The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 25 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Feb. 9. Portions of the Sci-Tech awards presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast, Feb. 24.
Unlike other Academy Awards, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2012. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.
The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:
Academy Award of Merit (Oscar Statuette)
Cooke Optics will receive the Academy Award of Merit, (an Oscar statuette), for its innovation in the design, development and manufacture of advanced camera lenses that have helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century.
Since its first series of motion picture lenses, Cooke Optics has continued to create optical innovations, decade after decade. Producing what is commonly referred to as the “Cooke Look,” these lenses have often been the lens of choice for creative cinematographers worldwide.
Scientific and Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques)
Simon Clutterbuck, James Jacobs and Dr. Richard Dorling will be recognized for the development of the Tissue Physically–Based Character Simulation Framework.
This framework faithfully 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.
Dr. Philip McLauchlan, Allan Jaenicke, John–Paul Smith and Ross Shain will receive an Academy plaque for the creation of the Mocha planar tracking and rotoscoping software at Imagineer Systems.
Mocha provides 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.
Joe Murtha, William Frederick and Jim Markland of Anton/Bauer will receive a plaque 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.
Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates)
J.P. Lewis, Matt Cordner and Nickson Fong will be awarded an Academy certificate 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.
Lawrence Kesteloot, Drew Olbrich and Daniel Wexler will be recognized 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.
Steve LaVietes, Brian Hall and Jeremy Selan will be honored 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.
Theodore Kim, Nils Thuerey, Markus Gross and Doug James will receive a certificate for the invention, publication and dissemination of Wavelet Turbulence software.
This technique allowed for fast creation of highly detailed gas simulation, making it easier for the artist to control the appearance these effects in the final image.
Richard Mall will take home a technical achievement award for the design and development of the Matthews Max Menace Arm.
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.