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02.08.2011 21:56 Age: 7 yrs

Spheron Cameras used on latest VFX productions at Sony Picture Imageworks

Spheron-VR are pleased to reveal that Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI), the award-winning visual effects and animation company, have successfully utilized the Spheron HDR Camera technology in many of its film effects production pipelines.

Just one year after SPI’s decision to commit to Spheron technology, this unique full 32-bit HDR Camera has been fully implemented and has become a key component in SPI’s equipment resources.

Watch SPI demo here - http://www.youtube.com/embed/Luprwm9JOi4

Jeremy Selan, imaging supervisor at SPI, explains how recent productions have benefited greatly from its integration and adoption. Such visual effects productions include THE SMURFS and the sci-fi release GREEN LANTERN.

The SpheroCam HDR is able to automatically capture 360º spherical images in a single scan. With 26 f-stops of exposure and clarity of up to 50 mega-pixels, the SpheroCam HDR provides the optimum image quality for 3D image rendering. The camera is also excellent at recording spatial data, using its 3D immersive measurement technology; it allows CG objects to be integrated into the environment more easily, helping to bridge the live action world with computer graphics models and characters.

Jeremy describes how, on film sets, SPI captures both HDR light fields as well as making use of the cameras photogrammetric technology.  The 3D Photogrammetry element, which records 3D spatial data, has now been enhanced and adapted further into the SPI’s workflow, by the development of a unique Spheron IBL feature. This results in an entirely flexible on-set HDR lighting rig. Such a rig allows for lights to be manipulated and controlled within an actual 3D environment.

The combined technologies of Spheron & SPI’s IBL control features are now fully integrated into SPI’s own look-development and lighting tool, known as Katana. 

“On set, the Spheron enabled us to capture the actual wattage and energy of every light and lit surface and do so in a time efficient manner the production crew appreciated,” said Rich Hoover, visual effects supervisor on THE SMURFS.  “In digital production, the lighting data captured on the set allowed us to render digital characters in a live-action plate very quickly, giving our artists more time to be more creative and make the final shot even better.”

“Spheron is delighted that Sony Pictures Imageworks successfully used Spheron-VR Technology,” said Peter Taylor of SpheronVR, “Spheron’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery can enhance and streamline the process of creating immersive VFX environments; it’s great to see our technology being used to help deliver such cutting edge visual effects.”

SPHERON-VR AG is one of the most innovative companies in the area of visual information technologies. Core products of the German headquartered company are digital HDRi camera systems for full spherical photography as well as workflow-integrated image processing and database applications.
Designed to fit the needs and requirements of many industry sectors, the companies major markets are Photorealistic Visualization & Computer Graphics (CGI) and database driven Visual Asset Management solutions in the areas of crime scene investigation, security, fire and tactical training. Comprehensive service offerings complete the professional portfolio.
SPHERON-VR AG is based in Germany, where it develops, manufactures and delivers its technologies and solutions.  Strategic partnerships and sales channels allow SPHERON-VR AG to offer their unique portfolio to a worldwide market.
For more information, please visit www.spheron.com

About Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award® winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions known for live-action visual effects and character animation, all-CG animation, and stereoscopic 3D imagery. The company is currently in production on OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK III, and the animated features ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (3D) and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. Other recent credits include the hybrid live-action/animation film THE SMURFS (3D), THE GREEN LANTERN (3D), ZOOKEEPER, ALICE IN WONDERLAND (3D), and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCEOF MEATBALLS (3D).
For more information, please visit www.imageworks.com