Pixar’s computer graphics pioneers have won the $1 million Turing Award

Two men who invented game-changing 3D computer graphics techniques now widely used in the film industry have won the highest distinction in computer science: the Turing Award. If you enjoyed Toy Story, The Lord of the Rings, Finding Nemo, Titanic, Avatar, or Jurassic Park, you have them to thank.

Who are they? Edwin Catmull and Patrick Hanrahan. Catmull cofounded Pixar and hired biophysics PhD Hanrahan as one of the first employees in 1986. Hanrahan spent much of his time modeling materials and lighting to help animations look closer to real life. “Physicists generally don’t study hair or skin, and why they look the way they do. I did, and spent years thinking about how to get things like lighting right,” he told MIT Technology Review.

Their work: Hanrahan was the lead architect of the team that created the complex software known as RenderMan, which

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Computer Graphics at Stanford University

<br /> Computer Graphics at Stanford University<br />


Note added 4/21/20 by Marc Levoy:

Except for links to People > Faculty, this web site has become outdated. Most
links to Research projects, Courses in graphics, Technical publications, Slides
from talks, Software packages, Data archives, and Cool Demos still function and
might be useful. However, links to people other than faculty, infrastructure,
and opportunities for students are likely broken or irrelevant.

News flashes:

  • 11/26/19
    Marc Levoy’s team
    has published a new article
    in the Google Research Blog
    astrophotography on Pixel 4.
  • 10/28/19
    Marc Levoy’s team
    has open-sourced an
    for retrieving dual-pixel data from recent Pixel phones.
    Useful for computing depth from single-camera phones.
  • 10/28/19
    Marc Levoy’s team in Google Research
    has published a paper in
    SIGGRAPH Asia (and
    describing how
    Night Sight works on Pixel 3.