xRez recently had opportunity to contribute to the NY Times on a webGL interactive visualization of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s free climbing ascent of the “Dawn Wall”. The Dawn Wall on Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan is considered the most difficult rock climb in the world. The new NY Times interactive can be explored in full screen.
TIME 2014/ Pull of the Moon is an experimental immersive film based on the 2014 collaboration of renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Navajo artist Bert Benally’s ephemeral land art performance in rural New Mexico in June 2014. The film digitally recreates the remote performance site of Coyote Canyon by utilizing cutting edge CGI techniques of aerial drone mapping, photogrammetry, and gigapixel panoramic techniques.
We love Yosemite and have found a few new ways to experience it in gigapixel on the iPad and Oculus Rift! The Oculus Rift version of Yosemite Spyglass is available for the Mac and PC. The Yosemite Spyglass for the iPad is available in the Apple App Store.
xRez was contracted by Day’s End Pictures to shoot stereoscopic time-lapse sequences for the National Geographic IMAX production of “Mysteries of the Unseen World“. Released in November of 2013, the film reveals the stunning beauty and enormity of the world that is in front of us but cannot be seen due to the scale, time period, or electromagnetic frequency. The film uses high-speed, time-lapse, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology to reveal this unseen world.
We have 3 new showreels up for 2013 for Motion, VFX, and Fulldome. Come take a peek. Motion Reel: Click here to view the embedded video. Visual Effects Reel: Click here to view the embedded video. Fulldome Theater Reel: Click here to view the embedded video. You can read more about Fulldome Theater here. ©xRez Studio, 2013.
xRez Studio is partnering with GlacierWorks, a non-profit organization that uses art, science, and adventure to raise public awareness about the consequences of climate change in the Greater Himalaya. By comparing modern high-resolution gigapixel imagery with archival photographs taken over the past century, GlacierWorks seek to highlight glacial loss and the potential for a greatly diminished water supply throughout Asia.
We at xRez have always had a keen interest in the latest implentations of NUI’s (Natural User Interfaces). Here are a few video examples of xRez imagery being explored with a Gesture Based Interface with the Kinect as part of “Open Exhibits” and a large Multitouch screen at CES.
The presentation xRez Studio made for the “Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science” 2010 at Carnegie Mellon is now on-line.Greg Downing of xRez Studio talks at the first Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science, November 11-13 2010 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. This workshop covers visual and spatial data acquisition for real-life locations destined for research or visual reconstruction.
While doing work on the National Geographic special “Sunken Treasures of the Nile” a significant archaeological find was made. Philippe Martinez discovered what we have been calling “Stela M” that contains the first description ever found of how the 1000 ton obelisks were moved. Philippe needed gigapixel detail documentation of the surface so that he could have a good record of the surface for later study.
While working on the National Geographic Special “Sunken Treasures of the Nile” we were very interested in how we could represent the terrain of the surrounding area. Unfortunately there were no DEM (Digital Elevation Models) of this remote area and we were unable to charter an aircraft due to the designation of military air-space. The only method we had available to us for re-creating this kind of terrain was through the use of Kite Aerial Photography and Photogrammetry.
xRez’s Eric Hanson was invited to give a workshop on Digital Set and Visual Effects Techniques at Hunan University in Changsha, China. Hunan University is one of the oldest universities in the world, established in 976 AD. At the conclusion of the workshop the university generously offered Eric an honorary professorship. In over a thousand years of operation Eric was the first Westerner granted this honor at Hunan University.
In November of 2008 xRez Studio was asked to join Insight Digital on an expedition to Egypt to help create a documentary for the French Channel 3 Television show “Le secret des Pharaons bâtisseurs” on “Des Racines & Des Ailes” directed by Frédéric Wilner. Now there is an American version of this film on the National Geographic Channel called “Sunken Treasures of the Nile” The show will be airing August 3rd 2010 at 1PM, and November 8th 2010 at 4pm.
xRez Studio will be presenting innovations in “DIY Time-Lapse Motion-Control Systems” in “The Studio” at Siggraph July 26th from 12:30 to 1pm in room 150. We will be joined by Chris Church from OpenMoco and Dynamic Perception LLC. He will be showing some of the latest hardware for the DIY Motion Control photography audience.
This is an interactive 33k by 16.5k pixel (550 megapixel), with 28 stops of exposure. The photo is of the interior of the Bradbury Building in Downtown Los Angeles. One of this building’s claims to fame is that the interior was used in the classic science fiction film “Blade Runner“. This is the same HDRI panorama we showed in the CG Channel Interview.
The new Gigapan Epic Pro (the gigapan for your DSLR) is out! We hadn’t seen any reviews yet and we have gotten so many questions about it after twittering that we had the Gigapan Epic Pro that we have decide to post a “first look” for our friends. Click here to view the embedded video.
xRez Studio’s award-winning “Crossing Worlds” was one of the selected screenings for “Dome Day Asia 2010″ on March 9, 2010. Dome Day Asia was a special event to explore the new possibilities of the world’s highest resolution fulldome digital projection theaters. For those of you who may not be familiar with fulldome theater you make want to take a look at this article for more explanation.
One highly compelling method to reveal the vast level of detail contained in a gigapixel image is to print it in large format over a very long length. Based on our 2008 Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project, xRez Studio printed a continuous 40 foot x 5 foot print at 300 dpi for exhibition at Siggraph 2008.The image shown was sourced from a 150,000 pixel render from Maya and Mental Ray, having been derived from several hundred images shot during the project.
xRez principal Greg Downing has been at the forefront of photogrammetry technique for some time, having worked on the seminal ImageModeler while at RealViz. Later consulting and working with major effects studios, Greg has applied photogrammetry in several major feature films, including “Spiderman 3″, and “I Am Legend”. Photogrammetry is the process of deriving original 3D modeling data from 2D source images, known as the sparse technique.
High Dynamic Range imagery (HDRI) is creating a revolution in digital photography, where the full tonal range of a scene’s lighting can be faithfully captured and recreated. xRez Studio has been at the forefront of this technology development, interacting with key researchers Paul Debevec and Greg Ward. Related to our gigapixel photography, we set out to capture a very high resolution HDR image taken simultaneously with the gigapixel image.
One problem surrounding the needs of cultural heritage research is the acquisition of static on-site photography, which may limit perceived detail in the artifacts later upon inspection. One method which allows re-lighting of artifacts post-shooting is HP Labs researcher Tom Malzbender’s work in polynomial texture mapping, or PTM.