OBERKOCHEN, GERMANY — At NAB 2022 in Las Vegas, Zeiss Cinematography showed CinCraft Mapper (cincraft.zeiss.com/mapper), a new digital service that quickly and easily provides frame-accurate lens distortion and shading data for visual effects workflows. The data can be used by compositors and matchmoving artists to achieve a cinematic results in VFX shots.
“Normally, lens grids must be recorded and processed in order to obtain this data – a process that is not only very time-consuming, but also error-prone and limited in scope,” explains Jonathan Demuth, junior product manager, digital cinematography at Zeiss. “With just a few clicks, CinCraft Mapper now provides this data directly on the basis of the metadata - lens type, focus distance, aperture - captured during film production. Lost clip metadata can also be added without difficulty. For compositing and matchmoving artists, this means that they can be sure they are not only receiving accurate data without having to rely on the preceding capture and workflow procedures, but also that the entire VFX process will be simplified and accelerated. The VFX studio also benefits directly from the more efficient workflow.”
Zeiss CinCraft Mapper delivers precise, frame-accurate lens data from complex shots with multiple and dynamic focusing distances. The accurate data eliminates the need to make assumptions due to incomplete data.
“CinCraft Mapper expands on the Zeiss eXtended Data (XD) technology that we introduced with the Zeiss Compact Prime CP.3 and have subsequently integrated into each new cine lens family,” adds Christophe Casenave, who is responsible for cinematography products at Zeiss. “VFX artists no longer have to rely only on eXtended Data generated by lens and camera equipment on set. Now additional and historic lens family shading and distortion data can also be provided by the CinCraft Mapper service. At the same time, the service is also compatible with the existing XD technology.”
CinCraft Mapper delivers industry standard ST Maps for distortion and Multiply Maps for shading. These can be used directly in compositing and matchmoving software, such as Nuke, Flame and 3DEqualizer.
“Mapper is just the beginning for our CinCraft ecosystem,” notes Casenave. “We are already looking forward to being able to offer even more services in the future, which will provide a broad range of aspects of lens looks for VFX and other applications.”