Sci-Fi Storm

Ron Thornton, pioneer of CGI for television, passed away at 59

by on Nov.22, 2016, under Television

Emmy award winning visual effects artist Ron Thornton, best known for his work on Babylon 5 passed away yesterday at home after a short illness at the age of 59, as confirmed by his colleague Emile Smith on Twitter.

Thornton co-founded Foundation Imaging and pioneered the CGI and visual effects methods started on Babylon 5 using Newtek’s Video Toaster hardware and Lightwave 3D modeling software that allowed such effects to be both realistic and within a television show budget. He won an Emmy in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Special Visual Effects for the work on the pilot movie, Babylon 5: The Gathering, and had three more nominations. Prior to Babylon 5, he had worked on Spaceballs, Critters, and Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.

After a falling out with the Babylon 5 producers in the third season, he worked on Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise and co-created the series Hypernauts.


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