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ICT 3D Modeling Wizard Receives Elan "Visionary" Award

"Another recognition of Paul's outstanding work in visual special effects"

April 11, 2009 —

Paul Debevec, a research associate professor in the Viterbi School's Department of Computer Science best known for his pioneering work in high dynamic range imaging and image-based modelling and rendering, is the winner of an Elan "Visionary" Award.

Debevec-lightstage 3-med
Debevec: honored for exceptional achievement
"This award is another recognition of Paul's outstanding work in visual special effects," said CS Chair Ellis Horowitz. "His work on simulating how people and objects appear under real-world illumination has made its way into many diverse applications."

Now three years old, the Elan award program honors exceptional achievements in computer graphics: "As the Movie Industry goes to Hollywood for its Oscars, so will the world of Video Games, Animation and Visual Effects come to Vancouver for their ELANS," says the group's founder Holly Carinci.

Debevec, who works at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, will receive the honor, voted on by industry participants online, in the British Columbian city April 25, at an event hosted by hosted by Tom Kenny, the voice of "SpongeBob SquarePants©." The researcher gave a presentation on his technology at the recent TEDx USC conference.

Debevec "is best known for his pioneering work in high dynamic range imaging and image-based modelling and rendering," says the announcement of his prize.

"Debevec received his Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley in 1996; his thesis research was in photogrammetry, or the recovery of the 3D shape of an object from a collection of still photographs taken from various angles. In 1997 he and a team of students produced The Campanile Movie (1997), a virtual flyby of UC Berkeley's famous Campanile tower."

"Debevec's more recent research has included methods for recording real-world illumination for use in computer graphics; a number of novel inventions for recording ambient and incident light have resulted from the work of Debevec and his team, including the light stage, of which five or more versions have been constructed, each an evolutionary improvement over the previous.

Techniques based on Debevec's work have been used in several major motion pictures, including The Matrix (1999), Spider-Man 2 (2004), King Kong (2005), Superman Returns (2006), and Spider-Man 3 (2007)."