Here is the story of the funky company name. George Browning and I dropped out of grad school at UNC Chapel Hill in 1993 to commercialize some texture creation code we developed on the side. It was inspired by the work of Karl Sims in his 1991 paper “Artificial Evolution for Computer Graphics” and by the texture explorer in Kai’s Power Tools. The early images the software created often looked like lumpy slimy alien skin, thus the name.
The product became Alien Skin Textureshop. You can see some examples from it below. They tile, which makes them good for desktop backgrounds! :-) Unfortunately, the product had a short life because of a falling out with our publisher. Eventually George left to get a real job and later started Zengobi. I’m still glad we made Textureshop. It got us moving and the lessons learned in both programming and business helped our second product, Eye Candy (then called The Black Box), start strong.
– Jeff Butterworth