulation. I've been a videographer since 1992 and interested in
computer graphics for all my moviegoing life. I've worked on theater
lighting for almost that long, which I love because of the teamwork
between artists and technicians and because quality, efficiency, and
creativity are all rewarded.
Cuisine is one of my recent projects. I took two paying video projects in
the last year, yet I owned no video editing software and didn't intend
to buy any. Like a good open-source enthusiast, I started developing
my own (after researching the existing systems). My first priority
was to complete the first video project by November 2002, but my other
big priority was to build something that would continue to work for me
and would help others. Cuisine is a set of libraries and small tools
for processing, annotating, and editing video. I'll be talking about
the design decisions I made, the tools I chose, and what I'm now able
Basic since 1984, C since 1993, Perl and Tcl since 1996, Python since 1999.
DOS (and some CP/M) since 1984. Owned an Amiga since 1989. Run Linux
machines since about 1995; continuously since 1996 (web site since
around then, too).
I attended the College
Preparatory School in Oakland, California from 1992-1996. Then I
attended U.C. Berkeley, described below.
Most course names are fictional based on what I remember
Schedules are approximate, as I may have deviated from my official
schedules in ways that I have now forgotten. Some subjects are
abbreviated: computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical
engineering. You could try to look up course descriptions at
on Berkeley's site.
Math 53M "Calculus, Especially on Curves and Surfaces",
History 7A "Some of U.S. History",
CS 61A "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs"
CS 61C "Computer Architectures",
Math 54M "Linear Algebra",
Physics 7A "Kinetics",
Linguistics 55 "Survey of Linguistics"
English 1A "Book reading",
Physics 7B "Electricity and Magnetism"
CS 170 "Algorithms",
Math 55 "Discrete Math and Logic",
Physics 7C "Optics and Relativity",
CS 184 "Intro to Graphics"
ME 104 "Solving Dynamics Problems",
CS 284 "Curved surfaces",
CS 164 "Compilers",
CS 294 "Rapid Prototyping"
Classics 28 "Mythology",
EE 120 "Signals and Systems",
CS 280 "Computer Vision",
CS 298 "Research Assistant on a Vision Perception and Grouping Project"
EE 125 "Intro to Robotics",
CS 150 "Digital Design",
Linguistics 125 "Intro to Theories of Syntax",
CS 294-2 "Perception and grouping"
EE 192 "Sensors, Actuators, and Control Systems for Robots",
Scandinavian 116 "Hans Christian Andersen"
Fall 2000 (can't find course numbers):
Political Science "U.S. Political Science",
ME "Fluid Mechanics",
E 45 "Intro to Materials"
Even more background
I like to build my own furniture. Here's a plan for a shelf I now
use. I built my own desk which can be seen in the photos at the bottom of this recent page.
composite image showing the desk shortly after I built it. The left
half is a POV-Ray rendering of the plans for the desk; the right half
of the image is a photo of the desk (with a wide-angle lens). The
chair is in the middle of the dissolve from rendered to real, so it
only appears halfway.