Pixel Light Effects

From 2015 to 2017, I worked as the Creative Director at Pixel Light Effects, a Vancouver-based company offering 3d scanning for film and television.  Together with a talented team of engineers and programmers, I helped to develop reliable, highly mobile photogrammetry setups, as well as pipelines for working with and cleaning up that scan data.

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Photogrammetry capture ranges from the very simple to the very complex – and human scanning is at the far end of the spectrum in terms of difficulty.  Although in theory it’s possible to do human capture using a single, hand-held camera, in practice that is rarely reliable enough for commercial use.  Because it takes so long to take the hundreds of photos necessary, people can move (ruining the scan) – and since the data usually takes too long to process on-site, it makes it a very risky approach.  The solution to this problem is multi-camera arrays that can be triggered simultaneously.

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Version 5 - capable of capturing a scan in 1/100th of a second, with total reliability every time
Version 5 - capable of capturing a scan in 1/100th of a second, with total reliability every time

Of course, this many cameras is a lot less portable than a single DSLR.  So, we packed the entire rig – 144 DSLRs, lighting, and control systems – into the back of a Sprinter.

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Instantaneous scanning also makes it possible to capture blendshapes and FACs.

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We also built specialised setups for cross-polarized, vehicle, and prop scanning – check out the PLE website for more info.

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Special thanks to Pivot and Pilot Creative, who did our branding, and to Ian Mrozewski, who directed our videos.

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