Year: 2009

Achievement Brief: Recipient of Oscar Award 2007 - Scientific & Technology Academy

Dr Anil Kokaram attended Hillview College during the period 1978 – 1985 and graduated in 1985 having received an open Trinidad and Tobago National scholarship in the field of science.

He was later accepted at Cambridge University where he completed a BA (Hons 2.1) Upper Second Class; Electrical and Information Sciences in 1989. In 1992, Dr. Anil Kokaram completed his PhD at Cambridge University Engineering Department in Digital Signal Processing Techniques for the Restoration of Still and Moving Images. His ethos has always been that exploiting his fundamental knowledge of video processing in an industrial environment keeps him closer to “what people really want”.

Dr. Anil Kokaram subsequently worked as senior lecturer at the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department in Trinity College Dublin. Much of Anil’s work 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.

His deep passion and interest in visual sequence processing using probabilistic methodologies in signal processing, soon paid off. In the field of motion picture restoration his work became the main reference, being the first to propose practical solutions to the hole filling problem in video.

In Feb 2007, 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. Dr Anil Kokaram who worked as consultant with the UK-based software developer, the Foundry, received the Academy Award at the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony which took place on Saturday, February 10th 2007, a fortnight ahead of the acting awards on February 25th 2007.

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.

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.”

This work by Dr. Anil Kokaram has revolutionized the motion picture industry into what it is today. Dr. Anil Kokaram is well known and respected locally and internationally for his contribution in the film industry.

In 2009, Dr. Kokaram was the recipient of the Hillview College Old Boys Association (HOBA) Award, in recognition of his significant contribution nationally and internationally. Dr Kokaram continues to be a role model for students at Hillview College and throughout Trinidad and Tobago. He comes from a family of well respected professionals, including his father, late Richard Kokaram, past principal of Hillview College and his brother, highly respected Justice Vasheist Kokaram.