ATEC Prof Designs Robots for ‘Terminator’ Sequel

May 5, 2009

An Arts and Technology (ATEC) faculty member has had a small stake in whether the next installment in the Terminator series flies or flops at the summer box office.

Todd Fechter
Todd Fechter may use the Terminator experience as a case study for his classes.

Todd Fechter, assistant professor of 3D computer animation with the ATEC program in the School of Arts and Humanities, spent the last two months working on components of a viral Web site which supports the upcoming Warner Bros. release, Terminator: Salvation.

For the viral site skynetresearch.com, Fechter designed five robots for the “Products” section, which is designed to look like a corporate Web page for fictional company Skynet Research. Fechter designed full 3D models and wireframes for each of the five robots, which took 60 hours each to complete.

Fechter took on the project to keep in practice within his field and be associated with big-name material like the Terminator movie. He may even make the experience into a case study for some of his future classes, merging his private and public sector endeavors.

“UT Dallas students are really smart and technology-savvy,” said Fechter. “Some of the best ATEC graduate students come from other technology fields like engineering and computer science, where they develop a base layer of technical knowledge. When they come to ATEC, we equip them with creative strategic skills and specialized experience.”

Fechter teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology program. He received his BSD in Industrial Design and his MFA in Computer Animation from Ohio State University. Fechter has also worked on projects for Jeep, NASA and TV shows such as Jimmy Neutron.

Terminator: Salvation is scheduled to release May 21.


Media Contact: Taylor Buttler, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
or Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu

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Image of a Skynet robot, as designed by Todd Fechter

Above: UT Dallas faculty member Todd Fechter produced some of the digital animation for Skynet Research, a Web site that bears information about the fictional corporation featured in the movie.

Below: Terminator Salvation opens in movie theaters on May 21.

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