VFX Science awards
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recently announced that ten scientific and technical achievements represented by 34 individual award recipients, as well as one organization, will be honored at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 10, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The VFX technologist Jonathan Erland will receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his technological contributions to the industry.
The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:
Industrial Light & Magic’s BlockParty procedural rigging system.
BlockParty streamlines the rigging process through a comprehensive connection framework, a novel graphical user interface, and volumetric rig transfer, which has enabled ILM to build richly detailed and unique creatures while greatly improving artist productivity.
Rhythm & Hues’ Construction Kit rigging system.
This toolset provides a novel approach to character rigging that features topological independence, continuously editable rigs and deformation workflows with shape-preserving surface relaxation, enabling fifteen years of improvements to production efficiency and animation quality.
Dreamworks Animation’s Premo character animation system.
Premo’s speed and simplicity enable animators to pose full-resolution characters in representative shot context, significantly increasing their productivity.
Pixar’s Presto Animation System.
Presto allows artists to work interactively in scene context with full-resolution geometric models and sophisticated rig controls, and has significantly increased the productivity of character animators at Pixar.
There also Academy plaques being handed out to contributors in the field of visual effects:
To John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, Vikas Sathaye and Shane Buckham for the concept, design, engineering, and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System. This innovative six-axis stabilized aerial camera mount, with its enhanced ability to frame shots while looking straight down, enables greater creative freedom while allowing pilots to fly more effectively and safely.
To Jeff Lait, Mark Tucker, Cristin Barghiel and John Lynch for their contributions to the design and architecture of the Houdini visual effects and animation system. Houdini’s dynamics framework and workflow management tools have helped it become the industry standard for bringing natural phenomena, destruction and other digital effects to the screen.
To Bill Spitzak and Jonathan Egstad for the visionary design, development, and stewardship of the Nuke compositing system. Built for production at Digital Domain, Nuke has become a ubiquitous and flexible tool used across the motion picture industry, enabling novel and sophisticated workflows at an unprecedented scale.
To Abigail Brady, Jon Wadelton and Jerry Huxtable for their significant contributions to the architecture and extensibility of the Nuke compositing system. Expanded as a commercial product at The Foundry, Nuke is a comprehensive, versatile and stable system that has established itself as the backbone of compositing and image processing pipelines across the motion picture industry.
To Leonard Chapman for the overall concept, design, and development, to Stanislav Gorbatov for the electronic system design, and to David Gasparian and Souhail Issa for the mechanical design and integration of the Hydrascope telescoping camera crane systems. With its fully waterproof construction, the Hydrascope has greatly advanced crane technology and versatility by enabling precise long-travel multi-axis camera movement in, out of and through fresh or salt water.
ACADEMY AWARD OF MERIT (OSCAR STATUETTE)
To Mark Elendt and Side Effects Software for the creation and development of the Houdini visual effects and animation system. With more than twenty years of continual innovation, Houdini has delivered the power of procedural methods to visual effects artists, making it the industry standard for bringing natural phenomena, destruction and other digital effects to the screen.
GORDON E. SAWYER AWARD (OSCAR STATUETTE)
Presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.