Bill Polson of Pixar Animation Studios is currently on leave to write a book on CG Pipelines. His book project is to identify common themes and design patterns, and he's racing the clock to get it done for SIGGRAPH 2015.
Prior to his leave he was Director of Industry Strategy at Pixar, and responsible for Pixar's relationships with the graphics community, including software vendors and other studios. He is active in promoting industry standards and in guiding various software vendors' roadmaps.
Bill is the originator of OpenSubdiv, Pixar's first open source initiative. OpenSubdiv has created a standard for subdivision surfaces, and has been adopted by numerous software vendors and film and game studios.
Bill is also active in SIGGRAPH, and served as a Director on both the 2010 and 2011 committees, and was the founder of the new program SIGGRAPH Dailies!
Bill has had numerous roles in 18 years at Pixar, including :
- Three years as Director of Pipeline and Lead of Production Engineering, responsible for the overall strategic plan for for the filmmaking pipeline.
- Six years as Supervising Technical Director of Short Films. In this role he was responsible for the technical plan for all short films, and directly supervised all technical work, including modeling and shading for both sets and characters, cinematography, special effects, lighting, rendering, and compositing. Bill supervised this work on seven short films -- including the Oscar nominees Mike's New Car, Boundin, One Man Band, and Lifted -- as well as more than a dozen commercials, Disney theme park rides, and other short subjects.
- Two years as Supervising TD for Pixar University, where he developed curriculum and trained newly hired Pixar TDs. Over a two year period more than 100 TDs went through Bill's 10 week, full time, hands-on class.
Bill joined Pixar in 1996. He worked on A Bug's Life (effects, shading, lighting), For The Birds (character rigging), and Toy Story 2 (effects) before moving on to various leadership roles. Prior to joining Pixar, Bill worked as an independent software engineer in the graphics industry.
Bill has a BS in Applied Physics from Caltech, and continues to do independent research into the dusty corners of Classical Physics, the kind of stuff that would have been cutting edge in 1899. And when the pipeline book is done, he wants to finish his epic novel of Peter the Great.