Santa Barbara Studios


Santa Barbara Studios (SBS) was formed in 1990 by John Grower, formerly Supervisor of Special Effects at Robert Abel Associates, Post-Production Art Director on Tron for Walt Disney Pictures, and Director of Production at Wavefront Technologies. At SBS, Jim Hourihan developed the unique Dynamation software system to render a new generation of highly realistic computer imagery (Jim received his first Academy Award for Technical Achievement for the creation of Dynamation). Santa Barbara Studios has specialized in astronomical imagery while working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution and Science North Museum. Their imagery has been featured in the IMAX space film Destiny In Space; the 70mm 3D film Shooting Star; the six-part PBS television series The Astronomers; Other Worlds: A Tour of the Solar System,a featured highlight of the National Air and Space Museum's exhibit "Where Next, Columbus?" and 500 Nations for CBS-TV, which featured astoundingly realistic reconstructions of the great cities of native cultures in North and South America.

They have also contributed CG work for An American Werewolf in Paris, Spawn, Star Trek: Generations, and Star Trek - Insurrections, as well as the opening sequences for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. (Santa Barbara also did the beautiful melting comet sequence seen in TNG's "Masks".) Some of the most hauntingly beautiful imagery done with computers was done by SBS for the PBS Special 500 Nations. SBS also contributed to the IMAX feature Cosmic Voyage. They worked with Square LA on the PlayStation game Parasite Eve.

Key employees included Janet Grower, Jim Hourihan, Bill Kovacs, Will Rivera, Eric Guagliani, Bruce Jones, Phil Brock, Eric DeJong, Mark Wendell, Diane Holland and Matt Rhodes.

Some images from 500 Nations

Interview with John Grower regarding the making of Cosmic Voyage



Name Came from Went to Comments
John Grower Abel    
Jim Hourihan   Wavefront developed Dynamation
Bruce Jones      
Eric Guaglioni      
Peter Lloyd      
Craig Mullins      
Janet Grower      
Ron Moreland      
Mark Wendell      
Bill Kovacs      
Will Rivera      
Axel Dirksen      
Kathi Sumec      
Rick McDonald      
Curtis Breber