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HomeIndustry SectorFilmThe Foundry Releases KATANA 1.0

The Foundry Releases KATANA 1.0


The Foundry announced the release of KATANA 1.0, a look development and lighting tool originally developed as in-house color, lighting and workflow management system at Sony Pictures Imageworks and used in production since in 2004. KATANA is designed to replace the conventional CG pipeline with a flexible “recipe-based” asset workflow.

The Foundry also announced that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Lucasfilm company, has purchased a site license of KATANA.

Currently in use for upcoming productions, ILM made this significant investment to boost their production pipeline across their ILM and Lucasfilm companies. As a KATANA site license holder ILM will deploy the software both in their San Francisco and Singapore studios.

“We worked closely with The Foundry over the past year on specific features and functionality we wanted to see in KATANA and after implementing it in production, we believe the package shows great promise and we look forward to our continuing relationship with The Foundry as we integrate technologies such as KATANA into our production pipeline,” said John Knoll, visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic.

KATANA is designed to allow updating of assets once shots are already in progress; share lighting set-ups, such as edits and overrides, between shots and sequences; allow use of multiple renderers and specifying dependencies between render passes, and allow shot specific modification of assets to become part of the lighting ‘recipe’ for shots to avoid having to deal with large numbers of shot specific asset variants.

KATANA also offers extensive APIs to integrate the system with current pipelines, shader libraries and workflow tools, while its collaborative nature allows it to scale up to meet the needs of the most demanding productions.

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