Oscars: Academy Reveals Tech Achievements It Is Considering for Awards

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UPDATED: The SciTech Committee is examining digital cameras for awards consideration.

Could this awards season mark the first year that a digital cinematography camera is honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards?

It might be. The AMPAS on Monday announced that its Scientific and Technical Awards Committee is investigating 12 areas, including high-resolution digital motion picture cameras with sensors sized Super 35 or larger — meaning high-end cameras from companies such as Arri, Red and Sony.

To date, no digital cinematography camera has been recognized with a SciTech Award.

These investigations are made public so individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review. That deadline to submit additional entries is Aug. 30.

Other areas of investigation include advancements in motion control software; wireless microphone technology; computer-printed, seamless scenic backdrops; and camera flange depth measurement devices.

It also includes 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; and reconfigurable, rideable, life-size animatronic horses. The committee also will continue its investigation of rig-based solvers for tracking and animating deforming objects from image sequences, which it tabled in 2015.

The committee will meet in early December to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions. The Scientific and Technical Awards presentation will be held on Feb. 11.

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