It was announced earlier this week that Alias|Wavefront had earned an "Award Of Merit" from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Kevin Tureski, the general manager for engineering at Alias|Wavefront, and other members of the team that created Maya will fly to Hollywood in early March to accept the award at a special ceremony for the academy's Scientific and Technical Awards.Mark Elendt, Paul Breslin, Greg Hermanovic and Kim Davidson of Side Effects Software will receive an Academy Plaque for their continued development of the procedural modeling and animation components of their Prisms program, which is now called Houdini.
The award that Alias|Wavefront has received is unusual, as the Oscar statuette is the academy's highest honor, and typically the academy gives out plaques or certificates for scientific and technical achievements. The last statuette that was handed out for a scientific and technical achievement went to IMAX in 1999 for its projector. Another aspect that is unusual is that the academy usually gives the award to a specific person or team, but in this case, the award is being presented to the entire company.
In addition to the "Award of Merit" to Alias|Wavefront, the following awards are being presented for game-related technology:
Thomas Driemeyer and the mathematicians, physicists and software engineers of Mental Images will receive an Academy Certificate for their contributions to the mental ray renderer.