Academy Awards

10 Scientific and Technical Achievements to be Honored with Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 scientific and technical achievements represented by 34 individual laureates, as well as an organization, will be honored at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on Saturday, February 10, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

In addition, visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland receives the Gordon E. Sawyer Award (an Oscar® award) for technological contributions that have given recognition to the industry.“This year, we are pleased to honor a very international group of engineers for their innovative and outstanding achievements,” said Ray Feeney, Academy Award® recipient and Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.
These people have contributed significantly to the continuous development of films, and their efforts continue to strengthen the creativity of our industry.
Ray Feeney, Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee

Unlike other Academy Awards that are awarded this year, achievements that receive Scientific and Technical awards must not have been developed and introduced in the course of 2017. On the contrary, the performance has to prove that it has made a significant contribution to the process of producing films.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical services:


Jason Smith and Jeff White for the original design and Rachel Rose and Mike Jutan for the architecture and technology of the BlockParty procedural rigging Systems at Industrial Light & Magic.

BlockParty optimizes the rigging process through a comprehensive connection framework, a novel graphical user interface and volumetric rig transmission that has enabled ILM to build richly detailed and unique creatures, while significantly improving artist productivity.

Joe Mancewicz, Matt Derksen and Hans Rijpkema for design, architecture and implementation of the Rhythm & Hues construction Kit rigging system.

This toolset offers a novel approach for character rigging, the topological independence, continuously editable rigs and deformation workflows with form-friendly interface offers relaxation and 15 years ‘ production efficiency and quality of animation improved.

An Alex Powell for design and engineering, an Jason Reisig for interaction design, and an Martin Watt and Alex Wells for the High-performance execution engine of premo character animation system at DreamWorks Animation.

The speed and simplicity of Premo allow animators to display characters in full resolution in a representative shot context, thus significantly increasing their productivity.

To Rob Jensen for the basic design and the further development of, and to Thomas Hahn for the animation toolset and George ElKoura, Adam Woodbury and Dirk Van Gelder for the High-performance execution engine of the Presto animation system in the Pixar Animation Studios.

Presto allows artists to work interactively in the scene context with high-resolution geometric models and sophisticated Rigs, and has significantly increased the productivity of character animators at Pixar.


John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, Vikas Sathaye and Shane Buckham for the conception, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 camera system.

This innovative, six-axis stabilized aerial camera mount with improved ability to capture shots directly to the bottom, allows for greater creative freedom and allows pilots to fly more efficient and safer.

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 dynamics framework, and workflow management tools have helped it become the industry standard for natural phenomena, destruction, and other digital effects on the screen.

Bill Spitzak and Jonathan Egstad for the visionary design, the development and management of the Nuke compositing system.

Nuke has been developed for Digital production and has become a ubiquitous and flexible tool in the film industry that enables innovative and demanding workflows to an unprecedented extent.

An Abigail Brady, Jon Watelton and Jerry Huxtable for their significant contributions to the architecture and extensibility of the Nuke compositing system.

Nuke has been expanded as a commercial product in the foundry, and is a comprehensive, versatile, and stable system that has established itself as the backbone of compositing and image processing pipelines in the film industry.

To Leonard Chapman for the overall concept, design and development, Stanislav Gorbatov for the electronic system design and to David Gasparian and Souhail Issa for the mechanical design and the integration Of the Hydra-scope telescoping crane systems.

With its fully waterproof design, Hydrascope has significantly expanded crane technology and versatility by enabling precise long-stroke multi-axis camera movements in, out and through fresh or salt water.

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