Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Torsten Reil, 29

Employs simulations of human movement to create realistically animated characters

NaturalMotion

It might be surprising to find a biologist pushing the frontiers of computer animation. But Torsten Reil is bringing cheaper, lifelike digital characters to video games and films. As a doctoral researcher in neural systems at the University of Oxfrd, Reil programmed computer simulations that mimicked human and animal movement, and in 2001 he cofounded NaturalMotion in Oxford, England, to commercialize that work. To create characters that move realistically, conventional animators draw extensive series of frames that are played back- repetitively- in set sequences. But Reil wrote software that an animator uses to program a nervous system for a character he or she draws just once. The code makes the character’s body obey the laws of physics and react automatically to changing on-screen situations. NaturalMotion’s first product is already saving game developers and visual-effects companies thousands of dollars by accelerating animation, Reil says. Look for his characters in the upcoming Hollywood epic Troy. Reil recently won a grant from the British government to model the gaits of children with cerebral palsy, to help doctors determine the neurological basis of the disorder.

2003 TR35 Winners

Geoffrey Barrows

Gives unmanned reconnaissance planes insect vision

Serafim Batzoglou

Devises powerful tools for assembling and analyzing genomes

Cynthia Breazeal

Constructs robots whose expressive faces convey humanlike emotions

Ian Clarke

Pioneered software that delivers Web files quickly, anonymously

Andre DeHon

Designs architectures needed to build practical molecular computers

Daniel Gottesman

Works to improve quantum computers so they can speed drug design and perform other massive computing tasks

Kathryn Guarini

Fabricates three-dimensional integrated circuits that could vastly increase computer power

Vic Gundotra

Sparked Microsofts change to .Net

Andrew Heafitz

Invented inexpensive rocket-based surveillance systems

Steven Hofmeyr

Devised software that roots out security threats to a networks operating system

Mike Horton

Engineers tiny sensors that can be spread like crumbs around a battlefield or factory

Ayanna Howard

Writes programs that more intelligently guide actions of robots

Kevin Lee

Integrates photonics and electronics on chips to speed telecommunications

Desmond Lim

Develops high-volume manufacturing lines for making optical chips into commodities

Michael OConnor

Designed an automated tractor steering system that is saving farmers bushels of money

Joe Pompei

Delivers "spotlights" of sound for use in concerts, museums, and automobiles

Jovan Popovic

Makes simpler, more powerful animation tools for novices and professionals

Thomas Reardon

Tailors Internet application to cell phones

Torsten Reil

Employs simulations of human movement to create realistically animated characters

Heike Riel

Built large, bright, organic video displays using materials dismissed by contemporaries

Maximilian Riesenhuber

Programs computers to recognize objects the way the human brain does

Linda Rottenberg

Helps entrepreneurs in emerging nations turn innovations into business

Ted Sargent

Fashions photonic circuits that could speed voice and data to homes

Tim Sibley

Serves up customized audio and video gems

Alex Vasilescu

Transforms computers ability to recognize human faaces

Lorraine Wheeler

Codes software that makes handheld computers handier

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto

Builds brain-imaging machines that are faster and cheaper than magnetic-resonance imaging equipment

Advertisement

More Innovators Under 35: