On February 7, 2015, at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, a Scientific and Technical Academy Award® was presented to the three principal developers of SpeedTree®: IDV co-founders Michael Sechrest and Chris King, and Senior Software Architect Greg Croft.
In selecting SpeedTree for this honor, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wrote:
“This software substantially improves an artist’s ability to create specifically designed trees and vegetation by combining a procedural building process with the flexibility of intuitive, direct manipulation of every detail.”
SpeedTree use has been confirmed in dozens of major films since the software was featured prominently in 2009’s Avatar, which received nine Oscar® nominations and three Oscars. Several other Oscar-winning and -nominated films have featured SpeedTree, including The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as blockbusters like The Avengers, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3, and Maleficent.
Michael, Chris, and Greg would like to acknowledge the contributions of the entire IDV staff, past and present. Most notably:
Kevin Meredith: Our business development lead and chief evangelist from the very beginning, Kevin has been instrumental in spreading the word and leading our transition from video games to films.
Steve Klipowicz: Steve poured his heart and soul into SpeedTree Cinema. Contributions include creating our entire tree library up to 2012, supporting ILM artists in matching Avatar concept art, helping to shape the look and feel of the user interface, and much more.
Sonia Piasecki: As lead artist, Sonia has a profound impact on the success of SpeedTree Cinema v7 through her vegetation modeling, interface artwork, end-user training, and product support.
Richard Robinson: Richard mentored Michael and Chris through forming and growing IDV and SpeedTree for the last 15 years. He is a constant reminder to the founders that there's more to running a successful business than coding!
Watch the demo reel we presented to the Academy in making the case for SpeedTree: