Sci-Tech Award Honors Innovators
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) held the 2002 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards on Saturday, March 1. Kate Hudson hosted the event, which was held at the at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Three Oscar statuettes were among the Academy Awards presented for scientific and technical achievement, in addition to four Scientific and Engineering Awards (plaques) and six Technical Achievement Awards (certificates). The selection of recipients of scientific and technical achievement awards from AMPAS was based on recommendations from the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, chaired by Richard Edlund.
Achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards do not have to have been introduced during 2002 and, in fact, are only considered if they have a proven track record in the film industry.
Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical achievements for the year 2002 are:
ACADEMY AWARD OF MERIT (Oscar Statuette)
To Alias|Wavefront for the development of a 3D animation, dynamics, modeling and rendering production tool known as Maya. With its significant and dominant impact on the motion picture industry, the Maya software package offers a robust and widely-used commercial visual effects tool with a rich infrastructure for extension and customization.
To Arnold & Richter Cine Technik and to Panavision Inc. for their continuing development and innovation in the design and manufacturing of advanced camera systems specifically designed for the motion picture entertainment industry. With a commitment that lies beyond the usual commercial considerations, these two manufacturers continue to lead the industry in developing and introducing products that have defined state of the art in motion picture camera technology.
SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING AWARDS (Academy Plaque)
To Glenn Sanders and Howard Stark of Zaxcom for the concept, design and engineering of the portable Deva Digital Audio Disk Recorder. This innovative design employs advanced hard disk recording technology and digital audio techniques for use in both production and post-production recording applications.
To Mark Elendt, Paul Breslin, Greg Hermanovic and Kim Davidson for their continued development of the procedural modeling and animation components of their Prisms program, as exemplified in the Houdini software package. Through a procedural building-block process, the Houdini software is used to simulate natural phenomena using particle effects and complex three-dimensional models.
To Leslie Gutierrez, Diane Kestner, James Merrill and David Niklewicz for the design and development of the Kodak Vision Premier Color Print Film, 2393. This film stock provides filmmakers with enhanced color saturation, higher contrast and darker blacks, producing a bold, colorful "look" on the theater screen.
To Dedo Weigert for the concept, Depu Jin for the optical calculations, and Franz Petters for the mechanical construction of the Dedolight 400D. This uniquely designed set light provides superior performance, reliability and ease of use. Combined with its excellent array of accessories, the Dedolight 400D is an outstanding engineering achievement.
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (Academy Certificates)
To Dick Walsh for the development of the PDI/DreamWorks Facial Animation System. This effective software simulation system is used to create and control natural, expressive, highly-nuanced facial animation on a wide range of computer-generated characters.
To Thomas Driemeyer and to the mathematicians, physicists and software engineers of mental images for their contributions to the mental ray rendering software for motion pictures. mental ray is a highly programmable computer-graphics renderer incorporating ray tracing and global illumination to realistically simulate the behavior of light in computer-generated imagery.
To Eric Daniels, George Katanics, Tasso Lappas and Chris Springfield for the development of the Deep Canvas rendering software. The Deep Canvas software program captures the original brush strokes of the traditional background artist to render elements in three dimensions for animated films.
To Jim Songer for his contributions to the technical development of video-assist in the motion picture industry. The work of Jim Songer from 1968 through 1973 led directly to the more widespread acceptance of video-assist in the motion picture industry.
To Pierre Chabert of Airstar for the introduction of balloons with internal light sources to provide set lighting for the motion picture industry. These helium-filled balloons with internal arrangements for tungsten halogen and HMI light sources are usable indoors or out, quick to set up, require essentially no rigging and provide a soft light that can cover a very large area.
To Rawden Hayne and Robert W. Jeffs of Leelium Tubelite for their contributions to the development of internally lit balloons for motion picture lighting. These helium-filled balloons with internal arrangements for tungsten halogen and HMI light sources are usable indoors or out, quick to set up, require essentially no rigging and provide a soft light that can cover a very large area.