Alain Fournier

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Alain Fournier (1943–2000) was a computer graphics researcher.

Computer graphics graphics created using computers

Computer graphics are pictures and films created using computers. Usually, the term refers to computer-generated image data created with the help of specialized graphical hardware and software. It is a vast and recently developed area of computer science. The phrase was coined in 1960, by computer graphics researchers Verne Hudson and William Fetter of Boeing. It is often abbreviated as CG, though sometimes erroneously referred to as computer-generated imagery (CGI).



Alain Fournier was born on November 5, 1943, in Lyon, France. He was married twice, first to Beverly Bickle (married 1968, divorced 1984) and later to Adrienne Drobnies, with whom he had one daughter, Ariel.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

Fournier's early training was in chemistry, culminating in a B.Sc. from INSA, France in 1965. After emigrating from France to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the 1970s, he co-wrote a textbook on chemistry, and taught the subject in Quebec. His career in computer graphics spanned only about 20 years. In 1980 he received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas under the supervision of Zvi Meir Kedem, and with Donald Fussell and Loren Carpenter reported the results of his Ph.D. work on stochastic modelling in a seminal paper in 1980. He then went on to an outstanding academic career, first at the University of Toronto as part of the Dynamic Graphics Project and subsequently at the University of British Columbia. He has contributed to ACM Transactions on Graphics as an author, as co-guest editor of a special issue in 1987, and, from 1990 to 1992, as an associate editor.

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Fournier made contributions to computer graphics dealing with modelling of natural phenomena. He advocated a methodology that required validation against real visual phenomena. He once called his approach impressionistic graphics and it both revolutionized the field and drove it forward. An example is his beautiful paper (with Bill Reeves) on the depiction of ocean waves. His subsequent work dealt with illumination models, light transport, rendering, and sampling and filtering.

William Reeves (animator) Canadian animator and technical director

William "Bill" Reeves is a Canadian animator and technical director known for working with John Lasseter on the animated shorts Luxo Jr. and The Adventures of André and Wally B.

Rendering (computer graphics) The process of generating an image from a model

Rendering or image synthesis is the automatic process of generating a photorealistic or non-photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model by means of computer programs. Also, the results of displaying such a model can be called a render. A scene file contains objects in a strictly defined language or data structure; it would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information as a description of the virtual scene. The data contained in the scene file is then passed to a rendering program to be processed and output to a digital image or raster graphics image file. The term "rendering" may be by analogy with an "artist's rendering" of a scene.

Fournier died of lymphoma in the early hours of August 14, 2000, in Vancouver.

Lymphoma hematologic cancer that affects lymphocytes that reside in the lymphatic system and in blood-forming organs

Lymphoma is a group of blood cancers that develop from lymphocytes. The name often refers to just the cancerous versions rather than all such tumors. Signs and symptoms may include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, drenching sweats, unintended weight loss, itching, and constantly feeling tired. The enlarged lymph nodes are usually painless. The sweats are most common at night.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Roughly 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city.

The Siggraph 2001 Proceedings were dedicated to Fournier.

The first Alain Fournier Award for the best Canadian doctoral dissertation in computer graphics was awarded to Michael P. Neff on June 8, 2006, at the Graphics Interface 2006 conference in Quebec City.


Fournier published 32 scholarly papers about computer graphics.

Bibliography for Alain Fournier


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