When it comes to digitally generated hair, no one is better than Christoph Springer from Salzburg. At least that is how you see the American Academy of Film Arts and Sciences – or “The Academy” for short, which awards the famous Oscars every year.
Because the Academy’s “Technical Achievement Award”, the Technology Oscar, goes to Christoph Springer and two of his colleagues. For the new edition of “Jungle Book” in 2016, they wrote a new program to mimic several of Balu’s fur whiskers, Baghira & Co: “We had to do King Louie’s hair – and the old hair system was simply not suitable for this,” Sprenger says today . “It took a lot of detail in poetry. We just wrote a new system that can simulate more poetry. Usually we simulate a small section of hair at a time. With our system, we can actually simulate almost any hair.”
“The Jungle Book” – The new version can be seen on Saturday 6 February 2021 at 8.15 pm on ORFeins.
The technology has since been used in many blockbuster Hollywood movies – for example in two “Avengers” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. However, Christoph Springer did not anticipate the poetry simulation award: “We didn’t submit poetry either. It has to be a different company. The process is always like this: If the academy finds a specific field of work – in this case poetry – interesting, they put out a tender and ask all of them. “Companies around the world as to whether they can send in their technology. Then there’s a six-month investigation. Experts look at that and then write a relatively long report on what program to give.”
Came for “Avatar”, since then he’s working in New Zealand
Christoph Springer was born and raised in Salzburg. He’s been living and working in Wellington, New Zealand for twelve years – at Weta Digital, one of the world’s largest animators, known for his influences in the films “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit,” for example. How he got there – literally at the other end of the world – is what Christoph Springer describes: “I came here in 2009 for the movie“ Avatar ”and I really wanted to stay just to see the movie. But then the company didn’t let me go and promoted me more on This field of work. “
Sprenger has started simulating water in “Avatar”. Its software can also calculate fires or building collapses and display realistically on the screen. He is currently working on simulating realistic muscles – for the continuation of the planned “Avatar”.
The downside: No Hollywood awards ceremony
However, there won’t be one thing this year for a tech Oscar winner: Big Hollywood Awards. Because of the Coronavirus, the award ceremony is taking place around mid-February – a small event: “That would have been great – simply because you can take your wife with you and apologize for all the years you haven’t been home.”
“It’s usually a relatively pompous dinner party,” says Springer. “My friends who were already there said, ‘This is really cool, you have to see it. This year is the only year that probably won’t happen.'” But he still feels good to be on the Forever Tech Oscar winners list.
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