Robert L. Cook

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Robert L. Cook
Born (1952-12-10) December 10, 1952 (age 71)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science

Robert L. Cook (December 10, 1952) is a computer graphics researcher and developer, and the co-creator of the RenderMan rendering software. His contributions are considered to be highly influential in the field of animated arts.[2][3]

In 2009, Cook was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for building the motion picture industry's standard rendering tool.

Cook was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and educated at Duke University and Cornell University. While at Cornell, Cook worked with Donald P. Greenberg.


  • B.S. in physics, 1973, Duke University, N.C.
  • M.S. in computer graphics, 1981, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.


Robert Cook at Stanford University in February 2010.

Robert Cook was involved with Lucasfilm and later had the position as Vice President of Software Development at Pixar Animation Studios, which he left in 1989.[4] In November 2016, he became the Commissioner of the Technology Transformation Service of the U.S. General Services Administration.[5]

Computer Animation Rendering[edit]


  • 1987, ACM SIGGRAPH Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the fields of computer graphics and visual effects.
  • 1992, Scientific and Engineering Award for the development of "RenderMan" software which produces images used in motion pictures from 3D computer descriptions of shape and appearance.[2]
  • 1999, Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.[6]
  • 2000, Academy Award of Merit (Oscar) for significant advancements to the field of motion picture rendering as exemplified in Pixar's RenderMan. Their broad professional influence in the industry continues to inspire and contribute to the advancement of computer-generated imagery for motion pictures.[2]
  • GATF InterTech Award
  • MacWorld World Class Award
  • Seybold Award for Excellence
  • 2009, The Steven Anson Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics
  • 2009, Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


  1. ^ "Rob Cook - Commissioner, TTS". U.S. General Services Administration. Archived from the original on 2017-05-14. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  2. ^ a b c "Rob Cook". Academy Awards Database. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  3. ^ "Once a Physicist: Rob Cook". Institute of Physics. 2017-02-06.
  4. ^ Former Pixar Exec Heads to GSA's Technology Transformation Service
  5. ^ "Former Pixar Exec Rob Cook Named GSA Tech Transformation Service Chief". ExecutiveGov. 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  6. ^ "Robert L Cook". ACM Fellows. ACM. 1999. Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2010-01-23. Cook invented Monte-Carlo rendering methods for antialiasing, motion blur, depth-of-field, glossy reflections, and translucency. Cook pioneered shading languages and physics-based shading, and co-authored the Renderman software.