The annual scientific and technical awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be announced on February 11. Indian American technologist Kiran Bhat will be one of the winners announced for his ILM facial performance in movies “Star Wars: Rogue One” and “The Avengers.”
Oscars: Academy Scientific and Technical Award
The Oscars has honored men and women who have achieved extraordinary feats in the field of science and technology in motion pictures since 1931. The Academy distributes the awards at a separate dinner ceremony instead of the main event.
The former differs from the main event in a sense that winners are notified beforehand. The nominees for categories in the main event are clueless until the final moment the winner’s names are announced.
This might betray the suspense that accompanies the exhilaration of receiving a prestigious award. However, it is by no means less significant. Over the years, the Academy has recognized the contribution of individuals working behind the scenes on a motion picture the same as those on screen.
So, the fact that Kiran Bhat’s hard work is going to be commemorated with an Oscar is something India can be proud of. For Bhat, it is nothing short of a dream come true.
Kiran Bhat Facts, Career And More
Bhat has multiple degrees in EEE and Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani. He has done his PhD in robotics and artificial intelligence from the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg.
“I was always fascinated with understanding movement and nature. So, studying facial movements and representing it in a computer felt like the ultimate challenge in this aspect,” he said, reported The Hindu.
He also spoke of the technology in “The Avengers,” for which he won the award for. His technology analyzes every nook and cranny of an actor’s face, including emotions. The system uses that data to create a 3D digital character resembling the face analyzed in every angle.
The technology allows filmmakers to combine reality with fiction. To do so in a way that the audience cannot tell the two apart. In turn, it allows for storytelling without technical limitations.
The technology is already revolutionary, but Kiran Bhat intends to take it to the next level. According to The Quint, Bhat plans to create Loom.ai. It is an advanced form of the same technology that lets one create 3D avatars from a simple selfie!