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Computer graphics and animation subject of public lecture

Alvy Ray Smith, Graphics Fellow at Microsoft and developer of Altamira Composer, will deliver the George and Sandra Forsythe Memorial Lectures in Computer Science on March 18 and 19.

The first lecture, "Making Pictures with Computers: The First 40 Years and the Next" will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 17. The second lecture, "The Single Creative App: Realities of the Digital Media Convergence" will be held at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 18. Both lectures will be held in the Gates Building, Hewlett-Packard classroom (B01).

The annual Forsythe Lectures honor the memory of computer science pioneers George and Sandra Forsythe. George played a leading role in the founding of Stanford's computer science department and was its first chairman. Sandra was a noted computer science educator and textbook author.

Smith's product, Altamira Composer, introduced the concept of image objects (sprites) to the personal computer imaging world. Sprites are based on the alpha channel concept, which he coinvented, and for which he shares a recent technical Academy Award. Smith initiated and negotiated the Academy Award-winning CAPS (Computer Animation Production System) project between Pixar and Disney, the hardware and software system that Disney now uses for full production of all its "traditional" 2-D animated feature films, including Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and Pocahontas.

In addition, Smith was co-awarded the Computer Graphics Achievement Award by the Association for Computing Machinery SIGGRAPH in 1990 for seminal contributions to computer paint systems, including the first full-color paint program, the first soft-edged fill program and the HSV color space model.