Alumnus wins Academy Award

Nicholas Apostoloff and his wife Isla at the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards 2017 in Beverly Hills.
Thursday 2 March 2017

Engineering and computer science alumnus Nicholas Apostoloff has won a 2017 Academy Award.

Nicholas has recently been recognised at the Academy's 2017 Scientific and Technical Awards alongside his colleague Geoff Wedig.

The award was for the "animation rig-based facial performance-capture system" that Nicholas and Geoff developed over six years working for studios ImageMovers Digital and Digital Domain.

In layman's terms, the technology records an actor’s performance and applies it to a digital character.

The technology was used on Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), Maleficent (2014), Night at the Museum 3 (2014), Deadpool (2016) and Beauty and the Beast (2017).

“It is one of the greatest honours I have ever experienced.  

“This technology was developed over a period of 6 tumultuous years starting back in 2008 and it is amazing to see it recognised by the Academy

“I am so proud of all the talented people that contributed to this work - it is not something that can be done in isolation, but something that requires many people from many different disciplines in visual effects to achieve,” he said.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (hons) and a Bachelor of Information Techology in 2000. He then studied a masters degree in computer vision at the ANU which he completed in 2002.

Nicholas currently works for Apple after having a successful career in the film industry and says that studying at ANU had a big impact on shaping his career.

“ANU played a critical role in deciding what career path I chose as well as providing me with a well-rounded education that I rarely see from graduates of other universities.”

Watch Nick’s acceptance speech.

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