David Salesin '83
Under Banchoff's direction, David and Steve Fiener developed the DIAL
animation scripting language. This was published in 1982 as
A Diagrammatic Animation Language.
After Brown, David went on to work at Lucasfilm and Pixar, and then to study
at Stanford, where he received his Ph.D. in 1991. After a visiting
professorship at Cornell University, he is now teaching at the University
of Washington, where he received the "Teacher of the Year" award in 1998.
David H. Salesin, an associate professor of computer science and
engineering at the University of Washington here, saw where computer
animation was headed in the 1980s, while he was working at Lucasfilm and
Pixar, two of the industry's giants. Three years ago, he started a
two-quarter, interdisciplinary course in computer animation, working with
colleagues from his days in the animation industry and with faculty members
in the university's schools of art and music. Silicon Graphics and other
technology companies equipped a state-of-the-art multimedia laboratory.
Mr. Salesin, is studying ways of rendering that are realistic but not
overtly photographic, creating a painterly style. "That's a nice way to
tell stories," he says. "By having things be less precise, you have more
room for viewers to insert their own associations." He is also working to
improve animated renderings of human faces to achieve more-convincing
During his career, David consulted for numerous computer companies, and even
founded two of his own. He is now Senior Researcher in the Document
Processing & Understanding Group at Microsoft Research.
Some on-line resources about David include: