Ian Stephenson

Happy to make the final 2

Favourite Thing: Make Stuff!



University of York


MEng & DPhil in Electronics

Work History:

Cambrige Animation Systems (we wrote software for 2D animation including Space Jam, Prince of Egypt, and Iron Giant)

Current Job:

Lecturer and Researcher


National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA)/Bournemouth University

Me and my work

I figure out how to do computer graphics for movies.

I work at the National Centre for Computer Animation (which is part of Bournemouth University). There we figure out how to make better 3d computer graphics, which ultimately find their ways into films and games.

I’m personally interested in the way the images get drawn for animated films, and special effects in movies.

My Typical Day

Lots of computers, and lots of emails!

Most of my time is spent either writing code, or teaching (people I’ve taught at the NCCA are now working on films all over the world).

A big chunk of my time is just keeping an eye out for anything that might be useful. The great thing about computer graphics and special effects is that you never know whats going to be useful.  I know that however strange something I see might appear, at some point I’ll get to use it on a project.

What I'd do with the money

Buy an army of robots and send them to invade schools

Programming is core to what I do, but its also really fun. Even artists in the animation industry program a little bit, so we’ve been doing  a lot of work in schools to get people programming.  I’d put together kits for small programmable robots (based on arduino’s, and send then out to schools. I think it might be possible to put together around 40 or more kits, so loads of people would get a chance to use them

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Curious, Argumentative,

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Van Halen (am I showing my age here?)

What's your favourite food?

BBQ Pork Ribs

What is the most fun thing you've done?

What did you want to be after you left school?

A computer programmer

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

yes. constantly…

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I figured out a way to do motion blur, that got used on some really big movies.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

An architect

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Tell us a joke.

“I used to think correlation meant causality, but since I took that statistic course I don’t anymore”….”Sound’s like the course really helped!”…”Well maybe…”

Other stuff

Work photos:

It’s a bit messy right now…. myimage1