Trumbull is considered a pioneer of modern animation techniques and many of his films have become classics. He worked in 1968 to 2001: A Space Odyssey as "special effects supervisor" and is famous for the so-called slit-scanning effect in the last part of this movie responsible. For his work on other films, he was nominated five times for an Oscar and won an Oscar for his life's work.
He arrived in 1942 as the son of an engineer and a painter to the world. After dropping architectural studies, he applied unsuccessfully for all Animation Studios until he was hired at a knitting company as a painter for backgrounds. There he a year later led the Background Department.
Trumbull participated instrumental in films of the U.S. Air Force and NASA and worked with the filmmaker Science Con Peterson. His breakthrough was the 15-minute animated film To the Moon and beyond is, the IBM 1964 was at the World's Fair in New York.
After 2001, he beat the offer from to stage the special effects for Star Wars, but mediated the contact with his former assistant John Dykstra, for his participation in the Star Wars franchise meant the final breakthrough in the industry. Dykstra picked Trumbull later for the design of animated sequences for the first Star Trek movie and Blade Runner to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM ). The rotating display of the Wildfire Laboratiums in the film Andromeda - Deadly dust from space is considered the first CGI effect in a movie.
1972 Trumbull turned with a relatively low budget the impressive science fiction film Silent Running (English original title Silent Running ). This film is used, among other special effects that were for "2001" developed, but not found their way into the film. But was at the box office flop for Silent Running and did not find their way into the German cinemas. His second film Brainstorm also flopped.
Trumbull is considered the inventor of the show scanning method using 65/70 mm film with a frame rate of 60fps.
In recent years, Trumbull focused on developing technology for exhibitions and for rides in theme parks. In 2002, he had a board seat at IMAX.