In 2002, three University of South Carolina graduates created software to make vegetation look more real in video games.
Their work has been deemed Oscar-worthy.
Lexington-based Interactive Data Visualization will be honored with a Technical Achievement Award certificate for its virtual vegetation software, SpeedTree Cinema, which allows artists to make trees in such movies as “Avatar” and Maleficent” look and act more real.
The technical “Oscars” honor achievements behind the camera and advancements in equipment used to make movies.
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SpeedTree was developed by IDV while it was still an incubator project at the University of South Carolina with Michael Sechrest, Chris King and Greg Croft.
The software’s ability to make trees and other vegetation was first used in video games, chosen by Microsoft for games in its Xbox platform. Later, the software was used in films, including “Avatar,” which won three Oscars, including achievement in special effects.
In a news release, the Academy noted, “This software substantially improves an artist’s ability to create specifically designed trees and vegetation by combining a procedural building process with the flexibility of intuitive, direct manipulation of every detail.”
The firm will be honored Feb. 7 at an annual luncheon.