Thursday, 02 April 2015

RenderMan Reborn

Arriving at 195 Piccadilly for the 2015 RenderMan Art and Science Fair there was a palpable excitement in the air as users and enthusiasts alike gathered to see the exciting updates on offer with the latest incarnation of Pixar's RenderMan.

Thursday, 02 April 2015

We're moving

Since splitting from Escape Studios in December 2012 and moving into Soho, well, it's been non-stop!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Free RenderMan

It's been a year since we first heard Pixar were joining the non-commercial heavens to release a free version of their legendary RenderMan software. And finally it's here and ready for download.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I love Tim

One of the great things about working for Escape Technology is the wealth of knowledge you find in the staff here.

Sat at my desk this morning I decided it was about time I learnt a little more about the marvel that is Secure Shell (SSH) access. But where to start? There are plenty of blogs and resources online, but we have something more powerful. More direct. More… Tim.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Our 4K Demo at BVE

BVE 2015 at the ExCeL London has just come to a close and we the honour of sharing a stand with PNY to demonstrate our 4K playback solution.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Who Is Batman?

The last three days have been busy. We’ve been exhibiting at the VFX Festival with our partners HP, and it’s been a great week. But a mystery has arisen. Who is Batman?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Behind the scenes of Birdman

Birdman is a unique film for both its story and its technical achievements, winning recognition from the big players as we enter the start of awards season.

Wednesday, 07 January 2015

We’ve grown. Again.

Since striking out on our own two years ago, Escape Technology has expanded rapidly.

The year has barely begun and we’re already welcoming four new members to our eclectic team – Steven Tyson, Ellen Payne, Gareth Meredith, and Mark Coleman.

Tuesday, 06 January 2015

We’re back!

2014 was a great year and we’re looking forward to trying to top it over the next 12 months.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Deadline 7 launched

Thinkbox Software has announcced the launch of Deadline 7, which includes a built in Virtual Machine Extension (VMX).

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Down with downtime

The world of the creative is centred on their technology. So are the worlds of administrators, designers, technicians, and the rest of the VFX populace.

So what happens if your technology fails?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Opening Hours

Another year has flown by; we have been really busy, primarily because you our customers have mostly had a crazy year! An amazing amount of the best work coming out of the UK again and we are thankful to play our small part in your business. We have seen our larger customers expand beyond expectation and we have been involved in helping set up many new companies. Thank you for allowing us to supply kit, consult and support you.

Thursday, 04 December 2014

IKinema Spearheads Move to Transform Simulation Systems

A look at how an IK company with a rich gaming history solved the simulation sector’s realism problem

Serious Simulations builds ambitious training systems for a range of uses, helping professionals do their jobs and save lives. Offering ‘mixed reality’, their systems combine cutting edge hardware and software with virtual reality, real world props, and real-time motion capture. The systems are among the most advanced in the world, but in the realm of simulation and training, where realism and immersion matter most to success, customers were demanding more than was previously available.


And there Serious Simulations had a problem. They needed to push their cutting edge systems even further, introducing entirely believable characters and scenes that precisely replicated dramatic real world situations. So they turned to IKinema.

IKinema is a leading inverse kinematics company with a wealth of games and movie industry experience, and a heritage in space exploration. And they knew just what to do to help Serious Simulations – and the wider simulation space.

Here IKinema’s CEO explains what his company offered Serious Simulations, and what the potential is for others in the sector.

What was the challenge Serious Simulations was facing with its mixed reality simulations, in terms of IKinema’s relevance?

The problem they had was one of offering users convincing characters and movement, which was undermining a given simulation’s capacity to convince the user. As a tool training a user to handle real world situations, a simulation must be utterly convincing to be credible.

IKinema provided ways to make the simulations and their characters more convincing, and improved the motion capture of participants in the real world, so as to better represent them in the mixed reality simulation. We also offered ways to blend the participant and their in-simulation avatar, again making the training more immersive and convincing.

In a simulation the real-world participant needs to exist in the virtual world as if they are really taking part. Serious Simulations needed to make a tremendous leap forward in the realism of their simulations, without compromising the technology already in their mixed reality systems. IKinema made that possible.

What did IKinema do practically for Serious Simulations’ training systems?

Through real-time capture and solving technologies, we transformed the way characters looked and moved, turning stiff, awkward animations into fluid full-body motion.

The difference was substantial, and participants experienced in simulation systems reported a significant leap forward in realism. We could bring our experience from interactive media entertainment, and our work with motion capture hardware companies like Vicon. That has given us a lot of experience in bringing real-time subjects to virtual settings, and this gave serious Simulations an opportunity to take the same realism to their simulations.

Why was IKinema’s technology the right kind of tool for improving Serious Simulations’ offering in this way?

Fundamentally it comes down to the fact we could offer solving across the whole body for this very distinct kind of avatar, by providing a generic full-body engine. We could also offer the ability to better represent the motion of the avatar based on the limited data available in the motion capture volume. It was the quality and versatility of our LiveAction technology that could provide this.

Why is animation especially important for Serious Simulations’ training systems?

Virtual reality environments for training and simulation need to capture the real world as closely as possible. Not only do the lighting and rendering need to be right, but the animation has to be organic and natural to achieve a fully immersive experience.

IKinema has helped movie houses to get a high degree of realism in animation in their blockbusters, and now this expertise is exploited by Serious Simulations in bringing a unique user experience in the virtual world during training and simulation.

Will we see more of this kind of collaboration between simulation and gaming companies going forward?

The serious gaming and simulation space is catching up with media entertainment such as film and games with speed, and already they are demanding the same standards expected in the movie and video games industry. The demand for quality, realism and accuracy in simulation is vitally important, and simulation companies are now looking to the best they can take from media entertainment. That is why they came to IKinema, and I believe this is a trend we will see more from. We believe there are more opportunities for us to contribute to the technology provided by gaming companies, and we are open to more partnerships. We are helping move the simulation space forward by offering a unique solution to making immersive virtual worlds that precisely recreate the real world.

Where can those in the serious gaming and simulation space see more of what IKinema offers?

We will be attending I/ITSEC in Orlando, Florida 1st-5th December with Serious Simulations, and will be available to demo our technology at booth 2704. Ultimately, Serious Simulations were delighted with the results IKinema enabled them to deliver, and are now offering training systems at a level never seen before in the industry. “We chose IKinema because they provided us the most expertise in our specific need for real-time tracking integration to a commercial game engine, as well as the most rapid development to support our aggressive business timetable,” said Serious Simulations’ CEO Christopher Chambers. “We were hugely impressed by the difference IKinema made. We got proof of our end goal’s feasibility in the first 48 hours. The IKinema team are very fast and know this technology extremely well.”

Get in touch for more information