Leicester, UK. – July 19, 2007. Cooke Optics Ltd., a premier manufacturer of precision lenses for the motion picture industry, announces that the Cooke /i dataLink, which records camera data for use in post-production, is now available. It enables VFX and DI artists to create more accurate, better-looking visual effects, and saves significant time in the post-production process. Recent tests of the device resulted in considerable time saving in VFX creation when compared with more traditional routes.
The Cooke /i dataLink is a small box that mounts easily to any camera and records the focus, zoom and iris settings of each take from Cooke‘s S4/i lenses or any /i-enabled lens, all synced to time code. The data is recorded on a Secure Digital (SD) card, storing settings as metadata and passed along to post-production, which guarantees that the relevant lens parameters will be available to VFX and DI artists for effects creation or calibration. The /idataLink workflow has been developed in conjunction with another leading UK company, The Pixel Farm, whose tracking software, PFTrack 4.0, fully supports the /idataLink technology. When used in conjunction with PFTrack, artists are able to synch the lens data to the 3D camera data and therefore produce a 3D model that is more accurate, with greater speed.
UK cinematographer Devon Dickson has been working with Cooke and the Pixel Farm to test the use of the /i dataLink and PF Track software as an end-to-end workflow. He recently shot a test project using an Arriflex 435 camera with a Cooke S4/i 15-40mm, T2.0, CXX zoom lens, capturing lens data with the /i dataLink. “Automatically recording vital information such as focal length can alleviate hours of time consuming guess work when it comes to combining 2D and 3D images in post. It‘s important not to underestimate the impact such a collaboration has on the production process as a whole – this is a huge step in bringing production and post together.”
Michael Lancaster, product director for The Pixel Farm, explains. ‘As a leading manufacturer of products for the post production community, a large part of our product development comes from user feedback but we also see it as our responsibility to work with companies such as Cooke to help provide solutions that solve the problems our own clients frequently encounter. Correct camera data is essential when it comes to efficiently–and correctly– tracking shots and sequences and we have had a great reaction to this development from the VFX operators as well as those in production.’
Cooke Optics Chairman Les Zellan said, “The biggest benefit i/ dataLink delivers is time. It takes a process that required manual recording on set and guess work in post and compresses it in both areas, shaving time from the schedule on both sides. The fact that it also delivers more realistic-looking results makes it a positive advancement on the creative side as well.”
Cooke Optics and The Pixel Farm will demonstrate /i dataLink, PF Track, and show the before-and-after results of Dickson‘s test project on Wednesday, August 8, at a special event held during the SIGGRAPH Conference in San Diego. The Cooke /i dataLink is available now from Cooke Optics and authorized dealers worldwide for a USMSRP of $6,500. Visit
for details. PFTrack 4.0 software is now shipping and available from The Pixel Farm. For more information please visit
About Cooke Optics, LTD.
Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and the ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the world‘s most respected cinematographers. Cooke is also the developer behind /i Technology, the protocol enabling vital lens and camera information to be captured and passed digitally to post-production teams. Recent films and TV series shot with Cooke lenses include Live Free or Die Hard, Casino Royale, Notes on a Scandal, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Da Vinci Code, Grey‘s Anatomy, Entourage, Alias, Burn Notice, Scrubs, Monk, Supernatural and many more.