About the Author
John Knoll is visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic, three-time Academy Award nominee for his visual effects work, and a creator of the world-changing digital image manipulation application Adobe Photoshop. Hired by Industrial Light & Magic as a technical assistant in 1986, Knoll was soon promoted to effects camera operator for Captain EO. After three years of motion control camera work, Knoll was called upon to work on the ground breaking digital effects for The Abyss. Since that time, Knoll has been promoted to visual effects supervisor helming the visual effects for more than twenty feature films and commercials. His film background coupled with his advanced understanding of digital technologies has made him a very sought after visual effects supervisor with three Academy Award nominations for his work. Knoll's interest in filmmaking began at an early age. Having a keen interest in visual effects, Knoll was mesmerized by the original Star Wars. During a visit to ILM in 1978 he was able to observe first-hand the world of visual effects. Inspired to learn more, Knoll attended the USC Film School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Production, while freelancing as a modelmaker at a variety of LA based production facilities. During his last year at USC, Knoll took an advanced animation class where he built a motion control system from an Oxberry animation stand, an Apple II computer, a CNC milling machine controller, and a bunch of industrial surplus stepper motors. Impressed by the student film that was generated from this class project, ILM hired Knoll as a technical assistant for motion control photography. Greatly impressed by visits to ILM's newly founded computer graphics department, Knoll took up computer graphics as a hobby. Teaming up with his brother who was working on his Doctoral Thesis in computer vision at the University of Michigan, the Knoll brothers created Photoshop in 1987.