Lightcraft Technology And Solidanim Announce Joint Technology/Distribution Agreement

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To provide a full range of affordable optical and markerless tracking for real time visual effects and on-set visualization systems for the entertainment industry

Last Updated: January 30, 2014 7:06 pm GMT
(Venice, California--January 30, 2014) Paris, France, Lightcraft Technology and SolidAnim, leaders in the development of on-set virtual tracking equipment and visualization software, announced today they have agreed to combine their Previzion® and SolidTrack product offerings in order to provide a full range of virtual production tools for the entertainment industry.

Both companies have entered into a mutual distribution agreement to sell each other’s products in conjunction with their own products in their respective regions, thus supplying their customers with a single source for both optical and markerless tracking for real time visual effects and on-set visualization systems.

In today's cost sensitive production marketplace it has become crucial to both keep production costs down and speed up the finishing of visual effects-heavy shows. Filmmakers and television producers have found that they need to use a variety of tools and techniques to provide reliable and accurate camera tracking data for use in both real time compositing and post processed visual effects shots.

Until now they had to wait for post production to finish in order to view completed visual effects shots, or build expensive and complex custom solutions requiring teams of experts in order to see the combination of live action and computer generated backgrounds while shooting. To satisfy this need both SolidAnim and Lightcraft had independently developed their own approaches to providing affordable solutions for the tracking and visualization of complex VFX shots, including green screen compositing, 3D rendering, and complex camera moves.

With this agreement, both companies can now provide their customers with the option to use any type of camera tracking whether it is encoded cranes, optical tracking or markerless tracking while still using their preferred solution to visualize and composite the live action elements and backgrounds.

Eliot Mack, CEO of Lightcraft Technology, comments, “It is impossible to find a single tracking technique that will work in every scenario. In fact, we have found that often you will need to use a combination of techniques to produce a tracking result that is both accurate and stable enough to use in live compositing.” Isaac Partouche, CEO of SolidAnim, adds, “We have had to concentrate on building a tracking solution that is fast and easy to set up while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to a constantly changing production environment. Now, with the combination of our two companies' products, we can provide both the flexibility and speed of markerless tracking with the accuracy and stability of the Previzion® system for finishing in camera for which Lightcraft is known.

Both companies' systems have been used in VFX-heavy productions. Lightcraft’s Previzion® system has been used on the ABC series "V", "Once upon a Time", and "Pan Am" as well as the feature film "Alice in Wonderland". SolidAnim SolidTrack was used successfully on "Da Vinci’s Demons" in 2012 and is currently being used by "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey" (2014).

In addition to its own SolidTrack product, SolidAnim will now be able to distribute Lightcraft's Previzion® system in Europe (EEMA), while Lightcraft will distribute the SolidAnim SolidTrack markerless tracking system in the Americas.

Eliot Mack, CEO of Lightcraft Technology, states, “It is rare to find a company to work with that has SolidAnim's combination of technical expertise, vision, and innovation. We are excited about the potential that this relationship will provide us and our customers as we expand the use of virtual production tools worldwide.”

SolidAnim’s CEO, Isaac Partouche, is looking forward equally to working closely with Lightcraft. He comments, “We are impressed with the competence and innovative spirit at Lightcraft. This collaboration brings together a unique, powerful, and complimentary set of tools for next generation film making, and ensures that our customers will stay at the forefront of developments in tracking technology and on-set visualization.”

About Lightcraft Technology:
Lightcraft Technology builds the Previzion® virtual studio system, which combines real time photo-realistic 3D rendering, keying, lens tracking, compositing, meta-data recording, and camera tracking. Previzion's camera tracking works with a variety of camera tracking methods, including inertial/optical and encoded cranes. In 2013, Lightcraft Technology was awarded an Emmy® for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development for its Previzion® virtual studio system.

Lightcraft was founded in 2004 by mechanical engineer and University of Michigan/MIT degree holder Eliot Mack. Mack worked at Walt Disney Imagineering and led the mechanical engineering effort on the iRobot Roomba before applying his skills and dedication to the development of the Previzion® virtual studio system. Mack was later joined by fellow iRobot engineer Phil Mass, who was the lead software engineer on the Roomba, the world’s first successful home robot. The team at Lightcraft blends their unique technical skills and love of film to provide optimized tools for the entertainment industry. http://www.lightcrafttech.com

About SolidAnim:
SolidAnim provides a range of virtual production products, including: a complete line of encoded camera jibs, remote heads, and pan/tilt heads as well as the SolidAnim SolidTrack markerless tracking system for recording camera moves and data logging of camera moves on the virtual set.

SolidAnim was founded in 2007 by Isaac Partouche and its two co-founders, Jean-François Szlapka and Emmanuel Linot, who combined their different skills in VFX, Animation and Cinema fields to build a highly efficient and passionate team.

Isaac Partouche, who has a visual effects background, has worked on television and advertising productions as well as important film productions such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and Hugo Cabret.

His experience and understanding of the needs of the visual effects industry, combined with his entrepreneurial skills, dedication and desire to offer a new way of working to the cinema industry has resulted in SolidAnim becoming a leading company at the cutting edge of technology.

SolidAnim has developed a reputation for building the SolidTrack system, a simple yet versatile markerless camera tracking systems for the film and broadcast industries, which was launched at the beginning of 2013 specifically to address virtual production needs. http://www.solid-track.com or http://www.solidanim.com

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