London - Visual effects software developer The Foundry has announced its plans for Katana, an environment for preparing 3D assets for rendering. It enables artists to define and control look and lighting while maintaining performance with very large datasets, says a spokesperson.
KATANA operates non-destructively using a rule-based approach, allowing modeling, look development, animation, and lighting teams to work in parallel.
Originally developed in house at Sony Pictures Imageworks to handle increasingly complex workflows on productions, such as Spider-Man and Superman Returns, the commercial development of Katana was taken on by The Foundry in November 2009 as part of a unique collaboration between the two companies.
The Foundry's engineering effort, in consultation with a broad range of users, is ensuring Katana becomes a flexible product that can ultimately integrate with any pipeline and any renderer in any facility. These consultations have now developed into much more in-depth collaborations with a number of key sites, including MPC and Digital Domain, which are now using Katana in alpha.
Katana is scheduled for commercial release in 2011.