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.
Enriching Mistika Sessions Engaged Audiences On All Levels
This IBC we did something Different, feel the SGO vibe…
The committed SGO team presented another inspirational experience at IBC with panache, sporting a striking stand-space, demonstrating that Mistika and Mamba FX post production systems provide the only real differentiator for companies wanting to stand out from the competition. Creative professionals including leading broadcasters, colourists, compositors, post facilities and famous film studios paid the stand a visit to suss-out the very latest technology on display. The new “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” and “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” trailers, finished in Mistika by customer Bad Robot, proved a big hit.
The absorbing sessions presented by SGO’s Marketing Manager Sofia Pensado and Mistika Application Specialist Peter Amies throughout the 5-day show, drew numerous delegates to SGO’s stand. Intriguing topics engaged everyone about the challenges of post producing high production-value long-form drama and documentaries, referring to ONSIGHT as a Mistika customer success story. How Mistika enables artists to stand out in a fiercely competitive arena when post producing high-end commercials was demonstrated with projects by Norwegian post facility Hocus Focus. Cutting-edge workflows used in some of the biggest blockbusters, such as Fotokem’s work on “Carrier 3D” were a highlight, as well as how to prepare for the future in post with HDR, VR and 8K looming. SGO’s main overview session explored what colour-finishing really means in the ever-changing world of broadcast and post, by validating how colourists can successfully integrate colour, online, VFX and delivery in one powerful commercially-viable Mistika system.
Development highlights of the Mistika and Mamba FX systems were also on show. Performance-leading HDR-enhancing grading features linked to the stylish Mistika Precision finishing control surface, as well as an entirely new media management sub-system were launched. SGO’s brand new “UniColour” tool also caused a great deal of excitement, as it allows seamless bi-directional transfers between many different colour spaces. This single tool removes substantial headaches from modern professional workflows. Also on show, was a sneak preview of SGO’s all new 3D Keyer – arguably the most powerful and intuitive 3D keyer available.
Furthermore, Mistika’s “Additional Mistika User Log-in” programme announced at NAB2015, enables customers to add systems without having to purchase extra licenses, making the ownership of multiple Mistika systems extremely affordable without compromising or devaluing SGO technology. This exclusive approach is an alternative option for customers to help them increase artistic output and profits.
Also new this IBC, Boris FX Graffiti has now been integrated into SGO’s low cost, node-based compositing software Mamba FX. The supporting Windows version will be ready to ship in October 2015, with Linux and Mac versions to follow soon.
In addition, SGO proudly partnered with Canon, displaying pioneering advancements in HDR technology with a red-hot Mistika system holding the reins of an end-to-end HDR-4K colour-process workflow demonstration on the Canon booth.
It was another successful show for SGO all round and Marketing Manager Sofia Pensado enthusiastically closes with these remarks, “Our customers continue to inspire us! The incredibly positive feedback we received at IBC has been overwhelming. We feel privileged to provide progressive high-end technology to ambitious creative companies that prepare and think ahead, further advancing the industry to even greater heights with high-calibre quality work on amazing projects.”
“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
Epic Adventure Film Trilogy Involved Mistika’s Grading Technology From Start to Finish
New Zealand facility Park Road once again used Mistika for the post production of “The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies”, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the third film in “The Hobbit Trilogy” directed by Peter Jackson.
Mistika’s colour grading and finishing systems have played a central role at the Wellington-based post house since shooting began for The Hobbit Films in 2011. SGO’s cutting-edge technology was again used throughout the DI online, stereoscopic post and final grade of the monumental final film hailed by critics as a colossal technical achievement.
Park Road’s grading theatres are based around the worlds largest installs of Mistika 4K and S3D master systems. Very large shared storage provides high-speed efficiency between online editors, stereographers and colourists. Dolby Atmos equipped mix theatres, foley and sound edit facilities complement the picture offering, and all work can be delivered to their in-house 176-seat cinema, capable of projecting all major formats, film/24/3D and higher frame rates.
The Mistika 3D tools were driven at full throttle in the third film of the Trilogy, “Mistika’s real-time immediacy again enabled interactivity with the grade and stereo where we could screen any formats in 2D or 3D,” Senior Stereographer Meetal Gokul explained. “The Mistika continues to provide exactly the right platform to service productions of any scale, with superb tools both for development and final mastering of stereo projects.”
Park Road are at the forefront in the development of High Frame Rate filmmaking, from on-set digital acquisition, support for offline editorial, final online, through to HFR deliverables. It took Park Road, together with SGO, years of research, development, testing and refinement to create the unique workflow for The Hobbit Films.
Workflow Architect Anthony Pratt played a pivotal role in the development and is part of the lead team that designed the world’s first HFR-3D workflow. Neither the facility, nor the platform, has stood still since the first film. A novel and highly efficient approach to VFX workflows was deployed for the latest instalment – using wrapped OpenEXR version 2 files – a world’s first. “The team at SGO really helped us prove and integrate this new approach, and we hope to see this released into the open source file format and libraries. Of course SGO’s clients now have it built-in!” Tony says, “Once again the Mistika sits firmly at the core of our business, servicing all of our team and our clients with timeliness previously impossible to achieve.”
“Park Road’s exceptional talent is evident in yet another phenomenal feature film delivery as part of “The Hobbit Trilogy.” SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills stated.
SGO’s CEO Miguel Angel Doncel confirmed, “Park Road continues to push innovative boundaries of stunning film production. Their leading-edge needs are an infinite source of inspiration for current and future developments.”
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.
“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
Mistika Redefines the “Hero” Suite enabling Creatives to Unleash their Extraordinary Talent
SGO will showcase Mistika and Mamba FX at Stand A11, Hall 6, from 12 – 16 September at IBC2014. Powerfully different, SGO’s flagship product, Mistika appeals to filmmakers, broadcasters and content creators for its efficient finishing, grading and Ultra HD capabilities for any project regardless of resolution or frame-rate, including 4K at 60P and stereoscopic 3D. SGO will feature version 2.0 of its compositor Mamba FX which provides unlimited layers of compositing in a resolution-free, node-based environment. Running on Windows, Linux and now also available on MAC, Mamba FX represents another choice at incredible value to the VFX community.
SGO is immensely proud of all its customers that work on amazing projects that span across every type of production, including short and long-form formats such as promos and commercials for big brand names such as Samsung, Emirates Airlines and Ford; television drama for BSkyB and well-known 2D and 3D feature films such as Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Transformers: The Age of Extinction, The Hobbit Trilogy among many other familiar titles listed on the SGO website at https://www.sgo.es/on-screen/
Mistika – Powerfully Different – The “Hero” Suite Redefined
SGO will demonstrate at IBC how Mistika provides seamless integration between conforming, editing, colour grading and visual effects to create the most comprehensive visual creation suite. Mistika has redefined the “Hero” suite, designed to empower the user to unleash their inner creativity. Operators can take full advantage of Mistika’s remarkable toolsets equipping them to accomplish stunning results that deliver and impress. Mistika’s unique abilities boast innovative colour correction by blurring the line between colour and compositing, enabling colourists to be even more creative by adding textures and filters to looks. Artists can tap into Mistika’s world-leading capabilities to produce high quality work that meets exacting standards.
Continuing the SGO custom of rapid development and to meet the high demand for the new toolset, Mistika 8.2 will be launched this August, prior to IBC, with a preview of the next version 8.4 being demonstrated at the show itself. New highlights include the incredible Spatial Isolation Toolset (previewed at NAB) which allows unrivalled control over multi-layer EXR image files by making full use of meta-data provided by CGI animation systems.
Also on show will be Mistika’s next-generation colour finishing functionalities supporting the Precision Grading Panels. Other new features include support for Dolby Vision, improved ACES workflows, enhanced AAF support, Dolby Atmos DCP generation and support for an even wider range of image codecs such as Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC and ProRes 4:4:4:4. SGO will present Mistika performing effortlessly with mixed resolution raw camera files on the same timeline all in real-time.
Mamba FX – The VFX Evolution Redefined
Main headlines for Mamba FX 2.0 include the Layer Route Effect, providing associated functions for working with multi-layer EXR files; an innovative “Spatial Isolation Keyer” which interfaces with metadata that can be passed from CGI software via the EXR files and a high-speed, “point cloud” shape tracker, which enables compositors to track 2D roto-shapes to shots very quickly. Mamba FX can be used as a stand alone compositor, or collaboratively, as part of a highly efficient post production pipeline with many Mamba FX platforms connected to a central Mistika as the post production hub.
Geoff Mills, SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations remarks, “SGO’s innovation continues to push all boundaries, evident in its artist-leading toolsets which are revolutionising the way post production is evolving today. The fact that Mistika is the most complete and powerful creative suite that can conform, grade, finish, edit and do much more, in all resolutions and formats, in real-time and at mind-bending speeds, empowers users beyond what other systems can offer them.”
SGO appreciates the loyal support of its long-standing specialist technology partners ATTO Tech, Canon, Dot Hill, DVS, HP, NVIDIA, Tangent Devices and many others. Visitors to the show can also benefit from SGO’s expertise along with customer guests at hand to discuss industry trends and projects. Advanced bookings for Mistika demonstrations can be made by contacting SGO at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register for IBC at www.ibc.org. Follow SGO on Twitter @SGOMistika.
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.
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)
Creative Week has now drawn to a successful end. Thursday’s HD and Beyond sessions opened interesting debates about 4K and once again SGO was in the spotlight at a key London event about a hot topic within the creative community.
Geoff Mills, Director of Global Sales and Operations of the SGO Group spoke on the Post Perspective panel yesterday, where he made salient points about 4K positively impacting the market and how Mistika is already streets ahead of the resolution revolution. With Will Strauss as Chair, Geoff shared the discussion with ONSIGHT’s Post Production Supervisor Rik Tester and The Farm’s Technical Director and MD Dave Klafkowski. The topic covered how both The Farm and ONSIGHT have already embraced 4K a while back using Mistika. The Farm had worked the Kudos/C4 drama Utopia in 5K and ONSIGHT completed many 4K projects that include Walking With Dinosaurs, Peter Gabriel’s Back to Front and David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D, all with Mistika’s advanced 4K capabilities. “We find solutions for our customers that they can use, not only for today, but also for tomorrow.” Geoff stated and reaffirmed that Mistika’s diverse and versatile creative toolset is not restricted to 4K and is already able to provide for 8K post production pipelines. A session dedicated to David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D, which recently won a BAFTA award, followed the panel.
With Mistika technology at the helm, SGO’s Senior Product Application Specialist Sam Sheppard was also present at the event in a prime position to discuss the future and Mistika to delegates throughout the day.
With ever increasing demand for future-ready post production solutions, SGO reported a highly successful outcome at NAB. Located in the South Hall, the popular Mistika post production systems and Mamba FX compositing software were showcased at SGO’s booth, attracting a lot of visitors, among them content creators, post facilities and widely known broadcasters. SGO’s progressive creativity and efficiency in colour grading and finishing received positive feedback resulting in new relationships, collaborations and sales.
SGO’s forward-looking quantum-leap development leads in giant strides. One of the many breathtaking highlights which amazed colourists in engaging demonstrations included SGO’s new Spatial Isolation Toolset for Mistika 8.2. It provides colourists with a number of methods to isolate individual objects within a scene, so that they can be graded separately, for example based on their depth in the scene or by metadata provided by CGI animation systems. The new features allow both the colour and the directional lighting of CGI objects to be fine-tuned in real time and in context. Find out more and watch the demos at www.sgo.es/2014/04/sgo-discloses-unique-colour-grading-tools/
Also on show was a stylish Precision Grading Panel for SGO’s Mistika made by Digital Vision, delivering an additional option to boost Mistika’s powerful colour grading feature-set even further. It was proven to be a sensation, and within hours of the show opening, an order was placed for two Precision Panels by ONSIGHT for their 4K, 3D, HD Mistika grading and finishing suites.
SGO’s affordable compositor Mamba FX made its first NAB appearance and was a smash-hit with its intuitive node-based graphic interface delivering a complete visual effects suite with unlimited compositing layers and effects, running on Windows, Linux and soon available on Mac. With the recent addition of GenArts Sapphire 7, over 250 new effects and pre-sets are accessible to users. Mamba FX tutorials were launched at the show and are available at www.mambatutorials.com
For Broadcasters, Mistika Air Ultra enables a viable and stress-tested solution with seamless integration of high-end post finishing tools for HD, Ultra HD and 8K productions. Mistika Air Ultra is capable of delivering real time and render-free colour grading and finishing processes, even at 4K 60P. Its diverse and versatile creative toolset is not restricted to 4K and is already able to provide for 8K post production pipelines.
Other exciting new features in Mistika version 8.0 this NAB included an all-new node-based compositing interface, support for Canon’s RMF, Sony’s XAVC, enhanced AAF support, ProRes 4:4:4:4 file formats, a re-branding output render module and Dolby Atmos DCP generation. Mistika’s presence on Canon’s booth played a vital part in exciting presentations demonstrating Canon’s Colour Management ACES process for Digital Motion Imaging. SGO also hosted Stream TV Networks, Inc.’s revolutionary Ultra-D™ glasses-free 3D technology marking the first time their auto-stereoscopic screens have been shown at NAB. Stunning footage of Mistika-related projects including the jaw-dropping Stalingrad 3D film trailer and David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D stunned passers-by.
News following on from NAB is that Mistika is to support Dolby® Vision™ technology. Working in close collaboration with Dolby, the capabilities are available in Mistika from version 8.2, previewed at NAB and due for release shortly after IBC. Mistika has inherently supported HDR workflows, and perfectly placed for its customers to enjoy this exciting advancement.
“NAB creates dynamic access to global markets and it’s a great sphere of energy where we meet interesting new people and provide them with the very latest technological breakthroughs to fully support their creativity.” SGO’s Director of Global Sales and Operations Geoff Mills said.
SGO will be exhibiting at Broadcast Asia 17 – 20 June at Booth 5K6-06 in the Spanish Pavilion.
Follow SGO @SGOMistika for the latest updates and news.
2 May 2014, Madrid, Spain
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