On February 23, 2024 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will recognize 16 technologies for their impact on filmmaking. Two technologies that ILM played a key role in helping to develop will be among those recognized.
SciTech Awards committee chair Barbara Ford Grant said “this year, we honor 16 technologies for their exceptional contributions to how we craft and enhance the movie experience, from the safe execution of on-set special effects to new levels of image presentation fidelity and immersive sound to open frameworks that enable artists to share their digital creations across different software and studios seamlessly.”
Former ILM engineers Christopher Horvath and Joe Ardent are being recognized alongside Lucas Miller and Steve LaVietes for the Alembic Caching and Interchange system. Alembic began as a collaborative effort between ILM and Sony Pictures Imageworks to solve the problem of algorithms for storing and retrieving baked, time-sampled data enable high-efficiency caching across the digital production pipeline and sharing of scenes between facilities. The two companies would open-source the project and interchange library in 2011. Since then, Alembic has seen widespread adoption by major software vendors and production studios.
ILM’s Dan Bailey joins Jeff Lait, and Nick Avramoussis for the continued evolution and expansion of the feature set of OpenVDB. Core engineering developments contributed by OpenVDB’s open-source community have led to its ongoing success as an enabling platform for representing and manipulating volumetric data for natural phenomena. These additions have helped solidify OpenVDB as an industry standard that drives continued innovation in visual effects.
Unlike other Academy Awards® to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during a specified period. Instead, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.
Before this announcement, 34 ILM technological achievements had been recognized with Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards. This latest recognition continues a legacy of technical innovation dating back to the mid-1970s.