And the Oscar goes to…Researchers, computer scientists, and photographers

Just a few days ago the Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievements were announced. The 8 awards go to a wide range of professionals in areas such as computer software, high-speed cameras, aerial cameras, and laser film preservation.

In many ways these descriptions are beyond our understanding, but they do, at the very least, bring into your mind the constant innovation in the film business.

These awards will be handed out on February 11, 2012, with the main awards show going on two weeks later.
 

Mantra Software

Invention and integration of micro-voxels in the Mantra software. This work allowed, for the first time, unified and efficient rendering of volumetric effects such as smoke and clouds, together with other computer graphics objects, in a micro-polygon imaging pipeline.

By Andrew Clinton, Mark Elendt
 

Phantom High-Speed Cameras

Design and engineering of the Phantom family of high-speed cameras for motion picture production. The Phantom family of high-speed digital cameras, including the Phantom Flex and HD Gold, provide imagery at speeds and efficacy surpassing photochemical technology, while seamlessly intercutting with conventional film production.

By Radu Corlan, Andy Jantzen, Petru Pop and Richard Toftness
 

ARRI Zeiss Master Prime

ARRI Zeiss Master Prime Lenses for motion picture photography. The Master Primes have achieved a full stop advance in speed over existing lenses, while maintaining state-of-the-art optical quality.  This lens family was also the first to eliminate the magnification change that accompanied extreme focus shifts.

By Dr. Jürgen Noffke for the optical design and Uwe Weber for the mechanical design
 

Pictorvision Eclipse

Concept, design and implementation of the Pictorvision Eclipse, an electronically stabilized aerial camera platform. The Pictorvision Eclipse system allows cinematographers to capture aerial footage at faster flying speeds with aggressive platform maneuvering.

By Michael Lewis, Greg Marsden, Raigo Alas and Michael Vellekoop
 

Stab-C

Stab-C Classic, Super-G and Stab-C Compact stabilizing heads. This versatile family of 5-axis camera and lens stabilizers allows any standard motion picture camera to be fitted into the open architecture of the structure.  The system can be quickly balanced and made ready for shooting platforms such as helicopters, boats, camera cars or cranes.

By E.F. “Bob” Nettmann for the concept and system architecture, Michael Sayovitz for the electronic packaging and integration, Brad Fritzel for the electronic engineering, and Fred Miller for the mechanical engineering of the
 

Lowry Process

Development of a unique and efficient system for the reduction of noise and other artifacts, thereby providing high-quality images required by the filmmaking process. The “Lowry Process” uses advanced GPU-accelerated, motion estimation-based image processing tools to enhance image quality.

By John D. Lowry, Ian Cavén, Ian Godin, Kimball Thurston and Tim Connolly
 

FUJIFILM ETERNA-RDS

Design and development of the FUJIFILM black and white recording film ETERNA-RDS 4791 for use in the archival preservation of film and digital images. Specifically designed for laser film recording and widely used in the industry today, the high-resolution FUJIFILM ETERNA-RDS 4791 film stock is an important step in protecting the heritage of the motion picture industry.

By FUJIFILM Corporation, Hideyuki Shirai, Dr. Katsuhisa Oozeki and Hiroshi Hirano
 

ARRILASER

Design and development of the ARRILASER Film Recorder. The ARRILASER film recorder demonstrates a high level of engineering resulting in a compact, user-friendly, low-maintenance device, while at the same time maintaining outstanding speed, exposure ratings and image quality.

By Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel

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