What is exactly Katana ?

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
What is exactly Katana ?

Hi,

I'm maybe stupid (or just because i'm beginner in compositing) but i don't understand what Katana is for. I read the description, i've read that it's al igting tool but what for? we can do lighting directly within AE or nuke no? or when we imrpot an .obj for a 3D software, we import it with lighting no?

The use of this plugin is a mystery for me, so i hope someone can enlight me so i can understand more easily what it does (and what it does that nuke doens't already do)

Thx
 
Old 03 March 2013   #2
It's not a stupid question, but Katana won't make much sense to you if your working by yourself or even as part of a small team. A lot of lighting a shot these days is a data management job rather than a creative and artistic job - it's this area where Katana will hopefully make things easier.

As an example. Can you render this shot in Nuke or AE? That's Spiderman, the buildings, a helicopter, street-level crowds and traffic? There are a lot of different elements in that shot.

http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/media/d.../10/31/7914.jpg

Even with the same top quality artists that created the shot, you'd come across many technical problems that would prevent you actually rendering certain elements or it would be too difficult to maintain the shot if you needed to update any part of the shot.

What isn't Katana? Katana is not a plugin, it's a standalone software application specifically for lighting. Katana is also not a hybrid compositing/lighting application. It once had compositing tools in it at Sony, The Foundry removed them to focus it as a lighting tool and Nuke as a compositing tool. If your a compositor then you probably won't get any use out of Katana.

Katana uses a node-based lighting workflow, where programs like Maya and Max use a relationship-based lighting workflow - these relationships are often hard to manage. Are the right objects in the right pass? Is the geometry getting the right shader? Is the pass outputting the correct secondary passes? What happens when you need to update the animation or shaders or textures - is it going to break everything you've already setup.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by earlyworm : 03 March 2013 at 08:15 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #3
It's much clearer this way, thanks
 
Old 03 March 2013   #4
Originally Posted by earlyworm: What isn't Katana? Katana is not a plugin, it's a standalone software application specifically for lighting. Katana is also not a hybrid compositing/lighting application. It once had compositing tools in it at Sony, The Foundry removed them to focus it as a lighting tool and Nuke as a compositing tool. If your a compositor then you probably won't get any use out of Katana.
Also Katana is used for Lookdev and creating shader networks. It's almost more of a lighting/lookdev pipeline tool. The nice thing Katana does is make publishable assets. This allows your different departments to work in parallel. So your lookdev artist can keep working on the shaders on the character and publishing lookfiles which the lighting artist can easily update to the newest approved version. Trying to do that in something like Maya or other 3d apps is often a giant pain and requires a lot of manual work or scripting.

Also another note. While we did remove some of the more creative compositing tools like zblurs, 2d motion blur, keying, roto, etc... We still kept a lot of the compositing tools which matter for a lighting artist. So color correction tools are still in there, 2d transforms like(crop, distort, reformat, transform2d, etc..), merge tools and blur.
__________________
-deke
 
Old 03 March 2013   #5
I saw that it's only for linux, so no matter what, not for me, i'm a windows user.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #6
Originally Posted by beaker: We still kept a lot of the compositing tools which matter for a lighting artist. So color correction tools are still in there, 2d transforms like(crop, distort, reformat, transform2d, etc..), merge tools and blur.


Nice. I've only dipped in and out of Katana a few times so a lot still to explore.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #7
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