Oscar's tech awards smile on Kodak

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Eastman Kodak will receive an Academy Award of Merit for its development of photographic emulsion technologies used in its Vision2 color negative films at the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards.

A total of 10 technologies -- including six for fluid-simulation developments that enable computer-generated water, smoke and explosions -- will be recognized at the Feb. 9 ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

As digital technology has marched forward, Kodak has maintained its position to continue the development of film. This year, Kodak's technologies are being honored for breakthroughs in film speed, grain and sharpness. The company will receive an Oscar statuette.

Also in the area of film development, Jonathan Erland will receive the Award of Commendation for his leadership and efforts toward identifying and solving the problem of high-speed emulsion stress syndrome in motion picture film stock.

Scientific and Engineering Awards, an Academy plaque, will be presented to Doug Roble, Nafees Bin Zafar and Ryo Sakaguchi for the development of the fluid-simulation system at Digital Domain, and to Nick Rasmussen, Ron Fedkiw and Frank Losasso Petterson for the development of the Industrial Light + Magic fluid-simulation system.

Pettersen suggested two reasons why fluid simulation is receiving so much attention this year.

"First and most obvious is the sheer number of films released recently that have 3-D water in them," he said. "Also, water hasn't received any awards in a really long time because the water technology that was first developed was 2-D water, which was used on films like 'Titanic' -- that was basically water background plates. ... Since about the turn of the century, a number of papers have come out (with research) that have made water simulation possible."

On this subject, Technical Achievement Awards -- Academy certificates -- will be given to Victor Gonzalez, Ignacio Vargas and Angel Tena for RealFlow liquid-simulation software; Jonathan Cohen, Jerry Tessendorf, Jeroen Molemaker and Michael Kowalski for the development of the system of fluid-dynamics tools at Rhythm & Hues; Duncan Brinsmead, Jos Stam, Julia Pakalns and Martin Werner for the design and implementation of the Maya Fluid Effects system; and Stephan Trojansky, Thomas Ganshorn and Oliver Pilarski for the development of the Flowline fluid-effects system.

Technical Achievement Awards also will be presented to Christien Tinsley for the creation of the transfer techniques for creating and applying 2-D and 3-D makeup known as Tinsley Transfers; Jorg Pohler and Rudiger Kleinke of Ottec Technology for the Tiny Foggers battery-operated fog machines; and Sebastian Cramer for the design of the Skater Dolly and its family of products.

Two previously announced Scientific and Technical Special Award recipients also will be recognized at the dinner: David A. Grafton, who will receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, and David S. Inglish, the John A. Bonner Award.
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