Computer Graphics Achievement Award

The computer graphics achievement award is given to an individual for outstanding achievement in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The award includes a prize of $2,000.

Current Recipient

Aaron Hertzmann

For his pioneering work in non-photorealistic animation and rendering (NPR), image synthesis, character animation, computational photography and the interplay between computer generated and traditional art

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present the 2024 Achievement Award to Aaron Hertzmann for his pioneering work in non-photorealistic animation and rendering (NPR), image synthesis, character animation, computational photography, and the interplay between computer-generated and traditional art.

Aaron’s groundbreaking contributions to the field of NPR are widely recognized, particularly his early work on painterly rendering of images and video. His innovative techniques for line drawing of 3D models continue to influence the field today. Aaron’s seminal Image Analogies paper spearheaded a new era of machine learning applied to image authoring and stylization. Its long-lasting impact extends to recent image editing methods using Generative Adversarial Networks and diffusion models.

As one of the pioneering researchers at the intersection of computer graphics and machine learning, Aaron has made significant contributions to character animation with models learned from motion-capture data, as well as capturing non-rigid motion from video and rotoscoping. In addition to ML-based approaches, Aaron’s work in physics-based human motion control laid the groundwork for the subsequent rise of reinforcement learning for physics-based animation. In the realm of computational photography and image editing, Aaron’s contributions include advancements in image deblurring, portrait segmentation, depth-aware editing, and GAN controls. Aaron also introduced early machine learning approaches for graphic design and for geometry processing.

Beyond his technical contributions, Aaron is recognized as an influential thinker across computer graphics and computer vision. His position articles on the science of art and generative AI art offer valuable insights into the evolving landscape of art-making processes, drawing from art history, philosophy, and psychology. Moreover, Aaron’s theories on human visual perception of pictures have challenged conventional understanding, providing explanations for phenomena unexplained by existing linear perspective theories. Aaron’s intellectual contributions have sparked debates and discussions across the interdisciplinary communities of computer science and art, enriching our understanding of the complex relationship between technology and creativity.

Aaron received a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Art at Rice University and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from New York University in 2001 under the supervision of Ken Perlin and Denis Zorin. He was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto from 2003-2013, and since 2012 has been at Adobe, where he became a Principal Scientist in 2016. Throughout his career, Aaron has consistently provided his professional services to his communities, including as co-organizer of NPAR 2004, as the inaugural SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference Papers Director for the conference track that he advocated for, and as the Editor-in-Chief of Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision.

Previous Recipients

  • 2023 Wolfgang Heidrich
  • 2022 Michiel van de Panne
  • 2021 Doug L. James
  • 2020 Kavita Bala
  • 2019 Denis Zorin
  • 2018 Daniel Cohen-Or
  • 2017 Ramesh Raskar
  • 2016 Frédo Durand
  • 2015 Steve Marschner
  • 2014 Thomas Funkhouser
  • 2013 Holly Rushmeier
  • 2012 Greg Turk
  • 2011 Richard Szeliski
  • 2010 Jessica Hodgins
  • 2009 Michael Kass
  • 2008 Ken Perlin
  • 2007 Greg Ward
  • 2006 Thomas W. Sederberg
  • 2005 Jos Stam
  • 2004 Hugues Hoppe
  • 2003 Peter Schröder
  • 2002 David Kirk
  • 2001 Andrew Witkin
  • 2000 David H. Salesin
  • 1999 Tony DeRose
  • 1998 Michael F. Cohen
  • 1997 Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz
  • 1996 Marc Levoy
  • 1995 Kurt Akeley
  • 1994 Kenneth E. Torrance
  • 1993 Pat Hanrahan
  • 1992 Henry Fuchs
  • 1991 James T. Kajiya
  • 1990 Richard Shoup and Alvy Ray Smith
  • 1989 John Warnock
  • 1988 Alan H. Barr
  • 1987 Robert Cook
  • 1986 Turner Whitted
  • 1985 Loren Carpenter
  • 1984 James H. Clark
  • 1983 James F. Blinn

Nomination Procedure

ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to nominate individuals for the Computer Graphics Achievement Award by sending an email to the Technical Awards Chair ( by January 31 of each year.


  • Name, address, phone number, and email address of the nominator
  • Name and email address of the candidate
  • Suggested citation (maximum of 25 words)
  • Nomination statement (maximum of 500 words in length) addressing why the candidate should receive this award

Your nomination should describe a candidate’s most significant research contribution(s), and optionally describe industrial impact, community service, and/or other contributions to computer graphics and interactive techniques. The Technical Awards Committee uses nomination statements as the main basis for their selections, so a concise and clear statement is strongly encouraged. Descriptions of a small number of contributions (one is acceptable) are preferable to a long list of activities.