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 as CTO & Creative partner of Felix & Paul Studios, a Montreal-based Cinematic Virtual Reality startup widely recognized as pioneers in the nascent medium and for having produced the highest quality experiences to date including Jurassic World – Apatosaurus, Miyubi, Inside the box of Kurios, and The People’s House - Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama.
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.
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 advanced technology projects, including manuka -Weta’s proprietary GI raytracer-, a brand new technology pipeline for the Avatar sequels developed in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Autodesk, and gazebo -a real-time virtual production renderer and interactive lighting tool- 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 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 Committee and DITS subcommittee, 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.