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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 June, 2001

For further information:
Sheila Hoffmeyer/Ann Kilhoffer-Reichert
+1.312.644.6610 x5811
+1.312.245.1083 fax
media-s2001@siggraph.org

PAUL DEBEVEC TO RECEIVE SIGNIFICANT NEW RESEARCHER AWARD FROM ACM SIGGRAPH

ACM SIGGRAPH is presenting the first ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award to Paul Debevec to recognize his recent creative and innovative work in the field of image-based modeling and rendering. Debevec will receive his award this summer at SIGGRAPH 2001, 12 - 17 August 2001, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Debevec earned degrees in math and computer engineering at the University of Michigan in 1992 and a Ph.D. in computer science at UC Berkeley in 1996. In the summer of 1991, Debevec combined techniques from computer vision and computer graphics to derive an image-based model of his Chevette from photographs for an animation project. At Interval Research Corporation, Debevec contributed to media artist Michael Naimark's "Immersion '94" virtual exploration of Banff National forest and collaborated with Golan Levin on "Rouen Revisited," an interactive 3D visualization of the Rouen Cathedral and Monet's related series of paintings.

For his Ph.D. thesis at UC Berkeley, Debevec worked with Camillo Taylor and Jitendra Malik to create Facade, an interactive system for modeling and rendering architectural scenes from photographs. Using Facade Debevec led the creation of a photorealistic model of Berkeley's Campanile Tower and the surrounding campus for his 1997 film "The Campanile Movie" whose techniques were later used to create the Academy Award-winning virtual backgrounds for the "bullet-time" shots in the 1999 film "The Matrix."

Since completing his Ph.D. in 1996, Debevec has developed techniques for illuminating computer-generated objects with light captured from the real world, making it easier to realistically combine real-world and computer-generated imagery. Debevec's award-winning 1999 film "Fiat Lux" placed towering monoliths and gleaming spheres into a photorealistic reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica, all illuminated by the light that was actually there. Most recently Debevec has worked on developing the Light Stage, a device that allows objects and actors to be illuminated with arbitrary computer-controlled lighting. This work uses a reflectance field, a way of capturing and representing a 3D object or environment based only on how it transforms incident illumination into radiant illumination, rather than by its geometry and surface reflectance characteristics.

Debevec's series of papers, movies, and accomplishments have been a major highlight of recent SIGGRAPH conferences. In the spirit of the very best computer graphics researchers, he has combined his technical and research interests with his artistic sensibilities. His work has already had a big impact on the motion picture industry, and the SIGGRAPH community eagerly awaits his future contributions to the field.

Debevec, 29, grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where he attended University High School, graduating in 1988. He currently works at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, where he directs research in virtual actors, virtual environments, and applying computer graphics to creative projects.

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SIGGRAPH 2001 will bring over 40,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles for the week-long conference. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, and interactive technologies are planned. SIGGRAPH 2001 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 14-16 August 2001. ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading professional society for computer graphics and interactive techniques, sponsors SIGGRAPH 2001. Information on ACM SIGGRAPH membership and other conferences and activities can be found at www.siggraph.org.


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