Cliff Plumer, chief technology officer of Industrial Light & Magic announced that Steve Sullivan has been promoted to research and development director at the visual effects juggernaut. Sullivan received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for the MARS motion and structure recovery system in March of 2002.
Sullivan most recently headed up a computer vision team within the R&D group and was instrumental in developing systems for matchmoving, image-based modeling and rendering and motion capture.
As R&D Director, Sullivan will be charged with anticipating and developing the technology required for ILMs next generation of visual effects. The team is focused on finding better ways to create photorealistic digital characters and environments and integrate them into live-action scenes. Projects on the slate include Timeline, Dreamcatcher, Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines, The Hulk, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean and Van Helsing.
Prior to joining ILM, Sullivan spent two years with Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles developing animation and 3D tracking software.