Digital imagery company xRez Studio, which specializes in high resolution photography, has announced the launch of a new visual effects division based on the studio’s new gigapixel panoramic photography techniques.
According to the company, such such high resolution imagery can be used in a variety of applications, including video game development, particularly with regards to producing detailed 3D backgrounds.
“Panoramic spherical imagery has been used in games, but techniques are available now to allow gigapixel images to fit within the narrow bandwidth common to gaming,” noted company co-founder Eric Hanson. “This can afford new creative possibilities of gameplay, capitalizing on exploration of highly detailed imagery not seen before.”
xRez Studio was founded by photography and visual effects veterans Eric Hanson and Greg Downing, and has developed gigapixel techniques based on feature film visual effects. According to the company, these techniques allow for the creation of high resolution images of up to 150,000 pixels wide, “far surpassing any large format film standards used in photography and well beyond IMAX.”
Hanson, who is also the professor of visual effects at the USC School of Cinema/TV, adds that by using gigapixel panoramic photography, the company is “able to extend conventional photography and offer unique 3D re-creations of locations that can provide the foundation for virtual cinematography of visual effects shots allowing modification of weather, light, or even the character of a space.”
xRez recently provided its services to Sassoon Film Design for a VFX shot on Tom Hank's Magnificent Desolation IMAX feature on the Apollo moon program. xRez re-created flying through a deep trench called the Hadley Rile, which was shot originally as a series of photographs taken by the Apollo 15 astronauts. A panoramic stitch of the images was made, then a technique called photogrammetry was employed to model the surface faithfully from the photographs. A layering of 24 matte paintings based on the photographs was then used to texture the canyon as the camera flew down its length.