SAN FRANCISCO — Lucasfilm Ltd. Has promoted John Knoll to chief creative officer of Industrial Light & Magic (www.ilm.com). Knoll joined the company in 1986 and has served as a visual effects supervisor since 1991. He will serve alongside ILM president Lynwen Brennan in his new role.
“I am thrilled that Lynwen asked me to take on this new role,” says Knoll. “I am fortunate to work at a company as stable as ILM where we can focus our energy on the creative and continue to be able to bring together the right mix of talent and technology to keep ILM on the cutting edge.”
Well known for co-creating Photoshop with his brother Thomas, Knoll has been a driving force of innovation at ILM for years. In 1996 he founded the Rebel (Mac) Unit at ILM, a creative incubator for fine artists and software developers to define working methodologies and advance the state of the art. This lead to the development of a variety of breakthrough techniques including some of the earliest examples of digital compositing for The Abyss, a tool to recreate optical lens flares in the digital realm first used on Hook and a host of advanced digital camera projection techniques.
Knoll was also a key contributor to the development of ILM’s on-set performance capture technology, Imocap, which saw its first use on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. In 2012, he was elected to the Academy’s Board of Governors, representing the visual effects branch, and is a four-time Academy Award nominee. In 2007 he won both the Oscar and the BAFTA for Best Visual Effects for his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Currently, Knoll is wrapping up work as VFX supervisor on Guillermo del Toro’s science fiction epic, Pacific Rim, set to open on July 12.