Paul Debevec, first recipient of the Significant New Researcher
drew you to computer graphics?
In grade school
I was very interested in math and also loved to draw and
paint. When I realized that with computer graphics I could combine
interests I got very intertested in programming computers to make
I also picked up photography and filmmaking in high school, and
very interested in manipulating photographs with a computer, which
led me to
the particular kind of computer graphics I've worked most in, which
image-based modeling and rendering.
Do you have
any favorite CG mentors?
The first person
I ever worked for who completely amazed me was Michael
Naimark, who was a media artist at Interval Research Corporation
supervised an internship I did there in 1994. He had equal respect
and technology and used the two together to create amazing projects
greatly resonated with what I found interesting. I'm also very fortunate
have had the advice and encouragement of Pat Hanrahan, David Salesin,
Miller, Paul Heckbert, Ned Greene, Don Greenberg, Michael Cohen,
Williams, Carlo Sequin, Brian Barsky, David Forsyth, Ken Musgrave,
Kajiya, Ken Perlin, and especially Greg Ward and Marc Levoy at important
points along the way, and I'm also very appreciative of Ramesh Jain,
Jitendra Malik, C.J. Taylor, and Quon-Tuong Luong for helping me
computer vision techniques in my computer graphics work.
What was the
first time you contributed to SIGGRAPH?
It was 1996 in
New Orleans, when I presented the paper based on my Ph.D.
Thesis "Modeling and Rendering Architecture from Photographs."
I also had
also worked with a colleague Golan Levin on a piece in the art show,
Revisited", which used the techniques from the paper to create
interactive exploration of the Rouen Cathedral and Monet's related
paintings. I really liked having a piece in both the technical session
in the art show, and since then have worked to do something creative
as technical whenever it's been possible.
was your first SIGGRAPH? Which was most intense? Why?
My first was Orlando
in 1994. I'd never been to an event of that magnitude
before and was left completely reeling. When I saw the Electronic
it was probably the most exciting show I'd seen in my life - research
art and movies all coming together in one place.
My most intense
was 2000 in New Orleans - I was presenting in two courses,
chairing three sessions, delivering a paper, speaking in two panels,
film in the Electronic Theater and a demo in the Creative Applications
Laboratory. I have no idea how I made it through the week!
to SIGGRAPH are you most proud of?
I'm most proud
of my films "The Campanile Movie" and "Fiat Lux",
tried to make work as short films on their own independent of the
used to make them. The former used the photogrammetric modeling
image-based rendering techniques from my first SIGGRAPH paper, and
latter used the high dynamic range photography, image-based lighting,
inverse global illumination techniques from my next three. It's
rewarding as well that some of the students who worked with me on
projects have gone on to apply some of the same techniques in Hollywood
favorite thing at this year or last year's SIGGRAPH?
This year I loved
Stanford's "Rendering Translucent Materials" work as well
as the magnetic dancing fluid. I also really loved some of the parties
particularly the smaller ones with good food and good people.
developments in CG do you look forward to?
I'm looking forward
to more extensive use of high dynamic range imagery,
which will enable the techniques we've been involved with to be
accessible to people, as well as more realistic and easier-to-animate
virtual humans. I would greatly appreciate a better head-mounted
otherwise) immersive display device; so that the worlds that we're
can actually be displayed as realistically as they are rendered.
And I look
forward to more communication and cross-fertilization between the
effects and graphics research communities.