Madrid, Spain, 7 September 2016 – SGO, the high end post production software and systems developer, is proud to announce it has been awarded the coveted 2016 HPA Engineering Excellence Award for its Mistika post production digital intermediate (DI) solution. The Engineering Excellence Awards recognises companies and individuals that provide outstanding services to the professional media content industry. The award will be presented to SGO on November 17th, 2016 at the 11th annual HPA Awards gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA.
Mistika Unveils Ground-breaking Developments in Las Vegas
SGO BOOTH #SL9027 / 18 – 21 April 2016 / Las Vegas Convention Centre
SGO will be carving its own path this NAB, bringing its award-winning finishing system Mistika to the limelight and unveiling a multitude of incredible future-proof developments that have been in the pipeline for the past few years. Mistika will be the frontier of Virtual Reality, equipping professionals with the most innovative and accessible virtual toolsets and workflows. With an NAB highlight of VR in post, SGO will reveal its distinctive, forward thinking 3D feature-sets, VR Mode and VR Device connections, depicting how Mistika provides Colour Grading, HDR, Stereo and Compositing in Virtual Reality, in just one system.
“The story of evolutionary flight is one I’ve always wanted to tell… It’s our most ambitious yet.” David Attenborough
The spellbinding visual account of how flying animals evolved into the familiar species we see today, became a reality in stunning documentary series David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies, produced by Atlantic Productions with the help of SGO’s powerful and cutting-edge Mistika technology at ONSIGHT. As well as winning a 2014 BAFTA, the landmark series was recently nominated for a British Academy Television Craft Award for Special, Visual & Graphic Effects. The results are announced at the ceremony in London on Sunday 26 April.
The award-winning post division at ONSIGHT used Mistika once again on its seventh Attenborough project for Colossus Productions, which depicted complex flight skills with creative ingenuity. Formats used included 4K, HD, 3D and 2D including a bespoke 4K workflow design built by the ONSIGHT Post division. After also providing R&D and camera solutions for the project, the facility worked with massive amounts of data amounting to approximately 50 terrabytes and a variety of camera formats such as RED Epic. In post, ONSIGHT provided plate preparations, DI, VFX, conform, QC, mastering and deliverables in 3D and 2D across its numerous high-tech suites at its London facility. This included the ability to screen 4K masters, combining 5K live action with 4K VFX and CGI.
ONSIGHT’s Senior Colourist Andy Lee benefited from Mistika’s real-time speed and flexibility which enabled him to freely alternate between the colour and depth grades, as well as the VFX conform. Furthermore, Mistika’s wide spectrum of grading toolsets equipped him with a vivid and colourful array to enhance the remarkable features of winged creatures ranging from birds to butterflies, with eye-catching colour. In addition, he graded subtle tones to convey the changing landscapes filmed in places such as Ecuador to the grey palettes of Scottish skies.
Andy Lee has graded many of the award-winning Attenborough projects from Atlantic and Colossus Productions. He said, “Mistika allows me to work with ease across multiple formats, frame sizes and deliverables. David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies is an example of one of our extensive and innovative projects in 3D and 2D, which requires that level of flexibility, benefiting us and the production team.” VFX Stereo Artist Miguel Camaño Riveiro supported the project with stereo corrections and compositing work.
Anthony Geffen, Producer and CEO of Atlantic Productions commented, “Conquest of the Skies builds on all the storytelling and technology that we have been developing on these programmes with David over the last 5 years. ONSIGHT has played an integral role in this journey, creating solutions and delivering our productions, using SGO Mistika, to the highest standard.”
Previous Attenborough productions in collaboration with Atlantic Productions and Sky that also involved Mistika include David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive and Flying Monsters, both of which have won the BAFTA for Specialist Factual, as well as acclaimed Micro Monsters, Galapagos, Kingdom of Plants and The Bachelor King. David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies’ three episodes aired at the beginning of this year, followed by a special, The Making of David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies on Sky 1 HD. Visit the official website here www.conquestoftheskies.com
Significant New Mistika Advancements Enhance Production Workflows in Real Time
Following a successful and ongoing co-development partnership with leading Hollywood stereo VFX company Legend3D, SGO is proud to announce that Mistika is now fully integrated within Legend’s unrivaled “2D to 3D” conversion process and digital asset management system.
This co-development resulted in a new “Depth Grade” node in Mistika, which accepts and utilizes data created by Legend3D’s market-leading conversion process to interactively design the depth of a given scene in real-time. As the conversion data is passed through the Mistika, each 3D scene can be flawlessly fine-tuned, using Mistika’s already proven and highly-advanced stereo optimization features in conjunction with the “Depth Grade” node, eliminating unnecessary artist iterations. From designing a director’s 3D story at the beginning of a feature, to approving large volumes of shots that require an accelerated conversion time frame towards the end, the “Depth Grade” node will completely redefine the creative and schedule implications for 3D VFX and Conversion work.
Jared Sandrew, Legend3D’s Chief Creative Officer states, “It is an incredible experience to collaborate with innovative Directors that care about how their story is told in 3D. With our depth grading process, we are able to dial in the stereo with a Filmmaker in the room in real-time resulting in 100% depth approval upon first viewing. This allows us to interactively show multiple versions of a 3D experience in continuity with the filmmaker.”
“This is a real game-changer for the 2D to 3D conversion industry and provides Legend3D with a huge competitive advantage so that they can offer something unique to their clients.” Geoff Mills, Director of SGO’s Global Sales and Operations confirms. “This new capability of allowing converted material to be creatively and interactively manipulated in front of the director or stereographer in real time, to achieve the desired creative depth for a given scene, significantly speeds up the entire conversion process. This is an exciting time for both of our companies and we have more announcements to follow.”
SGO’s CEO Miguel Angel Doncel adds, “SGO has earned the reputation as the dominant Stereo 3D force, and it is very rewarding to see Mistika integrated into Legend3D’s unique conversion pipeline with customized configurations. We enjoy a close and special relationship with the team at Legend3D and look forward to working together on more exciting developments in the future.”
Delivering the very best of 3D filmmaking to the market, Legend3D delivers world-class high quality projects such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Lego Movie, Man of Steel, Life of Pi as well as six additional theatrical releases in the upcoming 2014 and 2015 seasons.
California-based Legend3D, Inc. is an innovative 3D visual effects and conversion company committed to advancing the 3D medium globally. Legend3D leverages the most sought-after 3D talent with cutting-edge technology and works closely with the creative community to elevate the art of 3D on new feature films while also identifying opportunities to generate new revenue from iconic library titles, broadcast television and commercials. Legend3D utilizes its patented proprietary technology to create the highest quality conversions with the fastest turnaround time at the most competitive pricing in the industry. For more information, please visit www.Legend3D.com
Mamba FX 1.0 customers receive free Mamba FX 2.0 update
SGO has made another significant development upgrade to its compositing software, Mamba FX in version 2.0 available for Windows, Linux and Mac, providing advanced additional features which give compositors infinite opportunities and possibilities to enhance their creativity. Redefining VFX and rapidly evolving, Mamba FX’s new toolsets extends the existing SGO product line and draws on Mistika’s powerful compositing and image quality technology, as well as adding a host of innovative features and functionality.
One of the key highlights in Mamba FX 2.0 is the Layer Route Effect, providing support and associated functions for working with multi-layer EXR files.These files are capable of carrying multiple streams of images as well as metadata, in a single file. They are commonly used to hold multiple render passes from CGI software, or to carry multiple matte or alpha channels. Mamba FX 2.0 includes features to split and route the multiple layers, allowing Mamba FX’s other compositing tools to act on individual elements during the compositing phase.
Furthermore, Mamba FX’s all new “Spatial Isolation Keyer” interfaces with metadata that can be passed from CGI software via the EXR files. This enables advanced compositing techniques such as isolating elements in a scene by their 3D (XYZ) location, their surface direction (normals), their object ID or their Material ID.
Also new for Mamba FX 2.0 is a high-speed, “point cloud” shape tracker, which enables compositors to track 2D roto-shapes to shots very quickly. Multiple shapes can be tracked and combined using Boolean operations to rapidly create moving matte shapes. Mamba FX 2.0 also includes new colour space conversion tools to aid project colour management including ACES workflows. Other additional features include an adaptive interface for monitor configuration, as well as Dolby EDR support.
CEO of SGO, Miguel Angel Doncel confirms, “SGO’s development team is dedicated to deliver ever more efficient and flexible VFX workflow management with finely-tuned integration in Mamba FX ‘s version 2.0 . The results are a combination of a powerful, node-based VFX finishing suite designed to empower creative artists and provide them with a new way of working – making the impossible possible at affordable rates.”
Mamba FX 2.0 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac (Mountain Lion 10.8.5) and is fully compatible with SGO’s Mistika, which together provide a powerful complete conform, online, VFX, grading and delivery workflow that stands out from other systems. Mamba FX 1.0 customers will receive a free Mamba FX 2.0 update. Mamba FX 2.0 is now available to buy and trial at www.sgo.es/shop with online video tutorials at www.mambatutorials.com
Mamba FX Version 2.0 Product Specification Details
– Number of processors: 2
– Number of cores: 6 per processor
– RAM: 32GB or 64GB
– Screen Resolution: 1920×1200
– Graphic card dedicated video memory: 1GB
– Graphic card model: NVIDIA
– OpenGL version: 2.0
– Shader (GPU): shader4 (GL_EXT_gpu_shader4)
Minimum Configurations Required:
– Number of processors: 1
– Number of cores: 2
– RAM: 4 GB
– Screen Resolution: 1920×1200
– Graphic card model: NVIDIA
– Graphic card dedicated video memory: 512 MB
– OpenGL version: 2.0
– Shader (GPU): shader4 (GL_EXT_gpu_shader4)
Tested MacOXs distributions:
– Mountain Lion 10.8.5
– Maverick 10.9.3
Mistika is a tough 2D act to follow in Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2014 Theatre Season
Experienced freelance Colourist and Online Editor Ian Grey was responsible for the stylish 2D colour grading using Mistika at BTV Post for Globe on Screen’s three titles for Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2014 theatre season.
Ian Grey talks through the key creative processes of how he achieved the realistic results using Mistika. “The main challenge of the grades was that the recordings took place in an open air theatre, often transitioning from day to night. Maintaining continuity in the grade was crucial, taking into the account the sun setting, especially as the final edit could be cut from performances on different days and nights.”
Ian continued further, “A key tool in Mistika that I used extensively during the initial primary grade, was the digital printer lights, which made balancing the multiple cameras a simple and fast process. Being able to quickly amend the white point, black point, overall gain or overall contrast with access, to not only red, green and blue vectors, but also cyan, magenta and yellow, meant I could get through the nearly three-hour-long performances at a speed that was vital to completing the jobs on time.”Ian highlighted other challenges overcome by Mistika. “Another issue we had is that the stage was lit by tungsten lights and the cameras are white-balanced for 3400k colour temperature, but because some of the performances took place during the day, a majority of the audience was lit by natural daylight, which left a blue colour tint, making them feel cold. So, in the grade for Tempest, I corrected this by drawing shapes around the audience so that I could isolate them for a separate grade. Because Mistika’s HSL qualifiers pull very clean keys, I was able to combine with the shapes to produce great results. At times, due to either the camera movement, shot composition or performers’ movements, it meant some complicated shapes had to be used, but Mistika made this a simple task with its user-friendly shape editor with key-framing, combined with the new fantastic cloud-based auto-tracker tool, which I cannot underestimate how much time this saved me.”
The stunning productions are set to exhilarate audiences around the globe, for more information, visit www.shakespearesglobe.com
ABOUT IAN GREY
Ian Grey is a creative Colourist and Post 3D Stereographer with a wide range of experience in Broadcast Television and Cinema. A purveyor of the best possible image quality across a wide range of formats, Ian has worked on projects up to 4k whether 2D or 3D, using high-end post production systems such as Mistika from SGO. He has a vast technical knowledge of all areas of post production and has worked with a diverse clientèle from all over the world, including BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, TLC and has also had feature films released by Universal Studios and Metrodome. Ian enjoys working with new clients and always demonstrates an outstanding commitment to projects, devoting time and passion to every job no matter what the budget. As well as the high standard of work, clients also value his personable approach and ability to remain calm and consistent even under the pressure of tight deadlines. Contact Ian at email@example.com
ABOUT SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE
From modest beginnings, Shakespeare’s Globe has become one of the most popular visitor destinations in the UK, at the heart of the regeneration of London’s Bankside. Shakespeare’s Globe is a UK charity and continues to operate without annual government funding. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe Theatre season plays in repertory from April to October annually, and has gained an international reputation for performance excellence, welcoming over one million visitors annually. The recent addition to the Shakespeare’s Globe complex of the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which opened on 9 January 2014, will allow Shakespeare’s Globe to present plays all year round. More information is available at www.shakespearesglobe.com
ABOUT BTV POST
BTV Post is a cutting-edge production facility, offering post-production, digital media solutions, and video editing services. A specialist in HD, 2D, 3D, and 4K content, BTV Post delivers on behalf of the world’s most prominent production companies across all genres, standards, and formats. More information is available at www.btvpost.com
Mistika melted hearts at Creative Post
10 June 2014, Toronto, Canada – Supervising Editor Adrian Saywell at Toronto’s Creative Post Inc. discusses the challenges of grading the recent IMAX documentary Wonders of the Arctic 3D, and the reasons behind selecting Mistika for online, colour correction and titling.
The $4 million visually stunning Wonders of the Arctic 3D natural world epic marks Science North’s fifth IMAX production in conjunction with Lickley and Giant Screen Films based in Chicago and will be distributed in more than 100 theatres around the world. The flawless 42-minute film focuses on the effects of climate change to the Arctic environment and the impact on humans and animals, such as the resilient Inuit peoples and Polar bears that reside there.
The film depicts how it is the toughest place to live on earth and how creatures that live there thrive despite the harshest elements. Historically, more than half of the Arctic Ocean was covered by ice all year round but in the past 50 years, ice cover has been reduced by 70 per cent, and is predicted that within 15 years, there could be a completely ice-free Arctic during some months of the year, according to Lickley. The film provides a voyage to a world many would never visit themselves and plays a key role in educating and informing audiences about this incredibly important topic.
Creative Post started work on the film back in 2010 when primary camera shooting started.
Part of what made it possible to achieve such stunning results is the company’s pipeline. Adrian outlines the steps involved, “The first duties included onset processing and backup of Phantom footage. Once backed up and shipped to Creative Post, the processing of dailies for all digital formats in both Phantom and Red was completed using Mistika. This enabled us to create HD ProRes files with matching names and T/C’s for offline.” He remarks, “Before we purchased Mistika, the Phantoms T/C would not match the QT created by other programs.”
Adrian goes on further to explain the online process in more detail, “Footage was supplied by DKP and Science North at various resolutions ranging from 4K to 8K in both 2D and 3D. Utilizing the open platform that is Mistika, we were able to scale all the various formats to the end result 5616X4096, which was then filmed out to 70MM for IMAX Projection. As it is near impossible to work in 3D at the full 5.6K resolution, the proxy and render options in the Mistika enabled us to scale to 2K in 3D, where all work was completed before applying the corrections back to the raw camera material. This made it fast and easy to work in such a large format. Full online finishing, stereoscopic 3D alignments, colour correction and titling were performed in Mistika as well as final versioning in 5.6K 3D, 4K Scope 3D and 2K Scope 3D. New tools in version 7.2 enabled us to apply display filters such as log to linear LUTs as well as cropping of 1.85 and 1.79 images into the 70MM format without actually applying any FX to the environment.”
Creative Post’s owner and CEO, Ken MacNeil remarked that before they had a Mistika on board, they would not have been able to work on a film of this scope, within the given deadlines. Purchased in 2011, Mistika was chosen for its multi-resolution capability and advanced 3D tools that are required for the 4K+ resolution that Creative Post generally master in. Online Editor Adrian Saywell was also able to use Mistika’s powerful tools to stabilise and fix 3D shots, which included colour matching, and alignment, that he said, without Mistika, would have been deemed unusable.
Senior colourist Jim Fleming was also able to use the powerful colour grading tools to pull the best images out of the footage. The 3D colour grading session was technically straightforward because the left and right images were already exactly colour-matched in the pre-grade processing. This allowed for a film that was breathtaking in its amazing images but also for 3D that was easy to watch, allowing for a more realistic viewing experience.
Other high profile programmes Creative Post have recently worked on include Ice Road Truckers, Bollywood Star, High-Tech Red Necks, Ice Sweat and Tears and many others.
Cameras used in filming Wonders of the Arctic 3D:
IMAX Dual Phantom 4K
Red Epic 5K
35MM 8 perf vista vision 3D IMAX Camera (scanned to 6K)
65MM Aerial IMAX MSM Camera (scanned to 8K)
Sir David Attenborough is the only person to have received a BAFTA in five formats, black and white, colour, HD, 3D and now 4K.
SGO’s Mistika was used at London’s ONSIGHT in David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive (3D) which has just reaped a coveted BAFTA TV Award in the Specialist Factual Category. Produced by Colossus Productions, a joint venture between Atlantic Productions and Sky 3D, Mistika technology played a major role in post at ONSIGHT in the exceptional project.
“Mistika is a beautiful thing. It has power and agility and is like no other system on the market. Its enormous speed and elegance crush the most demanding finishing tasks…”
Rupert Watson, Director of root6, London
Director of root6 Rupert Watson says, “We primarily founded root6 to introduce Microsoft Softimage | DS to UK post production so we are more than familiar with the requirements of bringing revolutionary kit to the attention of our friends in high-end post. Mistika is a beautiful thing. It has power and agility and is like no other system on the market. Its enormous speed and elegance crush the most demanding finishing tasks and we look forward to introducing the technology to our clients as they head for the sunlit uplands of 4K (UHD) post production.”
SGO’s Director of Global Sales & Operations Geoff Mills states, “We met with root6 at the end of last year where they highlighted increasing customer interest in Mistika and Mamba FX. Consequently, and also due to SGO’s ongoing expansion, we have agreed to form a reseller partnership which will bring valuable expertise and additional resources to support our growing customer base, while at the same time, maintaining SGO’s key values of personalised service. The decision to combine efforts with root6, a well-respected high-profile organisation, further compliments our current activity and position in the region.”
Established for over 16 years, root6 supplies technology, consultancy and systems integration services to UK broadcasters, post houses and production companies for the creation, management and delivery of digital content. root6 offers customer support from individual products to systems and facility-wide installations and many organisations large and small rely on its service which can be tailored to suit individual requirements.
More about root6 at www.root6.com