Research

Lance Williams

Lance Williams, Ph.D.
Researcher
Bio:

Lance Williams was part of the University of Utah computer graphics group when Ivan Sutherland and David Evans spearheaded the historic research undertaken there.  Later, he worked with Ed Catmull, Jim Blinn, Jim Clark, and Alvy Ray Smith at the New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab.  Creative work included production of television commercials, 2D and 3D character design, and short subjects 3DV, User Abuser (broadcast on “Entertainment Tonight”), a Japanese animated feature film, The Lensman, and the script for a prototype 3D computer-animated feature, The Works.  Experimental sequences from “The Works” were shown at several SIGGRAPH conferences to considerable acclaim, and the project was written up in such magazines as Cinefantastique, Time, and Newsweek.  For two years he headed CGL Studios, a facility founded to undertake the production of Strawberry Fields, an animated feature sequel to Yellow Submarine.

After leaving NYIT/CGL in 1986, Williams consulted for Henson Associates in New York and GLOBO television in Rio de Janeiro.  In 1988, he joined Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group, where he worked for eight years.  During his stint at Apple, Williams contributed to “The Virtual Museum,” an interactive CD, four animated films shown at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference, three patent applications, and “QuickTime VR,” which supports interactive panoramas.

In 1996, Williams worked on special effects for a live-action feature, Habitat, before joining DreamWorks SKG as head of long-term software development for DreamWorks Feature Animation.  While there, he contributed to the feature films Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, and Spirit.

Williams worked briefly at DreamQuest, Hoyt Yeatman's visual effects company, before it was acquired by Disney in 2000. At Walt Disney Feature Animation, he worked on an early and influential system for tracking and animating realistic human facial performance, the Human Face Project, and served as Chief Scientist from 2002-2004.

Williams proceeded to work as a Senior Scientist at Applied Minds, founded by Disney fellows Danny Hillis and Bran Ferren, where he led software development for a cancer proteomics project. He worked as a software engineer in Google's Geo group from 2006-2008, and as principal researcher at Nokia Research Center Hollywood from 2008-2011.

Lance Williams joined Nvidia's Research Group in 2012, where he has returned to research in human face-tracking and animation. He is married, with two teenage boys, and works from his home in Toluca Lake, CA.

 

Research Interests:

Animation

Publications:
Dynamic Hand Gesture Recognition
Dynamic Hand Gesture Recognition
What Characterizes a Shadow Boundary under Sun and Sky?
Shadows for Cel Animation
Motion Signal Processing
Animating Images with Line Drawings
Living Pictures
View Interpolation Image Synthesis
Shading in Two Dimensions
3D Paint
Performance-Driven Facial Animation
Pyramidal Parametrics