Katana Creators to Receive Technical Oscar

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Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the original creators of Katana will be presented with an Academy Technical Achievement Award. Sony Pictures Imageworks engineers Steve LaVietes Brian Hall and Jeremy Selan created the software as an in-house lighting and scene management solution for Sony Pictures Imageworks almost ten years ago. Katana has been used in production by Sony Pictures Imageworks artists since 2004 on more than 30 productions including Men In Black 3 The Amazing Spider-Man and Oz the Great and Powerful. The Foundry entered into a technology sharing agreement with Sony Pictures Imageworks in November 2009 and released Katana 1.0 in October 2011. Since then the two companies have been working together to ensure the successful use and integration of each other’s technology; exchanging updates and new discoveries. Katana takes an innovative recipe based approach enabling facilities large and small to build highly scalable and efficient lighting pipelines without a large internal engineering effort. The Foundry’s commercial version of the software takes the Katana lighting and rendering technology into the wider market. The list of clients includes ILM MPC and Digital Domain. In 2012 The Foundry’s Katana was picked up by a wide range of studios of various sizes including LAIKA Mikros Image in Paris Fido in Stockholm Newbreed in Montreal and Tippett Studio. This growth is expected to continue in 2013 as VFX facilities recognize the benefits of an industry standard collaborative lighting pipeline. The nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 25 individual award recipients will be honored at the annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 9. Unlike other Academy Awards achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards do not need to have been developed and introduced during 2012. Rather the achievements are rewarded based on a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.