908lab is our research department. Our aim is to combine technology with design. Here we try out new ideas, experiment with old ones and develop our own in-house tools. We come up with fresh ways to use our existing hardware and software, or simply develop our own solutions when we need to. Most of our development goes into our pipeline tools, but we are also experimenting with new applications for motion capture devices and augmented reality software. Some of these experiments will make it into production, some may only be specific to a single project – sometimes we’ll blow up the lab just because we can.
Off-the-shelf applications can only do so much. And it’s never enough! Which is why we develop scripts, plugins and applications when the need arises. Python. C++. Java. C#. Creative Coding in Processing. Games in Unity. Plugins for Cinema 4D. You name it.
An effective production rises and falls with its pipeline. Be it small tools or big workflow tools, render management or image processing, implementing GPU-based render engines or developing shaders. Evaluating new technologies and incorporating it into our pipeline is what we do here.
Visual Effects tools have become extremely powerful, but are still far from one-click solutions. Simulating natural (or imagined!) forces is as much art as science. Detailed analysis of the real world is often followed by building custom software solutions to gain that one specific look.