Before forming effectivus Chris Steele worked for Parallax Software where he developed Matador. Parallax Software was purchased by Avid Technology in 1995.
Matador was an innovative paint and 2D animation software package for the television and film industries. It was the first to offer an automation system, first to offer paint animation, and the first to use a RAM based 64bit framestore. It competed against hardware based systems which were 100 times more expensive. It sold over 2000 individual copies and several site licenses.
Between 1989 and 1997 Chris was the original inventor, software architect, engineer and product manager. He worked with a highly skilled team which grew from 1 to 50 during the lifecycle of the product.
Appreciation for Matador
“For Jurassic, the traditionally hand-drawn art of rotoscoping would be accomplished digitally, with Parallax’s Matador software.”
Industrial Light and Magic : Into the Digital Realm
“It (Matador) is still the only paint package offering such a range of tools at full film resolution and color depth. I believe Matador is fully deserving of a technical achievement award after many years of use in the industry.”
Kim Libreri, ESC Entertainment, in letter supporting Technical Achievement Oscar.
“Matador was a big improvement over previous matte-generating systems … the efficiency has increased tenfold with this software. Ninety percent of the mattes in Jurassic were rotoed frame by frame using Matador.”
George Murphy, ILM
“rotosplines saved my sanity”
“I have a clear memory of the day Parallax beat the competition and presented us with a b-spline which could be closed and filled with white! Heady stuff for rotoscopers who had previously hand drawn mattes on paper etc then we did one film (Memoirs of an Invisible Man) using Photoshop and the select tool – ack! I think it must have been Hook that we first used Matador on for roto-ing. But subsequently I used Matador more for animated paint fixes on lots and lots of films :) Now of course we have new film formats and stereo but I do have two octanes under my desk just in case. :)”
1992 Death Becomes Her **
1993 Jurassic Park **, The Fugitive, In the Line of Fire, Last Action Hero, Schindler’s List
1994 Forrest Gump **, The Mask *, True Lies *, Interview with the Vampire, Speed, Clear and Present Danger, The Crow, Star Trek Generations
1995 Babe **, Apollo 13 *, Braveheart ‡, Jumanji, Casper, Batman Forever, Waterworld, La Cité des Enfants Perdus
1996 Independence Day **, Twister *, Dragonheart *, Star Trek: First Contact, Mars Attacks!, Mission: Impossible,
1997 Titanic ** ‡, The Lost World: Jurassic Park *, Starship Troopers *, Star Wars: Special Editions, Batman & Robin, Dante’s Peak, Flubber
1998 What Dreams May Come **, Armageddon *, Mighty Joe Young *, The Avengers, Blade, The Borrowers, Lost In Space, Saving Private Ryan
1999 The Matrix ** , Stuart Little *, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace *, The Mummy, Snow Falling on Cedars, Sleepy Hollow
2000 Gladiator ** ‡, The Perfect Storm *, Hollow Man *, Castaway, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, X Men
2001 Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring **, Pearl Harbour *, A.I. Artificial Intelligence *, Amelie, Lara Croft : Tomb Raider
2002 Star Wars Episode II : Attack of the Clones, Men in Black 2, Minority Report, Spiderman, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
‡ Academy Award Winner for Best Movie
** Academy Award winner for Best Visual Effects
* Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects