Practitioner Award

The SIGGRAPH Practitioner Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice and advancement of Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. The award recognizes the very best and most influential applications and practitioners. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize.

Current Recipients

F. Sebastian Grassia

For technical leadership of and contribution to Universal Scene Description

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to recognize F. Sebastian Grassia with the 2024 Practitioner Award.  The Practitioner Award is given annually to practitioners who have had an impact on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

For more than a decade, Sebastian has led the team developing Universal Scene Description (USD) at Pixar.  As the lead developer for USD, Sebastian has been paramount in its evolution first within Pixar, then throughout the film industry, and now within related industries, enabling the management and manipulation of complex 3D assets and scenes.  Because of his direct contributions and his continual guidance, USD’s evolution has not only enhanced its technical capabilities but has also prioritized usability and accessibility for artists and production teams, streamlining workflows and facilitating collaboration.

Sebastian’s commitment to opensource principles has fostered a thriving community around USD, further enabling its continuous improvement.  His voice is a constant presence in USD forums and discussions of new features, always staying focused on ensuring the principles of USD are upheld while bringing new innovations to the forefront.  His involvement in the community has reshaped the landscape of digital film production in a direct and practical way.

For his work on USD, ACM SIGGRAPH is proud to give the 2024 Practitioner Award to F. Sebastian Grassia.

Previous Recipients

  • 2023 Ken Museth
  • 2022 Íñigo Quílez
  • 2022 Pol Jeremias
  • 2021 Brent Burley
  • 2020 Elizabeth Baron
  • 2019 Stephen Hill
  • 2018 Bill Reeves


  • Impact to Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques based on practical application in methods, products, services or systems.
  • Cumulative, demonstrable contributions to the field directly and through leadership of others
  • Innovation and the stimulation of innovation through practice
  • Influence on the work of others, and acceptance of practice by the ACM SIGGRAPH community

Nomination Procedure

The Practitioner Award Committee evaluates nominations based on the outlined criteria. ACM SIGGRAPH members are encouraged to submit their nominations to the Practitioner Award Chair by January 31.


  • Contact information of the candidate
  • Contact information of the nominator
  • A brief summary (English, maximum one page) explaining how the candidate meets the criteria of the award
  • Contact information of at least two people knowledgeable about the qualifications of the candidate and who are willing to submit letters in support of the nomination upon request