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HomeCraftsAnimationMPC Film Picks Katana to Replace In-house Toolset

MPC Film Picks Katana to Replace In-house Toolset


The Moving Picture Company has purchased a site license of The Foundry’s Katana to replace its in-house lighting system.

The company was looking for a new, more powerful system for its lighting department. The evaluation team at MPC found that Katana enabled artists to be more productive, and it felt the software would improve its ability to attract and retain talented artists in the future.

“We’re excited to be able to integrate Katana into our pipeline and look forward to being able to reduce the admin overhead for our Lighting TDs,” said Nick Cannon, director of technology and operations at 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.”

Originally developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Katana takes an innovative recipe-based approach, enabling facilities large and small to build highly scalable and efficient lighting pipelines without a large internal engineering effort.

“Our existing in-house lighting toolset is very powerful, but its complexity means it takes a long time to learn,” Cannon said. “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.”

“We’ve been working with MPC for some time to help them understand the potential of Katana and how it will improve efficiency and streamline the way their lighting team work on feature films,” said Andy Lomas, Katana product manager at The Foundry. “We work with studios of all sizes, answering challenging questions and addressing any issues they may have, to ensure that they are 100 percent happy with product before they adopt.”

Katana 1.1 was released in June 2012 and is in use in production at studios of all sizes including ILM, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Spin VFX, LAIKA and Reliance MediaWorks.

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