Moodabidri: This February, an Indian is going to bag yet another Oscar Awards for technical achievement and this time, there is a reason for Dakshina Kannada to be happy about.
Kiran Bhat (41) who will receive the award in February for the design and development of the ILM facial performance-capture solving system is from Coimbatore, but he has his roots in Kadandale of Moodabidri as his ancestors hailed from this small hamlet of Dakshina Kannada district.
Kiran happens to be the second person from Coimbatore to bag this award, only after Cottalango Leon who won the Oscar last year in the same category.
On January 4, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced 18 scientific and technical achievements represented by 34 individual recipients who will be honoured at the annual scientific and technical awards presentation on February 11.
Kiran, 41, an alumnus of Stanes Anglo Indian School in Coimbatore, completed his dual degree in mechanical and electrical and electronics engineering at Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani. He then pursued his doctorate in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, US.
Around six years ago, Kiran, along with his colleagues Michael Koperwas, Brian Cantwell and Paige Warner from ILM developed the facial performance-capture system.
"This was first used in Avengers for the character Hulk where we captured the expressions of Mark Ruffalo. A helmet fit with two cameras was placed on Ruffalo's head when he acted on the set. With this, we transferred Raffalo's expressions into the digital character," said Kiran through video-conferencing to TOI.
The technology was also used in other movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Warcraft, Star Wars Episode VII and Star Wars Rogue One. While in Avengers, Hulk was created with Mark Ruffalo, a person who is alive, in Star Wars Rogue One, Peter Cushing was recreated. "We sought help of Guy Henry who studied Peter Cushing's work. He enacted like him and we captured his expressions, reports TOI.
Kiran quit ILM almost a year ago and started his own venture Loom.ai where he has built a technology for creating personalised and 3D digital avatars from photographs that can be plugged into games, messaging bots, social virtual reality and e-commerce.
Kiran's father, Srinivas Bhat Kadandale, belongs to the family of priests of Lord Subrahmanya temple at Kadandale. His wife, Jayashree, hails from Kallianpur. Srinivas Bhat runs his own industry at Coimbatore. Bhat's wife, Pavana, too holds a doctorate and his sister, Preethi, work in USA.
Bhat is the eighth Indian to have won the prestigious Oscar award.