KENOSHA — Carthage College Computer Science Professor Perry Kivolowitz has won a 2019 Engineering Emmy Award for his software SilhouetteFX.
The accolade honors an individual, company or organization for innovative developments in broadcast technology. The software has been featured in TV series such as “Game of Thrones,” “Chicago Med” and “Black Mirror.”
“I am extremely pleased and proud that our accomplishments have been recognized in this very prominent way,” Kivolowitz said. “The award comes immediately after the acquisition of SilhouetteFX by another company so in a very real way we’re going out with a bang.”
SilhouetteFX, a visual effects software co-written by Kivolowitz, provides a comprehensive solution for painting, rotoscoping, and image manipulation of high-resolution image sequences. SilhouetteFX also provides 2D to 3D motion picture conversion.
Its fast, scalable and extensible architecture has resulted in wide adoption in tv programming and motion pictures. The results of SilhouetteFX are designed to be invisible; it is a success when viewers cannot tell that a film has been altered.
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In a lot of ways, SilhouetteFX is a trickster. It allows filmmakers to swap out backdrops when green screens and blue screens aren’t practical.
“A big win for our users is when nobody knows a special effect was used,” Kivolowitz told The Journal Times in February.
Kivolowitz is a New York native who has lived in Wisconsin since 1984. He used to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but is now the chair of Carthage College’s Computer Science Department. He lived along the lakefront in Racine for a while, but moved to Kenosha last year.
This isn’t the first time Kivolowitz has been recognized for his contributions to television and movie post-production. Earlier this year, SilhouetteFX received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement, after being used in “Avengers: Infinity War” and other 2019 Oscar-nominated movies.
In 1996, he was also recognized for an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement for his work with “Forrest Gump” and “Titanic.” In 1992, his contributions to the space-opera television show “Babylon 5” also earned him an Emmy Certificate.
This year’s ceremony will take place Oct. 23rd at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles. Kirsten Vangsness, star of the CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” is set to return as host for the fourth consecutive year.
Journal Times reporter Adam Rogan contributed to this story.