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Aguru Images, Inc. is a leader in high performance shape and material property measurement. Utilizing technology licensed from USC Aguru Images has developed a series of camera systems that take highly detailed digital photographs of people, objects and services. These digital photos are then utilized in Film, VFX and Computer Gaming for true-to-life computer generated digital doubles and other world materials.
Currently all industries that utilize computer generated human characters suffer from a problem called the Uncanny Valley. Simply explained, the Uncanny Valley is a problem in which a computer generated human character is photorealistic but has subtle flaws that distract the viewer. These images are often described as "creepy". Many times the Uncanny Valley effect is a result of model problems from poor image quality or the application of ambient light. While image quality can be addressed via camera optical resolution, ambient light causes much larger problems. Specifically, any image taken of a subject is affected by the lighting at the time of the photograph. This lighting becomes part of the subject image and may later conflict with the environmental variables that are appropriate to the scene.
The original technology problem was presented by Paul Debevec at Siggraph in 2000 titled "Acquiring the Reflectance Field of a Human Face" and addressed the issue of capturing reflected lighting off human subjects. During this time the creation of a specialty light stage began and was further discussed in a 2005 article titled "A Dual Light Stage".
The technology was eventually licensed by Aguru Images which created the Aguru Dome which allows for the capture of highly detailed and lighting neutral images in a commercial format for use on Film, VFX and Computer Gaming projects.