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New generations of 3D post productions are emerging, using cutting-edge technologies in computer-generated imagery (CGI) and Live Action interaction to create stereoscopic 3D projects in high resolutions and large file formats. These stereo 3D projects are handled as efficiently as possible in post, to encourage program makers to embrace this new medium. Some of the most incredible results of new 3D post production possibilities are exemplified in the new documentaries, “Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough,” and “Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution.”
On Sight (www.onsight.co.uk),leading UK-based HD and S3D specialists, renowned for using innovative technology, chose NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions and SGO Mistika software for the post production, both in stereo 2D and 3D; - and for its first-ever 3D IMAX production, for the breath-taking documentary, “Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough.” Produced by Anthony Geffen at Atlantic Productions and directed by Matt Dyas, a magnificent view of a prehistoric world is brought back to life, for airing on 3D television and the giant IMAX screen. Sir David Attenborough had a clear idea of the story he wanted to tell, but to shoot at a resolution suitable for both 3D television and 3D IMAX was a challenge.
The footage was shot in multiple, worldwide locations by Director of photography Tim Craggs, using the RED ONE camera in 4K.
The challenge was to bring extinct pterosaurs back to life using CGI while conveying the story in stereo 3D.
The location footage and CGI had to be carefully integrated, in particular for one of the final sequences where Sir David glides with a 50ft wingspan pterosaur. Utilizing NVIDIA high performance Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) to drive Mistika's innovative stereo 3D technology for the many teams working together, the film’s project goals were achieved, with striking results.
CGI and Live Action interaction proved to be the main challenges faced initially, as well as the high resolution, large file formats, and enormous scale of the project. The tight broadcast deadlines were overcome due to the remarkable speed and turnaround time of the combined NVIDIA/SGO hardware/software solution, resulting in delivering the highest quality work, and all of it on schedule.
Andy Shelley, COO at On Sight stated: “The Mistika platform powered by NVIDIA GPU technology gives us incredible flexibility, efficiency and speed within our stereo 3D workflow. It enables us to make real-time adjustments and enhancements to pictures, giving our clients the ability to see immediate results in the finishing suite. Mistika's incredible power in stereo 3D, in combination with NVIDIAs Quadro GPUs, has opened opportunities for filmmakers to create exciting content quickly and efficiently.”
California-based Hi-Ground Media (www.hi-ground.com), recognized for creating some of the most captivating, immersive 3D content, produced the stunning Red Bull 3D action sports documentary entitled, “Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution.” Hi-Ground Media was responsible for the pre-concept, story development, production, and post. In association with Action 3D Productions, the production was directed by Mike McEntire and Wayne Miller, and led by Executive Producer Gregg Katano.
“Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution” is about the story of five top riders from around the world, competing at the world’s most extreme freestyle mountain biking event.
The documentary was captured in the rugged mountains of Utah in a variety of challenging weather conditions, including rain and sandstorms. Camera rigs were mounted with a variety of zoom lenses, including very long zooms, and high speed cameras with wide angle lenses.
The main challenge was the need for post production to adjust each shot with fast eye-matching tools, 3D geometric tweaks, and creative convergence choices. To achieve the depth and other 3D visual aspects, the system allowed for both interocular and convergence changes, which gave the ability to maximize the creative choices in both depth and dimension.
“Our most recent high profile 3D production, ‘Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution,’ combined the highly functional Mistika system with NVIDIA’s powerful GPUs,” stated Ajay Relan, Director of Business Development / Partner at Hi-Ground Media. “Using this sophisticated software and hardware combination allows us to continue pioneering the media production industry."
The Mistika post production system is the cornerstone of many post production facilities and broadcasters around the world, providing creative tools for 2D and highly-developed Stereoscopic 3D workflows, and boasts real-time visual effects, color grading, graphics, text, painting and multi-format mastering. Mistika uses NVIDIA Quadro GPUs to accelerate the algorithmic computations involved in several visual effects, such as color corrections, rescaling, blurs, chromas and, of course, stereoscopic 3D representation and adjustments in order to achieve real-time editing grading and compositing. HP Z800 Workstations equipped with NVIDIA Quadro 6000 GPUs are frequently used to accelerate the 3D post production workflows
Miguel Angel Doncel, CEO of SGO states: "SGO's Mistika has been programmed to make maximum use of the GPU for some years now. The result of this is unrivalled speed, with many effects not requiring any rendering whatsoever." Miguel continues:"Mistika is a complete post production system that stands out, owing to its immense power and speed. NVIDIA's Quadro graphic cards, in combination with Mistika's leading-performance toolsets and capabilities, results in a winning formula, enabling Mistika to work at astounding speed without comprising quality, and all in real-time."
The visually stunning “Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough” stereo 3D production aired on SKY's recently launched 3D TV channel last December, with an upcoming 3D IMAX delivery launching this April. "Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution” will be released later this year.
Image Courtesy:Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough, post produced at On Sight using Mistika, Courtesy of Atlantic Productions.
Red Bull Rampage 3D: The Evolution, post produced using Mistika, Courtesy of Hi-Ground Media, LA, US