Brian Wyvill

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Brian Wyvill
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  • Computer scientist
  • Author

Dr. Brian "Blob" Wyvill is a Canadian computer scientist and author who is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Victoria. He was a vice-president of ACM SIGGRAPH from 2013-2020. He is regarded as a pioneer in the field of implicit modelling for computer graphics and animations. His most prominent contributions include developing the first implicit surface polygonizer with his brother Geoff Wyvill and the BlobTree, a single unified structure for representing both the topology and geometry of complex implicit models[1][2].

Education and Career

After attending the University of London and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970, he completed his doctorate in computer graphics in 1975 from Bradford University[3] Wyvill was soon after granted a Research Fellowship at the Royal College of Art where he helped build a computer animation system for computer animation company System Simulation that would be used in the 20th Century Fox film, Alien (film)[4]. This film won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects|Academy Award for Best Visual Effect, along with may other awards and nominations[5]. During the production of this film, after learning he would be left out of the credits, he managed to cleverly credit himself through one of the animations he worked on in the film[4].

He then spent four years as an industrial consultant working with organizations such the British Home Office and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Subsequently, he became a professor at the University of Calgary in 1981 and held this position until 2006. It was during this stint that he, along with his brother Geoff Wyvill and other students and researchers, built the Graphicsland research group (later became Graphics Jungle) in the university's computer science department[6]. In 2007, he began serving as a faculty member at the University of Victoria, where he held a Canada Research Chair for seven years[7], and continues to work with the university in the computer science department as of 2021.

Also in 2007, he began the Canadian Eurographics chapter and its first conference was the same year in Banff, Alberta[8].


With over 100 academic publications as an author, Wyvill has contributed significant research in the computer science field, primarily surrounding his breakthroughs in computer animations and more specifically, implicit modelling[9][10]. Along with his brother Geoff in 1980s, he introduced the concept of soft objects[2] and created the first polygonizer for iso-surfaces in volume data and implicit models[3]. Later Wyvill and Kees van Overveld published a method known as Shrinkwrap, which uses a local Lipschitz constant to find the minimum edge length to ensure there is no sign change in the field[11]. In the late 1990s, he developed an extension to the CSG tree, which is the data structure for representing solid three-dimensional animations, to include implicit models in the data structure[3]. This extension is known as the BlobTree and has become a widely popular method for organizing data with implicit modelling[3][1].

Theatre and Writing

Wyvill has been involved in acting since a child and in studied theatre whilst attending Bradford University in 1971. He has experience in acting, directing, and writing in a great amount of productions[3][12][13].

His catalogue of stage roles includes performing Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (adapted from the book by Charles Dickens) and The Captain in Kalaedoscope (by Ray Bradbury). He has also acted in many Shakespearian productions through the Rocky Mountain Shakespeare Company[12].

He has also written many plays, including Thirteenth Night, Belle and the Bet, The Outhouse, and The Wizard of Os[13]. The latter production is loosely based on the infamous Wizard of Oz|The Wizard of Oz, with Wyvill serving as director in it's 1999 performance with the Univeristy of Calgary[12].

Along with his academic and stage writing, he has become an author in fictional novels. In 2018, he wrote The Second Gate, a historical naval fiction novel published through Thunderchild Publishing and plans on releasing another novel in the same genre later in 2021[14].

Awards and Honors

  • Canada Research Chair (2007-2013)[7]
  • 2011 Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award[3]
  • 2012 Eurographics Fellow[8]
  • 2019 Canadian Information Processing Society Hall of Fame, Honorary Fellow[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wyvill, Brian; Guy, Andrew; Galin, Eric (1999). "Extending the CSG Tree. Warping, Blending and Boolean Operations in an Implicit Surface Modeling System". Computer Graphics Forum. 18 (2): 149–158. doi:10.1111/1467-8659.00365. ISSN 1467-8659.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wyvill, Geoff; McPheeters, Craig; Wyvill, Brian (1986). "Data structure forsoft objects". The Visual Computer. 2 (4): 227–234. doi:10.1007/BF01900346. ISSN 0178-2789.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Brian Wyvill • Graphics Interface". Graphics Interface. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Antics". Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  5. Alien - IMDb, retrieved 2021-09-23
  6. "Brian Wyvill". Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "ProActive Disclosure for the Canada Research Chairs (2007)" (PDF). Government of Canada.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "New Fellows 2012 – Eurographics". Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  9. "Brian M Wyvill - Publications". Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  10. "dblp: Search for "brian wyvill"". Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  11. "Implicit Modelling Papers". Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Wyvill, Brian. "Theatre Resume" (PDF). Retrieved September 22, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Plays". BRIAN WYVILL. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  14. "Books". BRIAN WYVILL. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  15. "Hall of Fame – CIPS". Retrieved 2021-09-23.

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