The Moving Picture Company has purchased a site licence of KATANA from visual effects software developer The Foundry to replace its in-house lighting system.

MPC, whose recent film work includes Prometheus, Dark Shadows and Wrath of the Titans, believes that KATANA enables artists to be more productive and will improve its ability to attract and retain talented artists going forward.

"We look forward to being able to reduce the admin overhead for our Lighting TDs,” says Nick Cannon, director of technology and operations, MPC Film. “Lighters will now be able to spend more time actually lighting rather than managing and debugging assets. KATANA will empower our lighters to have more control over their scenes and make changes without having to be so dependent on other members of the crew. It will also enable tight integration of interactive rendering giving us more rapid iterations so we can deliver better looking assets and shots sooner.

“Our existing in-house lighting toolset is very powerful but its complexity means it takes a long time to learn. As KATANA becomes a prevalent tool in the industry, we expect there to soon be a pool of KATANA talent we can draw on so new artists will be fully up to speed in around a week rather than taking six months to learn the full power of our existing in-house toolset from scratch.”

Originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, KATANA is designed to build scalable and efficient lighting pipelines without a large internal engineering effort.

KATANA 1.1 was released in June 2012 and is in use in a number of studios including ILM, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Spin VFX, LAIKA and Reliance MediaWorks.

Staff Reporter