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Academy Targets 12 Different Areas for Sci-Tech Oscars

An AMPAS committee will begin investigating technical breakthroughs in a dozen different fields


If you’ve done groundbreaking work in the field of reconfigurable animatronic horses, vector-based drawing tools or ray-tracing production renderers supporting physically-based shading and light transport, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would like to hear from you.

Those areas are all under consideration for 2016 Scientific and Technical Oscars, the Academy announced on Monday.

The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has begun investigating 12 different areas, and made their investigation public so that individuals and companies that have done significant work in these areas can submit their achievements for review.

The areas under consideration for Sci-Tech Oscars:

• High-resolution digital motion picture cameras with sensors sized Super 35 or larger
• Recent advancements in motion control software
• Recent advancements in wireless microphone technology
• Computer-printed, seamless scenic backdrops
• Camera flange depth measurement devices
• Shading programming languages for production rendering
• Ray-tracing production renderers supporting physically-based shading and light transport
• Real-time, vector-based drawing tools for sketching and markup in film production
• Fast-reset bullet hit kits for live-action production
• On-set, real-time, principal camera tracking technology
• Electrodeless plasma arc lamps for motion picture lighting
• Reconfigurable, rideable, life-size animatronic horses

The committee will also continue investigating “rig-based solvers for tracking and animating deforming objects from image sequences,” which it began last year.

The Sci-Tech Oscars are not given out for work in a specific year, but for overall achievements in a field. They come in three different forms: Technical Achievement Awards, whose recipients get certificates; Scientific and Engineering Awards, which bestow plaques on the winners; and Academy Awards of Merit, which consist of an Oscar statuette.

The committee will meet in early December to select this year’s recipients, and the Sci-Tech Awards will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017.