Mark Sagar of Weta Digital, New Zealand, will be awarded a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2011 for early and continuing development of influential facial motion capture retargeting solutions, used in films including Avatar and King Kong. This will be Sagar’s second award following one he shared in 2010 with Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins and John Monos for the design and engineering of the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system for character relighting in motion pictures.
A former medical researcher, Sagar began his segue into the field of visual effects technology by developing computer simulations of the human eye for doctors at Auckland University. Sagar holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from The University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he worked on Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation and Anatomic Modelling with Peter Hunter’s Bioengineering group, now the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Sagar was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and prior to Weta, he worked as a Research and Development Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Sagar is an invited speaker at the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE11), to be held February 28 – March 4, 2011, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA. The title of his talk is Reverse Engineering The Face.
Read the official press release from the Academy here.
More information about CSE 2011 can be found here.