Kodak innovators honored by leading motion picture technical society

SMPTE recognizes Kodak scientists for contributions to the motion picture industry

HOLLYWOOD, California, Oct. 27, 2008: Four Kodak technologists will be honored this week for significant imaging innovations that have helped to advance the entertainment industry.

The Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) will recognize the achievements of the four Kodak technologists - Michael Ryan, Richard Wheeler, Nestor Rodriguez and Dr. Thomas Maier - at its annual Honors and Awards Ceremony, to be held on Oct. 30. SMPTE is the industry's leading society for the promotion of new technology and innovation in visual entertainment.

"While these awards are individual honors, they also represent a broad base of recognition for a very highly respected team of people," said Gary Einhaus, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Kodak's motion picture division. "This entire group is made up of extraordinary professionals whose expertise in motion picture technology - film, digital and hybrid - represents an important element of Kodak's success. Their creativity, diligence and scientific curiosity will help lead us into the exciting future of imaging technology."

The awards are as follows:

  • "Michael Ryan, film technology director for Kodak's Entertainment Imaging division, will receive one of the Society's highest honors: the Technicolor/Herbert T. Kalmus Gold Medal. This prestigious technical award, which dates back to 1956, recognizes Ryan for his contributions to the development of color negative film products and his pioneering research in developing two electron sensitization technology for motion picture applications. Ryan's work has directly contributed to the ongoing speed and image structure improvements found in several generations of Kodak's motion picture film platforms - including its most recent VISION2 and VISION3 families. In addition, his work as project leader and technical contributor for the VISION2 color negative platform helped earn Kodak its ninth Oscar ® statuette from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year.

    "I am very honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as SMPTE," said Ryan. "It's humbling to look at the list of previous award recipients, which includes many Kodak colleagues, team members and friends. This really shows Kodak's absolute dedication to innovation, which is what keeps our products and technology applications very relevant within today's evolving, complex imaging chain."
  • "This year's SMPTE Journal Award will go to Kodak's Richard B. Wheeler, senior principal scientist, and Nestor Rodriguez, senior technical associate. This award is presented annually to the authors of the most outstanding paper originally published in the Journal of the Society during the preceding calendar year. The Wheeler/ Rodriguez article, titled 'The Effect of Single-Sensor CFA Captures on Images Intended for Motion Picture and TV Applications,' explores the image-quality tradeoffs that are associated with digital cameras employing tri-sensor and single-sensor designs. To illustrate the key tradeoffs in system design, the resolution, sharpness, aliasing, reconstruction errors, color filter array (CFA) artifacts, sensitivity (speed), and dynamic range that are associated with current designs are quantified. 
  • "Dr. Thomas Maier, Kodak research fellow, will be awarded the Journal Certificate of Merit in recognition of his work on the SMPTE Engineering Guideline for Digital Cinema that was published in a series of six Journal articles over the course of two years. The guideline reflects Maier's work on color definition, uniformity, projector calibrations and color encoding for digital cinema applications. Maier has been recognized in the past for his work in determining the encoding necessary for digitally projected images so that the images would preserve all the detail that the human eye is capable of seeing. His important research has resulted in a SMPTE Digital Cinema standard defining 12-bit encoding for digital cinema (as compared with the traditional 10-bit encoding, which was the industry postproduction standard for many years). Maier also drove standards allowing for a significantly larger color gamut, increasing digital cinema image quality. His work has had a major impact on the industry, and is another proof point of Kodak's technical leadership in virtually every imaging category.

About SMPTE 2008: Annual Tech Conference & Expo
SMPTE 2008: Annual Tech Conference & Expo takes place October 28-30, 2008 at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, CA. It is preceded by the full-day symposium, Filmmaking and Live Event Broadcast on October 27, 2008, at the same location. Produced by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry, SMPTE 2008 is created by entertainment technology professionals. It features educational sessions and a hands-on show floor that highlight new and emerging media technologies of practical use to content creation, management, distribution and display professionals.

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry. As an internationally recognized and accredited standards-setting body, SMPTE develops standards, recommended practices and guidelines and spearheads educational activities to advance engineering and moving imagery. Since its founding in 1916, the Society has established close to 600 standards, including the physical dimensions of 35mm film and the SMPTE time code. More recently, it codified the MXF file format to support the exchange of professional AV content and crafted the Digital Cinema Standards, which paved the way for digital movie theaters. Headquartered in New York, SMPTE is comprised of engineers and other technical specialists, IT and new media professionals, filmmakers, manufacturers, educators and consultants in more than 65 countries. They are joined at SMPTE by more than 200 sponsoring corporations, principal players in content creation, production and delivery for all platforms and in entertainment hardware and software. http://www.smpte.org