Dr. Wan-Chun Alex Ma, a software engineer at Google’s Augment Reality/Virtual Reality team, shared his ‘road to success in Hollywood’ story on March 5 . Ma was one of the four winners of the 2019 Academy Technical Achievement Award, along with Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins, and Yu Xueming. Ma, Debevec and Hawkins were recognized for the invention of the Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination Facial Appearance Capture Method.

The Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination was a groundbreaking achievement in facial capture technology, as it detailed the actor or actress’ face at a resolution of tenth of a millimeter to the level of skin pores and fine wrinkles, allowing to create even more realistic digital human and human-like characters. This technology has been used in renowned blockbusters and award-winning films such as “Avatar”, “Maleficent”, “Furious 7”, “Gravity”, and many more.