Read: Zbig Movie Miracle by P.Vlahos



Motion Control Simulation System
Spherical Zoom Lens
Digital Compositing
CGI Library
Format Conversion


The rapid technological changes are bringing with them not only increased competition for viewer attention, but new means of creating and distributing content through broadband based technologies. What was once thought of as a future universe of 500 channels of interactive TV, will instead be a universe of almost unlimited channels delivered via broadband over the Internet. Organizations from the largest movie and TV production studios to the individual will be able to create and distribute their own brand of specialized content of moving images with sound and text.

Although broadband is already widely available, the suitable tools to take full advantage of delivering this type of content are not yet ready. A major obstacle is the lack of an accepted standard for the generation of visual elements which incorporate movement, time, geometry and scale.

Through its unique technology based on the principles of MGiS (Moto-Geometrical Image Standardization), Zbig Vision ("Zbig") has developed a concept to meet these challenges and provide a broad spectrum of users a way to produce special effects online by sharing sequences of visual components with other users.

" Zbig Vision's One Box is a complete system that comprises a series of breakthrough technological achievements. While this revolutionary technology will impact the traditional high-end production and post production community that services the motion picture and television industries, it will more profoundly impact the burgeoning, and ultimately vastly larger, web content industry. "

-Paul Vlahos, CEO, Ultimatte Corporation
The "One Box" system is a set of tools composed of hardware/software, integrated optics, motion control, lighting, compositing, and synchronization of "real" images with computer graphics imagery ("CGI"). Using a newly developed "MGiS image protocol" it is possible to receive, via the Internet, various visual components and other elements that incorporate movement, time, geometry and scale.
Motion Control Simulation System
This system is a simple solution for inserting real/photographed objects into the CGI world as well as inserting CGI objects into the real/photographed world. Multiple objects can be placed at desired positions in a scene, at different scales, while the camera is simulating real time, free movement in three-dimensional space.

The system incorporates blue-screen and lighting components, automatically creating the proper conditions for high quality image and special-effects photography. Although the physical dimensions of the motion control system are very small, particularly the tabletop version, the camera can simulate travelling unlimited distances in three-dimensional space. By exchanging "motion data" via the Internet, the system can be synchronized with other "One Box" systems at different locations.

This system will be introduced in two versions: a tabletop and studio/office version. The visual components created by each can be seamlessly integrated with components created by the other.

Tabletop version:
This version is at the smaller end of the scale, targeting users who are involved in producing images incorporating physical objects not exceeding 60x60x60 cm (2x2x2 feet), such as miniatures. Its primary use will be in creating visual elements for e-business catalogues, video game developers, and independent filmmakers.

Studio/Office version:
This version is a higher end solution for more complex production work when larger objects need to be incorporated as visual elements, ranging from a human being to a car. This version will be ideal for broadcast, film studios, and advertising houses. It also opens the possibilities for online services, delivering these larger visual components to users of the tabletop version.

Tabletop Version

Studio/Office Version
Spherical Zoom Lens and Principles of Spherical Perspective
Today's image technology, whether optical or CGI based, suffers from the following fundamental problems:

1.Besides being limited to a zoom range of less than 90º, both optical and CG images do not correctly reproduce the distance between lens/observer and the visualized objects. With every degree of "zoom out" or with every "shorter" focal length of a lens, objects which are very close to the observer are "pushed" away towards the horizon. This distortion is so strong that at 90º images are not acceptable to human eye. In fact the human eye sees reality in 180º without any perceivable distortion. Objects which are 10cm in front of the nose are in fact 10cm in front of the nose and not 200 meters away.

2.Today, there are thousands of different types of prime and zoom lenses on the market, none of which have a clear description for the geometry of photographed images. Every lens produces a unique image, not repeatable by other lenses.

3.Existing CGI software uses the Principles of Linear Perspective (PLP), which dates back to the 15th Century. The results are CG images with the same, repeatable geometrical properties, which are very different from the unique image properties produced by individual lenses. For technical reasons, lens construction cannot realize PLP.

Therefore, not only is it extremely difficult to "connect" and composite images taken by two different lenses, but it is almost completely impossible to "connect" them with images created through CGI. The current solution is a very expensive and time consuming process known as rotoscoping, a frame by frame correction of mismatched geometry, sizes and perspectives of miniatures, full size sets, actors and CGI.

Introduction of the new synchronized optical-CGI system will have a huge impact on the rapidly growing development 3-D technologies such as virtual and interactive simulations used by the medical field, the military, engineering sciences, and the entertainment industry.

Based on newly defined principles of spherical perspective, Zbig Vision Ltd. has developed an idea for a new type of motorized zoom lens and mathematics for rendering a CGI composition whose geometry synchronizes with the lens's geometry. In effect, optical and CGI images will have the same geometrical properties allowing for an extremely wide zooming range of 4 to 180 without distance distortion.

The Spherical Lens which will be integrated into the "One Box" system can be used separately in all traditional photo-film or video cameras. It will hopefully lead to the development and use of a single, standardized lens used by all media around the world.

Visualization of the same camera
and object positions.

- Top image: traditional linear perspective.
- Bottom image: Zbig's spherical perspective.

In both images the camera is placed at 10 meters from central ball (2m diameter).
Two walls and ground are covered with chess-board patterns. Lens has 164 diagonal angle of view.

Stereoscopic 180 image
using Zbig's spherical perspective.

When viewed trough stereoscopic glasses, it forms an illusion of seeing a 3-dimensional space in the angle of view of 180 degrees without any spatial deformation (just as we perceive our reality).

Digital Compositing
The standalone Zbig® Software has been available on the market since 1998 as a chroma key/compositing program and as a plug-in for many standard programs.

A unique feature of Zbig® Software is the automatic and dynamic application of background color reflections onto the composed foreground, resulting in an extremely convincing composition.

"...the tool [Zbig®] itself is so powerful, and the default settings work so well, that it's the fastest and most effective bluescreen compositing tool I've seen for the desktop."

-Doug Kelly, "Digital Compositing in Depth" © 2000 The Coriolis Group. Scottsdale, Arizona.

CGI Library
This library will include a vast selection of images that will be synchronized with the "One Box" system. In addition to those that Zbig Vision Ltd. will create directly or commission indirectly, the company believes that as the user base expands, a cottage industry will develop to establish similar libraries, adding significant value to the "One Box" system.
Format Conversion
This is a sophisticated system to convert between various film/video/TV system formats for ease of integration and compositing. This includes conversion between all existing frame rates of film (16, 24, 25, 60 fr/sec) and TV systems (HDTV-24p, PAL 25fr/sec, NTSC 30 fr/sec).

Zbig® is a registered trademark of Zbig Rybczynski.