Published on Friday, 11 May 2012
Animation studio LAIKA will soon be using KATAN A software from
The Foundry to help the team manage look development and strengthen
their lighting pipeline.
|LAIKA has purchased a site licence of KATANA. The company is the animation studio that helped create ‘Coraline’, released in 2009, the first stop-motion feature film to be conceived and photographed in stereo 3D, and forthcoming stereo release, ‘ParaNorman’, due for release later in 2012.|
|According to The Foundry, LAIKA decided to purchase a site licence when the VFX team was looking for ways to better manage the consistency of lighting and handle more complex shots. They will use KATANA to help build a more asset-driven pipeline with better control over the looks of their CG materials.
The software's node-based approach is expected to allow them to create and manage looks for large numbers of assets with minimal setup between tasks. It will also help integrate shot lighting workflows and be used to maintain standards and rigs across multiple assets, shots and sequences.
|Andrew Nawrot, CG and Look Development Supervisor at LAIKA said that the
procedural workflow in KATANA supports their feature film look development and lighting. KATANA’s main features originated from large-scale visual effects production which gives it several functions useful in look development and lighting. For stop-motion, the scope of the sets and environments as well as the quantity of characters has traditionally been bound by the physical dimensions of the stages. With KATANA’s ability to handle very complex environments and thousands of assets, Andrew feels their team will able to keep up with the larger, more varied stop-motion environments their films are set into.
Originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, KATANA was developed to enabling facilities of any size to build scalable, more efficient lighting pipelines without a large internal engineering effort.
Jeff Stringer, Director of Production Technology at LAIKA said each successive film at LAIKA has become more demanding. He said, “We expect that KATANA will put our VFX team in a better position to scale up the complexity of their work on these films. The team at The Foundry has been very responsive to us as we work through the integration. It is a collaborative effort, since many of the tools we need are developed at The Foundry. We have also received good support from them regarding NUKE.”
KATANA 1.0 was released in October 2011 and is in use in production at ILM, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures ImageWorks and Spin VFX as described last week. KATANA is under evaluation at several studios of different sizes.