3D Society Technology Awards winners: Disney, Dolby, …

The International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society convened on Wednesday to award new technologies in 3D filmmaking. The ceremony was held at Paramount Studios, following a seminar detailing advancements in the ever-growing field. (See the winners list at the bottom of this post.)

“This year, our committee was amazed at the range of entries, from lasers to hologram technology,” said Society Awards chair Buzz Hays, studio chief of the True Image Company. “These are amazing technologies that will be captivating movie fans and TV audiences in the next few years.” The 19 companies awarded represent 10 different countries, and as Society president Jim Chabin put it, “Hollywood and all of us in entertainment are being enriched by a truly global marketplace of brilliant new ideas for making our content more exciting for audiences everywhere.”

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Honored with the Society’s Lumiere statuettes – so named for the worlds first filmmakers, the Lumiere Brothers – were Barco for it’s DP4K-60L Laser Projector; Walt Disney Studios, ARRI and Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for their Tri-Focal 3D Camera System; Dolby Laboratories for it’s extended dynamic range Dolby Vision; Panasonic, which produced three new 4K cameras and recorders; Prime Focus World for it’s 3D Hybrid Stereo Pipeline; Volfoni3D for it’s SmartCrystal Diamond theater system; and View Holographics for it’s holography system.

The past few years have witnessed a renaissance of 3D filmmaking, with directors as diverse as Ang Lee, Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Cuaron using the technology to artistically enhance their visions. The motion picture academy has embraced it as well, beginning with James Cameron’s “Avatar” (2009), which became the first film shot and released in 3D to be nominated for Best Picture. Since then, Scorsese’s “Hugo” (2011), Lee’s “Life of Pi” (2012), and Cuaron’s “Gravity” (2013), as well as animated 3D films “Up” (2009) and “Toy Story 3” (2010), have all been nominated for the top prize.

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An interesting trend has emerged with the tech awards as of late. Four out of the last five Oscar winners for Best Cinematography – “Avatar” (Mauro Fiore), “Hugo” (Robert Richardson), “Life of Pi” (Claudio Miranda), and “Gravity” (Emmanuel Lubezki) – were shot in 3D. All four of those films also won the Oscar for Visual Effects. Two of the four – “Avatar” and “Hugo” – won Production Design; “Gravity” lost out to another 3D production “The Great Gatsby”). And both “Life of Pi” and “Gravity” won Oscars for directing.

So what do these figures add up to?

Simply put, voters have a great deal of respect for the hard work that goes into creating a 3D film, and feel obliged to reward the effort, especially when it’s by one of their favorite auteurs. So while 3D may be a big money maker – films like “#Transformers: Age of Extinction#,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Maleficent” are among the years top grossers – it’s also proving to be an awards magnet … in the tech categories.

However, when it comes to Best Picture, however, voters continue to opt for more traditional fare, although “Gravity” certainly came close last year.

The ceremony concluded with a lifetime achievement award for John Rupkalvis, who created the multi camera autostereo camera rig. Upon accepting his award, Rupkalvis said, “As a kid, I always wondered why we have two eyes, yet the camera only has one. One day, perhaps after I’m gone, I hope all cameras will have two eyes.” With technology evolving ever so rapidly, he may yet live to see the day.

Lumiere statuettes were presented to:
• Adobe – Creative Cloud/Speed Grade
• Barco – DP4K-60L Laser Projector
• BitSpeed – Concurrency
• Blackmagic Design – UltraStudio 4K
• Walt Disney Studios – Trifocal Camera
• Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Intstitute – Trifocal Camera
• ARRI – Trifocal Camera
• Dolby Laboratories – Dolby Vision – EDR
• DVS – Clipster
• Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute – STAN System
• Gener8 – GPU-Accelerated Video In-Painting Occlusion Filling
• MasterImage 3D – MI-HORIZON3D
• Panasonic – 4K LUMIX, Digital Single Lens Mirror-less Camera DMC-GH4
• Panasonic – 4K Wearable, Point-of-view Camera HX-A500
• Panasonic – 4K VARICAM, High end production camera recorder AU-V35C1G/VREC1G
• Prime Focus World – Prime Focus World Hybrid Stereo Pipeline
• View Holographics – Holography
• Vision3 – Post Conversion Management System
• Volfoni3D – SmartCrystal Diamond

New Product Awards were presented to:
• 4DX – Cinema Innovation of the Year – 4D Movie Theater: Motion Seats and Environmental Effect Equipment, Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14
• StereoLabs – Autostereo Software of the Year – Verity  
• StereoLabs – Autostereo Workflow of the Year – First Live 3D Workflow for Glasses-free 3D Displays
• SuperD – 3D Mobile Product of the Year – SuperD Glasses-free 3D Mobile Solution
• zSpace – 3D Education Product of the Year – zSpace STEM Lab

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