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Nine scientific and technical achievements were recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at its Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

The Sci-Tech Awards presentation is celebrated at a formal dinner held two weeks prior to the Oscar ceremony. The 2019 awards were presented by actor David Oyelowe.

“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,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee in a statement.

“This year, the committee is recognizing nine technologies. These contributions to the science of filmmaking have elevated our art form to incredible new heights.”

Unlike other Academy Awards, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2018. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements include:

  • The design and development of the PIX System’s security mechanism for distributing media. PIX System’s approach to secure media access has enabled adoption of their remotely collaborative dailies-review system by the motion picture industry.
  • Design and development of the MoGraph toolset in Cinema 4D for motion graphics. MoGraph provides a workflow for motion designers to create animated 3D graphics, as used for title design and fictional user interfaces in motion pictures.
  • Silhouette rotoscope and paint system. Silhouette provides a solution for painting, rotoscoping and image manipulation of high-resolution image sequences. Its fast architecture has resulted in wide adoption in motion picture post-production.
  • The Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination facial appearance capture method, and the design and engineering of the Light Stage X capture system. Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination was a breakthrough in facial capture technology allowing capture of an actor’s face with sub-millimeter detail. The Light Stage X structure has been the keystone of the method’s evolution into a production system.
  • Conception, design, and engineering of the Medusa Performance Capture System. Medusa captures animated meshes without markers or makeup, pushing the boundaries of visual fidelity and productivity for character facial performances in motion pictures.
  • Influential research on the fundamental scientific properties of subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives. Research and publications extended the theory of subdivision surfaces and inspired further development of methods that transformed the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.
  • Design and development of the Adobe After Effects software for motion graphics. Pioneering consumer hardware to host an application has made it the preeminent motion graphics tool in film production, allowing designers to create animated elements for title design, screen graphics, and fictional user interfaces.
  • Original architecture, design, and continued development and engineering of Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop’s architecture, virtual-memory design, and layering system introduced new user interactivity, which led to its adoption as the preferred artistic tool for digital painting and image manipulation across the motion picture industry.
  • Subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives. Their creation of essential geometric operations and sustained research on the fundamental mathematics of subdivision surfaces helped transform the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.

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