Author Archives: hpdrc

Filmic Tonemapping and Color In Games

Filmic Tonemapping Mt Tam

A presentation at Electronic Arts in 2006 on Filmic Tonemapping, a technique from film that became very applicable to games with the addition of support for HDR lighting and rendering in graphics cards.

Articles about the technique or games that have used the technique

Slides are available below.
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Multipass Rendering in mental ray for “The Matrix” sequels

multipass_005 still 1920

The Siggraph 2003 presentation “Multipass Rendering in mental ray for “The Matrix” sequels”, an early deep frame buffer approach to rendering and compositing large datasets, are online here:


Haarm-Pieter Duiker, ESC Entertainment Thomas Driemeyer, mental images


Rendering resources are by definition constrained and yet the task of rendering many objects at high quality is frequently encountered in the effects industry. Breaking up scenes into renderable pieces, or passes, is a common approach to rendering large scenes. To achieve the quantity of photo-real effects in frame that were required by the scripts of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, mental images and ESC Entertainment developed a system for rendering and automatically compositing many passes. The system we developed has the key advantage that it takes as its compositing primitive not the pixel but the sample.

The full writeup and slides are available below
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Lighting Reconstruction for “The Matrix” sequels



The Siggraph 2003 presentation on the ESC Lighting Reconstruction Toolkit, an Image-Based Lighting approach used on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions are online here.


Haarm-Pieter Duiker, ESC Entertainment

The demands of photo-realism required of the effects for The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions led us to create a system for directly and accurately reconstructing real world lighting environments. The Lighting Reconstruction Toolkit builds on research in the area of Image-based Lighting and extends current techniques to enable the reconstruction of lighting that more closely matches the real world.

The full writeup and slides are available below
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Academy Common LUT Format

The ACES project includes includes a XML-based LUT format known as the “Common LUT Format”, or CLF. The format is documented here and here.

In support of the ACES 1.0 release, a Python reference implementation for the format was created. This includes support for all of the features in the specification, some of Autodesk’s proprietary extensions as well as a few small extensions of my own.

The github repo is here: CLF

Color Symmetry at SIGGRAPH 2008

Color Symmetry
Siggraph 2008

Color and Look Management for Animation, Visual Effects and Graphics Toolsets Expanded with Support for Emerging Industry-Standard LUTs and RAW Acquisition Workflows

Duiker Research Corp., creator of the Color Symmetry plug-in suite, will be announcing Color Symmetry 2.0 from Booth #1538. Version 2.0 rolls out on a number of new capabilities that make it possible to create and emulate production looks, accurately view color and correctly exchange color data across multiple film- and emerging all-digital production pipelines in motion pictures, television, commercials and games. This includes introducing support for RAW digital acquisition workflows as well as a comprehensive range of industry-standard LUTs.

With Version 2.0, users will be able to accurately see and handle RAW color space imagery from digital acquisition sources including RED, Panavision, Arri and Dalsa digital cameras. Color Symmetry 2.0 also supports the Color Decision List (CDL) and Color Transformation Language (CTL) color interchange and transformation formats, allowing visual effects and graphics artists to work according to emerging color standards as they complete and collaborate to deliver shots.

Color Symmetry is a set of plug-ins and small applications that solves the modern workflow challenge of being able to see and handle color consistently in animation, graphics, visual effects and post-production systems, including 2D and 3D software. Color Symmetry also lets lets users author, share and properly use film and created production looks directly within their everyday tools.

For further information, visit, or Booth #1538 at SIGGRAPH 2008.

Color Symmetry 1.5 Released

Color Symmetry

Color Symmetry Version 1.5 With Universal Look Authoring Announced

With Color Symmetry, Custom Looks Can Now Be Created and Viewed Across Popular Post-Production Tools

(Las Vegas NAB–April 16, 2008) Duiker Research Corp., creator of the Color Symmetry plug-in suite, has announced Color Symmetry Version 1.5 with Universal Look Authoring.

Color Symmetry is a complete solution for emulating film looks and handling color consistently within industry-standard animation, graphics, effects and post-production packages. Version 1.5 supports a growing number of post workflows and formats as well as today’s increasingly creative look development demands.

Key new features include:

  • Universal Look Authoring – Two new nodes in the Color Symmetry plug-in suite allow custom looks to be authored within one Color Symmetry-supported application and then used instantly within any other Color Symmetry-supported application. For example, a director or DP can create a look in a Color Symmetry-supported application of their choosing (such as Adobe Photoshop), and have that look used correctly by their collaborators.
  • Expanded LUT Support – Color Symmetry’s Look Up Table (LUT) support has been expanded to include a comprehensive range of LUT formats. This includes new support for LUTs for Discreet Flame, LUTher and Fusion as well as ICC profiles. Color Symmetry now also encompasses tools to convert between and among various formats.
  • Plug-ins for More Applications – The Color Symmetry suite, which already provides plug-ins for a broad range of popular toolsets, has been extended to include new software releases such as The Foundry’s NUKE 5.0 and Autodesk Maya 2008.
  • Monitor Calibration Solution – Volume sales of Color Symmetry Version 1.5 with Universal Look Authoring will ship with Pantone Eye One, providing base-level calibration for monitors and displays.

“Color Symmetry 1.1 solved the problem of emulating film in the digital workflow,” said Haarm-Pieter Duiker, founder of Duiker Research. “Version 1.5 takes the next step by allowing users to create and accurately pass on their own Film Looks. Film Looks can be created and viewed interchangeably within industry-standard applications by various different collaborators — DPs working in Photoshop, graphics design firms working in After Effects, film companies using Shake, Nuke or Fusion and film finishing houses using Scratch or Framecycler.”

Color Symmetry addresses the needs for film look emulation, color space conversion and color operations in a single package that is consistent across applications and platforms. It solves a fundamental digital post-production challenge by allowing artists creating and rendering shots and elements to see the images as they would appear on film. It offers Identical Color Handing across vastly different software packages, color spaces and user platforms and even allows consistent work between the logarithmic world of 2D live-action color imagery and linear world of 3D lighting and floating-point high-dynamic color range.

Early adopters of Color Symmetry include such companies as Evil Eye Pictures in San Francisco, The Lab VFX R&D in Mexico and Sony Entertainment Europe.

Pricing & Availability
Color Symmetry Version 1.5 with Universal Look Authoring is available now. For sales and purchasing information, please contact or call (415) 771-8991.

The Color Symmetry plug-in suite includes platform-transparent support for Windows, Linux and Macintosh OSX operating systems. A single license of Color Symmetry provides color handling and film look capabilities within all of the following applications:

  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Apple Shake
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Avid Softimage XSI
  • Autodesk Toxik
  • Newtek Lightwave
  • The Foundry NUKE
  • Eyeon Digital Fusion
  • Iridas Framecycler
  • Assimilate Scratch
  • OpenFX

Color Symmetry additionally integrates directly into production renderers (mental images Mental Ray, Splutterfish Brazil) for projects that require command line rendering support.

Enabling Better Visual Effects

We’re trying to make things a bit more dynamic around here. To that effect, we’ve reorganized the site and added a few features. The motto for the company has always been “Dedicated to creating technology that enables people to make better visual effects.” so hopefully the new site helps us get the word out a little quicker in that effort.