Waymark software helps pioneering filmmakers New World Designs

New World Designs are one of a handful of firms around the globe who film in 'bullet time' - an effect made famous in The Matrix trilogy

Waymarks Paul Lofthouse (left) with Ian Wright (centre) and Steve Reeves
Waymarks Paul Lofthouse (left) with Ian Wright (centre) and Steve Reeves

A Gateshead media firm have further developed a special effect made famous in the movie The Matrix as part of a cutting-edge contract.

Waymark, a bespoke software house based in Metro Riverside Park, was enlisted by creative media company New World Designs, based in Sunderland Software Centre, to streamline a production process.

The challenge was to further develop and automate a filming effect called Bullet Time, used to great effect by Hollywood directors Lana and Andy Wachowski in The Matrix trilogy, in which the film is slowed and shows the audience a 360-degree view of a chosen scene.

New World Designs are specialists in this area, one of only four companies worldwide with the experience and know-how to professionally exploit the possibilities.

The company has created a specialist Instacam360 rig with up to 50 cameras which capture the action from a scene.

Once captured, the editing of the video to create the special effects could take up to three or four days – so Waymark developers were brought in to create a bespoke solution that has cut the process to minutes – if not seconds.

“We thought there must be automated way of handling our post-production and Waymark understood the problem straight away.

“Their solution is ideal and will save us huge amounts of time,” said New World Designs co-owner Ian Wright.

“In effect there were two challenges, to smooth the production process and improve the alignment of the cameras on the rig, which can get a bit shaky in certain conditions,” he added.

“Waymark’s solution has provided solutions to both problems and we’re especially grateful to software developer Andy Blacklock who understood what was needed and took the challenge on,” said co-owner Steve Reeves.

Paul Lofthouse, commercial director at Waymark, said the company had thoroughly enjoyed working on the project: “It’s great to see our solution making such a difference.

“The challenge to us was something a bit different, but the objective was clear. What was taking one or two people three or four days to do is now done pretty much instantaneously.

“I think we’ve succeeded in improving their production quality while at the same time saving them valuable time.”

The updated software will be first used on an advert that New World Designs has been commissioned to produce, but the company will be using it regularly from now on.

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