Alvy Ray Smith

Co-Founder of four centers of computer graphics excellence (Altamira, Pixar, Lucasfilm, New York Tech) and a Microsoft Fellow

Dr. Alvy Ray Smith co-founded four centers of computer graphics excellence before joining Microsoft as its first Graphics Fellow: Altamira, Pixar, Lucasfilm, New York Tech. He received two technical Academy Awards for alpha channel concept and for digital paint systems. He also invented, directed, originated, or otherwise instrumental in the following developments: early full-color paint program, HSV color model, alpha channel and image sprites, Genesis Demo in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, first Academy-Award winning computer-generated short Tin Toy, first computer-generated film Toy Story, Academy-Award winning Disney animation production system CAPS, and the Visible Human Project. He was a star witness in a trial that successfully invalidated five patents that had been plaguing the digital imaging business. Dr. Smith writes and speaks extensively and has served on the Microsoft Art Committee. He has a PhD from Stanford University and honorary doctorate from New Mexico State University. Retired in 1999, Dr. Smith devotes time to the emerging artform of digital photography and to scholarly genealogy, to which he has contributed a prize-winning book and several journal papers. See website


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