The Foundry Previews Virtual and Augmented Reality Content Creation technology

With an unparalleled expertise in hardware-accelerated compositing, image stitching, high-quality rendering, color correction, motion and depth estimation, lens and camera calibration and omni-directional spherical capture, The Foundry has set its sights on the next biggest challenge in content creation: Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR). At NAB 2015, the company will preview technologies that address specific challenges presented by VR/AR content creation. The Foundry will also share the preview as part of a live stream on Tuesday, April 14 from 10am - 2pm PDT.

The Foundry developed these technologies based on internal R&D, technology partnerships and collaboration with more than 30 of the biggest players in media and entertainment. Already, The Foundry’s NUKE is a critical component of a majority of all VR/AR content created today.

“New Deal Studios has been hard at work pushing the limits of VR technology. We are working with some of the brightest minds, like The Foundry, to try and solve immersive live action experiences as a natural progression of our long experience in film and commercials,” said Jeff Jaspers, Digital FX Supervisor & CTO, New Deal Studios, creators of The Mission, Kaiju Fury and the NHL Experience. “The Foundry’s NUKE is a natural when it comes to VR compositing, especially with a powerful 3D environment and spherical cameras. Add in the fact that NUKE easily converts between panoramic formats and it help us resolve issues with rendering CG effects for VR. There are still a lot of challenges to solve and we know The Foundry will be at the forefront in helping us solve them.”

“For VR/AR to cross into the broader market, it must provide the viewer, regardless of environment, with high quality content and a new, exciting experience,” said Bill Collis, chief executive officer, The Foundry. “Our goal is to focus squarely on the creation of live action immersive content and how we leverage our areas of expertise. We’re starting with a proven base, NUKE, which is currently the only platform that natively supports the compositing of multi-camera live action. From there, we’re looking at the unique challenges presented by live, immersive content to help our clients push VR/AR from niche to mainstream.”

The Foundry has worked together with its VFX clients on new tools and workflows to manipulate and composite live-action VR in NUKE. The Foundry will preview new experimental tools and workflows at NAB including:

●Calibration and stitching of live-action 360 footage from multi-camera rigs

●Live connection to Oculus Rift to review stitching, grading and depth

●Support for compositing with ray-trace rendering for CG placement and projections

●Spherical aware operations and viewing with equirectangular images

At NAB, in addition to the VR/AR technology previews, artists from Mirada will present their VR/AR projects at The Foundry booth, Lower South Hall at booth SL 6329. The artists include:

Andrew Cochrane, Digital/Interactive Director: Andrew Cochrane is a leader in Mirada’s exciting digital/interactive group, which focuses on combining the company’s passion for storytelling with new forms of immersion and interaction. Andrew is very involved in the growing virtual reality space, making content for the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and GearVr platforms. His credits include directing numerous commercials for clients such as VIZIO, Target, LG and Disney. He also was a director and creative technical supervisor on the iPad App "Cornelia Funke's MirrorWorld," which won a Cannes Silver Lion for "Best Visual Design/Aesthetic."

Andrew Ashton, Compositing and Visual Effects Supervisor: Andrew Ashton oversees all 2D integration, DI and on-set supervision for Mirada’s projects. His work spans feature films, TV commercials, music videos and interactive media exhibits, including movies like Pacific Rim, Expendables 3, London Fields, the IBM Watson exhibit in New York City. Spots for global brands include Lexus, Disney, Google, Amazon, and Wrigley. Andrew also worked on the most-watched music video of 2014: VMA winner “Dark Horse” for Katy Perry.

To access The Foundry’s NAB live stream, please click here. For more information on The Foundry, please visit www.thefoundry.co.uk. For more information about NUKE, please click here.

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