Australian Cinematographer & Scientist Pawel Achtel creates HFR project for the Giant Screen using Mistika
SGO’s Asia Pacific Reseller Partner, Mojo Media Solutions, has been working closely with Australian cinematographer and scientist Pawel Achtel on his high frame-rate stereoscopic 3D project Sea Of Love. Mistika was used for all the colour grading and stereoscopic adjustments.
The incredible project which has been made for the Giant Screen, is being shot at 5K using RED Epic® cameras which has been modified by the installation of Achtel’s custom designed TrueBlue™ optical filter, which virtually removes all magenta contamination in the blue spectra.
Filming under water produces many blue colours in the imagery which on an unmodified RED® camera tends to look magenta. This is because the red photo-sites on the camera sensor are not only sensitive to red light, they are also sensitive to blue light. By replacing the factory supplied OLPF with Achtel’s TrueBlue™ OLPF, the colour separation in the raw camera files is significantly improved. TrueBlue is available now for RED Epic® and RED Dragon® cameras.
In addition, Mojo Media Solutions will also be showcasing SGO’s Mistika at SMPTE15 in Sydney from 14 – 17th July at Booth # D4 where customers will be able to review sample footage from this spectacular project. The SMPTE15 exhibition takes place at the Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park. With world renowned manufacturers SGO and COLORFRONT both sending product specialist to provide support at the exhibition, visitors to the Mojo Media Solutions stand will be able to participate in in-depth demonstrations with opportunities to ask detailed questions from the manufacturers’ own representatives.
Please contact Mojo Media Solutions for more information.
With Vive Cantando as their first Mistika project.
Grupo Secuoya, content creation communications giant and one of Spain’s major production companies, boasts the recent purchase of a Mistika DI 4K system with DCP creation capabilities from SGO, to enhance their post production department.
The company was drawn to Mistika’s unique ability to empower creative artists by providing them with a solution that combines all of the post production processes in one complete system, resulting in significant time-saving.
Mistika Artist Pepe Abellán at Grupo Secuoya confirms, “Mistika provides the toolset that covers the full spectrum of requirements that a current production demands.”
Director of Post Production at Grupo Secuoya, Ricardo Zamora highlights Mistika’s role as an agent of change and why it is an advantage to have Mistika on board, saying, “Mistika represents innovation in production, which helps us stand out and it’s what makes us different.” Pepe Abellán expands further concerning the opportunities that SGO’s technology brings to Grupo Secuoya, “Mistika allows us to develop our workflow without any complications. It supports footage captured on a variety of cameras such as Sony’s F55 or RED Digital Cameras at resolutions ranging from HD, 2K, 4K up to 5K, and all in the same timeline.” He adds, “After conforming the various resolutions within a project, Mistika provides the perfect opportunity, owing to its broad assortment of tools and real-time capabilities, to conduct high-end colour correction at incredible speed. The system also gives us the ability to achieve all of the VFX, compositing, and credits as well as the means to export various master versions, according to client requirements.”
Jose Luis Acha, Regional Sales Manager at SGO affirms, “We warmly welcome Grupo Secuoya into the SGO family. As an innovative company, Mistika fits in perfectly with their philosophy of optimising the production process so that they can deliver the desired results of the highest quality to their customers. This is the beginning of a relationship that will be mutually beneficial and we are delighted that they are part of the growing Mistika community.”
Grupo Secuoya’s first Mistika project Vive Cantando is a comedy drama series for Antena 3 prime time TV, produced by Atresmedia, and airs in the autumn. The programme follows band singer Trini (Maria Castro) who returns to her roots where she reunites with her family and the love of her life Juanjo (José Luis García Pérez).
Executive Producer: AMPARO MIRALLES
Director: MIGUEL ALBADALEJO
DoP: OSCAR MONTESINOS
Producer: MIGUEL ANGEL LARRAYA
ABOUT GRUPO SECUOYA
Grupo Secuoya offers valuable solutions and communication services for production companies, TV channels and many other industries. Visit them at www.gruposecuoya.es
First film posted in Mistika at Darkroom Asia helps to revitalise the film industry in Pakistan
Pioneering post house Darkroom Asia won a major contract with ARY Films as a strategic partner in providing post production and VFX-related services, as a direct result of its investment in an SGO Mistika 4K system purchased from reseller Pixelution. Darkroom Asia is the first facility in Pakistan to host a cutting-edge Mistika 4K suite to support its television commercials and feature film projects.
The CEO of Darkroom Asia, Salman Hasan confirmed that Mistika’s reliable, robust and vast post production toolsets consequently led the company to win the long-term customer deal with ARY Films and he outlines why they selected Mistika above other systems, “Our decision to make Mistika our first choice was simple. The tools and real-time RAW image and other native workflows are superior to any other system out there, and we wanted to be the first company in Pakistan to have a fully equipped Mistika 4K system which would provide a one-stop solution, in real-time, for our film and commercials industries.”
Darkroom Asia completed the first commercial film titled ‘MAIN HOON SHAHID AFRIDI‘, an action-drama sports film, produced by Six Sigma Entertainment, with the entire post production, including colour grading, completed in Mistika and shot with RED Digital Cameras. Well-received by Pakistani audiences, Salman Hasan affirms, “This film has marked the rebirth of the Pakistan Film Industry of which Darkroom Asia and Mistika played a vital role.”
“Mistika helped us immensely throughout this project.” explains Ubaid-ur-Rehman, Technical Director and Partner at Darkroom Asia, “Especially with handling real-time RAW workflow for R3d files which really made this project possible in Pakistan. All other camera formats were placed in Mistika’s timeline in real-time without any conversion required or the usage of any other systems, which was a real advantage. Colour grading was also achieved simultaneously, which was an added bonus.” He adds, “We made the decision to include Mistika technology to serve our creative clients with a high-end state-of-the-art post solution. As an award-winning powerful post production system, we are delighted to be the first company in Pakistan to own SGO’s creative 4K innovation. This system will help us in opening up many other new opportunities and attracting high profile projects.”
ARY Digital Network’s CEO, Mohammad Jerjees Seja states, “I would like to congratulate Darkroom Asia for being pioneers and introducing Mistika 4K to Pakistan which will help to strengthen and enhance the great work that is being done by filmmakers here. We believe that this is an important step made by Darkroom Asia and will not only motivate producers and directors, but will also give them additional motivation, encouragement and support in the post production phase of filmmaking.”
Also closely associated with Darkroom Asia, and one of Pakistan’s most famous commercial directors Asad U. Haq from Ambiance Films, discloses, “We at Ambiance films are proud to be linked with Darkroom Asia from its inception, and we can’t wait to play with it newest addition, Mistika, and work with one single powerful platform from start to finish.”
“Darkroom Asia’s upgrade to Mistika is another example of how its technology is being adopted world-wide. It is history in the making that Mistika has been involved in this key project in Pakistan and has helped to reinvigorate the film industry there. This is a new and exciting beginning for Darkroom Asia as the first Mistika 4K post house in the country and it is great to see doors open for them due to their investment in SGO’s technology. We are proud to welcome Darkroom Asia into the talented global Mistika community.” notes SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations, Geoff Mills.
ARY Digital Network’s CEO, Mohammad Jerjees Seja concludes, “With the rapid growth of the cinema industry in Pakistan right now, ARY Films is now well-prepared to produce the best high quality entertainment for cinema-goers. We are privileged to be aligned with Darkroom Asia in supporting the post and VFX work of our upcoming feature film releases, and to provide a one-stop solution for post production and VFX, using Mistika’s unique capabilities and ability to help minimise time-constraints. Mistika is a system used by the industry’s top professionals all around the world, and we are looking forward to utilising its strengths to help us produce world-leading projects here.
A specialist supplier of digital solutions for content creation and displays.
Visit them at www.pixelution.co.uk
Juan Ignacio Cabrera leads the way with Mistika
“With SGO’s Mistika the process is organic and fast. It allows me to work at the speed of thought and take the footage to incredible places.”
Timothy A Burton, Cinematographer
“It has been an eye-opening experience with what can be accomplished with color software.”
Amy Kim, Co-Executive Producer, Lifeboat Productions
“Chosen was only my second project working with the SGO Mistika System, but I can already say that I plan to use nothing else going forward. As a filmmaker working in Hollywood for almost ten years, I’ve had projects colored on almost every color platform, and I can confidently say that Mistika blows them all away.”
Ben Ketai, “Chosen” Series Creator, Writer and Director
“Personally, I think it would be great if people knew that Mistika is capable of so much more than just 3D. I think everybody knows now that Mistika has unbeatable S3D toolsets but not that many consider it as a heavy-weight option in other fields like grading…and they seriously should.”
Juan I Cabrera, Colorist & Mistika Specialist
25 July 2014, Hollywood – Inspiring Los Angeles-based Juan Ignacio Cabrera recently handled the post production for the second and third seasons of Chosen, the most successful show on Sony’s Crackle TV network. Leading colorist Juan Ignacio Cabrera graded the series on a Mistika 4K system from SGO.
Juan I. Cabrera moved from his native country Spain, where he owned a successful post company Film Bakers and relocated to Los Angeles in 2011, bringing his grading expertise along with him. He is currently one of the most experienced SGO Mistika operators living in the U.S. With over 10 years of Mistika experience behind him, Juan has worked on world-class 2D and 3D projects using SGO’s technology, that span across both broadcast and cinema including titles such as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Star Trek Into Darkness, Beneath, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, The Last Circus and many others listed here http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3043942/
Crackle is a multi-platform video-entertainment network and a unit of Sony Pictures Television with a global audience of 43 million viewers. It features movies, television shows and produces original content made for the Internet. Crackle partnered with Xbox Live, making its content available for Xbox 360, and also streams across PS3, Roku boxes, Sony Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs, including APPS for iOS, Android, Blackberry 10 and Apple TV.
The 2D Chosen TV drama was captured on ARRI’s Alexa and RED Epic cameras, some using HDR functionality for extended contrast and dynamic range. The advanced color features in Mistika gave Juan huge creative options.
The show’s creator, writer and director, Ben Ketai states, “Chosen was only my second project working with the SGO Mistika System, but I can already say that I plan to use nothing else going forward. As a filmmaker working in Hollywood for almost ten years, I’ve had projects colored on almost every color platform, and I can confidently say that Mistika blows them all away. Its flexibility and interface offer a swifter workflow, allowing for ample creative exploration without wasting precious time.”
As episodes were completed, they were uploaded from Mistika which allowed the producer, director and DoP to view content on calibrated Sony monitors. They returned their feedback, which could be extracted directly into Mistika, and finalize the look to deliver the files promptly. The process was collaborative maximizing on Mistika’s innovating toolset, which enabled Juan and his team to fulfil the creative needs of his clients at Sony.
Co-Executive producer at Lifeboat Productions Amy Kim notes, “During the second season of Chosen, Lifeboat Productions was introduced to Mistika, and we immediately changed our platform over for all other projects going forward. It has been an eye-opening experience with what can be accomplished with color software.”
The overall look of the series gives a tense, dangerous and edgy mood reflecting the dark and violent storyline. The grade is not overly saturated and keeps a consistent hue, keeping in line with the director’s vision for the show. “Mistika provides me with an excellent palette of incredible grading features for the highest spec image quality.” confirms Juan.
Cinematographer Timothy A. Burton expands on the grading process, “For me color grading is the final stage of the Cinematography process and I like to be as involved as possible. Especially on a show as stylized as Chosen. But it can become a frustrating experience when you have to deal with limited tools to achieve your vision. With SGO’s Mistika the process is organic and fast. It allows me to work at the speed of thought and take the footage to incredible places. It doesn’t matter if the shot needs 10 different masks, blurs, sharpens, glows, stabilization, or covering something that shouldn’t be in the shot. With Mistika it all happens in real-time allowing me to spend more time working with my footage instead of fighting with limitations.”
Juan continues in further detail, “I love it when a color grading session becomes a creative brainstorm between the cinematographer, director and colorist. And that’s what Chosen was. Tim and Ben wanted for this second season to be a huge leap forward in quality, so we created a new color language from what they had on Season 1. Working with Alexa and Epic and following a feature-like process allowed us to create wonderful imagery that boosted an already powerful story. With Mistika’s powerful conform tools we were able to minimize conform times to a minimum, to the point of being able to grade a couple of hours after a cut had been locked. The whole process was incredibly fast and seamless, even when we had to deliver both HD and UHDTV masters. As for the outputs, we delivered in ProResHQ files and back-to-back DCP for the première. All of these files were rendered directly from Mistika without any intermediate conversion required.”
Working on a high profile series for television brings its own unique challenges in grading that are different to cinema projects. Fortunately, Juan has immense experience in both areas and he adds, “I find that with TV there is less time to perfect the footage for the the grade, but Mistika gives me that additional confidence with its immense NVIDIA processing power which helps me to accelerate the process at literally lightning speeds.”
Juan’s closing comments, “Personally, I think it would be great if people knew that Mistika is capable of so much more than just 3D. I think everybody knows now that Mistika has unbeatable S3D toolsets but not that many consider it as a heavy-weight option in other fields like grading…and they seriously should.”
Juan’s website includes this quote which exudes his passion and sums it up, “SGO’s Mistika is the most advanced system in the world to deal with projects of all sizes and resolutions from start to finish, and is available right now for services at Santa Monica. Come and check it out. You will be blown away, I promise!”
You can visit Juan’s website showcasing some of his work here http://jicabrera.com
Other Hollywood blockbuster projects Juan has and is currently working on include the science fiction feature Deep Burial, the TV series Sequestered, both with Lifeboat Productions, as well as several feature projects with Bad Robot.
MORE ABOUT CHOSEN
Chosen cast members include Rose McGowan, alongside returning cast members Chad Michael Murray, Sarah Roemer, Brandon Routh and Caitlin Carmichael. Season two of Chosen revolved around the Mitchell family and Jacob Orr, all of whom became involved in a deadly game after receiving boxes carrying instructions to kill. In the new season, Jacob (Murray) attempts to rescue Ellie (Carmichael) from the game. This puts him in an awkward position with Josie (McGowan), who is a deadly hunter.
Chosen is now also available to rent on RedBox.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Artist / Director: Isaac Julien
Post facility: THE LOOK
Colourist: Thomas Urbye
Finishing: Jason Wallis
Editing: Adam Finch
Grading System: SGO 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
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
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/