With CinCraft Mapper, ZEISS Cinematography is introducing its first service of the new CinCraft ecosystem for the digital application of lens looks into the compositing and matchmoving workflows.
Productions usually rely on the recording of lens grids which reflects their current point of truth. This process is very error prone due to misaligned or uneven grids. In addition, grids get lost, forgotten or the recording conditions allow only a few focus distances to be recorded. The inaccuracy increases with each circumstance. Manual work to correct errors and process the lens effect information is very time-consuming.
Using lens data for more efficient VFX workflows is the secret behind CinCraft Mapper, which ZEISS announced last May, as part of its CinCraft ecosystem. With CinCraft Mapper, ZEISS presents a new digital service that quickly and easily provides frame-accurate lens distortion and shading data for the visual effects (VFX) industry. This data is essential for digital compositing and matchmoving in order to achieve a cinematic result that is as realistic and precise as possible.
“Normally, lens grids must be recorded and processed in order to obtain this data – a process that is not only very time-consuming, but also error-prone and limited in scope,” explains Jonathan Demuth, Product Manager, Digital Cinematography at ZEISS.
“With just a few clicks, CinCraft Mapper now provides this data directly on the basis of the metadata (lens type, focus distance, aperture) captured during film production. Lost clip metadata can also be added without difficulty. For compositing and matchmoving artists, this means that they can be sure they are not only receiving accurate data without having to rely on the preceding capture and workflow procedures, but also that the entire VFX process will be simplified and accelerated. The VFX studio also benefits directly from the more efficient workflow,” continues Demuth.
The beginning for the CinCraft ecosystem
CinCraft Mapper means frame-accurate lens data for complex shots. According to the company, ZEISS CinCraft Mapper delivers precise, frame-accurate lens data with which complex shots with multiple and dynamic focusing distances, such as car chases, can be edited more easily, quickly and completely, without the need to make assumptions due to incomplete data.
“CinCraft Mapper expands on the ZEISS eXtended Data (XD) technology that we introduced with the ZEISS Compact Prime CP.3 and have subsequently integrated into each new cine lens family,” adds Christophe Casenave, responsible for Cinematography Products at ZEISS. “VFX artists no longer have to rely only on eXtended Data generated by lens and camera equipment on set. Now additional and historic lens family shading and distortion data can also be provided by the CinCraft Mapper service. At the same time, the service is also compatible with the existing XD technology.”
CinCraft Mapper delivers industry standard ST Maps for distortion and Multiply Maps for shading. These can be used directly in compositing and matchmoving software such as Nuke, Flame, and 3DEqualizer.
“Mapper is just the beginning for our CinCraft ecosystem. We are already looking forward to being able to offer even more services in the future, which will provide a broad range of aspects of lens looks for VFX and other applications,” concludes Casenave.