Netflix Hires Researcher Paul Debevec to Oversee Emerging Technology Team (Exclusive)

Netflix Hires Researcher Paul Debevec to Oversee Emerging Technology Team (Exclusive)

BY CAROLYN GIARDINA | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for CNT

Debevec, whose work contributed to the making of films from ‘Gravity’ to ‘Avatar,’ will serve as director of research at the streamer.

Respected researcher Paul Debevec has joined Netflix as director of research, a newly created role on the streaming services’ data science and engineering team.

He will additionally continue his responsibilities as an adjunct research professor of computer science at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, working within the Vision and Graphics Laboratory at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

At Netflix, Debevec will oversee research and development around new technologies in computer vision, computer graphics and machine learning, with applications across areas of production including visual effects, virtual production and animation. He’ll also build a team at Netflix, bringing together data and experience from Netflix productions with the aim of developing new storytelling capabilities.

Research from Debevec and several colleagues was recognized with a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2010, for engineering the Light Stage capture devices and image-based rendering system developed for character relighting and used to create photoreal digital actors. This system has contributed to a string of Hollywood films, including VFX Oscar winners The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Gravity and Avatar.

In 2017, Debevec received the highest honor from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, its Progress Medal, for pioneering techniques for illuminating CG objects and their application in numerous Hollywood films. In 2014, he was invited to the White House to create a digital 3D model of President Barack Obama.

Debevec is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and from 2012 to 2018 he co-chaired its Science and Technology Council. He’s also a Fellow of the Visual Effects Society and from 2008 to 2014 served on the executive committee and as a vp of computer graphics research organization ACM Siggraph.

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By Troy Warren

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