Academy Announces Sci-Tech Winners

In addition to the special Award of Commendation to be bestowed upon blue-screen pioneer Arthur Widmer (, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will dish out kudos for achievements in motion-capture and compositing technologies during the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards ceremony in February.

While the two Oscar statuettes will go to developers of the Technocrane telescoping camera crane and the Louma camera crane, Academy Certificates will be issued to developers of systems that enable digital effects and animation.

Dr. Julian Morris, Michael Birch, Dr. Paul Smyth and Paul Tate will be recognized for the development of the Vicon motion capture technology, as will Dr. John O.B. Greaves, Ned Phipps, Antonie J. van den Bogert and William Hayes for the development of Motion Analysis Corp.’s Motion Analysis motion capture technology.

In addition, Dr. Nels Madsen, Vaughn Cato, Matthew Madden and Bill Lorton will pick up certificates for the development of the Giant Studios motion capture technology, a software solution that applies a unique biometric approach.

Alan Kapler will also receive an Academy Certificate for the design and development of Storm, a software toolkit for artistic control of volumetric effects. Storm employs an efficient method for directly manipulating volumetric data to create effects such as clouds, water and avalanches with familiar operators inspired by image compositing and painting operations.

The more prestigious Academy Plaque will be given to Lindsay Arnold, Guy Griffiths, David Hodson, Charlie Lawrence and David Mann for the development of the Cineon Digital Film Workstation. Cineon pioneered a commercial node-graph compositing system, establishing a new visual method for direct manipulation of the compositing process, which influenced and defined modern digital compositing workflows.

The Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievements will be presented at a gala black tie dinner on Saturday, Feb.12, at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif.