The Foundry Ships Ocula Plug-Ins

Leading visual effects software developer The Foundry announced that Ocula – the unique collection of plug-in tools that solve common problems with stereoscopic imagery, boost productivity in post-production, and ultimately help to deliver a more rewarding stereoscopic viewing experience – is now shipping.

The Ocula plug-ins are designed to automatically replicate key processes on left and right channels and help artists polish and refine stereoscopic material, literally removing headaches from the final viewing experience.

Ocula’s tool set is based on brand new disparity-mapping algorithms, created by The Foundry’s Academy Award-winning R&D team. Disparity maps track and correlate the differences in positional space and movement between corresponding pixels in the left and right cameras, delivering pixel-level control over images. Knowing where disparities occur, Ocula tools apply corrections by warping, stretching and squeezing only the areas of an image that require treatment. Image manipulation using disparity maps is different to the X, Y or Z-axis shifting of images, where only whole image planes are being shifted.

Ocula plug-ins allow artists to apply a multitude of adjustments to stereo image pairs. All corrections can be made to the left and right eye channels either together or separately, minimising or eliminating discomfort from the stereo viewing experience.

Ocula Plug-ins
- Interocular Shifter allows users to reduce camera interaxial separation in post-production. Using disparity map data, two new ‘virtual’ views are created between the original left and right eye positions, resulting in objects of different fore, mid and background depths being given a more gentle depth effect. This is different to an X-axis shift to adjust convergence, where only the image plane is moved.

- Vertical Aligner automatically attempts to vertically align corresponding image features in each view to minimise or eliminate camera misalignment and ‘key-stoning’. This is not a single Y-shift for the whole image – the correction varies across the entire image.

- New View allows the creation of a single view from a stereo pair of images. Users can create this new view at any position between the original views using one or both of the original views. The ‘new view’ then replaces both of the existing views.

- Paint dramatically reduces the amount of manual labour required by artists undertaking paint work. Many position-dependent image manipulations can now be applied to just one eye with paint strokes being automatically generated for the other eye, substantially improving productivity.

- Rotoscoping provides and artist with the ability to apply a keyframed roto mask to just one eye. Ocula then automatically generates the mask for the other eye substantially improving productivity.

Nuke 5.1 is currently the only visual effects compositing system with an embedded 3D stereoscopic workflow where left and right eye channels can be manipulated separately or together. Nuke 5.1 is, therefore, currently the only platform that supports Ocula.

Availability and Pricing
Now shipping, Ocula is priced at $10,000 / £5,000. Also shipping, Nuke 5.1 is priced at $3,500 / £1,750 with render nodes priced at: $250 / £125, with the annual maintenance and support contract prices at $1,000 / £500 per GUI license. Nuke 5.1 is available for existing customers with valid maintenance at no extra cost.

Source: StudioDaily