Chris Ford is a leading authority in computer graphics (CG) software technology with over 25 years experience in feature film visual effects, game development and scientific visualization. Chris is currently Senior Vice President of Product Management at Prezi Inc., a presentation software based in San Francisco and Budapest. Previously, he was Product Director for Studio and Developer Services at Roblox Corporation building content creation tools for the worlds largest social platform for play and imagination with over 56 million monthly users. From 2005 to 2016 as Business Director at Pixar Animation Studios (Walt Disney Co) Chris grew the studios RenderMan photorealistic rendering software to a dominant market position of 75%+ of all feature films rendered. Prior to Pixar, Chris held key positions at Autodesk where he was Director of Product Management for all 3D Media & Entertainment software applications between 2002 to 2005 including 3D Studio Max, and at Alias|Wavefront (Silicon Graphics Inc) as Senior Product Manager between 1997 and 2002, introducing to market Maya now the worlds leading professional CG digital content creation software. Film industry applications managed by Chris have been awarded two Academy Awards for technological innovation and he is credited in twelve feature films.
Chris is an active amateur astronomer and astrophotographer with a specific interest in explaining the universe through advanced visualization techniques. He was formerly president of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society between 2010-2013, is currently co-chair of the societies imaging special interest group, and has spoken at many events featuring the intersection of 3D visualization and astronomy including SETICon, The Advanced Imaging Conference, Contact, and at various planetariums and astronomical societies. Chris joined the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 2012 and was elected President in 2017.