Hello, and welcome!

I’m Gerrit, and this is my humble ’homepage’.

I've created this as a notebook, diary, blog, a sandbox and place for hobby projects and study work.

At the moment you will find some of the things I created while I was working through some courses on Ray Tracing, Three.js, Blender and Creative Coding. I haven't written any tutorials or how-tos, or anything in more detail yet. I started doing this for the Ray Tracing chapter, but I was afraid I'd just end up copying the book I was learning from, and I figured it would make more sense to refer to the original author and sources instead.

I still need to figure out a good format and direction for these sections. I'd like the site to be more useful than just being an image gallery. I want to present content about other courses and topics I've played with in the last few years. That will include WebXR, WebAudio, Unity and Unreal Engine, Computational Geometry, Algorithms, and Data Science and Machine Learning as well. There will also be a space for music, movies, art and other things that catch my interest. I'll probably continue to tweak this site for a while until I've found a good flow.

My personal website actually dates all the way back to 1996 when I first taught myself HTML and started playing with Photoshop. I was living in Germany at the time and hosted it in the United States on my first domain celephais.com inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's short story. It was a playground for all the new exciting tricks I was learning and an archive of my favorite musicians and song lyrics.

Celephais 1996/97

Technically, this site was really primitive: just basic HTML, tables, some images and image-maps, and some very basic Javascript to handle click and hover events. There was Netscape 4, Internet Explorer 3, no CSS. Access was still via dial-up, no flat-rate. Adding more content to the site was crazy time-consuming because it always required creating new images, measuring, slicing, cropping, etc. But that was part of the fun. I still have fond memories of this special and inspired time of discovery and experimentation not only on the web but also with graphics tools, Photoshop, Kai's Power Tools and his Tips & Tricks docs, Bryce, 3D Studio, SIRDS, povray, fractals, etc. When I think about my early beginnings in the 80s with a Commodore 64, my first PC with my first modem in the early 90s, the very special 'underground' community around BBS systems in my home town and across Germany, Crosspoint, Zerberus, Fido- and Usenet, it's really incredible what this all evolved into in the last 30 years and how much computers, the web and really the whole world have changed.

Celephais 1996/97

As life changed over the years, so did the website. In the late 90s/early 2000s I added PHP scripts, a database, and then I created a framework with reusable components. A few years later the site changed into a WordPress blog and a few different themes. After WordPress there was some time with Drupal before I returned to a more static file-based site running on Grav, and later Hugo with Blogdown. Then I returned to basic HTML for a while, and now I'm using React/Next.js. Next.js is still a new chapter for me - there's still a lot to learn. But I like it so far and think I'll keep it around for a while. :)

I hope you enjoy or find any of these pages useful, interesting, or inspiring. Please check back from time to time - I'll continue to add more to this site.

I haven't felt social enough for social media in the last few years. I just wanted to take a break for various reasons, at least for the time being. I'll need to think about what I'm going to do in the future, but I still check in and catch up occasionally. If you’d like to chat or follow me, you can find me on Twitter, graphics.social, or mastodon.social. I also have accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and a few others but I visit them only sporadically. I have to admit that I have lost my passion for social media over the last few years, and even platforms that could be good and better alternatives to the big players, it feels like just another service to send or receive broadcasts. Without real connections and a community it seems quite pointless to be honest. I often feel like it may be better to look for a real-life 'network' outside my office instead. Having said that, there's a chance I might return and be more active again sometime. I don't always need to be on top of everything, but I don't want to be behind all the time either :)