Using his creative and technological talent, Eric Bowers, TCS class of ’93, created a first of its kind 3-D virtual reality museum for ABC News highlighting all the craziness that happened in 2020. His cutting-edge work can be seen at OneCrazyYear.com.
Eric explains that he started playing with virtual reality about three years ago. “For my 10th wedding anniversary, I built a 3-D ‘museum of pictures’ for my wife. Then in September, I designed a 3-D ‘Museum’ for my mom’s 70th birthday.” After showing this to the News Director of the station, they decided it would be great to create something for ABC. With the Emergency Relief Fund Grant from Google that the station received, Eric was given the go-ahead to create a virtual 3-D museum about the 2020 year.
While Eric did the art, design, and architecture for the site, he gives credit to David Figueroa, a local expert in 3-D software, who helped with the virtual reality part, and his colleagues at ABC who worked with him on the project.
Click below to view the news story announcing the 3-D museum and interviewing Eric as the creative genius behind it.
“Visit: onecrazyyear.com… Come on in, explore and dive deeper into what has happened this past year!” says Eric.
For those who would like to start working in 3D modeling, Eric recommends giving Blender a try. For those interested in building games, check out Unreal Engine or Unity. If you’re looking to have fun creating camera effects for SnapChat or Facebook/Instagram, look into LensStudio and SparkAR. According to Eric, “all of these free programs are a great place to start and have great communities to help you get started!”
Eric graduated from Timothy in 1993. He went on to receive his BA in Music Composition from Kean University and then his BFA in Visual Communications from American Intercontinental University.
When asked how Timothy prepared him for where he is today, Eric shared…
Mr. Scull and Mr. Carroll were two of my favorite teachers. Mr. Scull, my Bible teacher, encouraged me to start a bible study during lunch. The disciplines I learned from Mr. Carroll in band class were useful not only in college but in my career now as well. Timothy is where I accepted my first challenges. The art and math teachers both stated that “No one ever earns an A+ in my class.” I took this as a challenge and worked diligently to earn an A+ in each of those classes. Still today I enjoy taking on new challenges in my work and discovering creative ways to do things better than before.
Eric also spoke about a class he took senior year called “Understanding the Times.” Today, we know it as “Worldview Studies.” Eric credits this class with helping him to learn what to expect from others in the world, to know what and why he believes as he does, and to be able to clearly articulate and defend his beliefs.
In 2014 Eric started his own design company, By & Large (byandlg.com), with three other partners including Peter Field (TCS class of ’94), a longtime friend who he met at Timothy. When Eric and his family made the decision to move to El Paso, Texas in 2018, he continued working with By & Large remotely but also took on a part-time job with ABC in El Paso. This grew into a full-time position where Eric is now the Creative Director.
In addition to his work at ABC, Eric still does freelance work for By & Large as well as other projects including animations for IBM, an oil company and Elton John’s recent book. He is also building tours for several art galleries and real estate agents, as well as working with holograms for trade shows and events.
We are excited that Eric will be one of our Alumni Career Day speakers this year. On Friday, February 26, 12-15 TCS alumni, some in-person and some virtually, will be sharing with our HS students about their careers and how God has directed them since they graduated from TCS. Our HS students will have the opportunity to select three of the alumni to hear from during the 20-minute breakout sessions. Students who are creative and have an interest in technology will want to select Eric to hear more about his fascinating work!