India's costliest film "Endhiran The Robot" has used the Light Stage technology from USC ICT which was used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Spiderman

"Endhiran The Robot"

India's costliest film "Endhiran The Robot" has used the ICT Light Stage for photorealism. Sun Pictures's "Endhiran The Robot" starring superstar Rajnikanth (Asia's 2nd highest paid actor after Jacki Chan) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Shankar's tenth effort, has been raising anticipation for months with its visual effects and novel script. Aside from being the most anticipated movie of the year is also the most expensive Indian film to date. The film has an ambitious story to tell, that of a scientist who creates a robot that turns rogue. Robot is a highly entertaining Indian film. 3 Oscar winners Stanwinston Studios from LA(Animatronics), Rasul pukutti(Sound designer) and A.R. Rahman (music composer) also worked on the film. This film has over 2000 visual effects shots and was supervised by Srinivas Mohan.

About Doom Light Stage
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http://gl.ict.usc.edu/LightStages/

Based on original research led by Paul Debevec at the ICT University of California at Berkeley and published at the 2000 SIGGRAPH conference, the Light Stage systems efficiently capture how an actor's face appears when lit from every possible lighting direction. From this captured imagery, specialized algorithms create realistic virtual renditions of the actor in the illumination of any location or set, faithfully reproducing the color, texture, shine, shading, and translucency of the actor's skin. What is significant about the method used by the ICT is how it separates specular and diffuse light, thereby providing extremely high quality imagery for extremely effective photorealism.

As a Vfx supervisor, "I was waiting for the opportunity to use this technology. Finally in this project I got a chance to use it.", explains Srinivas Mohan. The Doom Light stage scanning helped to get an extremely high resolution CGI face with tremendous details. Paul Debevec did the scanning personally for the project. "From these scans we got a highly detailed 3d face mesh OBJ file, 3 Diffuse RGB Normal maps, one Specular Normal map, one Diffuse texture map and one specular intensity map" points out Mohan. All the images were in HDR format (High Dynamic Range) format. To utilize these high detail images, "we have developed a new proprietary maya skin shader plugin with the help of Jupiter Jazz for 3delight render" he adds. The shader is open source and the code for it is available at
click for link to code


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