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Ed Catmull

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Dr. Edwin "Ed" Earl Catmull (born 31 March 1945; age 71) was an employee at the Lucasfilm Graphics Group, who was in charge of designing and supervising the computer graphics in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He was largely responsible for the CGI rendering work of the "Genesis Demo".

Career outside Star TrekEdit

A graduate from University of Utah with two degrees, a B.S. in computer science and physics, 1969, and a Ph.D. in computer science, 1974, Catmull started his career as a computer programmer for the Boeing Corporation, where he met future Graphics Group co-worker Loren Carpenter. After his spell at Boeing Catmull's career did not immediately turn towards the motion picture industry as he had been a teacher in the Computer Science Department at his alma mater, the University of Utah, and The New York Institute of Technology. Nevertheless, his expertise had on occasion been sought after, among others for the computer display graphics, used in the 1976 science fiction production Future World.

In 1979, he was personally recruited by George Lucas to co-head as Vice-President the newly formed Graphics Group, having personally worked, after The Wrath of Khan, on their ground-breaking computer-generated animation short, The Adventures of André and Wally B. (1984). When the company evolved into Pixar in 1986, a childhood fantasy of Catmull went into fulfillment, as he had always wanted to become a Disney animator. [1] Catmull has personally lent a hand in the production of some of Pixars' highly successful productions, some of which were, Toy Story (1995), and Brave (2012). Having been retained as such in 1986, Catmull is currently still serving in an executive role at Pixar.

In 2009 Catmull received the Gordon E. Sawyer Academy Award for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics for the film industry at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards. Parts of the show, which was held at the 7th February, were included into the 81st Annual Academy Awards show. Catmull received his award from actress Jessica Biel. Aside from this Academy Award, Catmull's work for The Graphics Group/Pixar has won him other multiple non-production specific technical and merit awards as well, which included four additional Academy Awards (1993, 1996, 2001, and 2006), one Annie Award (2005), one PGA Award (2002) and one Visual Effects Society Award (2010). Remarkably, every award he was nominated for, he won, all of which (with the exception of the individual Academy Award of 2009) he shared with fellow co-workers at the Graphics Group/Pixar.

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