Designing and implementing software tools to be used by artists requires empathy and insight into the art itself. Alexey and Brian will discuss their approaches and show examples of working closely with artists to develop tools and systems that support and enhance creative expression while managing complex data.
Alexey Stomakhin is a senior software engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Stomakhin is responsible for developing tools for simulation of environmental effects. He is known for pioneering Disney's in-house material point method engine Matterhorn, which was used extensively for snow simulation in “Frozen” (2013), and also for simulation of viscous and granular materials in “Big Hero 6” (2014), “Zoomania” (2016) and “Vaiana” (2016). He is the lead developer of Disney's in-house distributed fluid solver Splash, which was used to create the majority of the water effects in “Vaiana” (2016). Stomakhin also does research in computational solid/fluid mechanics, multi-material interactions and parallel/high performance computing. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from University of California, Los Angeles (2013).
Brian Whited is a Sr. Software Engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Originally from Kansas, Whited graduated from Georgia Tech with a PhD in Computer Science. He began his career at the Studio in 2008 as a summer technology intern doing research for “The Princess and the Frog” and joined the studio full-time in November 2009. As a Sr. Software Engineer, Whited is charged with assessing limitations on an artist’s workflow and inventing new algorithms and methods of interaction that allow artists to push the limits of their craft. In 2016, Whited was honored SciTech Academy Award® for the design and development of Meander, a drawing and animation system initially developed for for the Academy Award®-winning short film, “Paperman.”
Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made.