Edwin Catmull


Edwin Catmull
Edwin Catmull
Associated organizations
Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd
Fields of study
Computer animation


Dr. Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of computer graphics in modeling, animation and rendering that have revolutionized the way live-action and animated motion pictures are created. Dr. Catmull is one of the architects of the RenderMan® software product utilized to create animated films such as Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and special effects in live-action films.

In 1974, while studying physics and computer science at University of Utah, Dr. Catmull’s pioneering animation of a human hand was incorporated into the first movie to use 3D computer graphics. Through his research, he made four key computer graphics discoveries: Z-buffering, texture mapping, subdivision surface, and the fast rendering of bicubic patches. Prior to Pixar, he was vice president of the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Dr. Catmull has been honored for his work with four Scientific and Technical Engineering awards, including an Oscar® from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1993 he was honored with the Steven A. Coons Award, the highest achievement in the computer graphics field, for his lifetime contributions.

Dr. Catmull is a member of the IEEE and the IEEE Computer Society, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.