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by Courtesy Disney/Pixar Animation Studios

NICE RIDE Pixar shows off its Oscar-winning tech in Cars

For one night a year, the brightest stars in Hollywood aren´t spoiled starlets or megalomanaical directors. They are the scientists and engineers who create the technology that underlies all of modern filmmaking. On February 18, the Academy presented the 78th Annual Scientific and Engineering Awards to these worthy inventors. Here, a look at the winners.

HOT-HEAD

****Winners:**** Laurie Frost, Peter Hannan and Richard Loncraine, Shepperton Film Studios

Uses: This was the first remote-operated camera head, the now-ubiquituous device that holds the camera and moves it in any direction the filmmaker desires. The remote operation allows filmmakers to place cameras in dangerous spots that they couldn´t access before.

Credits: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Spider-Man, thousands of other films

CLOTH SIMULATION FOR FILM

Winners: David Baraff, Michael Kass, Andy Witkin, Pixar Animation Studios

Uses: Pixar´s software plugs scene-specific physical data about, say, the weight of the fabric in a character´s shirt into a series of mathematical equations that determine how it should move. Based on those physical parameters, the software creates lifelike wrinkles and movement.

Credits: Cars, The Incredibles,
Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc.

SKYCAM

Winners: Garrett Brown, Moving and Talking Picture Company, Inc.

Uses: Originally developed in 1984, the then-revolutionary Skycam was the first remote-controlled, cable-supported flying camera system. These days, look for it just behind the quarterback during professional football games.

Credits:_ Highlander_

CASCADE CRANE SERIES

Winner Anatoliy Kokush, Filmotechnic

Uses: Filmmakers can expand these lightweight aluminum-alloy cranes up to 70 feet to get shots from previously unreachable locations.

Credits: Van Helsing, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

PERFECT HORIZON CAMERA STABILIZATION HEAD

Winners: David Grober, Scott Lewallen, Motion Picture Marine

Uses: This stabilizing camera head neutralizes the pitching and rolling motion generated by boats, cars and other vehicles, creating a perfectly level horizon.

Credits:_ The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift_

RUSSIAN ARM CRANE AND FLIGHT HEAD

Winners: Anatoliy Kokush, Yuriy Popovsky and Alex Zolotariov,
Filmotechnic

Uses: This is the first crane that stabilizes both the camera head and the boom arm with gyroscopes.

Credits: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, X-Men 3, Mission: Impossible 3, War of the Worlds

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