Paul Debevec's digital inventions have powered the breathtaking visual effects in films like The Matrix, Superman Returns, King Kong and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Why you should listen

Called "Hollywood's Master of Light" by MIT's Technology Review, Paul Debevec leads the Graphics Laboratory at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, where he directs the development of the Light Stage systems, which capture and simulate how people and objects appear in real-world illumination.

His work on lighting digital objects has been used in films like X-Men, The Golden Compass and Terminator: Salvation. He leads the design of HDR Shop, the first high-dynamic-range image editing program. He has collaborated with TEDster Golan Levin on an interactive art installation called Rouen Revisited.

What others say

“By creating more accurate artificial lighting on a computer, he says, his team is "giving filmmakers more flexibility" in their shots and more efficient ways to generate effects. Which means time and money saved on shooting, editing, and drawing graphics-not to mention more convincing results.” — Gregory T. Huang, Technology Review

Paul Debevec’s TED talk