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Richard Chuang Wins Second Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement

Richard ChuangRichard Chuang, a distinguished member of the Cogswell College Board of Directors, a pioneer of digital animation, and the co-inventor of one of the first digital animation pipelines, has received his second Academy Award® for his groundbreaking design work of the PDI/DreamWorks Animation Media Review System.

Cogswell College’s VP, Marketing and Strategic Alliances, John Duhring said of Chuang: “Richard has always been an artist—one who discovered computers in high school back in 1974. His approach is so pragmatic. He just figures things out and gets things done. He’s an artist who embraced science and engineering to become one of the most prominent inventors within the entertainment industry. We are thrilled to have his influence as we prepare students to operate successfully in the most dynamic industry ever created.”

Recent video presentations by Chuang:
** During July 2015, Chuang shared his insights and opinions about several of the latest innovations in 3D graphics applications, programs, and technologies while visiting students at Cogswell College. Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZB6VAjmSZQ

** During March 2015, Chuang spoke at an “Innovators Day” reception at UC Davis’ College of Engineering. Richard spoke on the topic of “Media and Technology—35 years of changes. Please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9OZro1doGM

On Jan. 8, 2016, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 scientific and technical achievements represented by 33 individual award recipients would be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 13, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2015. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

Chuang and Rahul Thakkar each received a 2016 Technical Achievement Award (Academy Certificate) for their groundbreaking design of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System. In addition, Andrew Pilgrim, Stewart Birnam, and Mark Kirk also will receive Technical Achievement Awards for the review workflows and advanced playback features of that DreamWorks Animation Media Review System.

About Richard Chuang:
Chuang became a distinguished member of the Cogswell College Board of Directors in 2008. He was the founder of Pacific Data Images, which was later acquired by DreamWorks Animation.

A 1979 graduate of the UC Davis College of Engineering, Chuang became the first employee at Pacific Data Images in 1981. At the time, PDI was an upstart computer animation company that operated in a garage. PDI’s early successes included an updated Pillsbury Doughboy, which became the first established corporate icon to go CGI.

While at PDI, Chuang served as a visual effects supervisor on 16 Hollywood motion pictures, as well as a director on commercials. He also won an Emmy Award for Graphics Design. Later, as an executive at DreamWorks Animation, he led the effort in setting up DWA productions around the world.

Pacific Data was soon embraced—and later acquired by—the DreamWorks film studio, leading to collaborations on the Shrek film series, along with numerous other animated and live-action films. Chuang’s technical innovations led him to win, in 1998, a shared Technical Achievement Academy Award, his first of two awards from the Academy.

Chuang left DreamWorks in 2008, determined to re-shape the way that animators work with each other. He then became the founder and CEO of Cloudpic. The philosophy behind Cloudpic: “We are artists. We are engineers. We are creative thinkers and adventurers. We’ve left our past behind and now we use our knowledge and experience to cut new paths. If we are not learning something new or seeing the world from a new perspective each day, we have failed.” Please see: http://www.cloudpic.com/

UPDATE: For a complete list of the 2016 Oscar winners, visit the Academy’s website.


February 15, 2016