ArriLaser Pictorvision to Receive Academy Awards

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Mon, 01/30/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Arri and Pictorvision will both be awarded with Scientific and Engineering Academy Awards at the 84th Annual Academy Awards for Technical Achievement during a ceremony on February 11 in Beverly Hills. The Academy presents the awards to individuals behind these achievements which “demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures ” the organization says. Franz Kraus Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel will accept the award for Arri for the design and development of the ArriLaser which “demonstrates a high level of engineering resulting in a compact user-friendly low-maintenance device while at the same time maintaining outstanding speed exposure ratings and image quality.” Michael Lewis Greg Marsden Raigo Alas and Michael Vellekoop will accept the award for Pictorvision for the concept design and implementation of the Pictorvision Eclipse an electronically stabilized aerial camera platform. The initial concept of the ArriLaser was inspired by the development of a large-scale laser printer at the Fraunhofer Institute IPM in Freiburg. Project manager Riedel suggested utilizing the experience and technology gained in this previous project for the film industry which led to a very successful partnership between the Fraunhofer Institute IPM in Freiburg and Arnold & Richter Cine Technik in Munich. This partnership allowed Kraus Steurer and Riedel to come up with product specifications for a laser-based high dynamic range high-resolution film recorder. After just two years of development the first prototypes were delivered to Digital Domain and Computer Film Company for beta testing in 1998. Today the ArriLaser is the industry standard with over 280 units in use around the globe. “The concept was to have technology which would satisfy Hollywood-quality demands but would be efficient and competitive to accommodate lower budget films ” says Franz Kraus Arri’s managing director. Steurer principal engineer at Arri’s R&D department says “The ArriLaser made it possible to record complete feature films at a moderate price with quick recording speed so the industry could turn from shot-based visual effects production to digital production for the complete features. This enabled the digital intermediate process on a big scale.“ “While the development of the ArriLaser posed several technological challenges our enthusiasm was inspirational for various scientists and engineers making significant contributions in their respective fields ” says Riedel of the Fraunhofer IPM. This early foray into digital technology later paved the way for more innovation. “We are very pleased that we receive the Oscar in particular for this product because it is the first digital system Arri ever built ” says Kraus. “The ArriLaser has been a success in itself but it was really the foundation to further digital projects: the ArriScan and the Arriflex D-20. Without those products there would not have been the in-house engineering competence and the customer confidence for the successful design and marketing of the Alexa camera.” Regarding Pictorvision the Academy says “The Pictorvision Eclipse system allows cinematographers to capture aerial footage at faster flying speeds with aggressive platform maneuvering.” Designed by the same team that pioneered aerial stabilization for cameras 35 years ago the Eclipse represents a revolutionary milestone in the advancement of aerial camera platforms. It incorporates proprietary patented XR Motion Management technology that enables the most advanced steering stability and pointing and tracking capabilities. Eclipse’s advanced control system open architecture and ability to handle long and cumbersome lenses allow top aerial cinematographers to capture creative shots never before attainable. The system was used on five of the 2011’s top 10 highest grossing live action films; Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 Fast Five The Hangover Part II Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Thor. Arri Pictorvision