UW CSE Ph.D. alumni Brett Allen and Per Christensen each have been selected to receive Scientific and Technical Academy Awards (“Oscars”) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Brett (Ph.D. 2005, advised by Brian Curless and Zoran Popovic) was part of a four-man team at San Francisco’s Industrial Light & Magic that won for the development of the Imocap, a way for capturing actors’ movements to create realistic computer-animated characters. Imocap uses sensor-studded suits and custom software to allow performance capture on movie sets, rather than in motion-capture studios. The system generated Davy Jones and other human-crustacean hybrids in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”
Per (Ph.D. 1995, advised by David Salesin Tony DeRose), of Pixar’s Seattle office, is one of two people honored for developing a faster and more realistic way to create shading for complex scenes. The technique is incorporated in Pixar’s RenderMan software, used in dozens of movies ranging from Terminator II to WALL-E. (UW CSE alumnus Loren Carpenter received an Oscar in 1992 for the original development of RenderMan.)