Sebastian Sylwan, CTO and Creative Partner, Felix & Paul Studios
Sebastian Sylwan is a renowned and respected Visual Effects and Digital Media Technology Executive.
Sebastian is currently developing novel and exciting live action Virtual Reality experiences and the cameras, pipeline and tools to produce them with Montreal based Felix & Paul Studios, widely recognized as pioneers in this field and for having produced the highest quality experiences to date.
Sebastian previously served as the Chief Technology Officer at Weta Digital, a world leading, Oscar™-winning visual effects studio based in Wellington, New Zealand. Weta Digital is renowned for films such as The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, King Kong, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Hobbit trilogy among many others.
During his 5 year tenure at Weta Digital, Sebastian brought structure and continued impetus to Weta Digital’s long tradition of Innovation and spearheaded a number of very advanced technology projects, including manuka -Weta’s proprietary GI raytracer- gazebo -a real-time virtual production renderer and interactive lighting tool- and a brand new technology pipeline for the Avatar sequels developed in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Autodesk, amongst many others.
Before moving to New Zealand, Sebastian set the strategy for Autodesk’s Global Film & Television Industries as their Senior Industry Manager for Film & TV. This led to the corporation’s first steps into Virtual production and Stereoscopic 3D.
Previously, Sylwan was Director of Technology at Digital Domain, an Academy Award-winning VFX facility. He successfully renewed Digital Domain’s technology infrastructure while maintaining the legacy value of over 13 years and helped it venture into new areas like the development of the facility’s first stereoscopic rendition of a CG animated film as well as well-known renditions of Digital Humans.
Sylwan famously was recruited by Paul Debevec to co-designed and build Light Stage 6 at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, at the time the most-advanced reflectance field capture device, which allowed the first reflectance field and geometry capture of a full-body human. Light stage technology is the most advanced method for capturing the semblance of humans for use in CG pipelines and has been the basis of many of the most realistic Digital Humans in numerous Hollywood feature films, music videos and commercials.
While living in Italy where he grew up, Sylwan designed, built and acted as the CTO of Lumiq Studios, the country’s then largest production, post-production and 3D character animation studio.
Sylwan also serves in numerous advisory boards and industry committees, such as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Sci-Tech Awards DITS, the VES Technology Committee where he is the current chair, and the ASC-ADG-VES committee on Previsualization where he co led with Alex McDowell the Previs 2020 group, later spun-off as the Virtual Production Committee.