Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro

Research Scientist
Institute for Creative Technologies

Ari Shapiro has nearly two decades of professional experience in the computer field as an engineer, consultant, manager and scientist. He currently works as a research scientist at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, where his focus is on synthesizing realistic animation for virtual characters.

At ICT, he heads the team for the SmartBody application, which serves as an animation system for synchronizing speech, facial animation, body motion and gesturing for many of ICT’s real time virtual human systems.

For several years, he worked on character animation tools and algorithms in the research and development departments of visual effects and video games companies such as Industrial Light and Magic, LucasArts and Rhythm and Hues Studios. He has worked on many feature-length films, and holds film credits in The Incredible Hulk and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. In addition, he holds video games credits in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series.

Shapiro has published many academic articles in the field of computer graphics in animation for virtual characters, and is a five-time SIGGRAPH speaker.

He completed his Ph.D. in computer science at UCLA in 2007 in the field of computer graphics with a dissertation on character animation using motion capture, physics and machine learning. He also holds an M.S. in computer science from UCLA, and a B.A. in computer science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.