M.I.T. alum, Eliot Mack started Cinital, Inc. and created a system that can revolutionize the costly, time consuming process of traditional visual effects post production. The Cinital system has the ability to instantly track and match camera motion to virtual environments and to perform real-time keying and compositing. Although it costs $85,000 to buy, it will certainly be available to rent (some day). The Boston Globe ran a piece on this recently:
…when the Cinital-enhanced camera is pointed at an actor standing in front of a green background, it uses a powerful multiprocessor PC to replace the background with footage digitized earlier. The merged image appears on a high-definition monitor on the set, so that the director can adjust lighting or the position of actors to make the shot look more realistic. When the camera pans across a landscape, or zooms in, the background imagery adjusts appropriately. [excerpt from Boston Globe article, "A new script for moviemaking," by CinemaTech's Scott Kirsner]
Check out the video interview with Eliot Mack – demonstrating the process (click below for the video).