BiographyCleveland, Ohio, USA
One of the genuine visionaries of Digital Computer Graphics and Visual Effects. From the early 1970s through the mid-80s, the Hollywood-based studio Robert Abel & Associates (RA&A) pushed the leading -- sometimes bleeding -- edge of visual effects. Working primarily in television advertising, (the only consistent market for such work at the time) RA&A created 33 Clio Award-winning commercials, including the dazzling 7Up "Uncola" spots and the influential CG "Sexy Robot." This body of work, as noted by New York's Museum of Modern Art, "changed television forever. Read more... "was the "father" of computer graphics, John Whitney Sr.. Working with an analog computer strapped to a camera, Abel happened accidentally upon a look that evolved into the 'slit scan' effect used in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). His friend Con Pederson, who pursued the technique in that film's famous 'stargate' sequence, would eventually become Abel's first partner. By the time the pair set up shop in 1971, Abel had become an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, with credits as varied as Making of the President 1968 (1969) and Mad Dogs & Englishmen (1971). The first visual effects job which the fledgling studio produced was the now-famous Whirlpool "streak" logo, which opened the door to assignments in TV graphics, commercials and films. Abel and Pederson were joined early on by Richard Taylor, and the list of accomplished effects experts who worked at RA&A would grow over the years to include -- among many -- Richard Edlund, Richard E. Hollander, Robert Legato, Mark Stetson and John Hughes.