Trinity College Lecturer Dr Anil Kokaram Wins Oscar Award for Visual Effects Software for Films

Posted on: 09 February 2007

Trinity College lecturer at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Dr Anil Kokaram, received an Academy Award for the development of visual effects software for the film industry at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science ceremony in Los Angeles recently.

Dr Anil Kokaram who worked as consultant with the UK-based software developer, the Foundry, was awarded with the Academy Award at the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony which took place on Saturday, February 10th, a fortnight ahead of the acting awards on February 25th.

The TCD lecturer along with three members of the Foundry software development team – Dr Bill Collis, Simon Robinson and Ben Kent –  received the Scientific and Engineering Award for their role in the design and development of an integrated suite of software visual effects in motion pictures.

The visual effects and image-processing software developed by Dr Kokaram and the team have been used on a host of high-profile feature films including Casino Royale, X-Men, The Last Stand, The Da Vinci Code and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Commenting on the Award, Dr Kokaram stated: “I am delighted to have won this Award, especially given the stringent examination process employed by the Academy in selecting the winners. It involved six months of deliberation and assessment by  panels made up of both academics and members of the film industry.”

Dr Kokaram and his colleagues have developed a software package which performs tasks which were previously very difficult to carry out at a post-production stage unless manual editing was used.   Dr Kokaram has particular expertise in motion estimation which is required for many special effects and enhancement operations in motion pictures or videos. In a given film, 25 pictures or frames are  taken every second. Through motion estimation, the group developed algorithms capable of tracking the movement and properties of every pixel in a frame in relation to the corresponding pixels in subsequent and preceding frames in a sequence. The software developed by Dr Kokaram uses motion estimation for a wide range of material to create unique special effects and also perform touch-up tasks that were previously manually done – such as removing blotches or creating new frames in an image sequence.”


Dr. Anil Kokaram is a  senior lecturer at the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department in Trinity College Dublin. Originally from Trinidad, Anil attended Cambridge from 1986 as an undergraduate and gained a Ph.D in May 1993 from the Signal Processing laboratory. Much of Anil’s work has involved image and video restoration. He has published over 80 papers in the area of video processing, and a book entitled Motion Picture Restoration Digital Algorithms for Artefact Suppression in Degraded Motion Picture Film and Video.