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May 2013

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Vision Globale had about a year to convert the 2D-shot Upside Down for stereo release on Blu-ray. 24 VISION GLOBALE Montreal-based Vision Globale (www. came to stereo 3D conversion from the film restoration side of the business when it was asked to apply its restoration expertise to some native 3D stereo features that had shots with image capture or resolution issues. "The work involved image treatment or image processing for problems they needed to resolve," says Jean-Pierre Trudel, supervisor of the conversion department. So Vision Globale's GeneSys software, created for film restoration work, was adapted to rectify geometry and color in stereo 3D movies. For example, "The color matching we had been doing with GeneSys was adapted to handle left eye/right eye problems in stereo," he explains. "Most other companies look at 3D conversion from the VFX side, but we come from the problem-solving restoration side." According to project manager John Montegut, Vision Globale "has made the choice to develop 100 percent of our technology — we don't buy commercial software" for restoration or 3D conversion. "Choosing to build restoration software ourselves has given us a lot of latitude, especially when you need to solve day-to-day problems: We don't have to wait for the next release of a piece of software to fix a problem. The same applies to 3D conversion." Trudel notes that Vision Globale had the luxury of a long-term project to do R&D tool development and translate its restoration capabilities to stereo conversion. The sci-fi romance Upside Down, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess, was shot in 2D in Quebec last year and had limited release in the US. Vision Globale had about a year to adapt and create tools to convert the film to stereo 3D for its Blu-ray release. Most recently, the company converted The Pee-Wee 3D: The Winter That Changed My Life, a Quebec-made feature about that great institution: pee-wee ice hockey. Producers conceived the film as a native 3D shoot but Post • May 2013 Post0513_022-24, 26-stereoRAV4finalread.indd 24 has 400-500 shots in the snow, which are not easy to convert. We've used a lot of restoration techniques, like dirt removal, combined with VFX to achieve them." Vision Globale sees a bright future for stereo 3D conversion. "There's still a lot of education to do, especially about how to shoot 2D for 3D conversion when you have a project in production," says Trudel. "But a lot of films will get a second life in stereo 3D." quickly realized that shooting on the ice with a stereo 3D rig would be complex and cumbersome at best and likely impossible some of the time. They considered a hybrid 2D/ native 3D approach, but after consulting with Vision Globale they opted to shoot standard VENTURE 3D 2D and do a complete conversion. With offices in The Culver Studios in Cul"What was important was that they ver City, Venture 3D ( respected the language of 3D in shooting the deploys proprietary software in the depth film — the lenses they used, the angles they process to help establish the roundness of shot — and that helped make the conver- characters and offset them with no spatial sion look great," says Trudel. discontinuity in the frame. All of its conver"A common fact in all the conversions sions are performed in Seoul, Korea, which is we've done and something that's always a linked via secure Internet connections to surprise is that the best shots are the close-ups Culver City and offers essentially round-theand the very intimate sequences," notes Mon- clock services. Todd Cogan interfaces with tegut. "In The Pee-Wee we thought the hockey the client and with artists in Seoul, and action would be the greatest shots in stereo supervises QC in both venues. 3D, but it's the close-ups of faces, the dialogue Cogan has an extensive native stereo scenes that work best. It's taking what's three- background working for more than a decade dimensional in our lives and giving it a second life in stereo 3D. The director of The Pee-Wee said his next film would be a straight drama, and he'd make it the same way." That said, The Pee-Wee has its share of stereo action on the ice. "I saw the film in a theater during the The Art of Flight: Venture 3D took creative license in order to give depth to NHL lockout and landscapes, such as mountains 25 miles in the distance. ever yone was shouting and cheering like it was a real game," with both James Cameron and Vince Pace. laughs Montegut. "There are a few shots, like He believes that conversion is a very viable a strong slap shot, where the puck is in nega- alternative to native 3D especially for a film tive parallax to enhance the VFX." such as The Art of Flight, an international Integrating VFX into stereo 3D conversion snowboarding film from Red Bull Media is a field that Vision Globale plans to tackle. House that he describes as a "prime" candi"Adding VFX to the process, merging con- date for conversion. version with VFX technology is something "They originally released it in 2D on we want to explore now," says Montegut. "A iTunes and got over 400,000 downloads," he science-fiction movie we're working on now reports. "So they decided to re-release the- 5/3/13 2:41 PM

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