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Pixels to Pixar: An evening with Alvy Ray Smith

Dr. Alvy Ray Smith is a pioneering figure in computer graphics, co-founding two startups—Pixar (later sold to Disney) and Altamira (acquired by Microsoft). His significant contributions to computer graphics technology, particularly in computer animation, have left an indelible mark on the tech and entertainment industries.

Event Start: Thu 27 Jun 05:00 PM AEST
Event Finish: Thu 27 Jun 07:00 PM AEST


Registration End Date: Thu 27 Jun 09:00 AM

Dr. Alvy Ray Smith is a pioneering figure in computer graphics, co-founding two startups — <strong>Pixar</strong> (later sold to Disney) and <strong>Altamira</strong> (acquired by Microsoft). His significant contributions to computer graphics technology, particularly in computer animation, have left an indelible mark on the tech and entertainment industries. At <strong>Lucasfilm&#39;s Computer Division</strong>, Alvy played a pivotal role in creating groundbreaking visual effects for iconic films such as &#39;<em>Star Wars</em>&#39; and &#39;<em>The Empire Strikes Back</em>&#39;. Prior to this, he served as a Senior Scientist at the <strong>New York Institute of Technology&#39;s Computer Graphics Laboratory</strong> from 1975 to 1979, where he contributed to early advancements in the field. Dr. Smith&#39;s work continues to shape the landscape of entertainment and computer graphics to this day.<br><br>For tech professionals, creatives, the young at heart, and everyone who wants to know more about animation – this is a unique opportunity to hear from this incredible pioneer.<br><br>In this facilitated Q&amp;A event, hosted by the Australian Computer Society, we’ll take a deep dive into the Alvy’s fascinating journey. From his early days at the <strong>NYIT</strong> <strong>Computer Graphics Laboratory</strong> to his groundbreaking contributions to beloved films like &quot;<em>Toy Story</em>&quot; and &quot;<em>Finding Nemo</em>,&quot; Alvy&#39;s stories offer a deeper understanding of the history and technical intricacies behind computer graphics and animation, as he shares his wealth of experience.<br><br>Press for Alvy Ray Smith’s book, A Biography of the Pixel:  <div style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>&quot;We spend half our day staring at a screen, but where do the images on it come from? This engaging, thoroughly researched book by a pioneer of digital image making explains the history, theory, and technology of every image you see through a computer screen.&quot;</em><br>— Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google</div> <br><br>This event is proudly powered by DELF OZ.<br>Our sincere gratitude goes to DELF OZ for supporting the wider Brisbane community by bringing Alvy Ray Smith to Queensland. <br><br>Finger food refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket price. This event is aimed at adults, but is open to under-18s for any senior high school students who may wish to attend. 

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Keynote Speaker

Alvy Ray Smith

Alvy Ray Smith

Co-Founder - Pixar and Altamira

First director of computer graphics at Lucasfilm. Original member of the Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology. First Graphics Fellow at Microsoft. At Xerox PARC for the birth of the personal computer, the internet, and some of the earliest color pixels. Received two technical Academy Awards, for the alpha channel and digital paint systems. Invented the first full-color paint program and the HSV (or HSB) color transform, and co-invented the alpha channel.

Directed the Genesis Demo in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Hired John Lasseter and directed him in The Adventures of André & Wally B. Proposed and negotiated the Academy-Award winning Disney computer animation production system, CAPS. Instrumental, as a Regent, in initiating the Visible Human Project at the National Library of Medicine. Star witness in a trial that successfully invalidated five patents that threatened Adobe Photoshop. Active in the development of the HDTV standard, arguing successfully for progressive scan. Holds Ph.D. from Stanford University and honorary doctorates from New Mexico State University and the New York Institute of Technology. Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. Founding member of the Siggraph Academy.

Published widely in theoretical computer science, computer graphics, and scholarly genealogy. Creator or co-creator of many pieces of computer art, including Sunstone in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Holds four patents. Published a book, A Biography of the Pixel, with MIT Press (3 Aug 2021). An advisor to Baobab Studios, an award-winning VR startup in Silicon Valley.

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Hal Josephson

Hal Josephson

Co-Founder, DELF OZ

Hal Josephson is an international business development specialist, a serial entrepreneur, thought-leadership event organizer (Project Connect, NZ) and author of Life-Size Story. Hal founded MediaSense™, a global business development firm focusing on the technology, media and digital sectors.

Organizing and producing cutting-edge media/technology conferences and digital thought leadership events. These include the first “Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley” conference, Lights Camera Interaction,  Digital World, Envision, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), New Media in the 90’s, Project Digital Disruption & the Digital Entrepreneur’s Leadership Forum (DELF) in Hong Kong's Cyberport Digital Technology Park.

During the late 90’s and throughout the “naughties”, Hal worked in the economic development sector, in parallel to high profile events in the Asia Pacific region. These were private sector led initiatives to drive business impact prior, during & after the Sydney & Beijing Games, Melbourne Commonwealth Games as well as Shanghai’s World Expo. 

In 2020, Hal founded Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum, Australia (DELF OZ) in Brisbane attracting creative global thought leaders to Queensland prior to the city's hosting of the 2032 olympic games. 

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Caitlin Hultgren

Caitlin Hultgren

Senior Member Services & Events Coordinator, ACS 

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Level 2, 315 Brunswick St,Fortitude Valley,QLD,Australia

  • where

  • Stair Stadium, The Precinct, TC Beirne Building
    Level 2, 315 Brunswick St
    Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
  • when

  • Event Start:
    Thu 27 Jun 05:00 PM AEST

    Event Finish:
    Thu 27 Jun 07:00 PM AEST
  • event price

  • -

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