Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, VFXWorld and other are sadly reporting that CG pioneer Bill Kovacs has passed away at the age of 56. Bill Kovacs was a programmer at Abel's for the production of Tron, one of the cofounders of Wavefront in 1984 and in 1997 received a SciTech Award for the development of Advanced Visualizer.
Wavefront is considered one of the most influential CG companies. Advanced Visualizer was one of the first commercial animation packages sold for SGI machines in 1985 (coincidentally the same year Alias debuted its first product). Subsequent Wavefront products would be crucial in the VFX business, like ILM's use of Dynamation on such projects like Twister and Spawn. You can read more here:
Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.