21 scientific and technical achievements selected for awards consideration in 2015

The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced that 21 scientific and technical achievements, 16 distinct investigations, have been selected for further awards consideration.

The list is made public to allow individuals and companies with similar devices or claims of prior art the opportunity to submit achievements for review. The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday 26 August.

The committee has selected the following technologies for further consideration:

Portable, remote-controlled telescoping camera columns
Prompted by MAT-TOWERCAM TWIN PEEK (MAT – Mad About Technology)

Drivable, high-speed vehicle platforms
Prompted by THE BISCUIT JR. (Allan Padelford Camera Cars)

Neutral density filters that remove infrared contamination
Prompted by INFRARED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER TECHNOLOGY (Tiffen Company)

Lightweight, prime lens sets for high-resolution cameras
Prompted by LEICA SUMMILUX-C PRIME LENS SERIES (CW Sonderoptic)

Optical audio transfer processes
Prompted by CHACE OPTICAL SOUND PROCESSOR (Deluxe)

Enabling technology of digital cinema projectors
Prompted by TEXAS INSTRUMENTS DLP CINEMA TECHNOLOGY (Texas Instruments)

Interactive blend shape modeling and manufacturing
Prompted by LAIKA RAPID PROTOTYPING AND FACIAL ANIMATION TECHNOLOGY (LAIKA, Inc.) and ILM SHAPE SCULPTING SYSTEM (ILM)

Measurement toolsets for quality control of cinematic experience
Prompted by LSS-100P (Ultra-Stereo Labs)

Displays providing suitable visual reference for feature film review
Prompted by SONY TRIMASTER EL ORGANIC LIGHT EMITTING DIODE PICTURE MONITORS (Sony Pictures Imageworks)

Collaborative, enhanceable image playback and review systems
Prompted by RV MEDIA PLAYER (Tweak Software)

High-resolution motion capture techniques for deforming objects
Prompted by MOVA (MOVA) and GEOMETRY TRACKER (ILM)

Systems for interactive grooming and direct-manipulation of digital hair
Prompted by BARBERSHOP (Weta Digital)

Systems for placing, grooming and resolving collisions of digital feathers
Prompted by DREAMWORKS FEATHER SYSTEM (DreamWorks Animation)

Systems for modeling, animation and rendering of digital vegetation
Prompted by SPEEDTREE (IDV)

Digital technologies for high-density physical destruction simulation
Prompted by DROP DESTRUCTION TOOLKIT (Digital Domain) and FINITE ELEMENT DESTRUCTION MODELING (UC Berkeley) and ODIN – UNIFIED HPC MULTI-PHYSICS SIMULATION PLATFORM (Weta Digital)

Efficient volumetric data formats
Prompted by FIELD 3D (Sony Pictures Imageworks) and VDB: HIGH-RESOLUTION SPARSE VOLUMES WITH DYNAMIC TOPOLOGY (DreamWorks Animation)

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in early December to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The 2014 Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Saturday 7 February 2015.

Claims of prior art or similar technology must be submitted on the Academy’s website at http://www.oscars.org/awards/scitech/apply.html.  For further information, interested parties should contact the Awards Administration Office at (310) 247-3000, ext. 1129, or via e-mail at scitech@oscars.org.

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Scientific and Technical Achievements 2013

Cooke Optics - Academy Award of Merit

Cooke Optics – Academy Award of Merit

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 25 individual award recipients will be honoured at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation that will take place at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday, 9 February 2013.

Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented, 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:

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.

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.

Academy Award of Merit (Oscar® Statuette)

To Cooke Optics Limited for their continuing 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 their 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.