Prof. James F. O’Brien


Professor of Computer Science

University of California at Berkeley

I am a professor in the Computer Science Division of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. I received my doctorate in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

I am generally interested in most areas of Computer Graphics and Animation. My research specifically focuses on graphics, computer animation, simulations of physical systems, human perception, and the forensic analysis of images and video.

Publications       Courses        Collaborators        Miscellaneous        F.A.Q.

The Berkeley Computer Graphics Group


Academy Award:

  1. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement ( A Sci-Tech Oscar ):

  2. To Ben Cole for the design of the Kali Destruction System, to Eric Parker for the development of the Digital Molecular Matter toolkit, and to James O’Brien for his influential research on the finite element methods that served as a foundation for these tools.

  3. The combined innovations in Kali and DMM provide artists with an intuitive, art-directable system for the creation of scalable and realistic fracture and deformation simulations. These tools established finite element methods as a new reference point for believable on-screen destruction.

New York Times:

  1. Image Duplication in Biomedical Research

  2. Years of Ethics Charges, but Star Cancer Researcher Gets a Pass

  3. by J. Glanz and A. Armendariz, with quotes and image analysis by J. O’Brien

Recent/upcoming talks and papers:

  1. SIGGRAPH 2020

  2. Fast and Deep Facial Deformations

  3. S. W. Bailey, D. Omens, P. Dilorenzo, and J. F. O'Brien

  4. New Media and Society

  5. Fake images: The effects of source, intermediary, and digital media literacy on contextual assessment of image credibility online

  6. C. Shen, M. Kasra, W. Pan, G. A. Bassett, Y. Malloch, J. F. O'Brien

  7. SIGGRAPH 2018

  8. Fast and Deep Deformation Approximations

  9. S Bailey, D. Otte, P. Dilorenzo, J. F. O'Brien

  10. EGSR 2018

  11. Approximate svBRDF Estimation From Mobile Phone Video

  12. R. A. Albert, D. Y. Chan, D. B Goldman, J. F. O'Brien


Contact Information:

  1. EECS, Computer Science Division

  2. 527 Soda Hall, Mail Code 1776

  3. University of California at Berkeley

  4. Berkeley, California 94720-1776

  1. Office Phone: (510) 642-0865

  2. E-Mail:

  3. The best way to reach me is by email.

Spring 2020 Office Hours:

  1. By appointment

Images from current and past research projects.

Images link to further information.

2015 Oscars: 
Scientific and Technical Awards