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Academy Bestows Sci-Tech Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences bestows nine Scientific/Tech Awards at Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 9, at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

AMPAS

BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- Cooke Optics Ltd. accepted an Academy Award of Merit for its continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacturing of advanced camera lenses. Les Zellan, chairman/owner of Cooke Optics, was presented with the Oscar statuette at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony Saturday, February 9, at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Actors Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana emceed the evening's proceedings during which a total of nine Scientific/Tech Awards--plus the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation--were bestowed. VFX supervisor/DP Bill Taylor was awarded the John A. Bonner Medal for service to the Motion Picture Academy. In addition to the Oscar for Cooke Optics, the eight other Sci/Tech honors consisted of three Scientific and Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques) and five Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificate). Those eight honors were:

Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy Plaque)

To Simon Clutterbuck, James Jacobs and Dr. Richard Dorling for the development of the Tissue Physically–Based Character Simulation Framework.This framework faithfully and robustly simulates the effects of anatomical structures underlying a character's skin. The resulting dynamic and secondary motions provide a new level of realism to computer–generated creatures.

To Dr. Philip McLauchlan, Allan Jaenicke, John–Paul Smith and Ross Shain for the creation of the Mocha planar tracking and rotoscoping software at Imagineer Systems Ltd. Mocha provides robust planar–tracking even when there are no clearly defined points in the image. Its effectiveness, ease of use, and ability to exchange rotoscoping data with other image processing tools have resulted in widespread adoption of the software in the visual effects industry.

To Joe Murtha, William Frederick and Jim Markland of Anton/Bauer, Inc. for the design and creation of the CINE VCLX Portable Power System. The CINE VCLX provides extended run–times and flexibility, allowing users to power cameras and other supplementary equipment required for production. This high–capacity battery system is also matched to the high–demand, always–on digital cinema cameras.

Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate)

To J.P. Lewis, Matt Cordner and Nickson Fong for the invention and publication of the Pose Space Deformation technique. Pose Space Deformation (PSD) introduced the use of novel sparse data interpolation techniques to the task of shape interpolation. The controllability and ease of achieving artistic intent have led to PSD being a foundational technique in the creation of computer–generated characters.

To Lawrence Kesteloot, Drew Olbrich and Daniel Wexler for the creation of the Light system for computer graphics lighting at PDI/DreamWorks. Virtually unchanged from its original incarnation over 15 years ago, Light is still in continuous use due to its emphasis on interactive responsiveness, final–quality interactive render preview, scalable architecture and powerful user–configurable spreadsheet interface.

To Steve LaVietes, Brian Hall and Jeremy Selan for the creation of the Katana computer graphics scene management and lighting software at Sony Pictures Imageworks. Katana's unique design, featuring a deferred evaluation procedural node–graph, provides a highly efficient lighting and rendering workflow. It allows artists to non–destructively edit scenes too complex to fit into computer memory, at scales ranging from a single object up to an entire detailed city.

To Theodore Kim, Nils Thuerey, Markus Gross and Doug James for the invention, publication and dissemination of Wavelet Turbulence software. This technique allowed for fast, art–directable creation of highly detailed gas simulation, making it easier for the artist to control the appearance these effects in the final image.

To Richard Mall for the design and development of the Matthews Max Menace Arm. Highly sophisticated and well–engineered, the Max Menace Arm is a safe and adjustable device that allows rapid, precise positioning of lighting fixtures, cameras or accessories. On–set or on location, this compact and highly portable structure is often used where access is limited due to restrictions on attaching equipment to existing surfaces.

Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Source: AMPAS

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