Kevin Bulmer, founder and director of Synthetic Dimensions, the Wolverhampton based 3D computer graphics company, has died.
Mr Bulmer was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in September 2010 and died on Saturday November 12, shortly after celebrating his 49th birthday.
Self-trained as an illustrator and character creator, Mr Bulmer illustrated the best-selling Freeway Fighter series of fantasy novels books written by ex-Eidos chief executive Ian Livingstone in 1985, which was translated into nine languages.
He set up Synthetic Dimensions in Solihull in 1985 as a graphic design studio, relocating to Wolverhampton in 1991 to build Synthetic into one of the UK’s top computer games and animation companies, employing 37 people at its height.
Mr Bulmer and his team went on to design and develop 14 top ten and nine number one best-selling computer games for a worldwide market, including Gauntlet and Gauntlet II, Corporation, Legends of Valour and Chronicles of the Sword.
He made numerous appearances on TV and radio and wrote regularly for magazines on the subject of CGI and digital technology.
Synthetic worked on some of the first forays into 3D virtual reality for the US market.
The company achieved the Innovations Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, in 1996, in recognition of unique technologies developed for real-time, multi-user 3D game environments.
The company won the Wolverhampton Small Business of the Year title and the City of Birmingham Award for excellence in animation, both in 1998. In 1999, Synthetic worked with Iron Maiden, developing the computer game Ed Hunter, based on the band’s mascot Eddie, and designed graphics and memorabilia for the band’s world tour.
Together with his business and life partner Kate Copestake, Kevin successfully took Synthetic public on both OFEX and AIM markets in 2000.
After selling the company in 2002, Mr Bulmer went on to develop a 2D to 3D image conversion system to generate holograms, lenticular, anaglyph and polarised displays for marketing.
The system has been used worldwide by companies such as Nike, Reebok, Peugeot, Disney, EMI Newline Cinema and GB Posters.
Mr Bulmer, who recently concentrated on systems and content for 3D television and books, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Technology award from the University of Wolverhampton in 2009 for his work in the development of leading edge digital technologies.
He was on the committee of the Creative Industries Forum Wolverhampton and the steering committee of the Animation Forum West Midlands, as well as being a Wolverhampton Business Champion.
Born in Solihull in 1962, Mr Bulmer lived for the last 20 years in Tettenhall.
He leaves his life partner of 26 years, writer Ms Copestake, director of Copestake Business Communications and a governor of the University of Wolverhampton.
Ms Copestake said: “Kevin was a 21st century Renaissance Man who lived his life through his art and dedicated his life to pushing the boundaries of digital 3D graphics.
“He was a real life super hero with an immense talent for creating virtual worlds and the characters that populated them. One can only imagine what he would have gone on to accomplish if blessed with the lifespan he so richly deserved.”