Bill Kovacs, a brilliant computer scientist and pioneer of computer animation, made valuable and enduring contributions to Whisper Pictures before his death. He deeply influenced both Whisper Pictures’s business structure and our philosophy regarding technology.
More importantly than that, though, is that remembering Bill inspires us to be like him. He used every day of his life to contribute something that made the world kinder and more generous.
Bill’s bio, as it appears below, is the one he wrote for us to include with Whisper Pictures’s promotional material:
Mr. Kovacs has twenty years of experience with innovative projects in the fields of design, motion graphics production and software development. His technical leadership has resulted in many pioneering and award winning products. Mr. Kovacs is currently an advisor to several Santa Barbara based startups and a consultant to ventures in the entertainment and technology sectors nationwide.
Mr. Kovacs began his career as an Associate with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, one of the largest architectural firms in the world. He was one of the senior members of the in-house team that created Skidmore’s computer aided design system and participated in the use of that system on several very large scale commercial projects.
In 1979, Mr. Kovacs signed on as technical director with Robert Abel and Associates, the leading animation Graphics Company in Hollywood. During his tenure there, he participated in several high-profile commercial and feature film projects including “Star Trek I” and the groundbreaking film “Tron”. He was the recipient of 2 Clio awards for his television commercial work. Later, as Vice President of Research and Development for Robert Abel and Associates, Mr. Kovacs supervised the development of one of the first raster graphics systems used for commercial production.
In 1984, Mr. Kovacs founded Wavefront Technologies, a company which quickly became one of the world’s leading producers of high-end 3D animation software for film and video production. In addition to leading the software development team, he was a member of the Wavefront Board of Directors and Chairman of the Academic Advisory Panel. In 1994 Wavefront became a public company and was subsequently purchased by Silicon Graphics, a leading manufacturer of high performance graphics workstations for 138 million dollars.
In 1998 Mr. Kovacs received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of his technical leadership of the Wavefront software team. In that same year, he was voted “Innovator of the Year” by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Kovacs was recently the Chief Technical Officer for REZN8 productions in Hollywood and is now a founding Partner with Instant Effects in Santa Barbara. Mr. Kovacs holds a Bachelors Degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master’s Degree from Yale University. He has been a frequent lecturer on computer graphics worldwide and has been a conference presenter and active committee member with both SIGGRAPH and the National Computer Graphics Association.