Dr. Parag Havaldar , known for his interests in the fields of digital cinema and videography, graduated from the coveted IIT Kharagpur’s Department of Computer and Engineering in 1991. He followed it up with a Masters in Computer Science and a PhD in Computer Vision and Graphics from the University of Southern California in 1996 to pursue his passion further. His specialties include specific expertise in computer vision and its use in adapting motion capture to the movie industry for facial and body rigging and animation of digital characters. Dr. Parag proudly holds specific expertise in CG movies and live-action stereo.
Most popular work:
Generation Z and Columbia Pictures owe Dr. Parag their entertainment and increased business, respectively, for contributing to the film industry. His solid credentials and technical expertise enabled him to become the pallbearer of the Research and Development Teams on Hollywood’s most popular hits, including “The Polar Express”, “Monster House”, “Beowulf,” “Watchmen”, “Alice in Wonderland,” and the series “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
The break which got him recognized:
Dr. Havaldar’s work got recognition after his work in the fascinating Robert Zemeckis’s “Beowulf”, where he set a trail-blazing effect that set out to be the future of motion pictures. He developed expression-based facial performance capture technology. Parag, however, doesn’t take full credit and appreciates Director Zemeckis’ vision of wanting only performances during the pre-production screening. Zemeckis motivated Havaldar by urging,” Why don’t we just capture the actors and get the emotions out? Everything else—clothing, make-up, or lighting—can be done in post-production.” This brought down the entire film production time to 3 weeks instead of months of preparation!
Awards and recognition:
Due to his fabulous work in motion pictures, he was awarded the Academy Award in Technological Achievement at the 2017 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Technical Awards on February 11, 2017 in Beverly Hills. Winning this award meant he was the sixth Indian to win the highest honors in Hollywood and the second USC Viterbi Computer Science Alumni to win in the last 5 years since 2017. the highest honors in Hollywood and the second USC Viterbi Computer Science Alumni to win in the last 5 years since 2017. Currently, Dr. Havaldar, acting as a software supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, is leading its proprietary efforts in the area of performance capture. He is also serving as a part-time faculty member in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California, teaching a graduate course on multimedia. He is a motivation to all Indians, willing and striving to make a name for themselves in the stray world.