16 Facts About Edwin Catmull


Edwin Earl "Ed" Catmull was born on March 31,1945 and is an American computer scientist who is the co-founder of Pixar and was the President of Walt Disney Animation Studios.


Edwin Catmull has been honored for his contributions to 3D computer graphics, including the 2019 ACM Turing Award.


Edwin Catmull was born on March 31,1945, in Parkersburg, West Virginia.


Early in his life, Catmull found inspiration in Disney movies, including Peter Pan and Pinocchio, and wanted to be an animator; however, after finishing high school, he had no idea how to get there as there were no animation schools around that time.


Edwin Catmull says the idea for subdivision surfaces came from mathematical structures in his mind when he applied B-splines to non-four sided objects.


In 1972, Edwin Catmull made his earliest contribution to the film industry: a one-minute animated version of his left hand, titled A Computer Animated Hand, created with Fred Parke at the University of Utah.


In 1974, Edwin Catmull earned his doctorate in computer science, and was hired by a company called Applicon.


However, Edwin Catmull's team lacked the ability to tell a story effectively via film, harming the effort to produce a motion picture via a computer.


In November 2014, the general managers of Disney Animation and Pixar were both promoted to president, but both continued to report to Edwin Catmull, who retained the title of president of Walt Disney and Pixar.


On October 23,2018, Edwin Catmull announced his plans to retire from Pixar and Disney Animation, staying on as an adviser through July 2019.


Edwin Catmull has an inability to form mental imagery within his head, a condition known as aphantasia.


In 1993, Edwin Catmull received his first Academy Scientific and Technical Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "for the development of PhotoRealistic RenderMan software which produces images used in motion pictures from 3D computer descriptions of shape and appearance".


In 2000, Edwin Catmull was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for leadership in the creation of digital imagery, leading to the introduction of fully synthetic visual effects and motion pictures.


At the 81st Academy Awards, Catmull was awarded the Gordon E Sawyer Award, which honors "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry".


Edwin Catmull's book Creativity, Inc was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, and was a selection for Mark Zuckerberg book club in March 2015.


Edwin Catmull shared the 2019 Turing Award with Pat Hanrahan for their pioneering work on computer-generated imagery.