Software R&D Lead at Blizzard Entertainment, Oscar Recepient 2017 – Vfx Effects

Dr. Parag Havaldar is an Academy Award winning computer scientist, a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, and is experienced in software technologies for a variety of digital entertainment initiatives that involve 3D computer graphics, computer vision and imaging, machine learning, media compression, streaming and distribution. He has held various industry positions leading engineering teams to pioneer visual effects, animation and gaming technologies for companies such as SONY Pictures, Activision-Blizzard.

These technologies proved pivotal in the creation of digital characters in many movies such as the Amazing Spiderman series, Robert Zemeckis’s Beowulf, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, and many more.  In 2017 the Academy of Motion Pictures presented Dr. Parag Havaldar a Technical Achievement Award for his “pioneering work on expression based facial performance capture technology, which enabled the creation and animation of realistic digital characters at a large scale for the motion pictures industry”. Currently, Parag is part of the technical leadership at Blizzard Entertainment advancing cinematic technology efforts for prominent game franchises such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone.

Parag also serves as an adjunct faculty member of Computer Science in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has published numerous technical papers at international conferences, been awarded several patents in performance capture for cinematic content creation, stereoscopic cinema creation, media compression. He is frequently invited to lecture about topics in media and animation technologies at international conferences and industry events. He has also published university adopted textbooks in multimedia, graphics, compression and distribution.

Parag Havaldar received a Phd in computer vision & graphics from the University of Southern California, and a BTech in Computer Science from IIT Kharagpur.