fxguidetv #135: Sci-Tech Oscars 2012

In this week’s episode we are at the 2012 Scientific and Technical Oscars in Hollywood. We have an in-depth discussion with industry veteran Douglas Trumbull (2001, Tree of Life, etc) about the technical possibilities of future cinema and catch up with ARRI to talk Master Primes and the new Alexa Studio and Alexa M cameras.

Scientific and Technical Award recipients

Douglas Trumbull received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which is presented to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.”

Visual effects technologist Jonathan Erland was also honored at the Sci-Techs, having been voted the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendations. Erland began at ILM and then moved to Apogee, where he received patents for a reverse bluescreen traveling matte process, the Blue-Max flux projector and a method for making front projection screens.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:

Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate)

To Andrew Clinton and Mark Elendt for the 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.

Scientific and Engineering Award (Academy Plaque)

To Radu Corlan, Andy Jantzen, Petru Pop and Richard Toftness for the 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.

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

To Michael Lewis, Greg Marsden, Raigo Alas and Michael Vellekoop for the 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.

To 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 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.

To John D. Lowry, Ian Cavén, Ian Godin, Kimball Thurston and Tim Connolly for the 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.

* Sadly John Lowry passed away on January 21st.

To FUJIFILM Corporation, Hideyuki Shirai, Dr. Katsuhisa Oozeki and Hiroshi Hirano for the 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.

Academy Award of Merit® (Oscar® Statuette)

To Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel for the 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.

5 thoughts on “fxguidetv #135: Sci-Tech Oscars 2012”

  1. Excellent episode! That was a great interview with Mr. Trumbull. He’s still as much a visionary as he’s always been. I really agree with his ideas about immersive movies, and I like that he allows traditional cinema to co-exist with it. It would be great to have cinematic stories (ideally shot on film) alongside spectacular ride-like experiences acquired with the latest digital equipment. Having both would surely get more people into cinema’s.
    It’s so cool that he shoots miniatures for sets instead of getting them out of a computer!

  2. Hi,

    I have one question. I didn’t get exactly what Mr. Trumbull means by 360 degree shutter, “A 360 shutter that means shutter never close”. What does this mean in digital camera? ‘Cause, as I know, we don’t have shutter “angle” in digital.
    If it is a negative camera equivalent, what is it in digital camera terminology?

    By the way, it was very informative and interesting. Thank you fxguide and Douglas Trumbull.


  3. a 360 degree shutter is short hand for fully open shutter – unlike film that is closed half the time. As the controls for a manual film shutter are in degrees and as the only other way to refer to this is more complex (talking in terms of exposure time is frame rate dependent) – most people use degrees to talk about digital shutters- by way on ease of use – but it is not an accurate term.
    And as such on say a Red camera there is an option to control shutter time by degrees – I assume as Doug was referring to our EPIC a lot in that interview and he also uses one from time to time – that is why he said that.


  4. Pingback: ERIC ALBA | fxguidetv covers Sci-Tech Oscars 2012

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