Tech notes of note

News from The Foundry, Meduza, Red Giant, Soho VFX

Visual effects software company The Foundry released Katana 1.0, a look-development and lighting tool that was developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks and designed to replace the conventional CG pipeline with a flexible recipe-based asset workflow. In tandem with this release, Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic purchased a site license of Katana to boost its production pipeline across its ILM and Lucasfilm companies. ILM joins other visual effects companies as a Katana site license holder.

Katana allows updating of assets once shots are already in progress; the sharing of lighting set-ups, such as edits and overrides, between shots and sequences; permits the use of multiple renderers; and allows shot-specific modification of assets to become part of the lighting recipe for shots.

“We look forward to further integrating Katana into our rigorous pipeline,” said ILM vfx supervisor John Knoll. “Over the past year we’ve collaborated with The Foundry providing feedback on what we want Katana to be for us. They’ve listened and now we have the production-proven technology we need without the large internal engineering effort.”

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The Meduza Titan, touted as the first fully controllable, lightweight, 3D precision single HD camera with 1080p dual sensors, launched on Oct. 31. It was developed by Meduza systems for stereoscopic TV production. The announcement was made by Chris Cary, CEO of 3D Visual Enterprises, the U.K. parent company of Meduza Systems. Featuring two 1080p CMOS sensors, Titan is capable of frame rates from 24 to 120 fps in 10 bit and boasts fully motorized inter-axial (the distance between the lenses) and convergence. It’s priced at $55,000 and can be ordered with either C mount or the new Meduza mount for the Meduza matched pair prime lens series. It premiered this week at the Creatasphere exposition in Los Angeles

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Red Giant has placed two of its color design applications – Colorista and LUT Buddy – inside the color production pipeline of production house Stargate Studios, which provides film and TV production and post services used by such shows as ABC’s “Pan Am” and “Revenge,” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” “Television production in Hollywood is rapidly shifting into more of a feature film workflow, wherein images are captured and delivered in a logarithmic color space,” said Stargate vfx supervisor Chris Martin. “What this means for Stargate Studios is, we need to have powerful tools able to handle a wide variety of color workflows. Red Giant fits that bill for us perfectly.”

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Toronto effects boutique Soho VFX licensed 100 seats of Southpaw Technology’s asset management system Tactic to streamline production workflow, communications and task management on a current, undisclosed project. Founded in 2002, Soho has steadily grown, contributing to more than 50 feature film and television productions, including “The Fantastic Four,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

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