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The Foundry Bring Weta Digital's Compositing Technology To Nuke

Following on from The Foundry’s collaboration with Weta Digital on the MARI 3D texture painting technology, the two companies have entered into a new agreement to bring to NUKE the deep compositing technology developed by Weta Digital during their work on Avatar.

Press Release from The Foundry

London, UK. May 24th 2011. Following on from The Foundry’s collaboration with Weta Digital on the MARI 3D texture painting technology, the two companies have entered into a new agreement to bring to NUKE the deep compositing technology developed by Weta Digital during their work on Avatar.

Deep compositing allows artists working with CGI material to process and composite ‘deep images’ containing multiple opacity or colour samples per pixel at different depths. As well as enabling new creative possibilities in compositing, such as volumetric effects, the technique leads to higher-quality imagery when integrating and finishing CGI rendered elements. Furthermore, by increasing the amount of useful data available in compositing, the toolset provides greater efficiencies by reducing the amount of rerendering typically required from CGI departments. For example, the generation of holdout mattes for individual CGI objects or characters can then be performed within NUKE itself. Such savings can run into hundreds of hours on large-scale projects that prominently feature CGI assets.

NUKE 6.3, due for release in June, will support deep data within the node graph, and contain a range of ‘deep compositing’ nodes.  NUKE's NDK will also provide a common API for studios to write and exchange new deep image processing tools.

Bill Collis, CEO, The Foundry commented, “Deep compositing allows ambitious new effects whilst achieving big time savings in production.  Weta Digital have been leading the promotion of the technique and have now ensured that the tools we provide artists within NUKE are thoroughly battle tested and ready to face production.  The further announcement of an OpenEXR format to support deep data this week is also being supported by NUKE enabling greater collaboration.”

“Working with the Foundry to have our tools integrated into the core of Nuke ensures that the rest of the industry has immediate access to this technology”, said Peter Hillman, the Lead Developer for the Deep Compositing workflow at Weta Digital.  “This integration, together with the collaborative effort between Weta Digital and other leading VFX studios to integrate deep data into the Open EXR format, helps establish a true cross industry standard for utilizing deep data.”

NUKE 6.3 is due for release in June.

For further information about NUKE see www.thefoundry.co.uk/nuke.

About The FoundryThe Foundry is a world-leading innovator in visual effects technologies. The UK-based company has established itself as a critical partner to major feature film studios and post production houses worldwide including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Walt Disney Studios, Weta Digital, The Moving Picture Company, Framestore and Digital Domain.

In 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded a Sci-Tech Award® to The Foundry’s development team for the Furnace image processing suite.  The company's widely adopted, high-end compositing system Nuke is also based on AMPAS Sci-Tech Award® winning technology.

The Foundry is at the cutting edge of software development, marketing and sales for visual effects software. Its products have facilitated ambitious VFX sequences on numerous “must see” movies such as Avatar, Tron: Legacy, Alice in Wonderland, The King's Speech, 127 Hours and Black Swan.

The Foundry received a Distinguished Honoree medal in The 2010 International Business Awards (‘The Stevies’) as the Most Innovative Company of the Year in Europe.  The company was also listed among The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 and The Guardian’s 2010 Tech Media Invest Top 100.

In March 2011, The Carlyle Group invested a majority stake in The Foundry for an undisclosed sum, following the 2009 management buyout backed by Advent Venture Partners. The Foundry is a fast growing and highly profitable business, and is still run by its original management team led by CEO Dr Bill Collis and the company's founders. The company has offices in London and Los Angeles.

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