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Computer Graphics Pioneer Robert Abel Dies

After an illustrious career in visual effects spanning more than 30 years, computer graphics pioneer Robert Abel passed away on Sunday, September 23, 2001. A legend in the visual effects community, Robert Abel was responsible for early innovations in computer graphics and special effects. In 1971 he founded Robert Abel and Associates with friend and collaborator Con Pederson. He began his early groundbreaking work in vector graphics and created the first motion-capture system in 1984. Bob later worked extensively in raster graphics that birthed 3D computer graphics as we know them today. The pixel-based raster code was developed by Bill Kovacs, Con Pederson, Roy Hall, Richard Hollander and Michael Wahrman through a division of the company called Abel Image Research. Robert Abel worked with some of the finest professionals in the business and many former Abel animators and directors have gone on to start up or work for high quality CGI companies, including Rhythm and Hues, Metrolight and Sony Imageworks. Memorial services for Robert Abel will be held Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent on Bobs behalf to the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.

Read more about the early days of special effects in Talking With Con Pederson.