Founding Team

Rolf Herken — President

Rolf Herken is one of the most respected visionaries in the software technology industry, specifically in the computer graphics software component and Cloud platform technology fields, and is widely known for his ability to recognize strategic business opportunities and to find and manage world-class engineering teams in a global environment. In 1986, he founded the company mental images in Berlin and turned it into the recognized international leader in providing component and platform software for the creation, manipulation and visualization of 3D content, driving the company’s innovative technologies and products since its inception. In 1999, he founded the company incremental images in San Francisco to develop the world’s first cloud-based scalable software platform for interactive 3D content accessible from any device. Both companies were merged in 2003 and later acquired by NVIDIA in 2007. He left NVIDIA in 2011 to create his next venture, the universal innovation engineering company MINE. ViewMagic was spun out from MINE as a stand-alone start-up company in 2016. Rolf Herken holds a number of fundamental granted patents in computer graphics, computer aided design, and cloud computing.


James A. McCombe — CTO

James A. McCombe is a highly accomplished engineer and entrepreneur in the field of parallel computing, hardware architecture and computer graphics. Before co-founding ViewMagic, James founded Caustic Graphics in 2006, and, as CTO, he developed algorithms and custom hardware logic to accelerate ray traced graphics. UK based Imagination Technologies acquired Caustic Graphics in 2010 where James continued to work on the integration of the technology into the PowerVR GPU that is used in many mobile devices, including all of Apple’s mobile products, today. Prior to this, James was a lead software engineer on the OpenGL graphics system at Apple between 2001 and 2006, where he developed the low power graphics firmware used in the 5th generation video iPod, subsequently serving as a basis for the surface compositor on the 1st generation iPhone. James holds more than 23 granted patents in the areas of image processing, parallel hardware scheduling, numeric representation, and spatial data structure assembly algorithms.


Brian W. Smith — Principal Engineer

Brian W. Smith has spent his career designing and implementing cutting-edge software tools for a wide variety of industries. He began his career working in the R&D department of package carrier UPS before moving to General Dynamics where he developed computer vision tools for autonomous robots. Brian then spent nearly a decade creating hardware-accelerated rendering tools for a number of companies, including ESC Entertainment, Digital Domain, and Industrial Light & Magic. He was later involved in early-stage user interface prototyping for Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor. In 2008, Brian founded Pseudo Studios, a mobile software development company, releasing several top-selling iOS & Android applications.


Chris Birkhold — Principal Engineer

Chris Birkhold comes from a background in high-end console, mobile and VR games development. Prior to joining ViewMagic Chris worked as a Core Technology Developer, Technical Director and Head of Studio with technology and games startup NaturalMotion. Chris took a leading role in developing and integrating NaturalMotion’s groundbreaking procedural animation technology Euphoria into two of entertainment’s biggest franchises, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto and LucasArt’s Star Wars. In 2012 as part of the company’s ambitious expansion into mobile Chris built NaturalMotion’s San Francisco mobile games studio from the ground up and served as it’s Head of Studio and Technical Director. NaturalMotion was acquired by Zynga in 2014.