Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents its Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards a few weeks before the big ceremony (not unlike how they do the Honorary Oscars in November, having moved them off of the main ceremony in a move that was largely criticized when first implemented, but has been less chastised in recent years).
This year, 25 individuals were recipients of the nine Scientific and Technical Awards being handed out at a presentation held at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Unlike other awards to be given out this year, these do not need to have been developed or introduced during 2012. These achievements instead must demonstrate a proven record of significant contribution to the process of creating motion pictures. Portions of the presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast on Feb 24.
Academy Award of Merit (Oscar Statuette) recipients were:
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.
Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate) recipients were:
J.P. Lewis, Matt Cordner and Nickson Fong for the invention and publication of the Pose Space Deformation technique, which introduced the use of sparse data interpolation techniques to the task of shape interpolation. This assisted the ease of achieving artistic intent, and has led to PSD being a seminal technique in the creation of computer–generated characters.
Lawrence Kesteloot, Drew Olbrich and Daniel Wexler for the creation of the Light system for computer graphics lighting at PDI/DreamWorks, a system that has seen little change from its initial incarnation over 15 years ago, and 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 for the creation of the Katana computer graphics scene management and lighting software at Sony Pictures Imageworks, provides a highly efficient lighting and rendering workflow.
Theodore Kim, Nils Thuerey, Markus Gross and Doug James for the invention, publication and dissemination of Wavelet Turbulence software, which allowed for the accelerated creation of highly-detailed gas simulation.
Richard Mall for the design and development of the Matthews Max Menace Arm, a safe and adjustable device that allows for rapid, precise positioning of lighting fixtures, cameras or accessories.
Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy Plaque) recipients were:
Simon Clutterbuck, James Jacobs and Dr. Richard Dorling for the development of the Tissue Physically–Based Character Simulation Framework, which has allowed for the robust simulation of the the effects of anatomical structures underlying a character’s skin.
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, which provides intuitive planar–tracking, along with the ability to exchange rotoscoping data with other image processing tools.
Joe Murtha, William Frederick and Jim Markland of Anton/Bauer, Inc. for the design and creation of the CINE VCLX Portable Power System, which provides extended run–times and flexibility, allowing users to power cameras and other supplementary equipment required for production.
Full story: Deadline