March 20, 2023
Theodore Kim (Ph.D. 2006) and former Pixar collaborators David Eberle, Fernando de Goes, and Audrey Wong received the Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the development of the elastic simulation system Fizt2.
Fizt2 is an elastic simulation system that improved on the Fizt cloth simulator originally developed at Pixar and first used in “Monsters, Inc.” (2001). Fizt2 was developed for “Coco” (2017) and has been used by other animated films, including “Incredibles 2” (2018). The new version of the software improves on the speed, robustness, and generality of simulation for both cloth and flesh.
Kim, who worked at Pixar as a research scientist from 2015 to 2019, has seen his animation work featured in dozens of movies. He and his collaborators previously won a Technical Achievement Award at the 2012 Scientific and Technical Awards Ceremony for the invention, publication, and dissemination of Wavelet Turbulence Software, which allowed for fast, art-directable creation of highly detailed gas simulation. Kim has received screen credits for “Cars 3” (2017), “Coco” (2017), “Incredibles 2” (2018), and “Toy Story 4” (2019).
Since 2019, Kim has been a professor of computer science at Yale University, where he co-leads the Yale Computer Graphics Group.
Kim accepted the Technical Achievement Award at the 2023 Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on February 24 in Los Angeles. A video of Kim receiving the award is available on YouTube. During his acceptance speech, he thanked his doctoral advisor and former UNC CS faculty member Ming Lin.