And the Oscar goes to … Paul Debevec

I’m talking about the Technical Oscar, the stepchild Academy Award that was already out handed last month. It’s dedicated to the unsung heroes of the movie biz, the inventors of groundbreaking technology that makes those flickering lights more and more spectacular every year. After all, it’s still the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences”, right?

Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins, John Monos and Mark Sagar got honored for the design and engineering of the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system developed for character relighting in motion pictures.

Their Light Stage is what fueled the production of Avatar, Benjamin Button (VFX Oscar Winner last year), Harry Potter, Superman 3, ect. So, it really is the star behind the scenes; the “thing” that makes photo-real digital actors possible.

Read more on the Lightstage Project page or watch Magic Paul's TED Talk on Digital Emily.

Oh, and my congratulations to everybody who worked on Avatar. Well deserved VFX Oskar. I seriously considered quitting my job and opening a t-shirt shop when I walked out of that movie. It's disturbingly good VFX work!

Christian Bloch

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