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Sci-Tech Oscar Goes To Pixar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the recipients of awards for scientific and technical achievement for the year 2000. The Scientific and Technical Academy Awards will be presented on Saturday evening, March 3, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. An Oscar statuette will be among 17 Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievement to be presented during the ceremony. Academy president Robert Rehme announced Friday, January 5, 2001 that Rob Cook, Loren Carpenter and Ed Catmull of Pixar will receive an Oscar statuette for their work in developing the RenderMan software. "This is the first Oscar ever given specifically for the development of computer software," Rehme said. The RenderMan software allows multi-element computer-created scenes that can be seamlessly and invisibly composited with other footage. In addition to the Pixar-created films TOY STORY, TOY STORY 2 and A BUG'S LIFE, the software has been used on such films as JURASSIC PARK, TITANIC, THE MATRIX and GLADIATOR. The Oscar and the other 16 awards were voted by the Academy's Board of Governors based on recommendations from the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, chaired by Richard Edlund. Scientific and Technical Awards are given for devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures and that also have a proven history of use in the motion picture industry. Awards may be granted in any of three classifications: Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette) for basic achievements that have a definite influence on the advancement of the industry; Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy plaque) for those achievements that exhibit a high level of engineering and are important to the progress of the industry; and Technical Achievement Award (Academy certificate) for those accomplishments that contribute to the progress of the industry.

Read Animation World Magazine's 10 Questions With Ed Catmull to glean more info about the newest Oscar winner.

Following is a list of the awards that have impacted animated or visual effects features.