The infraNET Project and
Faculty of Math, University of Waterloo
From "The Last Starfighter" to "Star
Trek: Insurrection" -
The Evolution of Computer Animation
Recipient of the 1999
J.W. Graham Medal in Computing & Innovation
President and COO, Side Effects Software
Friday, June 18, 1999
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo
ago, computer animation was revolutionizing the look of films, TV and
videos - from spaceships rendered on a Cray supercomputer for the film "The Last Starfighter",
to chrome hockey pucks rendered on a DEC VAX for "Hockey Night In Canada".
Today, computer animation is a vital part of virtually every film, commercial,
and game on the market. These images are the manifestation of a large, evolving
computer animation industry: an industry subject to technological
advances and paradigm shifts which create enormous business challenges
for those involved. Through use of animation and images, this talk will
provide insight into the technical and business challenges of the 3D
animation (or digital content creation) industry, both past and present.
Kim Davidson is President and COO of
Side Effects Software and President and Executive Producer of Catapult
Productions, makers of the children's TV series, Monster By Mistake.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo (BES,1977 and BMath,
1981), Kim worked at Human Computer Resources (HCR now SCO). In
1984, he moved to the computer animation firm, Omnibus, where he
spearheaded development on the proprietary in-house software that was
to become PRISMS. Early in his career, Kim helped create over two
hundred broadcast spots and logos for CBC, ABC and TSN. Last year Kim was one
of four Side Effects Software employees to receive a Technical
Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science
for his work in developing PRISMS.
Kim Davidson will receive the J.W.
Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation at the
University of Waterloo on June 19, 1999.
Side Effects Software
in 1987, is a world leader in advanced 3D graphics and special effects software
for use in film, broadcast and game development. Side Effects Software continues to
lead the field of procedural animation with its unique visual network
technology. The company's main product, Houdini, is used by a number of
digital content creation leaders including Digital Domain, DreamWorks
SKG, Rhythm & Hues and Sony Pictures Imageworks. Recent film
projects created with Houdini include: The Matrix, eXistenZ, Prince of Egypt, and
What Dreams May Come.
For more information
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo
This seminar is sponsored by the Faculty
of Mathematics and The infraNET Project, University of Waterloo.
The infraNET Project, initiated by the
University of Waterloo in 1996, is a partnership to advance Web and
Internet technologies. Its founding partners are: INFORIUM, MKS, Open
Text, RIM, Sybase (Waterloo) and Waterloo Maple.
We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance
of the Institute for Computer Research, University of Waterloo.