Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Jeremy Selan Receives Scientific and Technical Achievement Award

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Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:18 -- Nick Dager

Jeremy Selan, Sony Pictures Imageworks’ imaging supervisor will be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with a Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for his role in developing the open source color management framework OpenColorIO.

It will be the second Sci-Tech Award for Selan. Last year, he was co-recipient of an award (with SPI staff members Steve LaVietes and Brian Hall) for Katana, a computer graphics scene management and lighting software package. Sony Pictures Imageworks staff has won a total of five awards over the history of the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards.

AMPAS’s annual Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards presentation will be held February 15 at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

“Congratulations to Jeremy and a sincere thank you to the Academy for this very special honor,” said Rob Bredow, Chief Technology Officer, Sony Pictures Imageworks.  “OpenColorIO provides an elegant solution to the problem of color management and has been embraced by visual effects studios, animation companies and software developers the world over. We are very proud of this endorsement of Imageworks technology and our role in making visual effects pipelines more efficient.”

OpenColorIO is an open-source color management framework designed for use in motion picture post-production. It ensures that visual effects artists, animators and others see the same image across a range of software applications, hardware systems and post-production processes. Previously, post-production operations relied on various ad hoc solutions for managed color, resulting in production inefficiencies and inconsistencies between and within facilities. Now, facilities can easily manage color across their entire pipelines.

As Selan explained, OpenColorIO resolves a persistent technical issue and allows artists to devote more time to the creative and aesthetic aspects of their work. “There are interesting creative challenges within color management, such as validating the ACES workflow,” he said, “but without a reliable color management tool it is difficult to focus on those things. OpenColorIO takes care of the routine issues so that artists can tackle more interesting challenges.”

Because OpenColorIO is distributed freely as an open source solution, it has been widely adopted by software developers, visual effects producers and animation houses. 

OpenColorIO has been used on numerous motion picture productions including the upcoming Columbia Pictures release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Warner Bros feature Edge of Tomorrow. London-based software developer The Foundry was an early adopter of the framework and contributor to its rapid acceptance in such applications as Nuke, Katana and Mari.

Selan joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in 2003. In addition to his work on OpenColorIO and Katana, he is the developer of Imageworks’ Image-Based Lighting Pipeline, which is widely used for on-set lighting acquisition. He also holds a patent for Color-Matched Digital Playback. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Cornell University.