Kevin Beason     Los Angeles, CA

Develop excellent software. I'm mainly interested in computer graphics but am open to other challenges.

Sr. Software Engineer, Rhythm & Hues Studios May 2014 - present
Developing software for our studio to assist artists with rendering. Primarly achieved by supporting the studio's large software library, developing shaders and plugins for Arnold, Nuke, and Houdini, and by updating our lighting tool. Tasks include:
  • Arnold - Maintenance of in-house and 3rd-party shaders, version updating and testing
  • alShaders - Customized open-source shaders to decompose AOVs by light and reflection type, importance sampling fix, reduced memory for alHair
  • Crom/Fosfor - Maintain our in-house node-based lighting package which generates scene files for Arnold and submits jobs to the render farm
  • Queue - Increased memory utilization on our rendering farm
  • Nuke - Fixed a variety of issues in our scripts and plugins, including an unusably slow geometry reader
  • Pipeline - Performed user-requested updates to ingestion pipeline for geometry and textures
  • Sysadmin - Diagnosed and resolved incompatibility in PXE network booting on latest CPUs
  • RenderMan - Measured time and space costs for REYES and RIS, shader bug fixes, fur comparison
  • Houdini - Migrating plugin library to new version

Software Engineer, Rhythm & Hues Studios Jan 2006 - May 2014
Worked on a small team developing a proprietary software renderer used for visual effects in feature films and commercials. Interacted with artists to address rendering issues. Maintained and supported irradiance caching, subsurface scattering, shadow mapping, photon mapping, and displacement. Highlights:
  • Added multi-threaded rendering mode. Efficient parallelization of the pixel loop, shading, subsurface scattering, deep shadows, photon maps, irradiance cache, shading cache, hair reflection cache, etc.
  • Extended irradiance cache with gradients, neighbor clamping, smoothing, and stable placement.
  • Added adaptive sampler, reduced caustic noise, implemented deterministic sampling techniques.
  • Prototyped Open Shading Language support.
  • Ported hair shaders to Houdini.
  • Migrated department software codebase to new compilers and architectures.
Research Assistant, Dept. of C.S.I.T., Florida State University 2002 - 2005
Implemented a global illumination renderer. Adapted it for precomputed illumination of levelsets of 2D and 3D scalar heightfields for my thesis. Developed scientific visualizations (including brain, neuron, molecular dynamics, and steam cleaning) for use in a variety of publications. Developed software tools, managed a student assistant, and assisted others with programming and graphics problems.

Webmaster, Dept. of Mathematics, Florida State University 1997 - 2002
Two major site redesigns, plus two additional websites for other departments. Wrote software to provide site-wide visual consistency. Coded several secure, interactive web-based applications (Perl CGIs). Installed apache, proftpd, webinator. Provided web-related technical assistance, poster design, photography, configuration, and backup.

Other Programming Jobs
XML site indexing and news script, Dept. of C.S.I.T., Florida State University 2001
C++ scientific instrument output formatter, Dept. of Geology, Florida State University 1998
Java calculation tools and plot fitting, Dept. of Physics (Nuclear Lab), Florida State University 1997
Pascal mail processing control modification, Rose Printing 1996 - 1997

Languages C++, Perl, Python, C, bash, tcsh, MATLAB
Libraries STL, Boost Threads, pthreads, gdb, veclib (SSE), cvalarray, OpenMP
Tools git, CVS, gperftools, valgrind, helgrind, Makefiles
APIs Inventor, Open Shading Language, Arnold, Nuke, RenderMan, Houdini, IRay, OpenEXR
Web Programming HTML, JavaScript, CGI, PHP, MySQL, Java, XML, SSI, Apache

M.S. Computer Science, Florida State University 2000 - 2005
B.S. Computer Science, Florida State University 1995 - 2000
Minors in Mathematics, Physics

Kevin M. Beason Precomputed Global Illumination of Isosurfaces. Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations (Florida State University), 2005.

Kevin M. Beason, Josh Grant, David C. Banks, Brad Futch, M. Yousuff Hussaini. Pre-Computed Illumination for Isosurfaces. Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis, 2006.

David C. Banks, Kevin M. Beason. Retro-rendering with Vector-Valued Light: Producing Local Illumination from the Transport Equation. Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis, 2006.

Kayne M. Smith, David C. Banks, Neil Druckmann, Kevin Beason, and M. Yousuff Hussaini. Clustered Ensemble Averaging: A Technique for Visualizing Qualitative Features of Stochastic Simulations Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience, 2006.

David C. Banks, Kevin Beason. Pre-computed global illumination of MR and DTI data. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 14th Scientific Meeting, 2006.

David C. Banks, Kevin Beason. Fast global illumination for visualizing isosurfaces with a 3d illumination grid. Computing in Science & Engineering, 2007.

David C. Banks, Kevin Beason. Decoupling illumination from isosurface generation using 4D light transport. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2009.

Ivan Neulander, Toshi Kato, and Kevin Beason. Rendering fur in Life of Pi. ACM SIGGRAPH 2013 Talks (SIGGRAPH '13), 2013.

smallpt Tiny path tracer that renders the Cornell Box in 99 lines of C++.
Pane Physically based renderer in C++ and Open Inventor. Features path tracing and progressive photon mapping. Octree, KD-tree, and BIH ray acceleration. Triangle, sphere, levelset, distance field, instance, and IFS intersection. Area and HDRI environment lighting with MIS. Multi threading, pixel filtering, motion blur, and irradiance caching. Tone-, texture-, bump-, and displacement- mapping. Glare, participating media, blackbody emission, spectral rendering, and procedural noise. Diffuse, specular, Schlick, Ashikhmin and Shirley, and measured BRDFs.
Fluid 2D & 3D fluid simulator and visualization. Features vorticity confinement, vortex particles, thermal cooling, texture warping, and interactive volume rendering.
subd Subdivision surface generator.
Work Log Ray tracing development blog.
DeviantArt IFS fractal renderings.

Honors and Awards
FSU ACM Programming Contest, 1st Place 1997, 2004 (Spr.), 2004 (Fall), 2005
FSU ACM Programming Contest, 2nd Place 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003
ACM Southeastern Regional Programming Contest, 6th Place2001
ACM Southeastern Regional Programming Contest, 12th Place1998
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship1995 - 2000
Dean's List1995 - 1997
MCI Scholarship, FSU Dept. of C.S.1999
Member, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Honor Society in the Computing Sciences2000

ACM SIGGRAPH2000 - 2014
Symposium on Interactive Ray Tracing, Los Angeles, CA2008
ACM OOPSLA, Tampa, FL2001
Atlanta Linux Conference, Atlanta, GA2000