xRez Studio to Shoot Record Setting Image of Yosemite Valley

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High-Resolution, Multi-Gigapixel Panoramic Photograph Will Be One of World’s Largest



Los Angeles, CA, May 20— xRez Studio will soon capture the magnificence of Yosemite valley in unprecedented detail, orchestrating 20 photographic teams, each shooting over 10,000 images simultaneously throughout the park for assembly into one massive image.

The Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project began in summer 2007 as a discussion between xRez Studio and Greg Stock, staff Geologist of Yosemite National Park, about constructing a comprehensive, large scale gigapixel image of the valley walls in high detail. The image would become a tool for Stock’s research of rockfall behavior in the park, an ongoing hazard with the large percentage of vertical faces present in the valley. By using gigapixel imagery as an aid in re-photography, the project hopes to create an extremely detailed snapshot in time of present-day geologic conditions in order to assist future analysis of rockfall activity. Further, the image will create a valuable asset for the search and rescue operations within the park, allowing detailed inspection of a given area ahead of a rescue operation.

Artistically, by capturing the full extent of the valley’s massive walls in unprecedented and extreme detail, a unique and historic image will be created that should stand for decades as an artifact of lasting cultural heritage for both the park and its many visitors and enthusiasts.

Utilizing cutting-edge emerging technologies in high resolution photography and 3d rendering techniques appropriated from the visual effects field, the final image will be one continuous, unwrapped panorama of all valley wall faces, assembled from 20 separate photographers positioned throughout the valley rim, all exposing 500 overlapping images in unison in order to achieve a congruency of light. Later in post-production, the 20 image sets will be stitched and draped onto a 1M digital 3d terrain model, recreating all shooting positions in an extremely high resolution 3d database. From this model a synthetic camera will create an image as if flying down the center of the valley, resolving all of the gigapixel images shot into one of the largest terrestrial-based images yet created. The final image will be a long, continuous strip of all of Yosemite’s walls, a single massive image made from close to 10,000 individual frames.

Interactive displays, online exploration, large exhibition prints, visitor center installations, and fine art posters will all be final tangible results of the historic project. A 150-foot long continuous print will be displayed at this year’s Siggraph computer graphics conference in Los Angeles in August.

The Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project is dependent on support from many sponsors, including primary sponsor Microsoft Live Labs and Microsoft Research, The Yosemite Fund, Canon USA, Autodesk, Bogen Imaging, LowePro, WavGen, and Gigapan equipment loaned from Carnegie-Mellon, NASA, and Google. Shooting is planned for late May, with image completion by August.

For more information: www.xrez.com/yose.html