Lytro Launches Light-Field Tool Aimed at Animated Virtual Reality

One Morning Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Lytro

Lytro, the Silicon Valley-based company that’s developing light-field based technology for Hollywood, is launching a new tool for the animation community to use to create virtual reality and other immersive experiences.

Describing it as a "virtual version of our physical cameras," Lytro Cinema general manager Buzz Hays said the new Lytro Volume Tracer is light-field technology-based software designed to help animators get a quality level and realism closer to that of high-end animated features, but with near real-time rendering, bringing it more in line with the capabilities offered in a game engine.

To demonstrate the software's potential, the company will debut One Morning, a short animated encounter with a robot bird from director Rodrigo Blaas (Trollhunters) and El Guiri Productions, which was made with the Lytro VT. It will be shown for the first time Friday at On the Lot, a virtual and augmented reality conference produced by the Advanced Imaging and VR Society.

Hays noted that in addition to use in producing VR and other immersive content, the Lytro VT could be applied to previs, virtual production, high-end animation and related production applications. He added that it could be used with Maya, Houdini and other CG or VFX packages.