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This year's Scientific and Technical Academy Awards® were presented on February 27, 1999, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Scientific and Technical Awards are given for devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures and that also have a proven history of use in the motion picture industry.

Awards may be granted in any of three classifications: Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette), for basic achievements that have a definite influence upon the advancement of the industry; Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy plaque), for those achievements that exhibit a high level of engineering and are important to the progress of the industry; and Technical Achievement Award (Academy certificate), for those accomplishments that contribute to the progress of the industry.


Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical achievement for 1998 are:

Academy Award of Merit
(Oscar Statuette)

To Avid Technology, Inc., for the concept, system design and engineering of the Avid Film Composer for motion picture editing.

The Avid Film Composer is a digital, non-linear, 24 frame-per-second editing machine using compression algorithms, that has revolutionized the art of film editing. Shots can be stored, recalled, manipulated and played back instantaneously, allowing the film editor unprecedented creative freedom and the ability to realize a film more fully than before.


Scientific and Engineering Awards
(Academy Plaques)

To Dr. Thomas G. Stockham, Jr. and Robert B. Ingebretsen for their pioneering work in the areas of waveform editing, crossfades and cut-and-paste techniques for digital audio editing.

The foundation of current digital audio editing equipment for motion pictures has its roots in the late seventies work of these digital pioneers.

To James A. Moorer for his pioneering work in the design of digital signal processing and its application to audio editing for film.

This early work in systems architecture and software has had a significant impact on the digital creation of sound effects and the editing of audio for motion picture sound tracks.

To Stephen J. Kay of K-Tec Corporation for the design and development of the Shock Block.

This specially designed ground fault interrupter eliminates the electric shock hazard when working in water, wet conditions or from an accidentally exposed power line.

To Gary Tregaskis for the primary design; and to Dominique Boisvert, Phillippe Panzini and Andre LeBlanc for the development and implementation of the Flame and Inferno software.

The Inferno System, and its predecessor, Flame, provide high-speed, efficient integrated digital compositing and visual effects tools.

To Robert Predovich, John Scott, Ken Husain and Cameron Shearer for the design and implementation of the Soundmaster Integrated Operations Nucleus operating environment.

The Soundmaster system provides motion picture audio post production facilities with a completely integrated capability for synchronization of audio and picture elements with the numerous methods of synchronization in use today.

To Roy Ference, Steve Schmidt, Richard J. Federico, Rocky Yarid and Mike McCrackan for the design and development of the Kodak Lightning Laser Recorder.

The Kodak Lightning laser recorder system established higher operational and quality standards and achieved wide industry acceptance for digital film recording onto intermediate film stock.

To Colin Mossman, Hans Leisinger and George John Rowland for the concept and design of the Deluxe High Speed Spray Film Cleaner.

This innovative and effective high speed film cleaning machine is unique in its use of spray technology, providing the flexibility to use alternative solvents and to anticipate changes in environmental legislation.

To ARRI USA, Inc., for the concept; and to the engineering staff of Arnold & Richter Cine Technik under the direction of Walter Trauninger for the engineering of the ARRI 435 Camera System.

The 435 enhances the creative process via its programmability and reliability, and provides the camera operator with the widest feature and performance capability of any MOS camera in use today.

To Arnold & Richter Cine Technik and the Carl Zeiss Company for the concept and optical design of the Carl Zeiss/Arriflex Variable Prime Lenses.

This series of variable prime lenses opens many creative possibilities, since any focal length can be continuously selected throughout the entire range. They offer sharp, high-contrast, high-resolution images with minimized vignetting, superior to many prime lenses.

To Derek C. Lightbody of OpTex for the design and development of Aurasoft luminaires.

The Aurasoft offers a radical new type of reflector design for the production of soft, very even and relatively shadowless light, with superior coverage and significantly higher intensity than existing softlights.

To Mark Roberts, Ronan Carroll, Assaff Rawner, Paul Bartlett and Simon Wakley for the creation of the Milo Motion-Control Crane.

This radically original and effective solution to the problems of high-speed camera motion was achieved with the combination of novel geometry and dedicated 3-dimensional control software.

To Michael Sorensen and Richard Alexander of Sorensen Designs International, and Donald Trumbull for advancing the state-of-the-art of real-time motion-control, as exemplified in the Gazelle and Zebra camera dolly systems.

Over the past decade, Sorensen, Alexander and Trumbull have improved the speed, repeatability and portability of robotic camera platforms through novel engineering concepts and the pioneering use of composite materials.

To Ronald E. Uhlig, Thomas F. Powers and Fred M. Fuss of the Eastman Kodak Company for the design and development of KeyKode latent-image barcode key numbers.

KeyKode numbers are machine-readable bar codes on camera negative film that exactly replicate the human-readable key numbers. Together with an appropriate reader and database software, they reduce errors and speed important post-production operations, leading to significant cost savings.

To Iain Neil for the optical design; Takuo Miyagishima for the mechanical design; and Panavision, Incorporated, for the concept and development of the Primo Series of spherical prime lenses for 35mm cinematography.

The Primo Series of lenses for 35mm cinematography represents a thorough and comprehensive approach to prime lens design, development and manufacture. This family of lenses has a wide range of focal length, all color matched, with improved modulation transfer function characteristics.


Technical Achievement Awards
(Academy Certificates)

 

To Garrett Brown and Jerry Holway for the creation of the Skyman flying platform for Steadicam operators.

This cable-driven, manned camera platform allows the operator to spin 360 degrees for unimpeded pans while controlling the downhill speed via brakes. As a device for achieving otherwise impossible shots, Skyman has had a definite influence on later cable-suspended camera systems.

To James Rodnunsky, James Webber and Bob Webber of Cablecam Systems, and Thornton Bayliss for the design and engineering of Cablecam.

This radio-controlled, cable-driven camera platform with its ultra-smooth synthetic cables and powerful hydraulic motors, enables runs in excess of 3,000 feet with quick return to start. Operating unmanned, it can function at speeds and through perils that would be unsafe for on-board operators.

To David DiFrancesco, N. Balasubramanian and Thomas L. Noggle for their pioneering efforts in the development of laser film recording technology.

This pioneering laser film recorder, designed and used for motion pictures, demonstrated the potential of this technology for recording digital data onto intermediate film stock.

To Michael MacKenzie, Mike Bolles, Udo Pampel and Joseph Fulmer of Industrial Light & Magic for their pioneering work in motion-controlled, silent camera dollies.

This silent, high-speed motion control modification of a Panther dolly makes it possible to film moving-camera composite shots of actors while recording live dialogue.

To Barry Walton, Bill Schultz, Chris Barker and David Cornelius of Sony Pictures Imageworks for the creation of an advanced motion-controlled, silent camera dolly.

This extensive modification to the Panther dolly allows high-speed moves to be silent, smooth and stable.

To Bruce Wilton and Carlos Icinkoff of Mechanical Concepts for their modular system of motion-control rotators and movers for use in motion control.

These components have become the de facto industry standard for use in precision motion-control equipment.

To Remy Smith for the software and electronic design and development; and James K. Branch and Nasir J. Zaidi for the design and development of the Spectra Professional IV-A digital exposure meter.

The design and execution of the Spectra Professional IV-A digital exposure meter has resulted in a practical and successful tool for the film production community.

To Ivan Kruglak for his commitment to the development of a wireless transmission system for video-assisted images for the motion picture industry.

Through years of persistent effort, Mr. Kruglak has commercialized and popularized a technique of great utility for motion picture camera operations. By introducing diversity antennas and a time-code insertion accessory, he has optimized camera wireless video-assist components.

To Dr. Douglas R. Roble for his contribution to tracking technology and for the design and implementation of the TRACK system for camera position calculation and scene reconstruction.

The TRACK system is an integrated software tool that uses computer-vision techniques to extract critical 2D and 3D information about a scene and the camera used to film it.

To Thaddeus Beier for the design and implementation of ras_track, a system for 2D tracking, stabilization and 3D camera and object tracking.

Ras_track allows the user to determine the position and location of the camera and objects in a scene by tracking points in a scanned sequence.

To Manfred N. Klemme and Donald E. Wetzel for the design and development of the K-Tek Microphone Boom Pole and accessories for on-set motion picture sound recording.

The K-TEK series microphone boom pole provides production recording personnel with a self-lubricated, light-weight, sturdy pole with multiple accessories.

To Nick Foster for his software development in the field of water simulation systems.

This software technique provides an efficient and flexible method for the creation of flowing streams, oceans, tidal waves and turbulence for motion picture visual effects.

To Cary Phillips for the design and development of the "Caricature" Animation System at Industrial Light & Magic.

By integrating existing tools into a powerful interactive system, and adding an expressive multi-target shape interpolation-based freeform animation system, the "Caricature" system provided a degree of subtlety and refinement not possible with other systems.

To Dr. Mitch Bogdanowicz of the Eastman Kodak Company, and Jim Meyers and Stan Miller of Rosco Laboratories, Inc., for the design of the CalColor Calibrated Color Effects Filters.

Designed to correspond to the spectral sensitivity of color negative film stocks, these filters provide for improved color control in motion picture lighting.

To Dr. Carl F. Holtz, David F. Kopperl, Dr. A. Tulsi Ram and Richard C. Sehlin for the research and development of the concept of molecular sieves applied to improve the archival properties of processed photographic film.

The use of zeolite crystals as molecular sieves to absorb moisture, acetic acid, methylene chloride and a variety of solvents created an effective deterrent to the effects of vinegar syndrome in stored film stock.

To Takuo Miyagishima and Albert K. Saiki of Panavision, Inc., for the design and development of the Eyepiece Leveler.

This leveler keeps the camera eyepiece at the same level, regardless of whether the camera position is tilted up or down, enabling the camera operator to concentrate on the composition of the image.

To Edmund M. Di Giulio and James Bartell of Cinema Products for the design of the KeyKode Sync Reader.

The KeyKode Sync Reader provides a fast, accurate and user-friendly means of utilizing the KeyKode information on film, thereby expediting the editorial and post-production processes.

To Ivan Kruglak for his pioneering concept and the development of the Coherent Time Code Slate.

Time-code slates have had significant impact on the filmmaking process by simplifying post-production. This development makes the synchronization process faster and more precise, particularly when multiple cameras are used.

To Mike Denecke for refining and further developing electronic time-code slates.

Due to their features and simplified operational procedures, the Denecke slates have had significant impact on the motion picture industry and have become the standard for electronic time-code slates.

To Ed Zwaneveld and Frederick Gasoi of the National Film Board of Canada, and Mihal Lazaridis and Dale Brubacher-Cressman of Research in Motion for the design and development of the DigiSync Film KeyKode reader.

The DigiSync Film KeyKode Reader provides a fast, accurate and user- friendly means of utilizing the KeyKode information on film, expediting the editorial and post-production processes.


 

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