The late Renville “Ren” H. McMann Jr. heads the roster of honorees at the Annual SMPTE Awards Gala, coming up Thursday, October 26, during the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition.
McMann will be named to the SMPTE Honor Roll, the posthumous equivalent of honorary membership in the society. McMann was a three-time Emmy-winner and former president of CBS Laboratories/Thomson-CSF Laboratories in Stamford, CT.
His accomplishments include the development of the 18-pound CBS Minicam Mark VI, known as the first handheld color television camera, which could transmit picture information to a base station up to three miles away. SMPTE said his inventions included a magnetic scan-conversion technique used to broadcast color television images from the moon, as well as early work in HDTV systems.
At the same awards gala, the SMPTE Progress Medal recognizing outstanding technical contributions to motion picture, television and motion-imaging engineering will be given to Paul E. Debevec. Currently senior staff engineer at Google VR and adjunct research professor at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Debevec is known for developing techniques in the late 1990s for using light-probe images that measure real-world lighting to illuminate CG objects, allowing them to be more photorealistically composited into live-action scenes. Since then, he’s earned a reputation as a VFX visionary whose work has pioneered new methodology for creating the faces of digital doubles. He was the subject of a thoughtful New Yorker profile considering some ramifications of the technology in 2014.
Randy Ubillos, who programmed Adobe Premiere 1.0 and led development on the software that became Final Cut Pro, will receive the Workflow Systems Medal, sponsored by Leon Silverman of the Walt Disney Studios, recognizing innovations in production, post-production or distribution.
SMPTE Life Fellow Mark Schubin will receive the Presidential Proclamation recognizing his five decades working in television technology, including his current gig supporting Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts around the world; Johann Safar will receive the Excellence in Standards Award for more than 30 years of participation in SMPTE standards work; and Elizabeth Migliore will receive the Society Citation honoring her 45 years of SMPTE service and contributions to the standards program.
Other honorees at the presentation include: David S. Corley, who is receiving the Camera Origination and Imaging Medal; Phillip Bennett, who will receive the David Sarnoff medal; Michael A. Isnardi, who will receive the Digital Processing Medal; James M. Reilly, who will get the James A. Lindner Archival Technology Medal, sponsored by James A. Linder; Mark Robert Gander, recipient of the Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal, sponsored by Warner Bros.; and Joseph Goldstone, who will receive the Technicolor — Herbert T. Kalmus Medal, sponsored by Technicolor.
SMPTE members Merrick Ackermans, Herbert Jay Dunmore, John Walsh and David Wheeler will all receive Citations for Outstanding Service to the Society, and three SMPTE student members at the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology will receive the Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
Sean T. McCarthy will receive the SMPTE Journal Award for his article published in the May/June 2016 issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, “How Independent Are HDR, WCG, and HFR in Human Visual Perception and the Creative Process?” Katy C. Noland will receive a Journal Certificate of Merit for her article “High Frame Rate Television: Sampling Theory, the Human Visual System, and Why the Nyquist-Shannon Theorem Does Not Apply,” as will David Long and Mark D. Fairchild for their article “Observer Metamerism Models and Multiprimary Display Systems.”
The 2017 Student Paper Award will go to Rochester Institute of Technology graduate Elizabeth DoVale for her paper, “High Frame Rate Psychophysics: Experimentation to Determine a JND for Frame Rate,” while Jonathan Bouchard at McGill University in Montréal, Québec, will receive honorable mention for his “Quality Control of Stereoscopic 3-D Compositing Using Half-Occlusion Geometry.”