Imagine working on footage in visual effects and having the ability to change the depth of field or focal point of a scene on the fly. Change the frame rate and have physically accurate shutter angle that would have been appropriate for the rate. Reposition the camera in the scene. Drop 3D objects in your scene and have them properly occluded by the live action content. Pull mattes by setting a near depth and a far depth and extracting an object. Effectively, think of having many of the benefits of deep compositing for live action scenes.
Sound a bit like a time off in the future? Well, it could be closer than you think. Closer as in months...
At NAB, Lytro announced their revolutionary new Light Field camera for film and television, the Lytro Cinema camera. John Montgomery gets the details from Jon Karafin, Lytro's Head of Light Field, Video Product Management.
The Lytro Cinema camera captures a "Light Field master" on set that can later be utilized for generating traditional output in standard formats for post. In addition, artists can also access the Light Field data directly in Nuke via a plugin (other plugins are in the works). The camera has a .5 metre sensor capturing 755 RAW megapixels at up to 300fps with up to 16 stops of dynamic range in a wide color gamut.
Here's the full press release from Lytro
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (April 11, 2016) – Lytro unlocks a new level of creative freedom and flexibility for filmmakers with the introduction of Lytro Cinema, the world’s first Light Field solution for film and television. The breakthrough capture system enables the complete virtualization of the live action camera transforming creative camera controls from fixed on set decisions to computational postproduction processes and allows for historically impossible shots.
"We are in the early innings of a generational shift from a legacy 2D video world to a 3D volumetric Light Field world," said Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro. "Lytro Cinema represents an important step in that evolution. We are excited to help usher in a new era of cinema technology that allows for a broader creative palette than has ever existed before."
Designed for cutting edge visual effects (VFX), Lytro Cinema represents a complete paradigm shift in the integration of live action footage and computer generated (CG) visual effects. The rich dataset captured by the system produces a Light Field master that can be rendered in any format in postproduction and enables a whole range of creative possibilities that have never before existed.
"Lytro Cinema defies traditional physics of onset capture allowing filmmakers to capture shots that have been impossible up until now," said Jon Karafin, Head of Light Field Video at Lytro. "Because of the rich data set and depth information, we’re able to virtualize creative camera controls, meaning that decisions that have traditionally been made on set, like focus position and depth of field, can now be made computationally. We’re on the cutting edge of what’s possible in film production."
With Lytro Cinema, every frame of a live action scene becomes a 3D model: every pixel has color and directional and depth properties bringing the control and creative flexibility of computer generated VFX to real world capture.The system opens up new creative avenues for the integration of live action footage and visual effects with capabilities like Light Field Camera Tracking and Lytro Depth Screen the ability to accurately key green screens for every object and space in the scene without the need for a green screen.
"Lytro has always been a company thinking about what the future of imaging will be," said Ted Schilowitz, Futurist at FOX Studios. "There are a lot of companies that have been applying new technologies and finding better ways to create cinematic content, but ultimately, it’s too disjointed. Lytro is focusing on getting a much bigger, better and more sophisticated cinematographylevel dataset that can then flow through the VFX pipeline and modernize that world."
Lytro Cinema representsa step function increase in terms of raw data capture and optical performance:
● The highest resolution video sensor ever designed, 755 RAW megapixels at up to 300 FPS
● Up to 16 stops of dynamic range and wide color gamut
● Integrated high resolution active scanning
By capturing the entire high resolution Light Field, Lytro Cinema is the first system able to produce a Light Field Master. The richest dataset in the history of the medium, the Light Field Master enables creators to render content in multiple formats -- including IMAX®, RealD® and traditional cinema and broadcast at variable frame rates and shutter angles.
Lytro Cinema comprises a camera, server array for storage and processing, which can also be done in the cloud, and software to edit Light Field data. The entire system integrates into existing production and postproduction workflows, working in tandem with popular industry standard tools. Watch a video about Lytro Cinema at www.lytro.com/cinema#video.
"Life" the first short produced with Lytro Cinema in association with The Virtual Reality Company (VRC) will premiere at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference on Tuesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. PT at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Room S222. "Life" was directed by Academy Award winner Robert Stromberg, Chief Creative Officer at VRC and shot by David Stump, Chief Imaging Scientist at VRC.
Learn more about Lytro Cinema activities during the 2016 NAB Show and get a behindthescenes look on the set of "Life" at www.lytro.com/nab2016.
Lytro Cinema will be available for production in Q3 2016 to exclusive partners on a subscription basis. For more information on Lytro Cinema,visit www.lytro.com/cinema.
We've been a free service since 1999 and now rely on the generous contributions of readers like you. If you'd like to help support our work, please join the hundreds of others and become an fxinsider member.