Cooke Digital

Cooke Optics creates a new business unit to develop software-enabled products for post-production, VFX, animation and gaming.

Cooke has launched a new Cooke Digital business unit. Jordan Thistlewood (photo above) will be Managing Director of Cooke Digital.

This is a logical progression of Cooke’s /i Technology, an industry standard lens metadata protocol. In the past year, Cooke introduced Near Real-Time post-production capability in partnership with EZtrack, and explored other opportunities to extend Cooke’s role across the increasingly convergent creative markets of live action capture, animation and gaming.

Building on the foundation established by /i, Cooke will create a range of tools to bring the capability and beauty of high-end lenses to digital content creation, including:  virtual scouting, pre-production planning, on-set creative production with or without LED walls, virtual cinematography for animation and games, and accelerated workflows for VFX and post-production.
Beloved cine lenses have long been at the heart of Cooke’s business. The recent launch of the Cooke SP3 prime lens series for mirrorless (hybrid) cameras demonstrated Cooke’s ambition to enter into new areas and enable creatives across a wider industry and in additional markets. As a third key strategic focus area, Cooke Digital will expand the company’s capabilities in exciting new directions.

Leading this new chapter for Cooke, Jordan Thistlewood will be based at the new Cooke London location in Fitzrovia. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in developing software services for post-production, VFX and animation. Prior to joining Cooke, Jordan was Product Management Director – Virtual Production at Epic Games. Before that, he was an executive at Foundry, working in VFX, CG and post.

A quick /i Technology History

Cooke’s /i Technology is the lens metadata system established by Cooke’s former chairman Les Zellan around 2007. Since then, it has become an industry standard. Some might say that the widespread success of /i was, in part, due to Les’s prowling the halls of every trade show and placing /i Technology placards and logos on the stands of every manufacturer he could. His growing list of companies almost looked like a NASCAR logo-emblazoned car or the back page of FDTimes.

But seriously, /i started out as an almost-open source protocol that was easy for companies to license and that captured information about focus, iris, zoom, focal length, serial number, etc. Remember, this was 2007 when few cameras captured lens metadata. Working with cmotion, Cooke released a small box that attached to the camera with Velcro and recorded lens metadata to an SD card. It was called Cooke /i Datalink. The Pixel Farm in London was a quick and early adopter of the system for match moving, tracking and motion control. By March 2007, at AVID, Michael Phillips said, “A new feature in Avid editing systems is the ability to track lens metadata during production and be able to pass that through the creative editorial process into visual effects editing (VFX) with frame-based information.”

And the rest is history.



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