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Academy Names Sci-Tech Winners

VFX & Tech

Academy Names Sci-Tech Winners

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the recipients of this year’s scientific and technical achievement awards. Two Oscar statuettes and a Gordon E. Sawyer Award will be among the accolades presented at a gala black tie dinner on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif.

Unlike other Academy Awards, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards do not have to have been developed and introduced during 2003. Devices up for Sci-Tech Awards are only considered “if they have a proven track record showcasing successful and repeated use in the film industry,” according to awards administration director Rich Miller.

The Gordon E. Sawyer Award will be given to Peter D. Parks for his lifetime of technological contributions to the industry. Parks’ optical effects credits include 1978’s Superman and 1980’s Saturn 3. He also served as cinematographer on the 2003 3D doc Bugs!

Bill Tondreau of Kuper Controls will accept an Oscar statuette for his significant advances with robotic camera systems, which resulted in motion control becoming an integral part of the field of the visual effects field.

A Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy plaque) will go to Stephen Regelous for the design and development of “Massive,” the autonomous agent animation system used in creating computer-generated extras for the battle sequences in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A Technical Achievement Award (Academy certificate) is being reserved for Christophe Hery, Ken McGaugh and Joe Letteri for their groundbreaking implementations of practical methods for rendering skin and other translucent materials using subsurface scattering techniques.

Henrik Wann Jensen, Stephen R. Marschner and Pat Hanrahan will also receive a Technical Achievement Award for their pioneering research in simulating subsurface scattering of light in translucent materials as presented in their paper “A Practical Model for Subsurface Light Transport.”


Other winners:

Academy Award Of Merit

(Oscar Statuette)

Digidesign for the design, development and implementation of the Pro Tools digital audio workstation.

Scientific And Engineering Awards

(Academy Plaque)

Kinoton GmbH for the engineering and development of the Kinoton FP 30/38 EC II Studio Projector.

Kenneth L. Tingler, Charles C. Anderson, Diane E. Kestner and Brian A. Schell of the Eastman Kodak Company, for the successful development of a process-surviving antistatic layer technology for motion picture film.

Christopher Alfred, Andrew Cannon, Michael C. Carlos, Mark Crabtree, Chuck Grindstaff and John Melanson for their significant contributions to the evolution of digital audio editing for motion picture post production.

Technical Achievement Award

(Academy Certificates)

Kish Sadhvani for the concept and optical design, Paul Duclos for the practical realization and production engineering and Carl Pernicone for the mechanical design and engineering of the portable cine viewfinder system known as the Ultimate Director’s Finder (UDF).

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