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An advanced framework for lighting and look development

An advanced framework for VFX lighting, KATANA delivers an asset-based approach to look development and lighting that gives you the creative scope and scalability to meet the needs of today’s most demanding CG projects.

KATANA’s node-based approach allows for rapid turnaround of high complexity shots, while keeping you in control and reducing in-house development overheads. Extensive APIs also mean that it integrates effortlessly with a variety of renderers and your pre-existing shader libraries and workflow tools, letting you work the way you want with a familiar toolset.


  • Bring scalability to your pipeline with deferred processing that allows for the handling of extremely high scene complexity
  • Avoid the need for lots of shot-specific asset variants by creating re-usable ‘recipes’ for the look development of an asset or the lighting of a shot
  • Share lighting set-ups like edits and overrides between different shots and sequences
  • Construct custom pipelines for 3D scenes as easily as a compositing script with KATANA’s natural node-based approach
  • Add any renderer as a plug-in, whether custom or supported 
“Since creation KATANA has been one of the pillars of the production pipeline here at Imageworks and continues to prove itself on such rigorous productions as G-Force, Watchmen, Alice in Wonderland and animated features such as Monster House, Surf's Up, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and The Smurfs. We are excited to see KATANA cutting its teeth outside the halls of Imageworks and becoming available for artists and facilities everywhere. The Foundry is a tremendous partner and by broadening the adoption of KATANA and product support, a new generation of artists and productions can benefit from this innovative production-proven technology.”
Rob Bredow, Chief Technology Officer, Sony Pictures Imageworks
“The Foundry has always understood production and continues to deliver innovative technology that benefits artists individually and studios as a whole. The integration of lighting and compositing with KATANA and NUKE is a powerful combination that brings a new level of efficiency to our pipeline.”
Cliff Plumber, Chief Executive Office, Digital Domain
“We worked closely with The Foundry over the past year on specific features and functionality we wanted to see in KATANA and after implementing it in production, we believe the package shows great promise and we look forward to our continuing relationship with The Foundry as we integrate technologies such as KATANA into our production pipeline.”
John Knoll, VFX Supervisor, Industrial Light and Magic
KATANA and NUKE cast a spell in Oz the Great and Powerful
© 2013 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
KATANA helps Buick blend the present with the prehistoric
Images courtesy of Buick Division General Motors.
KATANA's power helps deliver The Amazing Spider-Man
© 2012 Columbia Pictures.
Behind the scenes at Tippett Studio
© Tippett Studio.