Vision & Craft: People

ILM’s John Knoll Among Sci-Tech Awards Honorees


This article originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter

Nine technical achievements, represented by 27 individual award recipients including ILM’s John Knoll, will be honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Feb. 9 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Also during the evening, cinematographer Curtis Clark (The Draughtsman’s Contract), who chairs the American Society of Cinematographers’ Motion Imaging Technology Council, will receive the John A. Bonner Medal for service.

Scientific and Engineering Awards (Academy Plaques) will be presented to David Simons, Daniel Wilk, James Acquavella, Michael Natkin and David Cotter for Adobe After Effects; Oscar-winning VFX supervisor John Knoll, Thomas Knoll and Mark Hamburg for Adobe Photoshop; and Pixar’s leader Ed Catmull, Tony DeRose and Jos Stam for their subdivision surfaces science.

The recipients of the Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates) are Eric Dachs, Erik Bielefeldt, Craig Wood and Paul McReynolds for the PIX System for distributing media; Per-Anders Edwards for the MoGraph toolset in motion graphics software Cinema 4D; and Paul Miller and Marco Paolini for their work on the Silhouette rotoscope and paint system.

Technical achievement awards also will be presented to Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins and Wan-Chun Ma for the Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination facial appearance capture method; Xueming Yu for the related Light Stage X capture system; and Charles Loop for his subdivision surfaces research.

Thabo Beeler, Derek Bradley, Bernd Bickel and Markus Gross are also being honored for the conception, design and engineering of the Medusa Performance Capture System. Medusa captures exceptionally dense animated meshes without markers or makeup, pushing the boundaries of visual fidelity and productivity for character facial performances in motion pictures.

“Each year, the Academy forms a diverse committee made up of nearly 60 experts on the technology of filmmaking tasked with examining the tools that artists use to create films,” Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee, said Wednesday in a statement. “This year, the committee is recognizing nine technologies from around the world. These extraordinary contributions to the science of filmmaking have elevated our art form to incredible new heights.”