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ECW heads to Hollywood with TerraShader

Hollywood film studios could soon be using Earth Resource Mapping’s open standard Enhanced Compression Wavelet (ECW) technology as commonly as geospacial professionals. In a world first for the animation industry, Terratracer’s Terrashader(R) terrain rendering plug-in uses ECW files, rather than jpeg files, as an image source.

The use of the ECW format allows very large maps or textures (gigabytes or terabytes of data) to be imported into animation software. High-end ray shading animation applications often run on render-farms with hundreds or thousands of CPUs to produce realistic looking video and cinema quality film. Terrashader and ECW have been used on a render farm with over a thousand CPU’s. Traditional methods required animators to be reliant on Jpeg tiling and enormous hierarchical databases of textures if they wanted to load and render large texture files. Now, using the advanced ECW format animation
artists can simply use one wavelet file containing hundreds of gigabytes of data. TerrashaderÒ and ECW will allow multimedia, television and film industries to efficiently handle large amounts of Geodata. Terrashader is currently available for Lightwave 3D. Versions for Maya(R), Softimage(R), StudioMAX(R), Reyes Renderman(R) will be released shortly. Reyes Renderman is used by Oscar(R) winning studios Industrial Light and Magic(R), Disney(R) and Pixar(R).