Glendale, CA – August 8, 2014 –DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced the contribution of code and license of their patented, production-quality Lossy Compression Codec to the OpenEXR standard (openexr.org). DreamWorks Lossy Compression strategically removes information from High Dynamic Range (HDR) floating-point images, a format common in Animation and VFX production pipelines. The technique, invented by Principal Engineer Karl Rasche, preserves visual quality without visible compression artifacts, has excellent decoding performance, and reduces HDR floating-point image file sizes to approximately the size of fixed-range images. The compression quality has been validated by Visual Effects Supervisors working on DreamWorks Animation feature films.

OpenEXR creator, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has confirmed that DreamWorks Lossy Compression will be released in OpenEXR 2.2 on August 10, 2014 and will be API compatible with current releases. Unlike current lossyOpenEXR compression formats, DreamWorks Lossy Compression allows variable lossiness to balance visual quality and infrastructure resources. Additionally, this contribution includes a significant speedup to the commonly used PIZ compression scheme.

“The lack of visible compression artifacts at the default compression level is impressive, and repeated application on the same image exhibits no further loss after the first compression. Compared to other lossy methods in the standard, this new technique produces higher-quality images at similar compression ratios, and decompressing the images is very fast,” said Ed Hanway, ILM R&D Supervisor. “We welcome the addition of the technique to OpenEXR.”

“Images with DreamWorks Lossy Compression are stunningly high quality, and artifact-free. Not dealing with the artifacts common with other compression techniques has saved valuable time in our tight production process,” said Dave Walvoord, Visual Effects Supervisor, How To Train Your Dragon 2. 

DreamWorks Lossy Compression is another instance of the studio’s contribution toward open source software advancing imagery technology. "The technique is an industry-leading approach to compression, motivated by the demands of our digital production pipeline," said Dr. Lincoln Wallen, Chief Technology Officer at DreamWorks Animation. “It is a key example of how our artist’s uncompromising demand for the best image quality drives technical innovations and how we are striving to find ways to make those innovations available to the world.” 

About DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list.  All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 29animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

About OpenEXR

OpenEXR is a high dynamic-range (HDR) image file format originally developed by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for use in computer imaging applications. Since the format’s release as an open standard in 2003, OpenEXR has seen widespread industry adoption and support. The file format has been maintained and expanded by a number of key industry leaders including ILM, Weta Digital, Pixar Animation Studios, Autodesk and others.

OpenEXR has become the industry standard for storing and working with high dynamic-range imagery. The format has been used on hundreds of feature films since its introduction in 1999 and is supported in the majority of image creation software packages available today. More information can be found at the OpenEXR website at: http://www.openexr.com

About Industrial Light & Magic

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd, has become synonymous with groundbreaking visual effects work and the company continues to be a recognized leader in the field. ILM, headquartered in San Francisco, also has operations in Singapore, Vancouver and London – the facilities work hand in hand to produce cutting edge visual effects work for feature films and themed entertainment. ILM has been awarded 15 Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and 26 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. To learn more, visit ILM online at http://www.ilm.com.


Matt Lifson
DreamWorks Animation        
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