Post Magazine

February 2011

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He notes that even had they been crafted in 2D, the titles’“design, edit- ing and storytelling would have been the same. 3D adds an extra element and takes more time to render and composite.” “It’s still an education for everyone,” says Green.“When we look at tests with clients we go into the theater, put on the glasses and hope for the best!” SKY CREATIVE Sky Creative, the in-house creative department of broadcaster BSkyB ( based outside London, may have the most continuous stereo 3D experience of any graphics house today. BSkyB launched a stereo 3D channel showing sporting events in pubs and clubs in April ‘10; a domestic 3D channel, Sky 3D, launched in homes in the UK airing original sports and arts programming and exist- ing 3D movies in October ‘10. “We started visual effects and graphics development work about six weeks before Avatar released in conjunction with the testing of the OB trucks,” recalls VFX manager Sarah Cloutier.“We produced a cinema spot that ran in front of Avatar that used Softimage|XSI for CG and The Foundry’s Nuke for compositing and finishing in SGO Mistika.That gave us the basic platform and pipeline we’re using for all our 3D broadcast de- sign, channel branding, bumpers and promos.The only change is now we are using Nuke for desktop compositing, and we correct geometry, finish, master and grade in Mistika or Autodesk Flame.” Flame’s 2011 release provided “very robust stereo tools for all graph- ics packages,” she notes.“Every week we do quick football match open- ers, team badges for transitions and wipes, and goal and trophy wipes. We supply Flame data to Vizrt, which plays out the graphics live from the trucks.” She says that a year ago “we had the idea of taking the sensibilities of a feature film pipeline and making it fast for TV.We don’t have the time that film people do:we have to turn things around in hours sometimes.We’ve written our own plug-ins for Softimage and are working with SGO to en- sure that Mistika continues to be developed at the speed we need.” Sky Creative now routinely works in anaglyph shaders with three cam- eras in a scene: left, right and center.“We use the center to render the HD version,” says Cloutier.“When you’re designing titles or channel branding if you only use the left eye for the HD version it feels weird, it’s not center- framed.When we roto or comp with Nuke we work with the left and right eye separately, and when we color match we use a split screen.” The chief difference in designing graphics for 3D is “the need to fill the depth budget, to put things in the back, middle and foreground to give a sense of depth. But things can’t be too busy,” she cautions.“The design has to be more refined, simpler. If you put too many graphics and moving ele- ments in 3D space it can be very confusing to the viewer.” Sky Creative recently crafted a stylish ID for Panasonic, which sponsors 3D films on Sky Movies, that was such a hit that Panasonic now also runs it in cinemas.They supervised the live-action 3D shoot in Prague, flying in a replacement camera from the UK when one of the cameras on the rig failed.The shoot captured a woman walking through a magical environ- ment; Sky Creative added CG snow and composited in glowing teardrop- shaped lamps on the floor.When the camera pulls back viewers realize the woman is actually inside the TV. “Fully-integrated CG and compositing in 3D is becoming more com- mon and easy to produce in short time frames due to the robust and effi- cient workflow Sky Creative [has] developed,” Cloutier reports. DRIVING STEREOSCOPIC Kim Lee, who heads New York City’s Worlds Away Productions Digital continued on page 45 February 2011 • Post 19 From capture through distribution, ATTO powers high-performance audio & video workflows. Leading industry solutions rely on ATTO to provide reliable connectivity that is trusted by top audio & video professionals. You can now have the same technology that drives their success. How is creating graphics for 3D different than 2D? “The simple answer is this: It’s double the work for the 3D version. In the bigger picture, you’re creating graphics for 2D as well as 3D. Rarely is there just a showcase for 3D only, especially for commercials.We would design the graphics in the 2D sense, get them looking perfect, but then comes the application of the second camera and it can change the look and feel of the dimensionality. The 2D version might get approved, but 3D brings in a whole other way of viewing it. If the 3D is adjusted, it may have an effect on the 2D graphic, as it will need to be adjusted for consistency between the two versions. “For example, in the ESPN/Sony BCS spot Impres- sive(shown), the light motion across the graphics in 2D felt very different once viewed in 3D. Our ultimate solution in 3D changed slightly and that had to be reflected in the 2D version. Deciding which graphics broke the convergence plane, or if they came close to breaking the plane, was a big factor.”— Aron Baxter, Creative Director, Nice Shoes ( Powering High-Performance Audio & Video Workflows South Hall, Lower Level, Booth SL2510

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