The Pixel Farm Ltd (www.thepixelfarm.co.uk), developer of innovative image-processing systems for VFX, DI and restoration, will unveil a groundbreaking advance in tracking software for digital visual effects at SIGGRAPH 2010 (Booth #313). Employing a brand new architecture, the technology dramatically improves the fundamental processes involved in camera tracking, one of the most important areas of successful VFX creation, ushering in unprecedented levels of flexibility, control, accuracy and speed.
The new, node-based flowgraph architecture, developed by the company’s renowned R&D team, is an industry-first in camera tracking and match moving software. Easy to learn and operate, it provides a logical visual overview of tracking workflows, and gives digital artists a procedural, non-linear environment in which to experiment non-destructively with different approaches to a shot to achieve the best result possible. In many cases this enables shots to be tackled, which were previously considered untrackable.
Optimised as a 64-bit application, and running natively on OSX, Windows and Linux, the new architecture is underpinned with metadata management, fully-integrated Python scripting, workflow customisation and a host of other features, such as in-built rolling shutter correction and image-distortion tools.
“The Pixel Farm is going to catch a lot of people by surprise. This advance represents a genuine paradigm shift in both the science and technique of matchmoving”, said Daryl Shail of Monster Matchmoves in Toronto. “The new architecture vastly improves the entire process of camera tracking. It’s easy to learn, fast, and provides extraordinary levels of control, while allowing artists to experiment and refine the track with ease, and deliver the most accurate data possible.”
“The tracking market is long overdue for an overhaul, and this is a game-changing advance from The Pixel Farm. I think they’ve just re-invented 3D tracking,” said Victor Wolansky, VFX Artist, E3post, and 3D Tracking Professor at fxphd. “New products emanating from these developments will be a ‘must-have’ for anyone involved in the visual effects business.”
The new flowgraph workflow, unique in the camera tracking/match-moving market, provides instant familiarity for digital artists who use node-based composting and effects software, and delivers the significant advantage of enabling full control over every aspect of each individual operation.
The use of 64-bit processing across all platforms allows digital artists to work on the highest resolution clips, providing greater accuracy with quicker turnaround times. With tightly integrated metadata management at the core of the application, any adjustments are constantly written to the project file making any data available to other parts of the application via Python scripting and macros. This capability provides for streamlined integration of The Pixel Farm technology into any post-production pipeline, along with the automation of routines and processes, and resource management for post-production supervisors and producers.
“While developing PFTrack we learnt a lot about match moving, including the opportunities that closely-related technologies could feed into the VFX pipeline. We created this new architecture to be able to extend the creative possibilities further,” said Michael Lancaster, Managing Director at The Pixel Farm. “We are confident we have developed a technology that reflects the constant industry need to improve productivity and ease of use with the same market leading results, yet expands on the groundbreaking innovations of PFTrack”
The Pixel Farm will introduce its first offering based on this new architecture, in the form a new low-cost matchmoving application at SIGGRAPH 2010 (Booth #313). Visitors to the booth will be able to experience a number of practical demonstrations covering the benefits of the new architecture, and the considerable possibilities it provides. In addition, a technical workshop will be run twice daily illustrating how customers can customise the application using Python Scripting and macros to streamline their effects pipelines.
Every day of the show, all visitors to the stand will be automatically entered into a free draw to win a complete tracking station – consisting of the new matchmoving application plus a state-of-the-art GPU accelerated workstation, supplied by Aeon Computing.