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Indian Rahul Thakkar receives Oscar honor

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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Diya TV) — Rahul Thakkar, who was born in the United Kingdom and raised in India, has been selected as a 2016 honoree by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his contributions in the scientific and technical fields. He joins a short list of other Indian men whom have been honored by the Academy, including, Bhanu Athaiya, Satyajit Ray, Resul Pookutty, A.R. Rahman, and Gulzar.

Only 10 scientific and technical honorees are selected by the Academy, and the awards are given out at its Feb. 13 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation. Thakkar’s research in particle effects, display calibration control systems, networked media playback, 3-D projection theatre design, and several other contributions have earned him the award. The Academy, via its Twitter page, said Thakkar was being selected in thanks for his “groundbreaking design.”

He will be sharing the award with Richard Chuang—the two collaborated their efforts on the Dreamworks Animation Media Review System. Thakkar explained how the system functions, and how important its advancement is for the animation film industry.

Imagine it is late 1990s. Internet is new. People are using 56k modems to connect. Amazon.com is two years old. Then we were making Antz and doing visual effects for several live action films like Mission Impossible II, AI – Artificial Intelligence, Forces of Nature, etc. I was at PDI R&D. They wanted any artist to view any number of shots, back-to-back, from part of the film, in high resolution, at 24 fps, with high quality audio, with speed-change control, from any phase of production from any department (story, editing, animation, modeling, layout, lighting, vfx, etc.). And this was just the beginning. It had to be so easy that they should not be thinking about using the technology; they should be working on what they do best. I was given that task and we did it. The product stuck for all these years and here you go, it got recognized.

Thakkar opined that the effect companies like Dreamworks and Sony are having on the film industry is already being felt abroad in India, specifically, in Bollywood. Both studios have an already established presence in the country, and their contributions are already having an impact on the foreign film scene.

“Bollywood is already there. DreamWorks and Sony are but some of the studios with a strong presence in India,” Thakkar said. “I have seen very well done subtle effects in Bollywood projects and they are at par with Hong Kong and Hollywood.”

 

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