April 25, 2014

FotoKem’s Keep Me Posted Puts Nucoda Film Masters Into Fully Integrated Post Pipeline

Digital Vision, provider of powerful image enhancement, color correction and restoration systems for a wide spectrum of content, announced that FotoKem’s Keep Me Posted (KMP) has expanded their commitment to them with a hardware, storage, and software upgrade to their existing Film Master. Furthering their allegiance to Digital Vision, they also purchased a second Nucoda Film Master grading system running the 2010 software release including DVO Enhance noise and grain reduction option.

Keep Me Posted specializes in television episodic and commercial finishing and is part of the FotoKem network of companies that includes Spy Post, LA Studios, and nextLAB. Burbank’s Keep Me Posted has fully integrated the Nucoda Film Masters into the company’s workflow, creating an end to end file-based system and a completely Avid-centric TV pipeline.

Based on the success they experienced over the first few weeks using the newly upgraded Film Master running 2010 software, Keep Me Posted ordered a second system. At the beginning of next year, they will be one of the first Hollywood customers to take delivery of the new Digital Vision “Precision” color panel, recently unveiled at IBC. The decision to chose the Nucoda Film Masters were based on three factors: its ease of integration into their file-based architecture, the need for engineering excellence, and the company’s focus on time sensitive deadlines and creative artistic requirements.

 
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FotoKem CTO, Paul Chapman, commented that the Digital Vision systems clearly met their demanding technical requirements. “When we were putting the pieces of a file-based, start-to-finish workflow in place, we took a hard look at the field of appropriate competitors. It was imperative that there was an ease of integration into the colorist’s workflow in tandem with the critical need for the system to fit smoothly into our file-based, ingest-to-storage pipeline. The Film Master dropped seamlessly into our storage architecture, which immediately differentiated it from the competition. Our engineering team evaluated Nucoda’s interoperability and found that the PC-based system was the best choice for us, by far. Integrating with Avid, Facilis, and the other technologies in the pipeline has been an absolutely straightforward process. No other system came close to that promise, and Digital Vision delivered on it.”

FotoKems Keep Me Posted Puts Nucoda Film Masters Into Fully Integrated Post Pipeline

Hawk Hamilton, Vice President at KMP noted, “We work with the pre-eminent content creators in the industry, and are ready to support their highly demanding schedules and creative needs without missing a beat. We are focused on creating a top tier experience for all of our customers and the second Nucoda Film Master is a key component in our ability to provide that caliber of responsive customer service. The transition process for our talented colorists to get up to speed has been flawless. The training, testing and troubleshooting done by the experts on the Digital Vision team ensured that our colorists were Film Master fluent very quickly.”

Bruno Munger, Senior Product Manager of Digital Vision said, “The team at Keep Me Posted and FotoKem are experts with keen vision about where the post production market is heading. We are delighted that they see the 2010 Nucoda product line as a perfect fit for their file based pipeline as they work with the top producers in Hollywood. It has been fantastic to collaborate with the creative and engineering teams at both FotoKem and KMP and we look forward to continuing our involvement in these outstanding facilities.”

 

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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?

 
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