Poppe chosen to display work during ‘Play On!’
Hank Poppe claims that he got a late start in the art world.
Born in Illinois and raised in Indiana, Poppe joined the Army in 1968. He came to Lawton in 1984 and, 12 years later, he officially retired from the Army. But retirement didn’t sit well with him, so in 1997 he joined the U.S. Army Field Artillery School as a developer of Computer Based Training.
It was in that virtual world that Poppe would discover his love for creating computer-generated photorealistic images. His love for photography and nature led him to try and recreate the natural world through the same computers that he was using to train soldiers at Fort Sill.
“Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics, or more specifically, 3D computer graphics. The requirements for an image to be computer generated are more stringent than the average person realizes. It’s not like you can tap a key and, voila, the image appears,” Poppe said.
Poppe became a professional CGI artist and animator. He pioneered the use of digital 3D modeling and animation at Fort Sill to meet course requirements for technical courses. As he was discovering his love for this form of visual art, his goal became to produce images that were as realistic as possible.
“I was a soldier. Now I’m an artist. A bold statement on both counts,” Poppe said. “A CGI artist creates from the inside out. From the blades of grass on the ground to the tops of the clouds, a CGI artist must not only build everything, but color, place and light it all as well. Countless hours are spent studying nature in all its glory and majesty so that what we do with the computer is a faithful representation.”