Dr. Marc Hannah: The Computer Scientist Who Brought Worlds to Life


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Sometimes an inventor designs a device for a specific purpose. Sometimes it’s to try something new. But successful inventions often shape industries beyond those they initially intended. Dr. Marc Hannah built an invention with far bigger effects than anyone could have imagined—like bringing dinosaurs to life, building liquid robots, and letting the Titanic set sail one more time.

Raqi Syed gives some context on the evolution of special effects in the movie industry. Mark Grossman explains how the graphics world was more than ready for an upgrade. Tom Davis recounts the difficulties that he and his team had getting people to understand what was possible with the Geometry Engine. Luckily, Steve “Spaz” Williams defied his bosses and showed them its power to bring worlds to life, starting with Jurassic Park. Camille Cellucci explains that from then on, everything changed for the movie industry—and for the broader world of graphics.

For more on the history of computer graphics, Mark Grossman recommends this post.

Steve "Spaz" Williams shared a short doc about the making of Jurassic Park.

If you want to read up on some of our research on Dr. Marc Hannah, you can check out all our bonus material over at redhat.com/commandlineheroes.

Follow along with the episode transcript.

54 episodes