SGO Sponsors Creative Week at BAFTA


Showcasing Excellence in Creative Output | 2 – 6 June 2014 – BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly London W1J 9LN

30 May 2014, London, UK – SGO is proud to sponsor Creative Week which takes place at BAFTA from 2 – 6 June, drawing the television, film and advertising worlds together. Creative Week is the perfect environment for visitors to meet SGO and discover even more about Mistika’s remarkable 4K capabilities and Mamba FX’s node-based compositing, within the context of an experts forum. The high-profile event is produced by Media Business Insight (MBI) – the publishers of Broadcast, Screen International and Shots. The full programme covers enticing topics delivered by top industry players from BSkyB, ONSIGHT, The Look, The Mill, The Framestore, The Farm, MPC, Atlantic Productions, and many others.

The Post Perspective session at 15:00 on Thursday 5th June, chaired by Will Strauss as part of the HD Evolved 4K and Beyond seminars, will take place in the David Lean Room and covers Ultra High Definition (UHD) and vital information for anyone working in 4K. Panellists include SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations, Geoff Mills, Dave Klafkowski, Technical Director and MD of The Farm and Rik Tester, Post Production Supervisor of ONSIGHT. The discussion includes how the challenges that 4K brings are overcome; the benefits of 4k for both the post sector and producers and where 4K will lead the industry in the future. Mistika is already at the forefront of 4K with all the necessary underlying facilities to post produce 4K projects, even at 60 frames per second, guaranteeing SGO customers a future-proof return in their investment.

Armed with a roaming Mistika, Senior Product Application Specialist Sam Sheppard at SGO will also be at hand on Thursday to provide delegates with a taster of Mistika and a unique opportunity to gain a sense of the system’s immense power and capabilities. For VFX creatives, SGO’s Mamba FX equips artists with resolution-independent compositing with unlimited layers. VFX Sessions at the dedicated The VFX Summit – Imagination Unlimited are outlined here. Other seminars at Creative Week include the Media Summit and the International TV Forum.

SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills states, “In a dynamic and ever-evolving sector, Creative Week provides an inspiring platform from which key figures can discuss their thoughts for pushing beyond the world of HD. SGO is delighted to be involved in this engaging event that encompasses the very best in the television and film markets, of which SGO’s technology is recognised as playing an integral revolutionary leading role.”

Find out more about Creative Week at their website.
Follow SGO on Twitter @SGOMistika for the latest updates and news.

THE LOOK and Mistika Achieve PLAYTIME


Breathtaking 7-Screen Projection Work-of-Art

“Mistika’s ability to work from the RED files so well, and at such a high resolution, meant it was perfectly suited to this kind of project.”
Thomas Urbye, Colourist, THE LOOK

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien


THE LOOK has finished an impressive 70-minute, seven-screen projection work-of-art using Mistika. Titled PLAYTIME, the stunning artwork installation was created by celebrated video artist Isaac Julien, designed to explore the relevant and dramatically nuanced subject of capital. The creatively and technically challenging feat is available for viewing from 24th January through to 1st March at Victoria Miro Gallery at 16 Wharf Road in London N1 7RW, before being showcased around the world.

The seven-screen projection is made up of five films at 5K resolution with 30Tb of RED material conformed on The Look’s Mistika system. Colourist Thomas Urbye graded from the RAW RED files using Mistika’s advanced grading toolset, initially grading each screen, and then combining all seven into Mistika’s unique grouping mode for client review on The Look’s 4m projection screen. Complex visual effects were completed by The Look’s VFX partners Lexhag and imported into Mistika to maximise the dynamic range.

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien


MD and Colourist at The Look Thomas Urbye comments “This was one of the largest projects we have ever worked on, 70 minutes of 5K is daunting enough, but multiply it by 7 and you have a truly epic project. The Mistika’s ability to work from the RED files so well, and at such a high resolution, meant that it was perfectly suited to this kind of project. The piece was as creatively challenging as anything I’ve worked on, Isaac Julien is one of the world’s leading video artists and this work is eagerly anticipated in the art world. Great care has been taken to make the images seen in these films as breathtaking and moving as possible.”

The films were shot in London, Dubai and Iceland on the RED EPIC and feature James Franco, Colin Salmon, Maggie Cheung, Ingvar Eggert Sigurğsson and Mercedes Cabral. A shorter single screen version of the work was shown in New York’s Time Square in December and at Metro Pictures Gallery. Further details about the project can be found here and here.

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien

Images courtesy of artist Isaac Julien

CREDITS
Title: PLAYTIME
Artist / Director: Isaac Julien
Post facility: THE LOOK
Colourist: Thomas Urbye
Finishing: Jason Wallis
Editing: Adam Finch
VFX: Lexhag
Grading System: SGO Mistika

BBC’s Special Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode finished in Mistika


“Mistika was the only viable choice. SGO’s technology offered a coherent all-in-one piece of kit with fast turnaround of the kind of high quality stereo finishing that was required on every shot of the show.

Mistika gave us the power to achieve advanced stereo refinements that just weren’t an option on any other system.

Mistika’s advanced stereo toolset proved so capable that we actually ended up downgrading a number of challenging shots out of VFX and into the Mistika where we could make improvements more quickly, saving time and allowing us to keep the VFX budget down.”
David Wigram, Stereo 3D Consultant, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode

Photo by John Brown

Photo by John Brown

London, UK – SGO’s award-winning Mistika post production system was used for the finishing in the BBC’s stunning special Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode which topped the chart as the most watched TV drama in 2013.

Mistika’s involvement included the conform, online and stereo 3D finishing work. Every frame of the iconic Doctor Who show went through Mistika, prior to the delivery of both the 2D and Stereoscopic 3D versions.

DOCTOR WHO ONE-OFF SPECIAL MAKES GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

Part of British popular culture, Doctor Who has influenced generations of television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt, the 75 minute BBC Cymru Wales produced anniversary episode was seen on BBC One and was also broadcast on three BBC channels and shown in cinemas across the country, and top of the box-office draw of the night. The one-off special was the most requested programme ever on BBC iPlayer in 24 hours with 1.27 million requests, beating the Olympic opening ceremony, and is also the most tweeted drama ever.

The programme is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, the “most successful” science fiction series of all time and now for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama with its 50th anniversary special, airing in 94 countries and also shown in 834 cinemas around the world.

DOCTOR WHO IS WORLD’S FIRST MAJOR TV DRAMA FILMED IN NATIVE STEREO 3D

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode was the world’s first major television drama to be filmed in native Stereo 3D (S3D) providing a natural and vivid experience for the viewer. Steven Moffat and the Doctor Who producers wanted to give audiences a memorable experience for the show’s 50th birthday, by choosing to bring their ambitious story to life in the immersive S3D genre for maximum impact.

THE VFX TEAM DELIVERED GROUND-BREAKING RESULTS

Following the enthusiastic lead of Producer Marcus Wilson, the Doctor Who team broke new ground both in terms of affordability, and in freeing the director from limitations normally associated with 3D. The team which included Lead Stereographer Adam Sculthorp and Stereo 3D Consultant David Wigram successfully delivered an excellent 3D programme that can be appreciated on the big screen as well as at home on TV.

David Wigram emphasises Mistika’s reliable capabilities from the outset, “During the testing phase, it was determined that one of the VFX teams had a gamma inconsistency somewhere in their pipeline when working directly with the ARRI ALEXA camera originals, so we used Mistika to take everything into high bit-depth DPX so that they were successfully able to round-trip without error.”

Image of David Wigram, Courtesy of Adam Sculthorp.

Image of David Wigram, Courtesy of Adam Sculthorp.


FILMING – MISTIKA’S OPTICAL FLOW CREATED A COMFORTABLE VIEWING EXPERIENCE

Director Nick Hurran and Steven Moffat, filmed the feature-length project in S3D. “The show was originated at 1080p 25 on the Alexa, with some high speed sequences shot at 4K on RED Epics.” Adam confirmed. Director of Photography Neville Kidd tested various combinations of lenses before selecting ARRI Ultra Primes. Consistency was maintained with the regular Doctor Who production, which was always filmed using ARRI’s cameras, choosing the AlexaM light weight hand-held camera for this episode.

David explains further, “The tools driven by optical flow in Mistika also helped us out of a particularly tricky issue with a rolling shutter that caused very slight temporal artefacts. It occurred at the camera stage and fortunately was noted fairly early on in the shoot, and Mistika came to the rescue of solving a large number of non-traditional stereo refinements. In other situations these would have been upgraded to full VFX shots, but the optical flow tools in Mistika clamped down on the eye-to-eye differences with just a couple of simple clicks, and left us with a comfortable viewing experience.”

MISTIKA’S STEREO FINISHING TOOLS SET EACH SHOT IN S3D SPACE

Supported by long-standing Post Supervisor Nerys Davies, David Wigram set up a picture workflow that allowed each VFX supplier to keep their internal data-flow the same. Unlike 2D productions, every shot in S3D needed to go through a special online Stereo 3D finishing process to make sure it was comfortable to view, before the creative depth-grade which sets each shot in S3D space. The industry-leading Mistika was used for the conform, online and Stereo 3D “fixes” in post giving complete control over the stereo image and was achieved by David using the Mistika suite based at The Look in London’s Soho.

CEO and award-winning Colourist at The Look, Thomas Urbye states “We were thrilled to provide our Mistika based Stereoscopic facilities for consultant David Wigram to use for such an important and well loved show.”

David Wigram expands “When creating a picture workflow we looked at other options for the stereo finishing stage, including combinations of different manufacturer’s offerings, but Mistika was the only viable choice.” David continued “SGO’s technology offered a coherent all-in-one piece of kit with fast turnaround of the kind of high quality stereo finishing that was required on every shot of the show. Over and above that, Mistika gave us the power to achieve advanced stereo refinements that just weren’t an option on any other system.”

David added further “Mistika’s advanced stereo toolset proved so capable that we actually ended up downgrading a number of challenging shots out of VFX and into the Mistika where we could make improvements more quickly, saving time and allowing us to keep the VFX budget down.”

Photo by John Brown

Photo by John Brown


S3D AND SPECIAL EFFECTS

Special effects can prove challenging with S3D productions and David Wigram also provided assistance and feedback throughout the VFX process, from shot design to compositing in Mistika, making sure the 3D was the best it could be. Director Nick Hurran tested with Real SFX to get the right combination of explosives and shooting style to get the most out of the 3D. Millennium FX adjusted their creature effects and prosthetics to minimise issues associated with stereoscopic shiny surfaces. The visual effects were spread across a number of companies, with Jellyfish working on the hero Zygon transformation, Bluebolt providing the Digital Matte Paintings of the desert, and BBC Wales providing laser blasts, holograms and flying composites. The BAFTA Award-winning team at Milk did the majority of work including full CG shots of Dalek ships and aerial attack runs over Arcadia, as well as all the key 3D painting effects, and the challenging portal composites.

David concludes “At key emotional points in the episode we were offered extreme close-ups of the Doctors, and the shots came to us with significant differences in the sharpness between the left and right eyes. The most common stereo improvement technique in this type of scenario is to perform a 2D to 3D conversion with the sharper eye, but in Mistika we were able to bring back the sharpness in the soft eye selectively across the frame. This gave us a pair of images matched in sharpness and clarity that, nonetheless, maintained the unique glistening quality characteristic of a native stereo image, something that couldn’t have been achieved through conversion techniques, thanks to Mistika.”

ABOUT DOCTOR WHO
Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC. It follows the adventures of a Time Lord time-travelling humanoid alien known as The Doctor. He explores the universe in a TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship, appearing as a blue British police box, a common sight in 1960’s Britain when the series first aired. The Doctor faces enemies while trying to save civilisations and help every day people. Further information about the special Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode can be found here and here.

SOME KEY POST CREDITS INCLUDE:
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Faith Penhale
Producer Marcus Wilson
Lead Stereographer Adam Sculthorp
Post Supervisor Nerys Davies
Stereo 3D Consultant David Wigram using Mistika at The Look in Soho, London owned by Thomas Urbye
Post Production System for online, conform, and Stereo 3D refinements – SGO’s Mistika

The Look rocks with Mistika with stunning Colour Grade of epic Queen Concert film: ‘Hungarian Rhapsody’


“This final tour with Freddie is brought back to life from beautiful 35mm… We had to deliver to cinema and on to HDCamSR, and it is a testament of Mistika’s powerful grading capabilities and real-time immediacy which proved to be efficient and vital in this project.”
Thomas Urbye, Colourist, The Look

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