“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
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.”
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.”
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
WorleyWorks, LLC. is ahead of the Game Investing in New York’s very first Mistika
Already Hard at Work in a City that Never Sleeps
Brooklyn, New York, 7 January 2014 – WorleyWorks, LLC., a dynamic 2D/3D post stereoscopic production and motion capture studio has become the first East Coast company to invest in a Mistika 4K Post Production Solution from SGO’s official North American reseller partner AArmadillo. The Mistika system will be integrated into the facility providing world-class 2D and stereoscopic 3D grading, finishing and delivery. Founded by Greg and Minah Worley, WorleyWorks, LLC. provides a host of boutique services in 2D and High Frame Rate Stereo 3D production, 4K post production including DI colour grading and compositing, high-speed lighting, green screen (Composite Component’s Digital Green), and motion capture for high-profile clients that include Paramount, MTV, Viacom and many more.
“We chose Mistika because it is the most intuitive system in the industry and forms the next step-up in our expansion by enabling us to support and reinforce complex 3D 4K productions as well as exciting 2D post projects. SGO attracted our attention as a company rapidly innovating and changing their field which appealed to us, as well as their high level of support on offer. Having a Mistika on board certainly helps to validate our offerings as it is such a well-respected and powerful system,” says Greg Worley Co-Founder and CEO of WorleyWorks, LLC. Expanding further he adds “We started by building stereoscopic 3D systems utilising Stereolab’s PURE Stereo 3D analyser with live analysis and rig correction, enabling the use of zoom lenses and fast initial alignment after changing prime lenses. This was then followed by the addition of matched Cooke primes, global shutter f55s, and Aladin MK2 motorisation on Stereotec Light Weight rigs. Although, WorleyWorks, LLC.’s speciality is 3D we also deliver a wonderful 2D post experience which Mistika’s versatility will also fully support and enhance tremendously well. So, we are absolutely thrilled to now have Mistika’s award-winning technology to join the ranks at WorleyWorks, LLC.”
AArmadillo’s CEO, Colin Ritchie, who is also an associate member of the ASC, and an active member of the VFX Society says “It’s great to place the “first one” of anything, – and placing the first East Coast Mistika at WorleyWorks, LLC. in Brooklyn NY is especially exciting! Greg is a true visionary and the perfect client for us in NY, expanding his client services with a 4K 2D/3D Mistika will give him tremendous advantages over the traditional NY post house.”
SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations, Geoff Mills confirms “SGO received further recognition last year by winning the prestigious Lumière Award for its Mistika finishing and colour grading system, and for advancements in Stereo 3D and Ultra HD technology, and specifically, due to its impact and innovation in the market. This is testament to the fact that Mistika’s advanced toolsets in both 2D and S3D, are of the highest standard, and are setting new performance and flexibility benchmarks in the entertainment industry today. They play an integral role in professional facilities of WorleyWorks, LLC.’s calibre and in their growth and ongoing expansion. We are absolutely delighted to welcome WorleyWorks, LLC. as an important member of the growing SGO Mistika community and look forward to a long-standing relationship with them.”
Recent high-profile projects using Mistika include The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Justin and the Knights of Valour, Star Trek into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Stalingrad and many others in 2D and 3D for film and television.
About WorleyWorks, LLC.
With a passion to share their expertise and help their clients achieve their dreams, WorleyWorks, LLC.’s stereo department offers a vertically integrated 2D and High Frame Rate Stereoscopic 3D experience with the highest quality 3D production equipment available on the market today with award-winning 3D Mirror Rigs by Stereotec, real-time 3D analyzer PURE by StereoLabs, high-speed specialized lighting rentals appropriate for their camera systems and high-end post production services using SGO’s Mistika. Their motion capture stage is based on a 24 camera PhaseSpace system providing real time pre-visualization and high quality robust marker tracking. Visit them at www.worleyworks.com
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 797-2941.
“I was impressed with how the Spanish Mistika technology which we have embraced at KANDOR Graphics enhanced Justin and the Knights of Valour in Stereo 3D. It is great to see passionate companies like SGO contribute to innovation in our industry in such a significant way.”
Manuel Sicilia, Company Partner & Chief Creative Officer of KANDOR Graphics & Director & Author of Justin and the Knights of Valour
ARRI also chose Mistika to Finish Engaging 4K Feature Film “Run Boy Run”
Berlin, Germany, 18 October 2013 – Strategically placed in the centre of the trendy Mitte area of Berlin, brand new post production house ARRI Mitte has emerged and has invested in a Mistika 4K DI post production system from SGO’s German Reseller creative tools, to service its high-end commercial and feature film projects. ARRI Mitte is the second facility related to the established parent company ARRI Film and TV Services Berlin GmbH and works on feature films by leading directors and with blue-chip clients for big brand names for ad campaigns for the likes of McDonald’s, VW, Nikon, Fiat, Mobile.de, SKY, Danone Activia, Vodafone, Schweppes, BMW, Toshiba, Goretex, Sony Ericsson, Lipton Ice Tea and many others.
SGO Mistika’s Unique workflow helped to produce world’s first HFR Stereo 3D in The Hobbit Trilogy
IBC2013, Amsterdam, 20th September 2013 – SGO is thrilled to announce that Park Road Post Production won an IBC2013 Innovation Award for their pioneering work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) – the world’s first High Frame Rate Stereoscopic 3D feature film – directed by Peter Jackson. Arguably one of the most significant developments in the last 80 years of cinema, Park Road – with technology partner SGO – spearheaded innovation throughout the acquisition and post production pipeline that provides new creative opportunities to all filmmakers, and a new exciting experience for film audiences.
SGO’s Development Team Honored for Mistika Innovation and Impact in the Industry
Hollywood, 5 September 2013 – Spanish developer SGO receives the prestigious International 3D Society’s 3D Technology Lumiere Award for its Mistika finishing and color grading system for advancements in Stereo 3D and Ultra HD technology. The Lumiere Technology Awards are voted by a professional awards committee via balloting where the judges recommended SGO’s Mistika for the top tier award, specifically due to its impact and innovation in the marketplace. SGO will be honored at a ceremony in Hollywood which takes place on the 18th September, where Geoff Mills, Director of SGO Global Sales and Operations, will receive the Award on behalf of the pioneering technology team.
Bad Robot selected Mistika for its high-end finishing and innovative 2D and stereoscopic 3D film workflows
“Mistika has opened up an entirely new world of workflow efficiency and quality control to us by bringing high-end finishing capabilities inside our facility.”
Bad Robot Production Executive Ben Rosenblatt
Booth 8B 09, 21– 24 August 2013 – The China International Exhibition Centre (CIEC), Beijing
SGO presents its flagship product Mistika at China’s major broadcasting industry trade show, BIRTV again this year.
SGO presents Powerful new Toolsets, revolutionary Capabilities in Colour Grading, Finishing and Intelligent Broadcasting solutions for more efficient workflows in Mistika
SGO Stand A11, Hall 6 – The RAI, Amsterdam 13– 17 September 2013