VFX Artifacts: Paul Debevec on Light Stage 3

We narrow in on this crucial development in the history of Light Stages, including the role of LED lighting.

No doubt you’ve heard of the Light Stages. These constructions have become synonymous with scanning actors for major Hollywood productions. If you’ve heard of Light Stages, then you’ve probably also heard of Paul Debevec, who led the image-based relighting research behind them at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT).

2002 ICT group photo showcasing the Light Stage 3. Paul Debevec is second from right.

Debevec is the latest guest on befores & afters’ VFX Artifacts podcast, where he and Ian Failes discuss the Light Stage 3 in particular. Now Director of Research, Creative Algorithms and Technology at Netflix and also an Adjunct Research Professor, USC Computer Science & USC ICT, Debevec runs down in this VFX Artifacts podcast the history of Light Stage research and use, including some very fun stories about moving onto LED lighting, and the role of the Light Stage 3 in R&D for films such as Benjamin Button, The Social Network and Spider-Man 3.

Listen in at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.

Show Notes

– Paul Debevec website detailing Light Stage research.

– Photo of three iColor MR RGB LED lights from Light Stage 3, and the infrared-reflective black cloth used for IR matting.

Image courtesy Paul Debevec.

– Photo of Paul Debevec’s first sketch/design for an LED panel Light Stage.

Image courtesy Paul Debevec.

befores & afters Spider-Man 2 podcast with Scott Stokdyk.

– Photo of Spider-Man 3 Light Stage 3 HDRI lighting set-up.

Image courtesy Paul Debevec.

– Armie Hammer Social Network test in Light Stage 3, Dec 10, 2009.

– Armie Hammer Light Stage 3 lighting reproduction Social Network shoot BTS.

– Photo of Paul Debevec readying Light Stage 3 as part of the Academy’s 2014 Gravity event at the Director’s Guild theater.

Image courtesy Paul Debevec.

– Photo of Light Stage 3 being readied for move to Academy Museum.

Image courtesy Paul Debevec.

Paul Debevec is presenting at FMX 2022. His talk, Virtual Production: Getting the Lighting Right, is on Tuesday 3 May at 15.45pm.

Leave a Reply