Imagineer Systems

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Imagineer Systems Limited is a software company that specializes in the development and maintenance of several visual effects (vfx) software applications, used throughout all levels of film, video and broadcast post-production. The company was founded in June 2000 by Allan Jaenicke and Philip McLauchlan. The pair had previously been carrying out joint research, at the University of Surrey, in advanced computer vision technology. By developing mostly specialized (fine-tuning) applications, Imagineer created a versatile product base that was both cross-platform and compatible with other third party tools, editing software, and compositing suites.

The applications produced by Imagineer have been used widely within the film industry, notably within blockbuster movies such as Casino Royale, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and X-Men: The Last Stand.


Imagineer offers three major desktop VFX applications for distribution. For the core products a naming convention has been adopted: starting each application with the Letter MO (‘mo’ is representative of the word motion (i.e., Motion Picture))

Current products[edit]

The following are as of January 2011 the stand-alone applications produced by Imagineer systems; all of the following are available on multi platform (Windows 2000 and above, Linux Red Hat, Mac OS X):

mocha Pro mocha Pro is a stand-alone software utility optimized for visual effects and post-production challenges. Containing the following modules:

Planar Motion Tracking Advanced Roto & Mask Creation Object Removal & Clean Plate Lens Distortion Calibration 3D Camera Solver Screen Inserts & Mesh Warper Image Stabilization

mocha Plus is a stand-alone tracking and roto tool updated to support both After Effects, Premiere Pro and Final Cut users. mocha Plus helps solve problematic shots that challenge the built in tools of After Effects and Final Cut by bringing advanced planar tracking and matte creation tools in a simple, easy to learn interface. Accurate roto masks can quickly be created with variable per-point edge feathering in record time. Included mocha shape plug-ins allow users to import roto shapes directly to an After Effects layer or Final Cut timeline.

Discontinued products[edit]

  • mokey is a standalone toolset that is used for removing wires, rigs, logos, scratches, hairs and other undesired elements in commercial, film and corporate video post production work. Current Version: 4.1.5
  • monet is a standalone software used to track and composite for commercial, film and corporate video post production work. The software uses Imagineer unique 2.5D planar tracking and shadow/highlight extraction technology that offers a standalone solution for performing virtual product placement. Current Version: 2.1.5
  • mocha for Final Cut is a version of mocha that is restricted to work only with Apple Final Cut Studio. Current Version: 2.1.0
  • motor is based on the same Planar tracking within Mokey and Monet. Motor affords you the ability to automate a large part of the rotoscoping process. All of motor's features were included in mocha, and with the release of mocha v2, motor was discontinued. Final Version: 1.5.4
  • moxel is a standalone software that is used as part of ‘standards and practice’ work, such as removing undesired branding and obscuring identities by using image recognition techniques. Final Version: 1.0.2
  • mofex is a set of plug-ins for Apple’s Shake compositing software for manipulating elements being composited, the plug in also supports application with lens distortion, allows the calculation and application of shadows and highlights and the application of tracking marker filter with adaptive anti-aliasing filtering warping and temporal median filtering. Final Version: 1.1.4 (For Apple Shake 4.1) and 1.1.3 (For Apple Shake 3.5)


Imagineer Systems was established in June 2000 by Allan Jaenicke and Philip McLauchlan. The pair had been carrying out a joint research project at the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom, with the aim of applying the latest computer vision research to the problem of image registration - the stitching together of disparate still image. McLauchlan focused on development of the core algorithms whilst Jaenicke focused on building a user interface that would allow a user to ‘stitch’ together spherical and cylindrical mosaics.

During some trials with video sequences McLauchlan discovered that the algorithms developed had a different and more useful aspect. When analyzing a panning shot of Stefan Edberg playing tennis, the algorithms quickly removed Stefan from the shot, computing a clean background shot. Some discussions with a manufacturer in the post production space revealed that there was a real need for such a product to perform wire & rig removal and so mokey, the company's first product, launched at IBC2001, was born. Nearly two years later, in May 2003, the first glimmerings of the software that would become monet came to light. A technology demo led the internal R&D team at top London effects house Cinesite to conclude that Imagineer had the technology to solve a specific upcoming problem: namely how to efficiently insert the animated paintings into the picture frames in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. After an intensive development period working hand in hand with the Cinesite team, Imagineer announced monet at IBC2003, releasing version 1.0 a year later at IBC2004.

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