A BRIEF HISTORY OF ZBIG VISION INNOVATIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS



1983

• Zbig Rybczynski receives Academy Award for TANGO and becomes a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science.

1984-87

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski is developing a series of special effects Instant Music Videos created in real-time with no post-production. At that time such a method was not used in the film/TV industry.

1985

Zbig Vision LTD company is founded by Zbig Rybczynski for research, development, and production of visual arts. The first Zbig Vision Studio is located in Manhattan’s Tribeca, New York and is equipped with 35mm film equipment.

American Cinematographer wrote in 1986:
"Recently in New York, a daring new approach to the production of a music video was successfully pulled off. Using a multi-level Ultimatte technique that allows a director to shoot and edit simultaneously, an “instant video” has been made, eliminating the need for post-production. The pipe dream of staging a complex visual idea on Monday and walking out with a finished master on Wednesday, replete with rows of multiple images, has become a reality".

1985-86

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski is awarded three MTV awards, including Video Vanguard Award for the visionary in the field of a music video.

1986

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski using Barry Rebo’s first-generation Sony’s analog HDTV equipment creates first HDTV production in the USA, a short music video to the song Imagine by John Lennon.

1987

• Using traditional TV broadcast video equipment, Zbig creates Steps for PBS’s program Alive from Off Center. Inserting multi-layer video into old archival film footage of famous Odessa Steps sequence from Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin is done in real-time without post-production ( including foley’s live sync sound effects). During the shooting eight synchronized playback/recorders were used as well as ADO and Ultimatte compositor.

American Cinematographer wrote in 1997:
"Three hundred fifty multi-image special effects takes were polished off in an eleven-day shoot. If it had all been done in post-production, the engineers would have had to deal with 1000 different takes of people doing their motions, and another reel of corresponding ‘keyholes” which is white where they are supposed to be, and black where they shouldn’t be. Hours would be spent in post deciding what clips were best, and perhaps weeks in inserting the chose images into their holes. With “instant video” the final result was observed daily on a one-inch master. It speaks well for the technical team that they were able to wrap such a complicated piece in eleven days".

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski equips Zbig Vision Studios with the first generation analog Sony HDTV equipment.

1988 - 2006

• SONY Corporation and NHK Laboratories in Tokyo keep inviting Zbig to their meetings with groups working on the development of Japanese HDTV.

1988

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski creates the first analog split-screen effect in The Fourth Dimension. This effect was created on 35mm film negative. The photography process done using the Oxberry's Optical Printer took four months 24/7 to create 30-minutes of the film. Today this effect is called Rybczynski Test.

1989

• Zbig Vision Studios is relocating to Hoboken, NJ, where Zbig develops his very unique motion control system MCS Motion Control Simulator. The system is not only controlling camera movement in space (like in traditional motion control systems), but also is controlling the position of photographed objects and actors. Using the MCS in conjunction with HDTV and Ultimatte technologies, Zbig continues the development of his techniques for compositing multi-layer images in real-time without post-production. Seen in THE ORCHESTRA, KAFKA and more.

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski is awarded the Ultimatte Achievement Award for excellence in Ultimatte Compositing technology.

• Zbig is awarded Premio Internazionale Leonardo for an overall contribution to video art in Milan, Italy.

1990

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski creates the first feature-length, HDTV real-time, no post-production, multi-layer motion picture THE ORCHESTRA.

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski wins a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects in The Orchestra.

1991

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski creates the second, feature-length, HDTV real-time, no post-production, multi-layer motion picture KAFKA. The whole movie is made using the MCS camera control system, which automatically connects the photographed objects/miniatures made in various scales with playing actors. Most of the shots are composed of several hundred layers in subsequent recordings, without any post-production.

American Cinematographer wrote in 1993:
"Zbig’s system can execute what would normally be physically impossible with a regular motion control system-such as a 360-degree rotation with a twelve-foot radius that exposes the floor, walls, and ceiling".

1993 - 1997

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski together with VTTV-Berlin is establishing CFB (Centrum für Neue Filmgestaltung) in Berlin, Germany. CFB is a film studio built based on Zbig’s inventions and his extensive scientific research in the fields of optics, motion control, and image compositing.

1994

• Zbig Rybczynski is awarded Pioneer Award for overall contribution to HDTV video art, Tokyo Japan.

1996

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski develops his software Zbig® for digital blue-green screen 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 image processing 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. Zbig® software was used among others in productions of The Last Samurai, The Art Of Fashion, The Kids Cooking Network and more.

1997

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski receives United States Patent for the invention of the Image Conversion Process and Apparatus. The image transfer may be used to transfer between the following frame system: NTSC TV; PAL TV; FILM 16; FILM 24; FILM 60 and computer images.

1998 - 2001

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski in Cologne, Germany develops the principles of spherical perspective, a concept and protocol of MGiS (Moto-Geometric Image Standardization) and built a prototype of ONE BOX – a new type of hardware and software, integrating optics, motion control, lighting, compositing and synchronization of “real” images with computer graphics imagery (“CGI”). Through a newly developed "image protocol" it is possible to receive via the Internet numerous images and other elements that incorporate the requested movement, time, geometry and scale.

Paul Vlahos, CEO Ultimatte Corporation wrote in 2001:
"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".

2000

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski receives United States Patent for Apparatus and Process for Producing an Image Sequence. An apparatus (MSC - Motion Control Simulator) is provided for producing a photographic image sequence showing an apparent movement of the camera, automatically connecting photographed objects made in different scales.

2001

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski receives United States Patent for an Optical Imaging System and Graphic User Interface. This invention relates to an optical imaging system for imaging an object with progressively adjustable magnification, based on the principle of spherical perspective. The same geometry is applied to the graphic interface of the computer display.

2001 - 2006

Zbig Rybczynski works with Ultimatte Corporation in Los Angeles on the development of the blue/green screen compositing techniques and iMatte technologies. The owners of the Ultimatte Corporation, Petro and Paul Vlahos received three Oscars and Academy Scientific and Technical Awards. .

2002

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski received United States Patent for the Device and Process for Producing a Composite Picture. This invention is for producing a perfect blue-green-screen composite image.

2006

• Zbig is invited to ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the opening of the largest Japanese electronics fair InterBEE 2006 in Tokyo, Japan.

2008

• Zbig is awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Lodz Film School in Poland. The degree is awarded by the University Senate to those with lifetime achievement in the arts, education, or popular and political culture in the fields of film, TV, and theater.

• Zbig Rybczynski is awarded the prestigious Medal of The Cultural Merit Gloria Artis by The Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland.

2010

• Zbig Rybczynski is awarded Lifetime Achievement Award in Batumi, Georgia for contribution to world Cinematography.

2010 - 2013

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski establishes a partnership with the Ministry of Culture in Poland for the development of a one-of-a-kind film studio based on his inventions – CeTA (Centrum for Audio Visual Technologies). Installed in the studio technology for creating multi-layer images in real-time, largely eliminates the need for post-production, which fundamentally changes the methodology of making films and reduces overall production costs. In addition to film production, CeTA's task is to conduct educational activities in the field of special effects and R&D in the field of multi-media.

2011

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski in partnership with Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland introduced the idea of Teaching Kids Coding Starting with Primary Schools. The Project is presented at the assembly of the European Union in Brussels.

2015

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski moves back to the United States where Gila Monster Studios is established.

2016

• Zbig Rybczynski is awarded Lifetime Achievement Award in Gdansk, Poland, during Interfference Film Festival.

2017

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski develops SqrewIt software for the creation of various types of the split-screen effect seen in The Fourth Dimension and The Art Of Fashion.

2019

• Zbig Vision/Zbig Rybczynski develops SuperCompositing software Zbig 2 to be be used in the production of the future film The Designer. In addition to the effects produced by the Zbig® software, Zbig 2 introduces a dynamic "frontal" reflection caused by new objects on the objects already incorporated into the background in previous layers. There is no other software on the market today that can automatically produce a super clean mask, and create mutual reflections of all layers in multi-layered image compositions. Zbig 2 can be also used for still pictures as well.


"ONE BOX" - CONCEPT


Read Zbig Movie Miracle by Paul Vlahos

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
"ONE BOX" TOOLS
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 film-makers.

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.



Zbig® is a registered trademark of Zbig Rybczynski.