American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 75

perceive an object's position in the world. If
you then think about a light field in terms of
camera capture, traditional cameras capture
an image from a single lens, and stereo
cameras from two lenses; in the case of
Lytro Cinema, however, light can be
captured from multiple vantage points, as if
there were an array of hundreds of thousands of cameras standing side by side,
perfectly synced to capture a scene. Lytro
has developed several technologies that
enable this type of capture, along with software that interprets the light field by
computing the angles of the rays arriving at
the sensors.
Light-field capture in the Lytro
Cinema system is made possible through
the use of a "micro-lens array," which is the
equivalent of millions of lenses that are built
at the wafer scale and inserted between the
main camera lens and the camera sensor.
The micro-lens array takes the light within a
scene and breaks it apart into the color,
intensity and direction of the rays, which are
captured by a collection of pixels under each
micro lens, on the sensor. It takes a bit to
digest all of this - and without getting too
deep into the weeds, I would recommend
watching some of the detailed video
presentations, easily searchable online,
given by Lytro's head of light-field video, Jon
Karafin.
The magic behind Lytro Cinema lies
in the fact that each captured pixel has color
properties, directional properties and a
calculated awareness of its exact placement
in space. As the process produces a lot of
data, Lytro Cinema isn't just a camera; it's an
end-to-end solution. The workflow includes
a camera, a server for storing and processing light fields, and software plug-ins that
work hand-in-hand with off-the-shelf
production solutions.
Since we were going to be working
with an alpha camera, my gaffer, Craig
"Cowboy" Aines, and I flew up to the Lytro
headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., early
on to get a feel for the system and gauge
our cabling and lighting needs. The camera
has a variable length extending from about
6'-11', depending on framing and refocusing range. The unit had substantial weight,
so from a planning perspective we needed
to be adequately prepared for the mechanics of moving, panning, tilting and dollying

These before (top) and after (bottom) images illustrate the light-field system's ability to pull
depth mattes for background replacement without the use of blue- or greenscreen or the need
for rotoscoping.

on set. We also had to take into consideration the parameters of shooting at very high
frame rates, with a fixed T-stop lens at the
sensor's native ISO, which was around 200.
Given these circumstances, Cowboy and I
went to Mole-Richardson to speak with
honorary ASC member Larry Mole Parker, in
order to spec out lamps that would give us
the horsepower to create beams and shafts
of light within smoke at the illumination
levels we would need for a successful shoot.
One of my early mentors, Phil Lathrop, ASC - who shot The Pink Panther and
the Peter Gunn television series using very
high key-light levels - taught me how to
control big lighting units and how to use
hard light. It was very rewarding to draw on
his mentorship as part of this project.
Set Life
The experience on set with Lytro
www.theasc.com

Cinema was designed to be sensitive to the
standard workflow of traditional cinematography. In addition to capturing the
light-field data - comprised of 755 raw
megapixels with 16 stops of dynamic range
- we took advantage of the camera's ability to capture QuickTime ProRes, which
allowed us to review files on-set, immediately after the take. Because the metadata
in the light field is tied directly to the information in the preview capture, we could
make on-set decisions - which got baked
into the metadata of the file system - just
like you would on a traditional shoot, and
then see those versions in the real-time
preview. Those files were then uploaded to
our editor, Damien Acker, based at the Third
Floor, who began cutting while we were still
on set.
As a cinematographer, there really
wasn't much about the Lytro Cinema workAugust 2016

75


http://www.theasc.com

American Cinematographer - August 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2016

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 56
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 66
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 74
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 76
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 81
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 82
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 83
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 84
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 85
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 86
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 87
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 88
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover4
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