Sky Continues to Revolutionise its High-End Programming with Mistika
13 September 2014, IBC, The RAI, Amsterdam – SGO Booth A11, Hall 6 – Sky has made significant upgrades and enhancements to its state-of-the-art dedicated 4k-capable Mistika client suites to boost its colour grading and finishing services.
Mistika, which has already been placed at the heart of Sky’s creative pipeline, plays a vital role to meet quality and time-sensitive stringent requirements. At the centre of Sky’s high-end programming, the powered-up Mistika systems boast increased speed storage capacity, based around SGO’s SAN.
Following the upgrade, Sky now has additional capacity to host multiple client platforms from their Mistika systems which have their own localised storage for real time 4K playback, but also integrate directly with their large near-line storage infrastructure, supported by several render nodes that work in the background, for maximum efficiency and delivery.
Cara Cheeseman, Senior Manager of Operations for Entertainment, Creative & R&D comments: “With an already well-established and long-standing alliance with SGO, and the fact that they have been very much involved in the future of broadcasting right from the start, it makes sense for us to continue with significant investment in their technology.”
“With the newly built designated client area, we have consolidated and upgraded our systems, which also include the addition of 4K grading monitors from Canon. Our Mistika systems serve as our client-focused colour grading and finishing suites. Mistika’s open integration, compatibility with other systems and its flexibility, facilitates the process enormously.”adds Cara Cheeseman.
Chris Johns, Chief Engineer at BSkyB confirms, “Mistika is such a well-respected and powerful solution and it lets clients know we are serious about our work. It forms the core of all our workflows and continues to impress us with its speed, real-time immediacy, highly developed functionality and much more. The Mistika continues to play a part in the innovation by which that Sky strives to deliver ongoing improvements to the customer experience.”
“SGO is hugely excited to be associated with Sky and delighted that they have continued to entrust Mistika for their post and finishing requirements. Our relationship with Sky remains loyal and strong, and is immensely important to us. This vital move to upgrade SGO’s technology, provides Sky with a future-proof seal and plays a major role to further revolutionise and advance their excellency in speed and efficiency for audiences worldwide.” says SGO’s Director of Global Sales & Operations, Geoff Mills. “SGO is at the leading edge of creative technology and we cherish our relationship with Sky for many years to come.”
Mistika played a significant role in the launch of Sky 3D television and is used to complete numerous long and short form programmes. With many awards including BAFTAs to their name, Sky has recently worked on an impressive number of high profile projects using Mistika which include Inside the Mind of Leonardo.
Online Editor Christian Tröger working at Berlin’s ARRI Mitte used Mistika’s advanced toolsets to post produce majestic scenes in Cathedrals of Culture.
Neue Road Movies, owned by Oscar award-winning director Wim Wenders, produced the striking film which portrays various buildings around the world. Using the visual language of stereoscopic film-making, it was directed by acclaimed directors bringing their own unique style. Wim Wenders covers the Berlin Philharmonic building; Robert Redford‘s film shows off the Salk Institute at La Jolla in California; Michael Glawogger depicts the National Library in Russia’s St. Petersburg; Michael Madsen features the Halden Prison in Norway; Margreth Olin sheds light on the Oslo Opera House and Karim Ainouz focuses on the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Neue Road Movies selected ARRI Mitte’s creative team to conduct the visual post work. The complete finishing process, including conform, Stereo 3D alignment, as well as most of the VFX shots, were achieved by Christian Tröger using SGO’s Mistika post production system based at ARRI Mitte. The successful collaboration between Neue Road Movies and Christian with Mistika at the helm, goes back many years now, where they have worked together before on award-winning and high profile films such as Palermo Shooting and PINA. In Cathedrals of Culture most of the offline editing occurred on location where the buildings were filmed, or where the director resided. A variety of cameras and formats were used ranging from the ARRI Alexa, Canon RAW 5k timelapse, RED 3, 4, and 5K, right through to archival and still shots.
Christian Tröger shares his experiences on how Mistika enabled him to accomplish the required results, “Mistika was again used as the main tool for most of the work but also used as a hub and collector for all other processes. The Mistika timeline was simply created based on an EDL and a reference, with some episodes only modestly tweaked after editing, while other timelines requiring up to 20 stereo layers to organise the different sources, and also to visually vary and blend them to create interesting pictures.” Christian explains further, “We decided to complete this project in a 2.5K workspace, but always directly from the camera footage, which meant that all of the array of resolutions were brought down on-the-fly to a specific 1:1.85 ratio which would fit exactly into the final 2K DCP at a later stage. From this unity resolution, we continued to add the stereoscopic treatment that the film required, including re-framing, compositing, stabilisation and so forth.”
The idea was to merge as many logical steps and tasks together as possible, because the goal in mind was to have only one render process from the camera native file to the final resolution at all times. Christian continues, “When working directly from the native camera files like this, it is still necessary to have robust real-time playback in order not to disrupt the creative flow. Our Mistika runs on the latest HPZ820 with a Nvidia Quadro K6000 GPU, and this provided direct real-time playback in many areas. Where this was impossible, for short sections, I used Mistika’s “look ahead” cache, which pre-processes non real-time elements further along the timeline “on-the-fly”. By the time the play head reaches these elements, they are cached and therefore play in real-time. For longer playback needs, I background-rendered several parts as a 2.5K pixel-native proxy for each eye.”
Christian adds, “A 2.5k stereo as a proxy sounds crazy, but the machines are ready to give – so we should take it, as they can handle it! I made extensive use of Mistika’s built-in batch render manager, so that I could split system performance by processing multiple files in the background while still carrying on with creative work. I also used the batch manager to give Mistika a task-list to complete while I slept! For the real output, Mistika generated a 16bit DPX file sequence, which is the format we use as standard for exchange within ARRI Mitte, as we believe that our interchange format must be of the highest possible quality.”
ARRI Mitte’s workflow solution allows for the DOP and stereographer to work in-house at the same time on the images, but on different systems. Every evening throughout this project, Mistika would diligently output the daily work as stereoscopic 16bit DPX in 2K, which automatically replaced the source pool to feed the grading session.
Every morning began with a screening session with all collected work visible in the theatre. These morning sessions Christian describes as the most important times throughout the six episodes: – DOP, directors, stereographer, producer and artist assembled to spend a concentrated hour together, to define a to do list for that day regarding the overall post production timing. “In my opinion,” he adds, “a stereoscopic project needs more options for collaborative working than 2D projects for example, because the contribution of each department, including editing and colour grading, influences the perceived depth of the images.”
Christian goes on to describe how he approached the management of the project when considering how much to do within Mistika: – “As a finishing artist, you have to understand the moment your client explains the idea. Sometimes it is more efficient to start a separate VFX pipeline with the producers, which means outsourcing a task and then, exporting, coordinating and collecting the results thereafter. On other shots it was much more efficient to complete the shot directly within Mistika. Many other tasks such as tracking, roto-scopic work, relatively complex warps and matching archival footage to the filmed stereo material, were also completed using Mistika.”
He adds further, “When all conform, VFX and stereo work was approved on the Mistika, and this output had been finally graded and rendered, it was just a simple re-link in the timeline to have final colours in the Mistika environments. The next step was to title and finish all the episodes and create the first versions. Projects like this always have a long list of versions and a huge list of deliverables. The versioning is part of Mistika’s role too, as they need to be created from the original sources, which are sometimes within the set-ups or from steps in-between processes.”
Christian explained how all of the set-ups needed to be amended for the mono-scopic theatre version as well, to meet the client’s requirements, discarding all unnecessary stereo adjustments, but keeping all other decisions that had been made on the picture. “The stereoscopic television version also needed a different depth grade and an additional colour grade to bring it to the REC709 standard. All of these important tasks took place within the Mistika timeline.”
Christian noted, “Our last sizeable Stereo 3D project was back in 2010, and since then, the Mistika stereoscopic toolset has grown into a very complex and main core solution. Without the smart functions and the utterly phenomenal speed and usability, we wouldn’t be able to deliver such complex depth grading work, not to mention as well as all the other demanding tasks that Mistika handles at the same time for us.”
The 168-minute film which combines all of the six episodes, examines human life through man made structures, and will be released in Stereo 3D to distinctly capture the very essence of each building. The Director of Stereography was Joséphine Derobe. The films will be shown across the globe, following their Première at the Berlin International Film Festival 2014. Discover more about this fascinating project at the production company’s website.
Wim Wenders: Berliner Philharmonie – Berlin, Deutschland (DOP Christian Rein)
Michael Glawogger: Russische Nationalbibliothek – Sankt Petersburg, Russland (DOP Wolfgang
Michael Madsen: Haftanstalt Halden – Halden, Norwegen (DOP Oistein Mame)
Robert Redford: Salk Institute – La Jolla, Kalifornien, USA (DOP Edward lachman)
Margreth Olin: Opernhaus – Oslo, Norwegen (DOP Wolfgang Thaler)
Karim Ainouz: Centre Pompidou – Paris, Frankreich (DOP Ali Olkay Götzkaya)
Produced by: Erwin M. Schmidt, Gian-Piero Ringel
Executive Producer: Wim Wenders
Co-Producers: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Anne Köhncke (DK), Tommy Pridnig,
Peter Wirthensohn (AT), Maria Ekerhovd (N), Charlotte Uzu (F), Laura Michalchyshyn, Sidney Beaumont (USA), Nobuya Wazaki, Kayo Washio (JP)
Produced by: Neue Road Movies (D)
Co-produced by: Final Cut For Real (DK), Lotus Film (AT), Mer Film (NO),
Les Films d’Ici 2 (FR), Sundance Productions / RadicalMedia (USA), Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg In Collaboration with Arte D/F), Wowow (JP)
Director of Stereography: Joséphine Derobe
ABOUT ARRI MITTE
Arri Film & TV Services Berlin GmbH, Auguststr. 48, 10119 Berlin, Phone +49 30 726267-150
ABOUT CREATIVE TOOLS
SGO’s official German Reseller. www.creativetools.de
With ever increasing demand for future-ready post production solutions, SGO reported a highly successful outcome at NAB. Located in the South Hall, the popular Mistika post production systems and Mamba FX compositing software were showcased at SGO’s booth, attracting a lot of visitors, among them content creators, post facilities and widely known broadcasters. SGO’s progressive creativity and efficiency in colour grading and finishing received positive feedback resulting in new relationships, collaborations and sales.
SGO’s forward-looking quantum-leap development leads in giant strides. One of the many breathtaking highlights which amazed colourists in engaging demonstrations included SGO’s new Spatial Isolation Toolset for Mistika 8.2. It provides colourists with a number of methods to isolate individual objects within a scene, so that they can be graded separately, for example based on their depth in the scene or by metadata provided by CGI animation systems. The new features allow both the colour and the directional lighting of CGI objects to be fine-tuned in real time and in context. Find out more and watch the demos at www.sgo.es/2014/04/sgo-discloses-unique-colour-grading-tools/
Also on show was a stylish Precision Grading Panel for SGO’s Mistika made by Digital Vision, delivering an additional option to boost Mistika’s powerful colour grading feature-set even further. It was proven to be a sensation, and within hours of the show opening, an order was placed for two Precision Panels by ONSIGHT for their 4K, 3D, HD Mistika grading and finishing suites.
SGO’s affordable compositor Mamba FX made its first NAB appearance and was a smash-hit with its intuitive node-based graphic interface delivering a complete visual effects suite with unlimited compositing layers and effects, running on Windows, Linux and soon available on Mac. With the recent addition of GenArts Sapphire 7, over 250 new effects and pre-sets are accessible to users. Mamba FX tutorials were launched at the show and are available at www.mambatutorials.com
For Broadcasters, Mistika Air Ultra enables a viable and stress-tested solution with seamless integration of high-end post finishing tools for HD, Ultra HD and 8K productions. Mistika Air Ultra is capable of delivering real time and render-free colour grading and finishing processes, even at 4K 60P. Its diverse and versatile creative toolset is not restricted to 4K and is already able to provide for 8K post production pipelines.
Other exciting new features in Mistika version 8.0 this NAB included an all-new node-based compositing interface, support for Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC, enhanced AAF support, ProRes 4:4:4:4 file formats, a re-branding output render module and Dolby Atmos DCP generation. Mistika’s presence on Canon’s booth played a vital part in exciting presentations demonstrating Canon’s Colour Management ACES process for Digital Motion Imaging. SGO also hosted Stream TV Networks, Inc.’s revolutionary Ultra-D™ glasses-free 3D technology marking the first time their auto-stereoscopic screens have been shown at NAB. Stunning footage of Mistika-related projects including the jaw-dropping Stalingrad 3D film trailer and David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D stunned passers-by.
News following on from NAB is that Mistika is to support Dolby® Vision™ technology. Working in close collaboration with Dolby, the capabilities are available in Mistika from version 8.2, previewed at NAB and due for release shortly after IBC. Mistika has inherently supported HDR workflows, and perfectly placed for its customers to enjoy this exciting advancement.
“NAB creates dynamic access to global markets and it’s a great sphere of energy where we meet interesting new people and provide them with the very latest technological breakthroughs to fully support their creativity.” SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills said.
SGO will be exhibiting at Broadcast Asia 17 – 20 June at Booth 5K6-06 in the Spanish Pavilion.
Follow SGO @SGOMistika for the latest updates and news.
2 May 2014, Madrid, Spain
Booth #SL9021, 7 – 10 April, NAB 2014, Las Vegas Convention Centre, Nevada
SGO’s new strap line “Beautifully Creative Technology” sums-up the ethos behind the company’s avant-garde performance-leading development drive to provide creative artists with the most empowering facilities available. SGO will exhibit the latest additions to its range of extremely powerful Mistika post production systems and Mamba FX compositing software at the 2014 NAB Show. SGO’s technology will demonstrate how broadcasters and post facilities can transform their companies by accessing new markets and revolutionising creativity and efficiency in colour grading, finishing and compositing with Mistika and Mamba FX.
– Mistika post production system will support the stylish Precision Grading Panel, read more
– Mamba FX is now available on Linux and soon on MAC! read more
– Preview of the Mistika V8.2 Spatial Isolation Toolset, read more
Mistika Post – Powerfully Different
Designed to be different, SGO unveils its new Mistika range based on accelerated optimum performance levels, namely Mistika Post, Mistika Optima and Mistika Ultima in version 8.0. Radically crossing the boundaries between grading, compositing and editing for ultimate creative freedom in real time, Mistika seamlessly merges all post disciplines for broadcast and film. All projects, irrespective of size, can be completed on any Mistika system, with the fastest being Mistika Ultima, handling HFR capabilities, 4K and beyond, in real time. New features include a Spatial Isolation Toolset with the ability to allow grading selections or keying mattes to be derived from CGI object meta data. Other new key features in version 8.0 include an all-new node-based compositing interface, support for Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC, enhanced AAF support, ProRes 4:4:4:4 file formats, a re-branding output render module and Dolby Atmos DCP generation. SGO will also showcase Mistika on other booths at NAB, with updated information soon to be made available on the SGO website.
Mistika Air – Intelligent Broadcasting
Mistika Air is a specific version of Mistika especially tailored for broadcasters of HD, Ultra HD and beyond. Mistika Air Ultra allows for even greater speed and throughput in a crowded multi-platform environment that caters for the delivery of high resolution programmes, which are swiftly becoming the standard. Mistika provides a viable and stress-tested solution which promotes seamless integration and high-end production tools for HD, Ultra HD and 8K productions. Mistika also boasts 4K HFR modes at 59p and 60p speeds for the UHD market, supported through the QuadSDI standard.
Mamba FX – Evolution Redefined
Mamba FX is SGO’s affordable and very powerful, open, node-based compositor introduced at NAB for the first time since its initial launch at IBC2013. It displays an intuitive node-based graphic interface delivering an integral visual effects suite with unlimited compositing layers and effects. Mamba FX can also be extended with OFX plug-ins or additional options from SGO. These options include DCP creation and access to SGO’s unbeatable stereo correction tools. Mamba FX is available to order online at www.sgo.es/shop including access to tutorials and forum support.
Miguel Angel Doncel, CEO of SGO says “What keeps SGO’s technology at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation is that we are continuously creating radically cool new solutions that transcend traditional film and broadcasting. We are not hesitant to embrace change in new ways in the best interests of the industry that we passionately serve.”
Geoff Mills, SGO’s Director of Global Sales & Operations adds “SGO is enjoying continued growth around the world as more and more people adopt our products. Customers are drawn to agile technology that gears them up for every potential encounter. SGO’s future-ready dependability and foresight enables customers to prepare for any project of any size, at any time, anywhere, right now and in the future.”
SGO appreciates the dedicated support of technology partners ATTO Tech, Bright Technologies, Canon, Dolby, Dot Hill, DVS, HP, NVIDIA and Tangent Devices at the show this year. Look out for further NAB announcements on SGO’s website as the event date draws closer.
Book your Mistika Demo at email@example.com and register for NAB at www.nabshow.com using Guest Pass Code: LV9255. Feel the difference at the SGO Booth – the SGO team looks forward to welcoming you to enjoy their technology.
NAB Show® is the world’s largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. With more than 93,000 Attendees from 156 countries and 1,550+ Exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment.
Visit them at www.nabshow.com
Press Release Date: 28 February 2014, Madrid, Spain
17 & 18 January 2014 @ Event Lounge, Bd. Général Wahislaan 16F, 1030 Brussels
Brussels-based Studio l’Equipe, one of Belgium’s leading post production facilities will be demonstrating Mistika’s award-winning Ultra HD capabilities at the Event Lounge at Action 14.Mistika was Studio l’Equipe’s answer to the versatile tool they were looking for, that could go well beyond colour grading.
Visit Studio l’Equipe at Action 14 and find out how Mistika meets the demands of a rapidly changing and highly competitive film and broadcast market.
Philippe Bosman, Studio l’Equipe’s CEO stated recently – “We have literally acquired one of the best colour grading systems around from SGO – the Mistika …The past 5 years have brought a significant change in the industry, with increasingly advanced high-end digital cameras, and the challenges that come with them, which include file capture and colour space formats. Digital projection has also taken over from 35mm at tremendous speed, bringing new exciting developments such as 48 or 60 frames per second and 4K technology, where Mistika leads in this area.”
Mistika offers total support for many cameras including those from Sony, Canon, ARRI and RED with highly paralleled codecs making a significant difference in speed compared to other systems – critical when working at 4K in broadcasting. Mistika also comes with the most complete 4K video-board (4K QuadHDMI / 4K QuadDVI, 4K QuadSDI option both 1.5Gbit and 3G, single connector 4K connection over HDMI 1.4, 4K HFR). Mistika also now boasts a new feature as announced at IBC2013 for the UHD market, delivering new 4K HFR modes at 59p and 60p speeds, supported through the QuadSDI standard.
Marking its 50th anniversary last year, Studio l’Equipe, with two sites in Belgium and one in France, is the only full service post production studio in Belgium to offer comprehensive post production facilities at a single site. The company’s various departments consist of state-of-the-art film, rushes and digital labs offering editing, colour grading, sound, subtitling and screening services.
Films and documentaries currently being post produced using Mistika at Studio l’Equipe include Welcome to Fukushima, Le Prix du Pain, Algerian feature Titi, Chez Nous, C’est 3, Dutch feature Zwarte Zee and shortfilm titled Eliot. The company has worked on many other feature film projects with titles that include Number Station, A Perdre la Raison; Little Black Spiders; Sammy 2 3D and Maddened by his Absence.
Visit Studio l’Equipe at www.studio-equipe.be/
To find out more about Action 14, visit http://m.cmotion.eu/shop/upcoming-trade-shows#action14
To find out more about the venue, visit http://www.eventlounge.be/facilities/lounge-bar-area/
ONSIGHT’s investment in Mistika keeps it at the forefront of 4K technology
The established team at ONSIGHT is known for delivering productions in SD, HD, more recently Stereo 3D and only now everyone is talking about 4K.