2015 Science and Technical Academy Award

On February 7, 2015, at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, a Scientific and Technical Academy Award® was presented to the three principal developers of SpeedTree®: IDV co-founders Michael Sechrest and Chris King, and Senior Software Architect Greg Croft.

In selecting SpeedTree for this honor, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wrote:

“This software substantially improves an artist’s ability to create specifically designed trees and vegetation by combining a procedural building process with the flexibility of intuitive, direct manipulation of every detail.”

SpeedTree use has been confirmed in dozens of major films since the software was featured prominently in 2009’s Avatar, which received nine Oscar® nominations and three Oscars. Several other Oscar-winning and -nominated films have featured SpeedTree, including The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as blockbusters like The AvengersX-Men: Days of Future PastIron Man 3, and Maleficent.


Michael, Chris, and Greg would like to acknowledge the contributions of the entire IDV staff, past and present. Most notably:

  • Kevin Meredith: Our business development lead and chief evangelist from the very beginning, Kevin has been instrumental in spreading the word and leading our transition from video games to films.
  • Steve Klipowicz: Steve poured his heart and soul into SpeedTree Cinema. Contributions include creating our entire tree library up to 2012, supporting ILM artists in matching Avatar concept art, helping to shape the look and feel of the user interface, and much more.
  • Sonia Piasecki: As lead artist, Sonia has a profound impact on the success of SpeedTree Cinema v7 through her vegetation modeling, interface artwork, end-user training, and product support.
  • Richard Robinson: Richard mentored Michael and Chris through forming and growing IDV and SpeedTree for the last 15 years. He is a constant reminder to the founders that there’s more to running a successful business than coding!

Watch the demo reel we presented to the Academy in making the case for SpeedTree:

2015 Engineering Emmy Award

After a year of receiving some of the highest honors for its impact on movies and video game development, SpeedTree has been named the recipient of a 2015 Primetime Engineering Emmy for its significant impact on the television industry.

The “Golden Age” of television has brought with it unprecedented levels of VFX into our homes on a weekly basis and with it the same bleeding edge technology that powers the biggest blockbusters of the silver screen. SpeedTree launched in 2002, introducing its powerful vegetation modeling tools to artists workflow, expanding in 2009 with James Cameron’s Avatarmarking the launch of SpeedTree Cinema. Since first making the leap to TV in 2011 on Sesame Street® SpeedTree has seen exponential growth in broadcast and cable. More than 30 television programs have used SpeedTree in many episodes including Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, Black Sails, and Bones.

“Our objective from the start has been to give the best tree and plant tools to as many artists and creators as possible,” said IDV Co-Founder Michael Sechrest. “Our growing adoption by the television industry, and this year’s Engineering Emmy, represent major accomplishments in striving toward that goal.”
SpeedTree was awarded a Scientific and Technical Academy Award® from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in February, having been featured in over 50 feature films since it’s first appearance in Avatar. For it’s significant impact on realtime use, both in AAA games and for a host of indie games developed using our integration into Unity 5 and UE4, the software was recognized with a Develop Industry Excellence Award in the Design & Creativity Tool category this past July.
“The recognition of the television community is particularly gratifying,” said Mr. King. “We’re seeing not just increasing use in television, but a broadening array of types of uses. SpeedTree is making its way into documentaries, fantasies and historic fiction as well as real-life dramas and sitcoms. We’re also getting into a good number of TV commercials, in fact. And our broadcast users are employing the full range of SpeedTree capabilities, including wind effects, growth and precision modeling. This is as much their award as ours.”

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which is sponsoring the 67th annual Engineering Emmy program, names Mr. Sechrest, Co-Founder Chris King and Senior Software Architect Greg Croft as award recipients. The three will accept the award in a ceremony in Hollywood, California, on October 28.

2015 Develop Award

At the 2015  Develop Awards in Brighton, England, Michael Sechrest accepted a Develop award on behalf of IDV, inc. for SpeedTree’s win in the “Design and Creativity Tool” category. The Develop Industry Excellence Awards are presented each year to honor achievements and innovation in the video game industry.

With categories ranging from “Use of Narrative” to “Game Engine” the awards recognize significant advances in the European game development. SpeedTree made a deep impact on game development since its introduction in 2002, being featured in some of the largest and lushest games ever made (The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Destiny, Far Cry 4), always on the cutting edge of game design and technology.  Integration into the UE4 and Unity 5 game engines have opened up these tools to a whole new range of indie developers and have already been featured in smash indie hits such as Ark: Survival Evolved  and Submerged