Seminars & Colloquia

Chris Landreth

Independent Filmmaker & Animator

"From Particle Image Velocimetry to Animated Filmmaking: A Personal Journey"

Thursday April 12, 2007 04:30 PM
Location: Grand Ballroom, Talley Student Center NCSU Historical Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: The transition from one career path to another can be a circuitous and twisted one, but one which, if understood, can be very entertaining to behold. This is particularly true of Chris Landreth, whose career path has taken him from a job in fluid mechanics research to a career in independent filmmaking using computer-generated imagery. In his talk, Landreth will break down his career journey into five easy steps: 1) from fluid mechanics researcher to a researcher depicting fluid flows visually, using a tool called Particle Image Velocimetry; 2) from fluid viusualization expert to creator of data.-driven scientific animations at the North Carolina Supercomputing Center; 3) from animations to testing computer generated software; 4) from CG software tester to experimental animations; and finally, 5) from animations to production of independent animated films.

Short Bio: Chris Landreth began his career as a fluid mechanics engineer and followed a somewhat circuitous path to become an Oscar-winning animated filmmaker.

After receiving a degree in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois, Landreth spent three years as an experimental researcher at the university before making the transition into the netherworlds of computer animation. In 1994, Landreth joined Alias Inc., where his responsibility was to define, test and abuse animation software products before they were released to the public, including Maya, a well-known animation software package. The job also led to production of the animated short films Bingo and the end. Bingo was nominated in 1996 for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Landreth's most recent film is the 2004 Academy Award winning production Ryan, which is about the life and career of Canadian animator Ryan Larkin, a one-time Oscar nominee who today panhandles for spare change. In addition to winning the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, Ryan received over 60 other international awards, including three prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize at Siggraph 2004 and the Grand Prize at the 2004 Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Landreth's current works in production are a new short film with the National Film Board of Canada, entitled The Spine, and an animated feature film entitled Lovecraft, based on the life of the early 20th century American writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Special Instructions: This is a Renaissance Computing Institute Distinguished Lecture that the RENCI@NCSU facility is co-hosting with the NC State University College of Design.

Host: Theresa-Marie Rhyne, Dept. of Computer Science

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