Aguru Images, Inc. licenses Light Stage and Linear Light Source technologies developed at the University of Southern California
August 2, 2007
Agreement Positions Aguru As A Technological Leader
in Photorealistic Digital Imagery;
Means Cost Effective, Faster and Higher Quality
Lighting Results with CG Visual Effects
ALEXANDRIA, VA , (August 3, 2007) , Aguru Images, Inc. announced today that it has licensed Light Stage and Linear Light Source technologies developed at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT). The licensing agreement is a key to making Aguru's imaging technology a complete solution to capture and process all possible lighting conditions of real-world textured surfaces for use in 3D computer generated imagery. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The intellectual property licensed to Aguru is based on USC ICT research by Dr. Paul Debevec, Ph.D, a world-renowned computer scientist and inventor. The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation facilitated the licensing transaction.
The licensed technology from USC was developed by Paul Debevec and his team: Tim Hawkins, Andrew Gardner, Andreas Wenger, and Wan-Chu Ma. At USC ICT, Debevec has led the development of several Light Stage systems that capture and simulate how people and objects appear under real-world illumination. The Light Stage 2 process was used by Sony Pictures Imageworks to create photoreal digital actors as part of the Academy Award-winning visual effects in Spider Man 2, the Academy Award-nominated visual effects in Superman Returns, and most recently Spider Man 3.
According to Craig Miller, co-founder, CEO and CTO of Aguru Images, "The quest for truly photorealistic digital images has long been the holy grail of the computer graphics industry. With this licensing agreement, Aguru will deliver tens of thousands of surface textures more cost effectively, faster and with better results than today's custom processes."
"Paul Debevec is one of the premier innovators in image-based modeling and rendering," said Saul Orbach, co-founder and COO of Aguru Images. "With the combination of our seasoned management team, and the technology developed by Debevec's team at USC ICT, we believe Aguru is poised to take the leadership position in this space."
Added Debevec, "It is through strong relationships with industry partners like Aguru that we can truly make a maximum impact with the ideas that come out of our university research. We are confident that with Aguru's team, this technology will achieve success in a wide range of applications for the computer graphics industry."
"USC is committed to taking the ideas generated in our labs and creating a meaningful impact on our world. The agreement with Aguru Images is a terrific example of how the right partnership can extend our academic work into the marketplace," said Krisztina Holly, USC Vice Provost, and Executive Director for the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation.
The markets for Aguru products include visual effects in motion pictures, computer and video games, animation, and design , for improved renderings by interior, fashion, architectural and industrial designers.
Aguru will be showcasing its technology at the SIGGRAPH trade show in San Diego, August 7-9 in booth 010.
About Aguru Images
Aguru Images offers the first and only complete solution to accurately capture and process all possible lighting conditions of real world textured surfaces for use in 3D Computer Generated Imagery. Aguru's advanced capture technologies reduce the time, cost and complexity of pre-production, production and post-production rendering for simulations and interactive computer graphics. These technologies use a combination of mirrors, lights and cameras to take many images very quickly that then plug into any industry standard renderer to create the final image. Aguru was founded in 2006 to commercialize highly innovative technologies developed at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT) and NYU's Courant Institute as well as other works. The company is funded by ANGLE Technology Ventures. At ANGLE, Aguru's co-founder and COO Saul Orbach served as an Entrepreneur in Residence, executing the entire process that created and funded Aguru.
About Aguru's Product Suite
Aguru's suite of advanced capture devices uses a combination of mirrors, lights and cameras to quickly capture an object from many perspectives in many lighting conditions.
The Aguru DomeÃƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾ is a spherical imaging device used primarily for the high-fidelity capture of the shape and reflectance properties of the human face. The intensity of The Dome's light enables very rapid and accurate capture.
The Aguru ScannerÃƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾ provides the highest-fidelity imaging in the world of flat objects, capturing the subtleties of shape, translucence and shading. Digital models of objects have unprecedented resolution and are indistinguishable from the original.
The product suite also includes The Aguru ScopeÃƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾, which provides an efficient method of representing complex materials accurately from any perspective, in any light. Compact and portable, it can be used on site, simplifying post-production issues that might arise.
About USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation is a university-wide resource in the Office of the Provost at the University of Southern California designed to harness and advance the creative thinking and breakthrough research from USC for societal impact. USC Stevens identifies, nurtures, protects, and transfers to the market the most exciting innovations from USC, and in turn, provides a central connection for industry seeking cutting-edge innovations in which to invest. Furthermore, USC Stevens develops the innovator as well as innovations, through educational programs, community-building events, and showcase opportunities. From the biosciences and technology to music and cinematic arts, USC Stevens connects faculty, students, and the business community to create an environment for stimulating and inspiring the process of innovation across all disciplines. (http://stevens.usc.edu)
About USC Institute for Creative Technologies
USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) was founded in 1999 as a University Affiliated Research Center. Bringing together research in artificial intelligence, graphics and virtual reality with entertainment industry expertise, its mission is to create compelling cognitive learning experiences. Through this unique blend, the ICT is uncovering the synergies that will lead to the educational and training systems of tomorrow. (http://ict.usc.edu/)
USC Media Contacts: Elisa Wiefel,
USC Stevens Institute for Innovation
SA Stewart Communications for USC Stevens