In addition to sharing more than 20 papers and demos at SIGGRAPH 2011 inVancouver this week, Disney Research also announced several organizational updates designed to further strengthen the group’s strategic direction and academic connection.

Following on to the recent announcement of its new lab opening in Boston, Massachusetts, Disney Research has shared that its current leader, Joe Marks, will be moving to Boston to assume direct leadership and oversight of the new lab. The move enables Marks to be more deeply involved with the lab’s work in the areas of social and behavioral sciences, data analytics, and media, while strengthening its ties to the local research community in Boston.

Starting with one lab at Pixar, we have grown in three years to being the leading research organization in the media & entertainment industry. We brought in Joe to help expand our capabilities, and it’s great to now see the fruits of this expansion, both in academic publications and, more importantly, in various commercial applications from movies to theme-park attractions.
Ed Catmull, President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios

“I’m looking forward to starting the new group and also to getting directly involved in some research projects myself for the first time in several years,” said Marks. “And as Disney Research evolves out of ‘start-up’ mode and becomes more operational in nature, this move comes at the right time for me as well.” Marks was also recently named a Disney Research Fellow in recognition of his contributions to and advancement of Disney’s research practice.

In addition, Disney announced the formalization of its own internal Disney Research Council, a Companywide advisory group commissioned to advance the long-range strategic direction of Disney Research, while identifying both common and unique research opportunities across The Walt Disney Company.  The group will also work to ensure its continued connection and partnership with the academic and research community.

Disney Research is currently sharing numerous papers and demos at SIGGRAPH 2011, including research on motion capture from body-mounted cameras, artistic volumetric rendering, and surround-haptic interaction.

About Disney Research

Disney Research is a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company. Its purpose is to pursue scientific, and technological innovation to advance the Company’s broad media and entertainment efforts. Disney Research is managed by an internal Disney Research Council co-chaired by Disney-Pixar’s Ed Catmull and Walt Disney Imagineering’s Bruce Vaughn, and including the directors of the individual labs. It has facilities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Boston, and Zurich.  Research topics include Computer Graphics, Video Processing, Computer Vision, Robotics, Radio and Antennas, Wireless Communications, Human-Computer Interaction, and Behavioral Sciences, with developing competency in areas such as data mining and displays.