Sony Pictures Imageworks Moves Forward with IMAGEMOTION™

Proprietary Performance-Motion-Capture System Created for 'The Polar Express' to be Featured at SIGGRAPH 2004

Imagemotion™ to be Used On a Number of Upcoming Projects


Sony Pictures Imageworks, the award-winning visual effects and character animation facility responsible for such groundbreaking and breathtaking visual effects seen in such films as "Spider-Man," "Stuart Little," "Bad Boys II," "Cast Away" "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and the Academy Award® winning animated short film "The ChubbChubbs," announced today that IMAGEMOTION™, the proprietary performance-motion-capture system developed for "The Polar Express," will be featured at SIGGRAPH 2004. Tim Sarnoff, president, Sony Pictures Imageworks, made the announcement. A number of projects are currently in development at Imageworks, many of which will utilize the Imagemotion process.

Initially developed for the film "The Polar Express" starring Tom Hanks and directed by Robert Zemeckis, the ground-breaking proprietary Imagemotion technology created by Sony Pictures Imageworks is a unique performance-motion-capture system capable of simultaneously recording high-fidelity facial and body motion of multiple actors on the stage at any given time. This revolutionary system involved ganging a high density of motion capture cameras positioned to provide 360 degrees of recording coverage for the performers.

Another key component to the Imagemotion process includes a unique virtual camera system that allows a live-action camera operator to choreograph camera movement on the digital characters after motion capture was applied.

"The response and feedback from directors and filmmakers to our Imagemotion technology has been extraordinary," said Tim Sarnoff, president, Sony Pictures Imageworks. "Working on The Polar Express as our first film that utilizes Imagemotion has been an amazing process and we look forward to developing additional projects based on this new technology."

The first public display/behind-the-scenes look of the proprietary Imagemotion technology will take place at SIGGRAPH 2004, the 31st Annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques (Los Angeles, August 8-12). "The Polar Express" featuring the Imagemotion™ performance-motion-capture system has been accepted in the prestigious Electronic Theater.

"Imageworks has certainly raised the bar in visual effects and digital animation through Imagemotion," said Chris Bregler, Chair of the SIGGRAPH 2004 Electronic Theater and Computer Animation Festival. "We are very excited to have Imageworks and 'The Polar Express' as part of our 2004 program."

Two other submissions from Sony Pictures Imageworks will also be represented in the Electronic Theater -- "Spider-Man 2" and "Bad Boys II". In addition, work highlighting the "999 Ghostly effects" from "The Haunted Mansion" will be featured at the SIGGRAPH 2004 Animation Theater. For more information on SIGGRAPH 2004, please visit or to register, please visit

   About Sony Pictures Imageworks

Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc., is an Academy Award®-winning, state-of-the-art visual effects and character animation company dedicated to the art and artistry of digital production and character creation. The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science with nominations for its work on "Spider-Man," "Hollow Man," "Stuart Little" and "Starship Troopers" and was awarded an Oscar® for the CG animated short film "The ChubbChubbs." Imageworks continues to raise the level of standards in the visual effects and character animation businesses, becoming a major force in the industry by providing leading edge technology to its world-class artists.

Recent credits for Imageworks include "Fifty First Dates," "Big Fish," "The Haunted Mansion," "Bad Boys II," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," and "Seabiscuit." Additional credits include "Contact," Cast Away," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "Men in Black II" and "Stuart Little 2." Currently in production at Imageworks are "Spider-Man 2" (June 30), "Cursed," "The Forgotten," "Aviator" and the "The Polar Express." This fall, Imageworks will begin production on "Open Season," the first CG motion picture from Sony Pictures Animation. "Open Season" will feature the vocal talents of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Messing.

Imageworks is a division of Sony Pictures Digital, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures Imageworks

CONTACT: Jerry Schmitz of Sony Pictures Imageworks, +1-310-840-7326,; or Chris Reichert of mPRm Public Relations,
+1-323-933-3399,, for Sony Pictures Imageworks

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