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Electro-optics designer to receive scientific Oscar
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A pioneering designer of lenses for optical effects printers, which were once adopted by nearly every visual effects facility in Hollywood, has been voted to receive this year's scientific and technical Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday.

David Grafton, 83, designed electro-optical systems for companies like IBM, NCR, EG&G and Xerox for more than 30 years after he immigrated to the United States in 1953 from Britain. He began consulting in the movie industry in the 1970s.

The highly specialized lenses Grafton designed for optical effects printers enabled the seamless blending of multiple images from different sources, according to a press release by the Academy.

"David's innovative designs have enabled audiences to see the impossible on movie screens, and his work has dramatically improved the quality of visual effects in the motion picture industry," said academy President Sid Ganis.

Working with different Hollywood special effects companies, Grafton contributed to the production of numerous feature films including "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Blade Runner. "

He is expected to receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Oscar statuette, at the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Dinner on Feb. 9, two weeks before the Academy Awards show.

Grafton previously received two Scientific and Engineering Academy Awards respectively in 1980 and 1986 for his electro-optical designs for the movie industry.

Established in 1981, the Sawyer Award is "presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry." Grafton will be the 21st recipient of the award, according to the Academy.

Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards presentation will be included in the Oscar ceremony. The 80th Academy Awards show is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2008)

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