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Sci-Tech Oscars For Behind-the-Scene Movie Magic Including Render Queue

Academy Announces 2010 Sci-Tech Oscar Recipients

On January 7, 2011, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the individuals and companies that will be honored at its annual Science and Technical Awards Presentation.

And I, as proud mother of one of the recipients, am delighted that Chris Allen is one of those recognized for his hard work on the design and creation of work he started as far back as 15 years ago. Yep, sometimes innovation isn't recognized immediately! But individuals, companies and communities benefit from innovation from day one.

Academy Sci-Tech 2011 award Chris Allen

2010 Sci-Tech Awards: Chris Allen, Gautham Krishnamurti, Mark A. Brown and Lance Kimes
Chris Allen, Gautham Krishnamurti, Mark A. Brown and Lance Kimes accept their Technical Achievement Awards. Part of the Academy's 2010 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation held on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

Here are the 2011 Sci Tech award winners:

Receiving a Scientific and Engineering Award

  • Dr. Mark Sagar for developing influential facial motion retargeting solutions.
  • Mark Noel and John Frazier for their work on NAC Servo Winch System, which allows full-size cars, aircraft and other heavy props to be flown on wires.
  • To James Rodnunsky, Alex MacDonald and Mark Chapman for developing the Cablecam 3-D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies.
  • To Tim Drnec, Ben Britten Smith and Matt Davis for developing Spydercam 3D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies.

Receiving a Technical Achievement Award

  • Greg Ercolano for the design and engineering of a series of software systems culminating in the Rush render queue management system.
  • David M. Laur for developing the Alfred render queue management system.
  • Chris Allen, Gautham Krishnamurti, Mark A. Brown and Lance Kimes for their work on rendering queue management, "THE QUEUE!".
  • Florian Kainz for his work on the ObaQ render queue management system.
  • Eric Tabellion and Arnauld Lamorlette for creating a computer graphics bounce lighting methodology at feature film scale.
  • Tony Clark, Alan Rogers, Neil Wilson and Rory McGregor for their software design and continued development of cineSync.

The Innovation Lesson To Learn

If you or your company create something NEW... think about what award programs your work can be submitted to. Early innovation deserves early recognition -- and it can benefit your marketing, too!

The Queue, the production tool started by Chris was first developed for VIFX, a special and visual effects company in 1996. That company was sold to Fox. And then the division was sold to Rhythm and Hues. This software tool is a great example of solid architecture and collaborative development in realtime -- a close collaboration between the users of the program and the program team... and development continued today (2011), but the solid early design and development have stood the test of time, and provided the companies with ongoing competitive advantages that have made rendering farms faster and better managed. And that has helped provide American jobs in the throes of globalization of the entertainment industry, as well as keep production on-schedule, and costs down. Not a bad legacy for software innovation!

Even if you, as an innovator, contribute your behind-the-scenes work for high visibility projects that typically receive the acclaim, check out the industry recognition programs available. In today's technological wizardry, the actors, directors and wardrobe designers whose work appears onscreen just wouldn't be as magical without the pixels, timing and coloration of the techies supporting them from the shadows.

Congratulations to each of you! You have contributed to the storytelling of our generations!

Carolyn Allen

Yeah, Chris... I'm so happy for your recognition, and I've always been impressed with the quality work and kind generosity you share with your colleagues. You make a mother proud...every day!


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