Two Weta projects are among 21 named by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for consideration for gongs in 2015.
The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of AMPAS announces the list of achievements under consideration each year, largely to avoid fights later on if someone puts their hand up to claim ‘I did that first’.
Weta has a couple of achievements being looked at. In its own right it has “Systems for interactive grooming and direct-manipulation of digital hair”. In partnership with Digital Domain, UC Berkeley it has “Digital technologies for high-density physical destruction simulation” – which one suspects means, in plainer English, blowing shit up digitally.
At this year’s Sci-Tech Awards, Weta’s Martin Hill, Jon Allitt and Nick McKenzie were honoured for their work on Weta`s spherical harmonics-based efficient lighting system. For those with no clue what a “spherical harmonics-based efficient lighting system” is (or does) the Academy provided a slightly plainer English explanation:
The spherical harmonics lighting pipeline precomputes and reuses a smooth approximation of time-consuming visibility calculations. This enables artists to quickly see the results of changing lights, materials and set layouts in scenes with extremely complex geometry.
The Sci-Tech Awards are announced ahead of the presentation on Sunday 8 February, 2015 (NZ time). The full list of projects being considered is here.