Imagemotion to Shine at SIGGRAPH

Sony Picture Imageworks’ proprietary performance-motion-capture system called Imagemotion™, which was developed for the upcoming feature The Polar Express, will be showcased at SIGGRAPH 2004. According to company president, Tim Sarnoff, a number of features are in development at Imageworks which will also utilize the Imagemotion process.

"The response and feedback from directors and filmmakers to our Imagemotion technology has been extraordinary," says Sarnoff. "Working on The Polar Express as our first film that utilizes Imagemotion has been an amazing process and we look forward to developing additional projects based on this new technology."

The first public display and behind-the-scenes look at Imagemotion is scheduled for SIGGRAPH 2004, the 31st Annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, which takes place in Los Angeles, August 8-12.

Initially developed for the film The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the proprietary Imagemotion technology created by Sony Pictures Imageworks is a unique performance-motion-capture system capable of simultaneously recording high-fidelity facial and body motion of multiple actors on the stage at any given time. This system involves ganging a high density of motion-capture cameras positioned to provide 360 degrees of recording coverage for the performers.

Another key component to the Imagemotion process includes a unique virtual camera system that allows a live-action camera operator to choreograph camera movement on the digital characters after motion capture is applied.

The Polar Express, featuring the Imagemotion performance-motion-capture system, has been accepted in the prestigious Electronic Theater. "Imageworks has certainly raised the bar in visual effects and digital animation through Imagemotion," says Chris Bregler, chair of the SIGGRAPH 2004 Electronic Theater and Computer Animation Festival. "We are very excited to have Imageworks and The Polar Express as part of our 2004 program."

For more info on SIGGRAPH 2004, visit www.imageworks.com or to register, go to www.siggraph.org/s2004/.