September 21, 2014

Content Insider #153 – Entertainment Everywhere

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere
â??I’ve just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we’ve learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.â?? â?” Mr. Turkentine, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Wolper Pictures Ltd.

Weâ??re not certain what the preoccupation is with TV, but firms beyond the old-fashioned content developers, producers, â??shippersâ?? have gone out of their way to say they have the solution you need/want!

First, there was the bi-annual IFA conference in Berlin. All of the consumer electronics folks gathered to spin their TV, video, whatever stories and show their wares.

Click

That was followed by IBC in Amsterdam.  There, the worldwide broadcast industry gathered to figure out how they were going to survive and make money with the growing demand for online video and audio content.

Then, at IDF (Intel Developers Forum), CEO Otellini proclaimed the world is infatuated with the wonderful possibilities of Smart TV.  September and the mesmerizing world of content everywhere wouldnâ??t be complete without Nvidia showing off its TV solutions at its  GPU Technology’s Conference.

The PC people — tablet, notebook, desktop, server — continue to try to figure out how they are going to get into the living/family room.

They’ve been trying to be the “content source” for 10+ years, continually spinning the story that this is the year the computer-based solution will really take its place in the family’s entertainment.

PCTV
But Otellini hasnâ??t given up on getting the Smart PC connected to the Smart TV.

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

See it Now â?” Intelâ??s CEO, Paul Otellini (R), explains how SmartTV and SmartPCs will open the world of content to Dadi Perlmutter, Intelâ??s EVP/GM of itâ??s architecture group.  Content wasnâ??t the only round of discussion at this yearâ??s IDF (Intel Developers Forum), but it was a key tipping point for the company. Photo – Intel

He told IDFers, â??Our vision is to create a continuum of personal computing experiences that provides consistency and interoperability across all Internet-connected devices in the home, car, office or in your pocket.â??

Still hasnâ??t happened!

Sure, easier systems have made it almost trendy for geeky people and folks who live in studio apartments where the computing, entertainment, dining stations share a corner.

The new PCs (all flavors) are suddenly very smart, very powerful and very economical, according to some intuitive as to your viewing desires.

But they still act like computers no matter what type of skin you put on â??em.

Sure, thereâ??s YouTubeâ??s live-streaming video service, but itâ??s still sitting on a PC.

But you get a hint of the array of contentâ?¦online video talk shows, how-to videos, TV stuff, more.

Of course networks, Hollywood, cable folks arenâ??t warm to Google managing their fortunes; but come on guysâ?¦all Eric wants is a few cents out of every eyeball view.

Then again, the late adopters and mainstream people (70+% of the buying public) just won’t put the computer in the room where they relax.

Apple tried with the AppleTV I and II.  Even with Jobsâ?? sainthood, it is still a “hobby.”

Hard drive people saw the Apple TV and figured what the heck. They’ve done as well as Appleâ?¦they still provide a PC add-on/accessory.

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

TV to PC to TV â?” While a lot of work is being done with chips and surrounding hardware to deliver video and shows to your set from the Internet, presently the PC and its supporting network create enough of a problem that people choose TV on their system or a long cable to deliver the content.

Theyâ??re as emphatic as Willy Wonka, â??But it’s the only way if you want it just right.â??

The poor set-top “champion” has just about left the building or as Willy said, â??Just press a button and *zing*! You’re off.â??

Poster child TiVo has shown virtually no growth for a number of years.

New solutions that donâ??t rely on the cable guy are being made available — one-time payments, low monthly fees, more features/capabilities/options have given new meaning to â??I TiVoed the show.â??

Set-top boxes including Boxxee and Roku are expanding their capabilities to include Internet connectivity and that will help them…a little.

Poor Old TiVo
TiVo and Veruca Salt look at them and say, â??They’re jealous of me!â??

They face a serious struggle for TV-top space with the Wii, PS3, Xbox that are not only already Internet connected but also offer added services like NetFlix.

Oh yeah, they have a USB slot to add storage capacity if you don’t want to watch the show right now.

As another option you can buy a new TV set with cable, Internet connectivity as well as 3D and â?¦

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

Time to Celebrate â?” Now that SD is dead and youâ??ve upgraded to an HD screen, itâ??s time to renew your investment in the next great home viewing solution.   Yes, the industry wants it to include an even newer screen.  Photo — NYTimes

The idea of dropping $1,000 + on another new set when â??good enoughâ?? is â??good enough,â?? is tough to justify.

As Willy said, â??Everybody has had one and one is enough for anybody.â??

To give people the streaming content and more, there are some low-cost add-in solutions that work with your wireless networks and simply connect to your present TV set.

Unlike expensive complete, end-to-end â??ultimateâ?? experiences and mish-mash shopping cart stuff, people simply want an inexpensive, easy-to-install and use answer.

You know, one that can be used with any TV set, a natural controller solution and one with the ability to add anywhere, anytime enjoyment.

As Willy said, â??Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous.â??

Radio and TV broadcasters are struggling to gain, regain and/or grab more eyeballs.

So with the exception of premium same-day events theyâ??re putting their content on the Internet

It goes up immediately or, less than 24-hours later, you can download/view when you want.  But itâ??s still a PC monitor or an Ethernet cable running to the TV.

Here Butâ?¦
True WiFi solutions require a little work, but as Willie says, â??If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.â??

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

Streams Everywhere â?” The Internet and a new breed of web sites are streaming content â?” professional, indie and home videos â?” out for people to enjoy or feel sorry about.  The broadcast industry knows tomorrowâ??s entertainment will incorporate online content.  They are still struggling with the monetization issues.

Streaming without cables is something you can get used to!!!

The trick with TV content is that stations/networks usually only leave their stuff up for 2-4 weeks, so if you don’t want to view it right away, you need to grab it/store it on your hard drive for “later.”

Then too, you want a solution that works at home and on your smartphone away from home.

PC approaches work O.K. at home.

The hard drive, set-top units — again at home.

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

Any Screen â?” People want and expect to be able to grab and enjoy their content on any screen â?” TV set, PC, mobile device.   Mobile device enjoyment is quickly becoming the screen of choice by GenY and GenI viewers.   Their criteria are when I want, how I want, where I want.

Most of the smartphone streaming content apps work only for the smartphone — Apple iOS or Android.

Guess theyâ??re the only folks with time on their hands to watch TV, videos!!!

Extendable solutions are needed that allow you to seamlessly grab, show the content when/where you want, how you want.

Some set-top providers offer solutions that “change” the content which can lead to lock-out or â??blockagesâ?? by content owners/providers.

Content owners aren’t certain how they’re going to make money off of the streaming — serious money that is — but they darned well are not going to allow Eric or Steve-come-latelies take money out of their pockets.

Most of the networks and studios have turned a cold-shoulder to Apple’s “generous” offer.  They saw how music industry lost control and theyâ??re not going to repeat their mistakes.

But thatâ??s “professional” content.

Going Live
Thereâ??s a dramatic growth in repurposed content, indie and consumer-level video.  The stuff is actually pretty good to look atâ?¦as good as most of today’s reality shows.

That stuff is being hosted by and sent out from a variety of audio/video sites including YouTube and a ton of others.

Do you get the idea that “TV programs” are similarly going to have a challenge from the new front?

All content viewing is going to change with a mixing and matching of professional and “other” content in the next 12+ months.

Will people pay subscription fees for the content?

Some will.

Thereâ??s always a market for pay-for-view serious theater viewing, special events/sporting venues.

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

Better Message Delivery â?” Tomorrowâ??s â??televisionâ?? viewing will be very personalized in content and advertising messages.   Sure, it might bore dogs; but humans have a relatively short memory, so it will be okay.

But the popular stuff will continue to be advertising subsidized.

Putting up with ads is a small payment with the vast majority of people.

By streaming over the Internet you’re going to be able to view a different breed of ads.  dvertisers will be able to be more personalized in their ads for the individual.

That hasn’t been possible before.

Even with the CW networkâ??s very tight audience profile, they ignore about 60 percent of the audience.

The cable guy has been able to group ads by specific neighborhoods and fairly broad audience profiles.  Thatâ??s still wasting a lot of the advertisers’ dollars (and yes your time).

New software algorithms will change all that.

The idea is that the stuff profiles your viewing habits but stays only on your system.

Content sellers and advertisers can then make available a number of ads that precisely fit that viewer’s profile and they are rotated for your viewing.   They’re less objectionable because they really are of interest to you.

It becomes fun (O.K., almost fun) to watch the content and the ads.

The content owner/distributor will get more per view because it is a precise target.

Your info isnâ??t shared, everyone is happy.

New View
You’ll never look at “commercial TV” the same way again!

As Willy said, â??Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.â??

Chris Andersonâ??s Long Tail is going to be easier to enjoy.  The cable 250-500 channels will probably stick around for most folks.

But watch the kids.

The iGeners (10 and below) won’t be able to imagine when they couldnâ??t watch anything — 30-minute old finished/quality videos of Tibetan monk ceremonies, drug busts in Mexico, dumb/dumber adults antics, knitting hints and 24 or Lie to Me segments on personal channels that have one segment stacked up right behind the other.

They’re going to “just expect” they will have their own specific channel or two that funnels any/all of the content they want to watch and the rest is blocked out (by their choice).

It wonâ??t be channel 36 or 360.  It will be Jonâ??s or Louâ??s channel(s).

Content Insider #153 — Entertainment Everywhere

My Contentâ?¦NOW â?” GenI viewers, content users wonâ??t wade through tons of network or search hundreds of websites.  Theyâ??ll simply sit down and enjoy their own personalized content â?” material tailored to their wants, needs, desires.  It will become a network of one!

They wonâ??t waste their time having to click through the rest of the garbage to find just the stuff they want to watch it, when they want to watch it, where they want to watch.

The Internet will play a key role in the TV of the future.   The problem is, it wonâ??t look like a PC the dust settles.

What will it look like?

As Willy said, â??I’m sorry, but all questions *must* be submitted in writing.â??

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

Digital Vision’s Stereoscopic Toolset Kicks It Up for StreetDance 3D

Digital Vision has broken new ground in Europe by announcing that its stereoscopic toolset was used to grade the 3D feature film StreetDance. German post production facility, Post Republic graded the film using the Nucoda Film Master. StreetDance 3D, from Vertigo Films, made its U.S. premier at the 3D Film Festival in Hollywood.

 Set in London and featuring some of Britain’s top dance talent, the film tells the story of a street dance crew who, in a bid to win the U.K. Street Dance Championships are forced to team up with a group of classical dancers. Shot in 3D, rigs were supplied by Paradise FX who also supplied rigs for major features such as The Hole 3D and My Bloody Valentine.

Digital Visions Stereoscopic Toolset Kicks It Up for StreetDance 3D

Based in Berlin, Post Republic’s grading suite boasts a RealD projection system and silver screen display technology, which applies a polarizing filter system in front of the projector lens and passive polarizing glasses for left eye/right eye separation. Michael Reuter, Post Republic’s Managing Director explains, “We upgraded our Film Master specifically for this project and it has worked extremely well. For a reliable calibration in the grading suite we decided to technically replicate the RealD cinema experience. Our graders wore polarized glasses throughout the session watching the grade on the silver screen and finally mastered onto a stereoscopic DCP. We are very pleased with the results.”

 
Click

Simon Cuff, Digital Vision’s CEO says, “We are extremely proud to be working with Post Republic on the U.K.’s first 3D feature film and congratulate the filmmakers on its U.S. Premier.  It was exciting to work on the film and to work closely with our clients and colleagues from Post Republic.”

Digital Visions Stereoscopic Toolset Kicks It Up for StreetDance 3D

For information about he screenings at the 3D Film Festival and StreetDance 3D, visit http://www.3dff.org/3DREDCARPET.html

About Digital Vision
Digital Vision provides innovative image restoration, enhancement, color correction and data conforming systems that major movie studios, television networks and post-production facilities use to master and deliver feature films, TV programs and commercials.  The company’s Nucoda product line provides a strong suite of products for tapeless and non-linear grading for HD broadcast and 2k/4k digital intermediate productions.  The company’s award-winning products are a standard of the media and entertainment industry and are deployed at top facilities and broadcasters around the world.
 
Digital Vision AB was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with three wholly owned subsidiaries, Digital Vision (US) in Los Angeles, California; Digital Vision UK in London, England; and Digital Vision in Hong Kong, China.  The company maintains its global presence through a network of qualified distributors.  Digital Vision is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange.  For further information, go to www.digitalvision.tv.
 
All trademarks used herein, whether recognized or not, are the properties of their respective companies.

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

ASSIMILATE AT FOREFRONT OF 3D FILMMAKING WITH SCRATCH 3D REAL-TIME DATA WORKFLOW

ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution is taking the lead in affordable/high-performance 3D data workflows for the filmmaking, TV, and advertising markets, worldwide.  The rapid rise of 3D digital cinema is bringing magical and high-impact experiences back to feature films, capitalizing on its wow factor for global audiences young and old. Cutting-edge advances in digital 3D technology are the catalyst for this 3D revival, enabling a depth and richness to imagery for a highly immersive viewing experience. 3D TV episodes and ad campaigns are also on the rise. For filmmakers, producers, agencies and post-production artists, SCRATCH is quickly becoming the 3D workflow of choice for its real-time, powerful, cost-effective DI tool suite that can reduce 3D post production from years to months or weeks. 

From U2-3D and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, to Piranha 3D, Charnobyl 2012, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D, and Fright Night 3D, SCRATCH is being used on a global scale for a variety of 3D tasks that include conform, color grading, finishing, compositing, viewing dailies, quality control, real-time remote 3D reviews, and more. SCRATCH enables post artists to work at their speed of thought, in real-time stereo throughout the full DI process. 

Jeff Edson, CEO at ASSIMLATE: “From on-set to finishing, SCRATCH enables users to work naturally, easily, and in real time within a built-in, streamlined, 3D data workflow to create a high-quality master for several deliverables. For 3D productions, with complex imagery and double the files, this has a dual benefit for filmmakers, agencies, and post houses:  a significant leap forward in efficiency and productivity, and more time for creativity, experimentation, and fine-tuning.”

ASSIMILATE AT FOREFRONT OF 3D FILMMAKING WITH SCRATCH 3D REAL-TIME DATA WORKFLOW

SCRATCH 3D color grade for Nau Clothing; image courtesy of Merge Group

What SCRATCH 3D Users Are Saying

“Piranha 3D” (2010) – Grant Boucher, award-winning VFX pioneer and founder of inner-D (LA): “A real-time data workflow like SCRATCH enables a significant time savings for a 3D pipeline, which has double the shots, all the complex imagery, and the convergence of left and right eyes. Even during the finishing process we were able to make convergence changes or color adjustments, and again working in real time was invaluable. SCRATCH is now the center point of everything we do.”

“Les Krostons” (2010) – Elodie Ly-tri, 3D data manager at Duboi (Paris): “A key advantage of SCRATCH is the built-in workflow for 3D stereo. So, along with being able to review L and R eyes individually, you can also play back the converged picture. Using the SHOT FRAMING tool set, I could adjust the X and Y offset to change the convergence of a shot, subtly scale the L or R to remove any black edges within the frame, and also correct any vertical or horizontal disparities. Grading for stereo is straightforward too. Gilles Granier, one of our in-house color graders, made color changes to the left eye through SCRATCH Scaffolds, and could apply them to the corresponding shot, or shots, in the right eye by a single keystroke.”

3D Armani Exchange A/X 3D fall ad campaign (2010) – Mark L. Pederson, Offhollywood CTO and co-founder (NYC): “It was clear to us that an all-data workflow is the future of films, TV, and commercials, whether 2D or 3D, so we got on board with RED and SCRATCH as early adopters. We chose SCRATCH for its streamlined workflow, stability, data management tools, and real-time color grading and finishing for 3D, 4K, 2K, and HD. It’s the ideal tool for working with native RED R3D files, and especially RED 4K stereoscopic 3D. The ASSIMILATE guys are continually updating the features within SCRATCH, so it remains a rock-solid tool and very relevant to us well into the future.” Offhollywood is currently working with Discovery on 3D episodes of The Haunted and Ghost Lab.

“Charnobyl 2012″ 3D (2011) – Martin Kryjom, Divizion director and chief colorist (Poland):  “SCRATCH is perfect for 3D stereo as its capabilities for viewing, adjusting convergence, equalizing the grade on the stereo pair, and applying the master grade, are all built in.” In post production now, 3D horror flick “Charnobyl 2012,” directed by Patryk Vega, is one of Poland’s biggest-budget productions.


Percy Fung, founder of Digital Magic Hong Kong (August 2010): “The future of filmmaking and media entertainment is digital cinema, and we are going to see tremendous growth in 3D productions over the next few years.  The advent of high-resolution digital cameras and real-time data workflows like SCRATCH that include powerful tool suites are making this possible.”


“Black Eyed Peas” – Brian Daly, president at Mob Scene Creative + Productions (Beverly Hills): “We developed a workflow for Samsung’s Black Eyed Peas 3D promotional material that included 3D post production on the SCRATCH Digital Finishing Solution. Samsung knew exactly what they were looking for in 3D, and SCRATCH was able to deliver. During a grading session, adjustments were made on the fly, in real time. Working in real time is vital in 3D post, especially when the content is a live multi-cam situation and any adjustments need to happen instantaneously.” 

“Archangel” (2009), Bonnaroo Music Festival, Nau clothing – Jerome Thelia, founder, and colorist and compositor at Merge Group (NY): “High-end 3D means lots of very large files, with a complex data-based workflow, conform, and color grading at a high-quality level – all of which would not be possible without a real-time system like SCRATCH. A real-time workflow is especially vital to the creativity and productivity of a project when working in 3D, and SCRATCH delivers exactly that in a streamlined digital pipeline.”

“My Bloody Valentine 3D” (2009) – Brian Gaffney, vice-president/general manager of Technicolor Creative Bridge (LA): “For My Bloody Valentine 3D, we used SCRATCH as a versatile support tool for four different applications within our 3D workflow…virtual telecine, edit module, quality control, and visual effects. At first glance, tackling a 3D project appears to be daunting and that’s why we opt for best-of-breed tools like SCRATCH. SCRATCH is a powerful stand-alone workflow in itself, but it also works seamlessly, as in this case, within any digital workflow as defined by the project. Its ability to support any format – HD, SD, 3D, RED 4K, 35mm, 16mm – and its depth of functionality make it a highly used and versatile tool within our workflows.”


“Journey to the Center of the Earth” 3D (2008) – Jonas Thaler, VP post production at AFG/Walden Media (LA):  “When researching a 3D digital workflow, we examined several scenarios that were compelling but none proved to have the flexibility, 3D features, and price point that we needed to put this together on a project basis. SCRATCH was the only system that met our criteria for 3D, plus it included an extensive feature set for the DI process. Our biggest concern for SCRATCH was the size of this project. There was a huge amount of footage and content from several sources, and we had roughly 800 visual effects, which means multiply by two for the number of files. This was an ambitious project for a cost-effective software tool that we set up ourselves, but SCRATCH performed amazingly well.”


Euro Disney 3D Short (2008) – Arnaud Paris, co-founder and stereographer at Sysmic Films (Paris): “It was very easy to adjust the camera alignment in SCRATCH. The resize, offset and angle controls did all that in real-time on the dual R3D streams. In terms of convergence you can’t predict what the best solution is until you actually watch the result in 3D. The real-time, interactive 3D visualization that SCRATCH gave us was fundamental in helping us to design and then finesse the experience.”


SCRATCH Real-Time 3D Workflow
SCRATCH v5.1 includes a host of product features that propel creative pros — broadcasters, filmmakers, studios, post facilities, creative teams, and agencies — to work at their utmost levels of creativity.  SCRATCH v5.1 offers the most advanced, cost-effective, real-time digital workflows for 3D, RED MX and beyond, RED MX-3D, ALEXA ARRIRAW, HD/SD, film, DPX, AVID MXF, or any mix of formats.  SCRATCH v5.1 includes a robust core feature set with real-time data management, review/playback, conform/editorial, color grading, compositing, finishing, and final mastering to any format.


SCRATCH v5.1 includes 3D-specific features for enhanced convergence, scaling, and versioning. Post artists are able to work in real-time 3D at all times with direct output to any stereoscopic display system.  Additionally, ASSIMILATE exclusively offers the 3ality 3Play Pro-S for facilities seeking a flexible, professional quality stereo-review system. ASSIMILATE also offers the first 3D Post Remote-Review Network, which combines SCRATCH, the 3aility 3Play Pro S, and the Telairity H.264 Encoder to enable the real-time review of 3D files among clients, talent teams, and post artists, anywhere in the world.


See SCRATCH at IBC 2010
At IBC 2010 at the RAI in Amsterdam, September 10 – 14 (Stand 7.K01), ASSIMILATE(tm) is featuring its state-of-the-art SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution in four major demonstrations on the show floor. The demos will feature complete SCRATCH workflows for stereoscopic 3D, advanced compositing, digital intermediate (DI) and finishing, as well as the first 3D remote-review network over the internet for real-time review of 3D files among clients, directors, DPs and post artists anywhere in the world.


Price and Availability 
Contact ASSIMILATE or your local reseller for a demo, pricing, and configurations of the SCRATCH v5.1 Digital Finishing Solution.  For a list of contacts for ASSIMILATE direct sales and resellers, see www.assimilateinc.com. 


About ASSIMILATE
ASSIMILATE(tm) is transforming post production of visually complex imagery projects with its SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution, the essential mix for a real-time, resolution-dependent data workflow. SCRATCH v5.1 moves creative artists into Post 2.0, the next-generation of digital post production tools to achieve the highest level of quality in digital cinema imagery. Along with data management, SCRATCH features a rich set of DI and post tools for working in any combination of 3D, RED MX, RED MX3D, ARRIRAW, HD/SD, and film. ASSIMILATE is committed to empowering the broad spectrum of creative and post-production professionals with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, data-centric solutions that deliver optimal price/performance. To learn more about SCRATCH, see www.assimilateinc.com 

 
Click

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

Digital Cinema and Data Workflows in China: An Interview with Wu Chiao, Director and Cinematographer

Well known director and cinematographer Wu Chiao is at the forefront of digital cinema in China. He has been immersed in the filmmaking process since his first day as a student of cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy. He has been the director and/or cinematographer (DP) of numerous films, setting a standard of excellence within China. George Lucas’ “Star Wars II” — the first motion picture to be shot using an HD camera — planted the seed with Wu Chiao that quality movies could be made outside the realm of traditional film methodology. Since then, he has amassed a good deal of experience and knowledge about the digital cinema process, including the quality and performance of digital cameras and data workflows, as well as their contribution to the art and craft of cinematography. He recently shared a few of his thoughts with ASSIMILATE. 

Q: Before digital cinema, you were using film. What was your impetus for choosing to work in the new medium of digital cinema?  

A: When I was studying cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy, film was the only option for making movies. At that time, China’s film production and post-finishing process was very unsophisticated, so in order to achieve high quality for the film master and copies, we most often had to go abroad for the film processing and photo prints. At the beginning of 2002 I learned that the American director George Lucas filmed “Star Wars II” with HD cameras. This was hugely inspirational for me — I realized that if quality cinematography could break the boundaries of film, this would cause a great revolution, giving the creation of cinema much more freedom. This strong belief and sense of purpose was the impetus for my exploration and deployment of digital cinema. Although I experienced innumerable setbacks and difficulties during this quest, I have no regrets. I believe the future of cinema must be in the digital era.

Digital Cinema and Data Workflows in China: An Interview with Wu Chiao, Director and Cinematographer

Director/DP Wu Chiao using the RED digital camera

Q: Why have you embraced digital filmography?     

A: I used the F900 in 2002 to shoot the first Chinese digital film “The Coldest Day,” and won the Best Cinematography category for the Golden Rooster Award. From then on, my focus has been digital film technology and how to perfect the shooting, as well as the associated post and finishing processes. I have now finished over twenty digital films, while experiencing the spectrum of new digital technologies, from digital film development, the initial stages of each digital technology — HDCAM to Film Stream — and now the REDRAW data. I believe I am one of the most progressive, comprehensive, thorough and active filmmakers in the field of digital film technology in China.

 
Q: You’re at the forefront of digital cinema in China, using the workflow combination of the RED ONE 4K camera and ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH Digital Finishing Solution for post production. What projects have you completed using the RED/SCRATCH combination?  

A: “Illusion,” “Heavenly Man,” “Right And Wrong,” ” Red Strawberry,” and “Escape The Crisis.” We have other projects in production now.

Click

 
Q:  How long have you been using the RED ONE cameras for your films?

A: Early in the 2008, we purchased a RED ONE 4K Camera, but as a new technology it required  some time to test and adjust the workflow. In 2009, we set up a SCRATCH data workflow and mastered the use of its digital intermediate (DI) tool suite. Once we knew that SCRATCH could easily handle the REDCODE data, and we had very satisfactory results for the conform, color grading, finishing, and quality output, we began using the RED camera for filmmaking.

Digital Cinema and Data Workflows in China: An Interview with Wu Chiao, Director and Cinematographer

Scene shot with RED; DI in SCRATCH; image courtesy of Wu Chiao
Q: What major differences or advantages are you seeing in the use of the digital cinema workflow?

A: In 2004, I proposed that the nucleus of the digital filmmaking workflow was the integration and optimization of digital technologies, which is the most significant feature of, and biggest difference from traditional film. This premise is based on the integration of the digital-photography application features and the digital intermediate (DI) process. From the creative development to the technical principles, all filmmakers need to consider the fluid flow of pre-and-post production data, orchestrating a streamlined workflow for the entire production process.  Exploiting digital technology to its fullest advantage ensures the best image quality and guarantees the narrative for the film. Integration is a prerequisite, while optimization is the goal.

Currently, the trends in digital film technology are a diverse selection of formats and flexible pipelines; seamless workflows and easily integrated DI tools; varying levels of technical complexity; increased productivity; and cost-effectiveness. The ultimate quality of the film depends on not only the talent and skill of the creative and post artists, but also the technology level of their tools. This differs from the past era of film, which has a defined, repetitive, time-consuming work process that relies on costly single pieces of equipment and fixed production methods.

Q: Do you think digital cinema will become the mainstream medium in China for feature films and TV productions in the future?

A: In China, cinema has always been the high-end product of media entertainment, and always at the top of value chain. The swift development and broad application of digital technologies are bringing about a great revolutionary change to the filmmaking industry, now dominating present-day productions, and this will continue into the future. The digital era is here and it is changing the way movies are made in China and throughout the world.

Q: What other digital tools are you using in conjunction with the RED camera?  

A: Fortunately, there are numerous choices and options now for building a digital pipeline. We use a digital field recorder, Final Cut Pro, SCRATCH, plug-ins, and so much more.

Digital Cinema and Data Workflows in China: An Interview with Wu Chiao, Director and Cinematographer

Scene shot with RED; DI in SCRATCH; image courtesy of Wu Chiao

Q: How are you using SCRATCH?

A: SCRATCH is at the hub of our digital pipeline.  We use it for data management, conform, color grading, compositing, reviewing dailies, client reviews, and finishing. Visual effects can be easily dropped into the timeline.

Q: What contributions does SCRATCH make to the digital cinema process?

A: One of the important capabilities of SCRATCH is its ability to easily process the native RED R3D files so that post artists can get the most out of the imagery with the color grading and finishing. The analytic reduction of color space in SCRATCH is still the best within the variety of available DI products. The SCRATCH workflow includes the most effective DI tool suite for post production of RED-based imagery, including conform, color grading, and finishing, as well as the best quality results for filmmakers.

Q: How have the digital cameras and other digital tools changed the way you approach your work?  

A: Profound changes have occurred during the evolution from the HD era to the digital era of filmmaking. The present RED workflow is more like working with film. During the pre-production we can control the exposure, based on the exposure and temperature meters we`re familiar with, while with an HD camera we must rely on the standard and waveform monitors. In contrast to the HD equipment, we use SCRATCH in the post-production where we can immediately “process” the digital negative and do the color grading.  We`re able to hold a huge adjusting space for dynamic range, shadow and brightness levels, hues and so forth. It is much more convenient to use the disk-based and flash memory-based storage, compared to using the video tapes and film reels of the past. With the innovations and rapid progression of digital technology, the art of cinema is making a huge leap forward in ease of use, while maintaining high-level quality standards.

 
Q: What testing of digital cinema technology are you engaged in now?  

A: We are currently doing a comparision test between RED MX(EPIC)and the ARRI ALEXA cameras. In all our testing, we have found that the present digital cameras have completely surpassed the film camera in the aspect of photo-sensitive characteristics and mechanical properties. The high-quality results have reached, and often exceeded that of film — in resolution, sensitivity, dynamic range, frame rate, and color reduction.

We are also researching the integration and optimization of workflows, by which the digital negative can reduce and replicate three channels of RGB within the smooth transition of 10-bit color gradation. This is the only problem caused by the photo-sensitive characteristics of the Bayer filter in the digital cameras, and this needs to be resolved quickly.
 

Q: What is your vision for future digital cinema technologies?

A: The speed of technical progress and innovation for digital cinema will continue to move forward at a rapid pace. This is good news for filmmakers and all creative and post artists, as well as the viewing audience.  As the digital negative replaces film, the quality output will reach even higher levels of clarity and sophistication. The focus should be on how to apply these new technologies in an integrated and optimized workflow. Only in this way can we put more power and performance into the hands of the creative communities and markets.

###
recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

Sinefekt Istanbul Grows DI Business with Versatility of SCRATCH

Come to Istanbul, where Sinefekt, one of the biggest post production houses in Turkey uses ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution to grade almost every feature film, commercial, music video and documentary that passes through its facility. Along with having a Kodak Imagecare-accredited film lab, telecine, offline and online editing, VFX, CG animation and SCRATCH DI color grading and finishing, the facility also rents RED ONE(tm) cameras to local and regional clients. Although the RED/SCRATCH connection began as a key attraction, SCRATCH has proven it has greater pulling power among local and international clients, as Dilek Er, head of color grading, explains.

Why SCRATCH: We saw SCRATCH at IBC a few years ago — just when the RED ONE camera systems were launching — which we had planned to purchase. SCRATCH was the best option for handling 4K R3D files, and it still is. RED cameras are very popular in Turkey, and we work on RED-originated features and commercials a lot. But being resolution independent, SCRATCH has proven to be more versatile. It has very good DI tools to complete jobs from start to finish, and with an amazingly affordable price point we can offer clients more competitive rates.

Sinefekt Istanbul Grows DI Business with Versatility of SCRATCH

Scene from Pegasus Airlines ad; image courtesy of Sinefekt, Istanbul

Projects: We attract filmmakers from Turkey, and our freelance colorist, Ester Nagy, did a SCRATCH DI on R3D RED material for the historical comedy “Seven Husbands For Hurmuz”, directed by Ezel Akay. I did the DI for another film, the thriller “Sound”, directed by Umit Unal. But we are also now luring international filmmakers from Egypt, Dubai, Hungary, Slovenia and Russia.

More projects: We work with local production companies and advertising agencies on ads for brands like Nike, Samsung and Pegasus Airlines. Recently I graded a commercial in SCRATCH for Bakcell, the cellular network operator in Azerbaijan. What all our clients discover is that the quality they get from SCRATCH is great from start to finish, whether they bring in DPX, 4K RED RAW, or footage from newer cameras like the ARRI Alexa, or even DSLRs like the Canon 7D and 5D.

Sinefekt Istanbul Grows DI Business with Versatility of SCRATCH

Scene from “Seven Husbands for Hurmuz”; image courtesy of Sinefekt, Istanbul

LUTs: Cinespace is the heart of our color management, and works well with SCRATCH. Commercials and music videos typically don’t need dramatic grading, but feature films are different. I often do a lot to finesse or enhance the look intended by the cinematographer. We grade feature films with SCRATCH at 2K or 4K, in real-time, using a JVC DILA projector and a 3m-wide screen, where we emulate the film print with our custom 3D LUTs. Our set-up means that the director, DP, and editor know what they see on the screen is what will end up on film.

Key features: SCRATCH is simple to learn. It’s very quick and interactive to work with too, and integrates well with the Tangent Wave Control Panel we are using. I use the Trays capability a lot, especially when grading versions of commercials because it allows me to compare shots, and copy and paste grades between sequences and versions.

 
Click

Grading features: On feature films, the SCRATCH Matrix provides two toolsets – the Color toolset for primary grading, and Scaffolds for secondary color grading. For primary grading, once I am happy with a grade on a shot, I copy and paste that grade onto other shots in a timeline in the CONstruct module. Scaffolds is excellent when I need to work on areas of the picture that need special treatment. I can use each Scaffold differently – to key a skin color, add a defocus or a vignette, and track a grade through a shot – and can choose which Scaffold to copy between shots. These are very useful and practical features that I use a lot.

In the workflow: We use Avid Media Composer for offline and Autodesk systems for online editorial. SCRATCH works perfectly well with EDLs coming from Avid and provides DPX files for our Autodesk systems.

Support: We run our SCRATCH on a REDboxx2 system, with an Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 SDI card, which is integrated into our custom-built NAS so that we can share media between editorial, grading and VFX departments with ease. We get excellent e-mail support from ASSIMILATE on the rare occasions that we’ve ever encountered any problems, and the hardware is well-supported by Boxx.

Satisfaction: As a colorist, I’m very happy working with SCRATCH because it gives me a lot of capability for grading and finishing, and it’s really easy to use. SCRATCH is a very useful color grading and finishing system.

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

ASSIMILATE Expands Sales and Support at London Office

Five years after opening its UK/European headquarters in London, ASSIMILATE(tm), developer of the SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution, is expanding its sales and service operations to better serve its rapidly growing customer base of digital cinema professionals — filmmakers, studios, post facilities, broadcasters, creative teams, and agencies – throughout the UK and Europe. ASSIMILATE has relocated to new offices in the Soho area of London to accommodate an increase in technical support staff, as well as an advanced SCRATCH v5.2 finishing suite that offers real-time digital workflows for 3D, RED MX and beyond, RED MX-3D, ARRIRAW, HD/SD, Film, DPX, AVID MXF, or any mix of formats. 
ASSIMILATE’s Soho technical team includes a colorist, trainer, DI specialist, and 3D consultant Martin Parsons of Image Eyes, www.image-eyes.com. With more than 20 years of working in high-end post-production for film and TV in London, Parsons’ expertise is developing efficient and streamlined digital workflows from on-set through to post production and on to the big screen, with a specific focus on 3D capture and post. “Working with the ASSIMILATE team on the SCRATCH 3D features and real-time workflows has been an exciting opportunity,” says Parsons. “They’re at the bleeding edge of 3D digital post, giving their worldwide user base a huge creative advantage.”

To complement ASSIMILATE’s direct sales and support office in Soho, ASSIMILATE has appointed MediaPros, www.mediapros.co.uk, as their reseller partner for ASSIMILATE’s RED MX solutions. This includes RED Rocket and ASSIMILATE’s ROCKET FUEL bundle, which includes the tools for real-time ingest, conform, delivery and output of RED ONE(tm) MX digital camera material.

ASSIMILATE Expands Sales and Support at London Office

“The expansion of our London office underscores our commitment to customers throughout the UK and Europe to provide responsive and optimal service and support,” states Jeff Edson, CEO at ASSIMILATE. “Always with an eye to outstanding creativity, the UK and Europe are high-growth markets for digital cinema, and particularly 3D productions. SCRATCH provides the powerful digital tools these creative professionals need to break new cinematic ground, and to do so cost effectively within a streamlined, real-time workflow.”


Click

Strong 3D Focus
ASSIMILATE is working with several industry partners, such as Telairity and 3ality, to bring innovative and useful tools to the entertainment communities that can simplify their workflows, increase their productivity, and enable more time for experimentation in the creative process.

With SCRATCH v5.2 ASSIMILATE continues its mantra for real-time, streamlined workflows with 3D-specific features for enhanced convergence, scaling, and versioning. Post artists are able to work in real-time 3D at all times with direct output to any stereoscopic display system.  Additionally, ASSIMILATE exclusively offers the 3ality 3Play Pros-S for post facilities seeking a flexible, professional quality stereo monitoring system. 3Play Pro-S enables playback and review of full-resolution HD stereoscopic material on a variety of consumer 3D monitors, as well as non-3D monitors using a variety of Anaglyph formats.

Another 3D innovation, ASSIMILATE(tm) and Telairity(tm) have exclusively partnered to offer the first 3D Remote Network for 3D post production, which enables the immediate exchange of 3D files over the internet for real-time or off-line reviews among the filmmakers, post houses, and other talent teams – anywhere in the world. The transit of massive 3D files via this remote network results in unprecedented time and budget savings. Additionally, post facilities can expand their client base, and clients can hire post houses without distance being a factor.

SCRATCH(r) v5.2 Digital Process Solution
ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) v5.2 Digital Finishing Solution(tm) is the latest version of Post 2.0 generation digital post-production tools that enables users to achieve the highest levels of quality in digital cinema imagery.  SCRATCH v5.2 adds advanced finishing and compositing, and 3D-specific features, such as convergence, scaling, and versioning to its real-time data workflow. Whether an imaging project is 3D, RED MX, RED MX-3D, ARRI ALEXA, HD/SD, DPX, AVID MXF, film, or any mix of formats, SCRATCH enables your workflow of choice. SCRATCH v5.2 includes a robust core feature-set with real-time data management, review/playback, conform/editorial, color grading, compositing, finishing, and final mastering.
SCRATCH is a streamlined, real-time, easy-to-use, cost-effective, resolution-independent, end-to-end pipeline for pre-and-post-production.  A broad spectrum of creative and post artists benefit from the bottom-line advantages of the SCRATCH digital workflow: Increased speed and productivity, ability to easily experiment, high quality output to numerous formats, and an up-tick in profits.

UK/European Headquarters Information
The ASSIMILATE UK/European Headquarters provides sales and technical support for SCRATCH customers throughout the UK and Europe.
ASSIMILATE Europe Ltd.
Third Floor, 179 Wardour Street
London W1F 8WY
Tel: +44 207 534 3426
Fax: +44 207 855 3671

About ASSIMILATE
ASSIMILATE(tm) is transforming post production of visually complex imagery projects with its SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution, the essential mix for a real-time, resolution-dependent data workflow. SCRATCH v5.2 moves creative artists into Post 2.0, the next-generation of digital post production tools to achieve the highest level of quality in digital cinema imagery. Along with data management, SCRATCH features a rich set of DI and post tools for working in any combination of 3D, RED MX and beyond, RED MX-3D, ALEXA ARRIRAW, HD/SD, film, DPX, AVID MXF, or any mix of formats.  ASSIMILATE is committed to empowering the broad spectrum of creative and post-production professionals with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, data-centric solutions that deliver optimal price/performance. To learn more about SCRATCH, see www.assimilateinc.com 

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master adds drama to BBC One’s Mistresses

Digital Vision has today announced that its Nucoda Film Master was used to conform and grade the new series of BBC One’s Mistresses by Bristol based facility Films@59. Produced by Ecosse Films, Mistresses delves into the tangled lives of four female friends and their relationships. The first of the four-part 60 minute drama aired on 5th August.

Films@59 Colourist Tony Osborne who carried out the grade knew from very early discussions with the series producer Rhonda Smith and DoP Alan Almond that they required a very different look and feel from the first two series, which had a glossy, glamorous sensibility and softer storylines. They also wanted to move away from film and go digital and so opted for the RED digital camera system.

Osborne explains, “The idea was to achieve a look that was darker and richer but without too much contrast and one that would not be overly saturated. From the start of the project Alan said that he didn’t want the American look that you get with some dramas, which have vibrant brash colours. He wanted a natural look – that was the premise throughout filming.”

 
Click

Osborne used Nucoda Film Master for three stages of the post production process. The first-stage was to carry out the data conform from the RED RAW files processing out to LOG files. He says, “This gives us the best starting point for grading as the OpenEXR format, which is built into the Nucoda Film Master, retains greater detail in the shadows and the highlights than other systems. The floating point, which OpenEXR facilitates, means that the grade is not disrupted. The second-stage was the grade itself and during the third-stage Osborne used elements of Nucoda Film Master’s DVO toolset to reduce shimmer and grain.

Digital Visions Nucoda Film Master adds drama to BBC Ones Mistresses

The series, which opens in the present with a prologue, conjures up a feeling of tension and unease. Osborne explains, “There are unresolved issues and the viewer doesn’t yet know what they are so it had to draw the audience in immediately. The DoP, producer and director wanted to give that first scene a look completely different to the rest of the series. The story lines are dark and it was important that this was reflected in the grade.” Throughout the rest of the grade Osborne was sensitive to maintain the colour theme relating to the four main female characters and their environments.

Martin Bennett, VP Worldwide Marketing, Digital Vision comments, “Tony has achieved a very unique look for this project using Nucoda Film Master. The grade significantly adds to the drama in the production reflecting the change in storyline from the first two series. Also the use of OpenEXR, which is integrated into all Nucoda systems and has been adopted by other facilities and studios including Pixar and Lucasfilm in the US and Animal Logic in Australia, ensures that the creative vision is preserved and delivered in a manner that has never before been possible.”

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

SCRATCH 3D Workflow Helps “Les Krostons” Become Masters of the Universe

Les Krostons” want to take over the world and their impish intentions were recently revealed in a five-minute VFX-laden 3D stereo teaser, directed by Frederick Du Chau through Le Studio d’Imagination, and screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Duran Duboi in Paris harnessed the powers of ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution in a streamlined file-based 3D stereo workflow, from set to post production, to DCP deliverables.

“Les Krostons” is based on the 1968 comic-book creation devised by Arthur Piroton and Paul Deliège.

Elodie Ly-tri, 3D data manager at Duboi in Paris, a subsidiary of Quinta Industries group, was responsible for managing the project under Eric Martin’s supervision, post production manager at Duboi. Ly-tri explains here how SCRATCH proved to be an essential tool in their tapeless, end-to-end, data-centric DI mix.

Ideal 3D DI Tools: “Les Krostons” is a great showcase for SCRATCH’s post capabilities in a number of areas – efficient data workflow, quality control, conforming, 3D stereo image manipulation, DI grading, finishing, and deliverables.

Why SCRATCH? It was a natural choice. We’ve been working with SCRATCH as the heart of our DPX and R

SCRATCH 3D Workflow Helps Les Krostons Become Masters of the Universe

SCRATCH 3D finishing for “Les Krostons image (c) Le Studio d’Imagination and Quinta Industries and DuboiED workflows for nearly four years, and have used it to conform and grade many projects, such as “The Ghostwriter”, “My Own Love Song” and “Lucky Luke”. We’re close to ASSIMILATE’s R&D team, and we have been working on the development of MXF within SCRATCH. We knew SCRATCH was used successfully to make 3aility’s “U23D”, and after ASSIMILATE proved its 3D capabilities to us, we were convinced it was the right tool for “Les Krostons”.

Workflow: “Les Krostons” was shot in 1920 x 1080p with a Panavision Genesis and a mirror rig provided by Binocle. The 4:2:2 capture was on Panavision’s SSR, with this footage offloaded to a Codex Portable recorder, which also directly captured the 4:4:4 VFX shots. Every night we received 40 minutes of dailies per eye, on a Codex DiskPack, and we offloaded the DPX files to our SAN. We usually received the dailies at 2:00 a.m., and we were ready to do separate quality control reviews of the L and R eyes, as well as the converged picture in SCRATCH by 6:00 a.m. This was incredibly fast! By mid-morning we were able to provide the director, DP, and stereographers with a report regarding focus, lenses, color and pixel issues.

Managing Data: After pre-grading in SCRATCH, we exported the shots as Avid stereo-group DNxHD36 MXF files, and sent them to the edit room in LA. To make it clear and easy for them, we managed all the relevant metadata in SCRATCH, renaming shots to each slot where we might apply a cut, and adding the reel IDs as required. SCRATCH can present the files either side-by-side or over-and-under, and they wanted over-and-under.

SCRATCH 3D Workflow Helps Les Krostons Become Masters of the Universe

SCRATCH 3D finishing for “Les Krostons image (c) Le Studio d’Imagination and Quinta Industries and Duboi

Conforming & Comp’ing: What’s really cool about SCRATCH is that I had groups of CONstructs with all the DPX dailies and one with the DPX conforms – all within the same project. Having access to all the DPX files, at any time, made it very easy for me to not just conform, but to also send shots to the VFX team. Our comp’ing team uses SCRATCH with shared storage, so I could prepare a CONstruct with the VFX shots, send that over, and they could simply link to the media and export as required. When shots were completed I simply dropped them back onto my timeline.

XML Support: This is one of SCRATCH’s most powerful features. On “Les Krostons”, we used XML scripts to optimize the flow of files between network locations for the compositing team. We also used XML to prepare the daily QC reports for the production company, sent from SCRATCH as a PDF. With the new HTML support allowing us to publish to the web, SCRATCH provides ever more efficient ways to interact with the production team during post.

3D Strengths: A key advantage of SCRATCH is that it has a built-in workflow for 3D stereo. So, along with being able to review L and R eyes individually, you can also play back the converged picture. Using the SHOT FRAMING tool set, I could adjust the X and Y offset to change the convergence of a shot, subtly scale the L or R to remove any black edges within the frame, and also correct any vertical or horizontal disparities. Grading for stereo is straightforward too. Gilles Granier, one of our in-house color graders, made color changes to the left eye through SCRATCH Scaffolds, and could apply them to the corresponding shot, or shots, in the right eye by a single keystroke.

Deliverables: For marketing purposes we created 3D and 2D DCP masters of the “Les Krostons” teaser in SCRATCH, with 2.35:1 for the 2D and 1.85:1 for the 3D stereo. The sheer ability of SCRATCH to have the footage available in CONstructs in the same project, and to conform, grade and crop images as appropriate, meant that we created these really fast in only two sessions.

Working Relationship: We’ve worked closely with the ASSIMILATE team for several years. They are always very helpful, and they listen to our suggestions, which I think makes SCRATCH a stronger product because of this client-friendly approach. SCRATCH is open; easy to operate; works well with Avid; is very good for managing DPX files and associated metadata; and offers powerful XML specificity. It’s strong on conforming, managing versions, color grading, finishing, and 3D, and handles new camera formats, such as RED and ARRI Alexa. What more could you want?

 
Click

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com

“Piranha 3D” Screams for SCRATCH at inner-D

The summer-horror flick “Piranha 3D”, starring Jessica Szohr, Richard Dreyfuss, and Elizabeth Shue, literally screams for thrills and chills as teens combat man-eating fish during Spring Break. inner-D, a post-production house that specializes in 3D conversions and DI, recently wrapped up the finishing touches for the film’s August 20 premiere with the help of ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution.

Grant Boucher, award-winning VFX pioneer and founder of inner-D, and his team of post artists managed the 35mm 2D-to-3D conversion process, as well as the first pass color grading and finishing for director Alexandre Aja’s “Piranha 3D” (2010), a Weinstein Company production.

Boucher explains, “We formed inner-D specifically for the 3D conversion and post production of ‘Piranha 3D’ and the investment has paid off for us. The film was our anchor project, and since then we have perfected a proprietary and innovative 2D-to-3D conversion process — reali-D(tm) Stereoscopic Conversion — that results in realistic 3D characters and worlds, while eliminating the eye strain and headaches for viewers. We designed and developed reali-D(tm) from the ground up to represent a realistic 3D universe that is comfortable to watch for long periods of time, and thus becomes thoroughly immersive to audiences.”

Piranha 3D Screams for SCRATCH at inner-D

SCRATCH post of “Piranha 3D;” image courtesy of inner-D

Boucher adds, “3D is our focus. We are battle-tested and set up with a high-performance, SCRATCH 3D real-time data workflow.  We’re ready to meet the demands of these complex imagery projects.”

The summer-horror flick “Piranha 3D”, starring Jessica Szohr, Richard Dreyfuss, and Elizabeth Shue, literally screams for thrills and chills as teens combat man-eating fish during Spring Break. inner-D, a post-production house that specializes in 3D conversions and DI, recently wrapped up the finishing touches for the film’s August 20 premiere with the help of ASSIMILATE’s SCRATCH(r) Digital Finishing Solution.

Grant Boucher, award-winning VFX pioneer and founder of inner-D, and his team of post artists managed the 35mm 2D-to-3D conversion process, as well as the first pass color grading and finishing for director Alexandre Aja’s “Piranha 3D” (2010), a Weinstein Company production.

Boucher explains, “We formed inner-D specifically for the 3D conversion and post production of ‘Piranha 3D’ and the investment has paid off for us. The film was our anchor project, and since then we have perfected a proprietary and innovative 2D-to-3D conversion process — reali-D(tm) Stereoscopic Conversion — that results in realistic 3D characters and worlds, while eliminating the eye strain and headaches for viewers. We designed and developed reali-D(tm) from the ground up to represent a realistic 3D universe that is comfortable to watch for long periods of time, and thus becomes thoroughly immersive to audiences.”

Piranha 3D Screams for SCRATCH at inner-D

Boucher adds, “3D is our focus. We are battle-tested and set up with a high-performance, SCRATCH 3D real-time data workflow.  We’re ready to meet the demands of these complex imagery projects.”

The Game Plan for “Piranha 3D”
“The director and DP John Leonetti planned ahead for the shoot, knowing they would do a 2D-to-3D conversion. For example, the underwater scenes were shot full frame, which gave more latitude in repositioning for 3D,” says Boucher. “We also talked with the director before we started regarding the issues associated with a 3D conversion, as well as the data workflow.”

Grant explains, “As is standard for all stereoscopic conversions, we first took apart the film in 2D piece by piece (in our case, with precise rotoscoping); separated them into layers by depth; and then every layer was converted to a 3D representation. Once the material was in 3D, we generated new left and right eyes. In SCRATCH, we brought in the EDL from our Avid suite, and then reviewed all the 3D material in context to make sure the depth was accurate, shot by shot, and then across scenes and reels.

SCRATCH was a new color grading paradigm for us, but we quickly adapted, working with the left eye and then the right eye, and verifying the consistency of the foregrounds and backgrounds, as well as the overall look and feel. We reviewed the dailies in real-time with the DP, director, and client executives in our screening room, which was a huge benefit to all involved. They were able to immediately see the quality of the work, make changes on-the-fly, experiment, and see the results instantaneously before making final approvals.”

“A real-time data workflow like SCRATCH enables a significant time savings for a 3D pipeline, which has double the shots, all the complex imagery, and the convergence of left and right eyes. Even during the finishing process we were able to make convergence changes or color adjustments, and again working in real time was invaluable,” says Boucher.

Boucher notes, “On a production like ‘Piranha 3D’ there were a lot of ‘gotcha’ moments, right up until the final days. Edits were being made by the clients while we were in color grading, but fortunately SCRATCH could conform a new 5-reel Avid edit, uncompressed, in a day. As the lead delivery vendor for the entire film, we also were working with hundreds of VFX shots from several sources for visual effects above and below the water. No one had ever done this before, and since impossible is not in our vocabulary, we jumped to the challenge of figuring out what would give the best solution. We made it happen…and on a very lean budget.”

Real-time 3D Data Workflow
“Though 3D is on the rise, filmmakers are still working under tight budget constraints,” says Boucher. “To be competitive, we need to offer cost-effective, yet high-quality, streamlined 3D workflows. For the major visual effects companies I’ve built in the past, I’ve had very positive experiences with PC-based, GPU-accelerated solutions. So we build our own high-performance RAID storage systems. Fortunately, when we agreed to take on the role of conforming the final delivery before everything went to Technicolor, a member of the client’s post-production team had previously used SCRATCH and recommended it for its smooth workflow and DI tool suite. We put SCRATCH through a few 3D tests and it just nailed it.”

“SCRATCH is now the center point of everything we do,” says Boucher.  “We’re impressed, but so is the production company, from senior management on down.”

“We also use Avid for editorial, and off-the shelf programs like After Effects and Nuke because of their broader pools of highly skilled talent,” says Boucher. “Since all of us are experienced visual effects artists, our biggest strength is in our experience and talent.  And the tools we use are chosen because they maximize these assets.”

Final mastering and film out for “Piranha 3D’” was done at Technicolor. inner-D masters their own Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) for client dailies and delivery to theaters when needed.

Next Up
“We’ve done a number of tests for other big 3D films, and actively pursuing future projects,” says Boucher.  “The 3D market is heating up for high-quality stereoscopic conversions, and why not?  If an audience can have a natural, highly immersive experience, 3D is a truly compelling value-add to any film.” 

“We are now set up to take on multiple 3D projects, large or small,” says Boucher. “We can work with any format from film to native RED and ARRIRAW. Using SCRATCH at the heart of our 3D pipeline means no changes to whatever workflow the client has chosen – another cost savings to our clients.”

Boucher adds, “Over the long term, 3D done correctly and respectfully provides the opportunity to revive some of our great films of the past and give them renewed life. Films like ‘Gone with the Wind,’ ‘Alien’, ‘Star Wars’, and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ would be amazing in 3D.”


 
Click

recommend this article Page: 1

acquisition.broadcastnewsroom.com