“With their outstanding, innovative work, these technologists, engineers and inventors have significantly expanded filmmakers’ creative choices for moving image storytelling.”

Academy Names 18 for Scientific and Technical Achievements

(Complete List and Press release click here!)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that 18 scientific and technical achievements represented by 34 individual award recipients, as well as five organizations, will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

“This year we are particularly pleased to be able to honor not only a wide range of new technologies, but also the pioneering digital cinema cameras that helped facilitate the widespread conversion to electronic image capture for motion picture production,” said Ray Feeney, Academy Award® recipient and chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “With their outstanding, innovative work, these technologists, engineers and inventors have significantly expanded filmmakers’ creative choices for moving image storytelling.”

Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2016. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

Recipients of Academy certificates for Technical Achievements include:

Larry Gritz for the design, implementation and dissemination of Open Shading Language (OSL).

OSL is a highly optimized runtime architecture and language for programmable shading and texturing that has become a de facto industry standard. It enables artists at all levels of technical proficiency to create physically plausible materials for efficient production rendering.

Carl Ludwig, Eugene Troubetzkoy and Maurice van Swaaij for the pioneering development of the CGI Studio renderer at Blue Sky Studios.

CGI Studio’s groundbreaking ray-tracing and adaptive sampling techniques, coupled with streamlined artist controls, demonstrated the feasibility of ray-traced rendering for feature film production.

Brian Whited for the design and development of the Meander drawing system at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Meander’s innovative curve-rendering method faithfully captures the artist’s intent, resulting in a significant improvement in creative communication throughout the production pipeline.

Parag Havaldar for the development of expression-based facial performance-capture technology at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

This pioneering system enabled large-scale use of animation rig-based facial performance-capture for motion pictures, combining solutions for tracking, stabilization, solving and animator-controllable curve editing.

Nicholas Apostoloff and Geoff Wedig for the design and development of animation rig-based facial performance-capture systems at ImageMovers Digital and Digital Domain.

These systems evolved through independent, then combined, efforts at two different studios, resulting in an artist-controllable, editable, scalable solution for the high-fidelity transfer of facial performances to convincing digital characters.

Kiran Bhat, Michael Koperwas, Brian Cantwell and Paige Warner for the design and development of the ILM facial performance-capture solving system.

This system enables high-fidelity facial performance transfer from actors to digital characters in large-scale productions while retaining full artistic control, and integrates stable rig-based solving and the resolution of secondary detail in a controllable pipeline.

Recipients of Academy plaques for scientific and engineering awards are:

Marcos Fajardo for the creative vision and original implementation of the Arnold Renderer, and to Chris Kulla, Alan King, Thiago Ize and Clifford Stein for their highly optimized geometry engine and novel ray-tracing algorithms which unify the rendering of curves, surfaces, volumetrics and subsurface scattering as developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Solid Angle SL.

Arnold’s scalable and memory-efficient single-pass architecture for path tracing, its authors’ publication of the underlying techniques, and its broad industry acceptance were instrumental in leading a widespread adoption of fully ray-traced rendering for motion pictures.

Vladimir Koylazov for the original concept, design and implementation of V-Ray from Chaos Group.

V-Ray’s efficient production-ready approach to ray-tracing and global illumination, its support for a wide variety of workflows, and its broad industry acceptance were instrumental in the widespread adoption of fully ray-traced rendering for motion pictures.

Luca Fascione, J.P. Lewis and Iain Matthews for the design, engineering, and development of the FACETS facial performance capture and solving system at Weta Digital.

FACETS was one of the first reliable systems to demonstrate accurate facial tracking from an actor-mounted camera, combined with rig-based solving, in large-scale productions. This system enables animators to bring the nuance of the original live performances to a new level of fidelity for animated characters.

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