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Multi-Touch & Kinect to Navigate Gigapixel Images

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.

FINE 2010 Presentation

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.


Ever since I started working with museums online, I’ve felt that there is a need for strategic advice to help managers of cultural heritage web presences. There are of course hundreds of thousands of resources if you’ve got technical questions, but not many places where you can ask things like “how should I build my web team and structure my budget?” or “how do I write a strategy or business plan?”.

TAG 2010

This weekend was the Annual Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference in Bristol. TAG is a great conference with many wide-ranging topics discussed, and has a tradition of being a platform from which a number of theories that may be conventionally considered ‘out-there’ are presented. It is also treated as the UK archaeological communities’ unofficial Christmas party.

Photogrammetric Gigapixel Images

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.

Photogrammetry from Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)

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.

Dead Men’s Eyes

‘And here,’ he said, stopping on a more or less level plot with a ring of large trees, ‘is Baxter’s Roman villa.’ ‘Baxter?’ said Mr Fanshawe. ‘I forgot; you don’t know about him. He was the old chap I got those glasses from. I believe he made them. He was an old watchmaker down in the village, a great antiquary.

Worlds Oldest University (湖南大学) & Avatar Hallelujah Mountains (阿凡达-哈利路亚山)

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.

Sunken Treasures of the Nile

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.

Siggraph 2010 Presentation: DIY Time-Lapse Motion-Control Systems

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.

Bradbury Building High Resolution HDRI

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.

xRez Interview video on

Our friends at have just posted an interview video with us illustrating some recent work, namely the Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project, Native American rock art PTM capture, and spherical animation done for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park. Thanks guys! ©xRez Studio, 2010.

Gigapan Epic Pro Video Review

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.

8K Stereoscopic “Crossing Worlds” Screens at “Dome Day Asia 2010″

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.

Welcome to the New Site!

We have needed a significant update to our site for quite some time, so here it is at long last.. We are excited to have added almost 3 years of new work, with a much easier way to navigate the projects. We will be posting frequent entries on latest project developments and interesting finds, so keep checking back.. Time to toast w/ a shot of Corzo Silver! ©xRez Studio, 2010.

Dayton Aviation Heritage VR Flight Viewer

Park visitors at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park intending to learn about the Wright Brothers often visit Huffman Prairie, an unassuming open space where the Wrights did much of their formative testing. The field, a large open expanse, challenges a visitors imagination as to how they flew there. In 2010, the park will unveil a unique and unprecedented historic interpretation tool for it’s visitors, the VR Flight Viewer, conceptualized and produced by xRez Studio.

Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project

Yosemite Valley experiences numerous rockfalls each year, with over 600 rockfall events documented since 1850. Due to the pulverization of the rockfall mass, evaluating and quantifying rockfall characteristics has proved challenging without any high-resolution baseline imagery of the Valley walls, which could act as a useful datum for before/after comparisons. In 2008, The Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project, a partnership between geologist Greg Stock, Ph.D.

Digital Storytelling

Conceptualized over a spirited conversation at a campfire in the High Sierras, Digital Storytelling has evolved to be one of Scandinavia’s leading visual effects annual seminars, co-founded by xRez Studio’s Eric Hanson and Kim Baumann-Larsen of Oslo-based Placebo Effects.

Japan-US Hiroshima Reconstruction Project

The USC School of Cinematic Arts has had an ongoing relationship w/ TBS producer Norico Wada, specifically in the Division of Animation and Digital Arts, where xRez Studio partner Eric Hanson instructs 3d computer graphics and visual effects classes. She introduced USC to the work of Mr. Masaaki Tanabe, a Japanese filmmaker who lived as a child adjacent to the famed “Peace Dome” building at the time of the blast.

Tikal Documentation for UNESCO

In November of 2005, xRez Team member Greg Downing was asked to take part in an intensive documentation project of the world heritage site of Tikal. Tikal is an ancient Mayan site located in a wildlife preserve in the Petén region of Guatemala. This was a special opportunity to explore the application of xRez Studio technology for world heritage and to work with teams from UC Berkeley, Cyark, and UNESCO.