During SIGGRAPH 2001, on August 12, Ed Catmull, president of Pixar will receive the President's Medal for Arts & Technology from NYIT, as reported by VFXPro.com. Mr. Catmull studied at the pioneering University of Utah, later going to NYIT and in the late 1970s to a small pioneering company in the Bay Area, and as they say, the rest is history.
Ed Catmull is one of the pioneers in the Computer Graphics industry, creating many of today's often used CG techniques like Z-buffer rendering and texture mapping. In the late 70s George Lucas contacted him to start a computer graphics division at Lucasfilm, and was the first employee hired to head the division (around 1979). Soon afterwards many other talented people joined and worked in many different research projects, of which the highlight was the RenderMan standard. Later Catmull and many others spun off to form Pixar in 1986 and concentrate on animated movies, but Catmull's and his colleagues' legacy has had a profound impact on the VFX industry, including ILM.
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[This message has been edited by malducin (edited 08-08-2001).]