If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Getting to know Eben Ostby

Follow the career journey of Pixar computer graphics expert, Eben Ostby! Eben shares how he created Andy's neighborhood and Scud the dog in Toy Story using linear algebra, and he shares some of his hobbies like fixing cameras and taking road trips.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

- When I started college, computer graphics was a really primitive medium at that point. It was plotter graphics and we had a device at our computer lab that allowed you to draw a picture with lines and so that's where I learned about geometric transformations and linear algebra and the things that go into CG because we had this device and I wanted to draw pictures on it. When I started at Pixar, I got a summer job doing what you would now call IT, which was what we called the Systems Group. I kept one of the four computers that we had in the main computer room. I helped keep it running, and in my off hours, I got to use the CG lab that had a handful of image computing devices in it. Because I was really interested in that, I had spent more and more time there and when there was some work to be done in the graphics side of things, I did that, that was really fun. I built most of Andy's neighborhood with some help from some other people who built a few houses. I created the street and the road and I dressed the trees in and I worked with somebody to make the trees renderable. I also built Scud, the dog. Scud started as a big sculpture and sculpey of a big dog and we had to figure out a way of wrapping a surface, a CG surface around Scud and making it all kind of connect, and then articulate, make it move, get the controls in so the animators could move it, and then work with another people to put color on him and fur on him. I will spend a Saturday taking apart a camera, taking all the old grease out and making it work again, maybe making new parts of some of the old ones that are broken and putting it back together, or I'll go on a road trip and take pictures 'cause there's nothing better than road trips and cameras.