IIT Kharagpur alumnus Parag Havaldar wins Technical Oscar


Indian-American Parag Havaldar, a computer engineer from IIT Kharagpur, is part of the Academy Awards' list of winners for Techinical achievement.

The list of 18 achievements was recently announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its 2017 Scientific and Technical awards and Havaldar is honoured for the development of expression-based facial performance-capture technology at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Till now we have 5 Indians, Costume Designer Bhanu Athaiya, The great filmmaker Satyajit Ray, Eminent Lyricist Gulzar, Music Maestro A R Rahman and Sound Designer/ Audiographer Resul Pookutty who have won the prestigious Academy Award of Merit, commonly known by its nickname "Oscar."

Parag Havaldar is the 6th Indian who has got this award for Techinical achievement. "This pioneering system enabled large-scale use of animation rig-based facial performance-capture for motion pictures, combining solutions for tracking, stabilisation, solving and animator-controllable curve editing," a release from the Academy said.

The awards will be be handed out on February 11 in Beverly Hills, ahead of the main Oscar ceremony to held on February 26.

Havaldar had done his BTech in computer science and engineering in 1991 from IIT and went on to do a PhD in computer vision and graphics from the University of Southern California in 1996.

Currently he is a software supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he leads the company's proprietary efforts in the area of performance capture.

The technology developed by him and his group has been used to create stylised and realistic character animations in a variety of movies including "Alice in Wonderland", "Monster House", "Hancock" and "Spiderman".

Conratulations Parag Havaldar for this achievement.