Tag Archives: Flame

Deluxe opens 4,000-square-foot color grading theater

Deluxe has opened a new color grading theater called Stage One. It is equipped with a large Stewart and RealDs screens and Barco projectors, as well as advanced color grading, audio and editorial systems. Located in Deluxe Audio Seward at Hollywood’s Glen Glenn Sound building, the 4,000-square-foot space features plush seating and “perfect” black levels.

“I’ve been dreaming of a space like Stage One since I started color finishing,” says senior colorist Skip Kimball, whose recent credits include Deadpool 2 at Efilm. “We’re set up to handle any format and have a fleet of projectors so I can grade on a screen that’s comparable to exhibition; it’s much easier to evaluate the picture and address any issues when you can see it on a 60-foot screen. And the size of Stage One is incredible; it can comfortably accommodate 120 people, so we can handle conform, color and VFX all in one space, with the director and cinematographer for a more streamlined process.”

Deluxe’s Stage One features a RealD Ultimate Screen with a 45’x21’7” maximum image and a Stewart Filmscreen SnoMatte 100 screen with 41’3”x22’4” maximum image, and can accommodate the latest display monitors, allowing production to view content in whatever format is needed throughout production.

The space is also equipped with two Christie Dolby Vision Eclipse laser projectors, capable of providing 108-nit brightness, as well as high frame rate projection and 4K resolution; a Barco DP4K-P reference projector for theatrical grading at 48 nits in 4K resolution; and a Barco DP4K-32B projector for RealD stereo theatrical grading at up to 48 nits in 4K resolution. Available color grading and editorial systems include Blackmagic Resolve, Autodesk Lustre and Flame, and Filmlight Baselight.

NAB: Autodesk buys Solid Angle, updates products

At the NAB show, Autodesk announced that it has acquired Solid Angle, developer of Arnold, an advanced, ray-tracing image renderer for high-quality 3D animation and visual effects creation used in film, television and advertising worldwide. Arnold has been used on Academy Award-winning films such as Ex Machina and The Martian, as well as Emmy Award-winning series Game of Thrones, among other popular features, TV shows and commercials.

As part of Autodesk, Solid Angle’s development team will continue to evolve Arnold, working in close collaboration with its user community. Arnold will remain available as a standalone renderer for both Autodesk products and third-party applications including Houdini, Katana, and Cinema 4D on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Both Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya will also continue to support other third-party renderers.

“We’re constantly looking out for promising technologies that help artists boost creativity and productivity,” shared Chris Bradshaw, senior VP, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Efficient rendering is increasingly critical for 3D content creation and acquiring Solid Angle will allow us to help customers better tackle this computationally intensive part of the creative process. Together, we can improve rendering workflows within our products as well as accelerate the development of new rendering solutions that tap into the full potential of the cloud, helping all studios scale production.”

“Autodesk shares our passion for numerical methods and computational performance and our desire to simplify the rendering pipeline, so artists can create top quality visuals more easily,” said Solid Angle Founder Marcos Fajardo. “With Autodesk, we’ll be able to accelerate development as well as scale our marketing, sales and support operations for Arnold to better meet the needs of our growing user base. Working side-by-side, we can solve production challenges in rendering and beyond.”

Arnold pricing and packaging is unchanged and Autodesk will continue to offer perpetual licenses of Arnold. Customers should continue to purchase Arnold through their usual Solid Angle channels.

Product Updates
In other news, Autodesk updated three of its products.

Autodesk Flame 2017:
– Camera FX scene-based tools enable the creation of sophisticated 3D composites in Action.Powered by algorithms from the Stingray game engine, artists can use these highly interactive VFX tools for ambient occlusion, realistic reflections, and depth of field without slowing interactivity.
– Connected color workflow introduces a new level of integration between VFX and proven color grading. This new workflow brings color grading information from Autodesk Lustre directly into Flame’s node-based compositing environment and maintains a live connection so that composites can be rendered and seen in context in Lustre (our main image). This collaborative workflow allows artists to rapidly finish high-end projects by moving seamlessly between compositing, VFX and look development tools.
– Color management enhancements to Flame, Autodesk Flare and Autodesk Flame Assist allow users to quickly standardize the way a source’s colorspace is identified and processed.
– User-requested enhancements include improvements to desktop reels, conform and timeline workflow, batch, media panel and the UI.

Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2:
Extension 2 adds new capabilities for creating 3D motion graphics, a new rendering workflow and tools for artists that allow them to create and animate characters faster and easier than ever.
– New motion graphics tools bring a procedural, node-based 3D design workflow directly into Maya. Combining powerful motion graphics tools with Maya’s deep creative toolset allows artists to quickly create sophisticated and unique 3D motion graphics such as futuristic UIs, expressive text, and organic animation and effects.
– Updated render management makes segmenting your scenes into render layers easier and faster, giving artists more control.
– Character creation workflows with a new quick rig tool and shape authoring enhancements that allow artists to create, rig and animate characters faster. Additional updates include: improvements to symmetry and poly modeling, UV editing, animation performance, rigging, the Bifrost workflow and XGen; a content browser; deep adaptive fluid simulation and high-accuracy viscosity in Bifrost; and XGen hair cards.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2017:
Freeing up more time for creativity, 3ds Max 2017 offers artists a fresh new look as well as modeling, animation and rendering enhancements, including:
– A new UI with support for high DPI displays expands the array of monitors and laptops users may run the software on while correctly applying Windows display scaling.
– Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART) a fast, physically-based renderer, enables the creation of photoreal imagery and videos.
– 3ds Max asset library, available via the Autodesk Exchange App Store, offers quick access to model libraries; simply search assets and drag and drop them into a scene.
– Additional updates include fast form hard surfaces; UV mapping, object tool and animation productivity enhancements; a scene converter for moving from one renderer to another or to realtime engines; and tighter pipeline integration via an improved Python/.NET toolset.

Behind the Title: Artjail CD/owner Steve Mottershead

NAME: Steve Mottershead (@stevemotts)

COMPANY: New York City’s Artjail @Artjail

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We do visual effects for commercials, films and video art. Recently, we have done production as well.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Creative Director/Owner

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
As creative director I am the creative leader of our studio. Big picture it involves thinking of initial ideas, technical and creative solutions, or just executing creative Continue reading

My Top 5 favorite keyboard shortcuts for Smoke

This Modern VideoFilm online editor shares some hot-key tips that make the job a bit easier.

By Barry Goch

I’ve been using Autodesk Smoke on Linux and Mac for many years… on features like Stretch and Tell to high-profile TV shows like Madam Secretary. In my experience, and when training new users to Smoke, I’ve found that using “hot-keys” or keyboard short-cuts really improves your speed on the system.

Every time you can reduce a multi-step process to a simple keyboard combination, you get your work done faster. Also, since your hands are on the keyboard, you save time mousing Continue reading

Nick Mueth brings Flame and color talents to Republic Editorial

Dallas-based Republic Editorial has hired finishing artist Nick Mueth, who is a Flame artist and colorist. He joins Republic’s existing team of Flame guys, Juan Luna and Greg Beninger.

Previously the lead Flame artist at the recently shuttered, cross-town shop Fast Cuts, Mueth has built a strong following in the Dallas area, working with various agencies on spots for clients such as McDonald’s, Zales, Helzberg, Match.com, The Travel Channel and Home Depot.

“We’re so excited to have Nick onboard,” says Republic managing director/partner Carrie Callaway. “He has an awesome reputation, and everything he brings to the table, from his personality to his talent, complements our team tremendously. Landing him was a big win for us.”

Mueth’s joining Republic was seems almost meant to be. Fifteen years ago he started as an assistant editor at Red Car Dallas, the shop that became Republic Editorial in 2013, following a change in ownership. After leaving Red Car Dallas in 1999, Mueth joined Video Post & Transfer, where he developed his skills as a Flame artist. He joined Fast Cuts in 2004, where he expanded his skill-set further to include color grading as well as 3D.

“There’s something special going on at Republic right now,”  explains Mueth. “The closing of Fast Cuts gave me the opportunity to explore many shops around town, and I sensed an energy and commitment to growth at Republic that’s really hard to duplicate. They’ve got all the right people in place, backed by a strong ownership team. I’m really glad to be part of it.”

NAB: Autodesk debuts Flame and Smoke 2015

Las Vegas —At NAB 2014, Autodesk debuted Flame 2015 – the latest iteration of its visual effects and creative finishing system, which offers new creative tools, faster performance, and an end-to-end 4K workflow. Autodesk also unveiled the latest version of its video editing software Smoke 2015, but more on that later. First Flame…

Flame 2015 allows artists to work interactively in 4K resolution and offers industry standard 4K formats: 4K/UHD color management supporting ACES and Rec-2020 color spaces; realtime monitoring and playback via SDI of 4K/UHD material at 50p and 60p; timeline effects and batch nodes performance optimization and 4K capable substance textures; and 16Gb Fiber Channel controllers in high-performance storage for realtime throughput of high-resolution images.

Continue reading

ArsenalFX provides VFX for two new Lexus spots via Team One

Santa Monica – VFX house ArsenalFX, which specializes in high-end commercial finishing, has produced visual effects for two new national Lexus spots out of agency Team One and shot by The Bandito Brothers.

“Shift,” which broke during the weekend after Thanksgiving, and “Say Nothing,” which aired for the first time on November 15 will initially be airing during in-game sports presentations.

In the “Shift” spot, we see the dashboard inside a silver Lexus GS performance sedan, as the driver pushes the start engine button, and speeds down a dark road at night illuminated by white lights blurring past. The driver shifts, then shifts, and then shifts again, through all eight speeds of a transmission.

The “Shift” spot (http://arsenalfx.gosimian.com/v2/sp/r/N1/1/s3NLvOMlzwJn1pwWOLTgwQ/ZGFuQGFzYnVyeXByLmNvbQ) involved ArsenalFX digitally removing vehicle front and rear sensors, and dirt, as well as some light spec removal on the vehicle itself. The entire conform of the spot consisted of variable speed alterations and motion estimation warps. Light effects were added by ArsenalFX to simulate the outer lights on interior shots. Road vibrations and vehicle movement were also simulated by Arsenal FX on all exterior road shots.

In addition, interior speed and RPM gauges were also reconstructed and redesigned by Arsenal FX (www.arsenalfx.tv) for proper speed manipulation. Rotoscoping and tracking was also used in various shots. To tie the full spot together, each shot had to be repo’d and resized for optimum viewing. A 2:35 letterbox was added by Arsenal FX for the final touch. They called on Flame for this one.

In the “Say Nothing” spot, we see a white Lexus IS sport sedan speeding around the curves of a racetrack under a cloudy sky, snow capped mountains in the background (http://arsenalfx.gosimian.com/v2/sp/r/N1/1/e6sT88zBQVMI9G7N0uDIHQ/ZGFuQGFzYnVyeXByLmNvbQ).

This spot required ArsenalFX to clean up a good deal of ground seen on the race track, as the road whips past the speeding car. This work spanned crane shots, curving roads, and camera zooms. Conventional 2D tracking techniques would not have been able to provide this outcome without extensive hand tracking and an odd-looking perspective.

1 IS Say Nothing

In order to accomplish this road cleanup, ArsenalFX used 3D tracking software (Boujou) to create a 3D camera that would match the live action camera which was used to shoot the original footage. These sequences were then brought into a 3D program (Maya) where the ground was modeled as geometry. Simply using a flat plane was not enough — ArsenalFX needed to match the curvature of the ground. This was all exported as an FBX and imported into Flame.

Once inside Flame, the ArsenalFX team painted numerous clean still frames of the race track. These were then projected onto the ground geometry and tracked in, via the 3D camera. Ultimately, a seamless and camera corrected fix resulted in a faster process, and in superior quality of the finished picture.

They also used Nuke in conjunction with Flame, said ArsenalFX’s Casey Conroy, “We harnessed Nuke’s powerful composting capabilities to clean up and enhance the Lexus IS. We also used it to track and composite background enhancement per client notes. It was an excellent complement to the Flames. Nuke expedited the turnaround and delivery of the spot.”

Be a part of Autodesk’s Best of the Best 2014 show reel

MONTREAL — Autodesk is now accepting submissions for its Best of the Best 2014 show reel, which will premiere at the NAB Convention from April 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Highlighting the year’s top talent and most innovative work created using Autodesk tools, the reel will be featured on AREA, the Autodesk website, the Autodesk YouTube Channel and at various industry events throughout the year.

Recent creative projects eligible for submission include animations, films, broadcast, cinematics, commercials, episodic work and/or music videos that were created with 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Softimage, Smoke, Flame, Lustre or the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite.

For more information visit http://area.autodesk.com/submitcontent/2013/bestofthebest.

Vico Sharabani wins first Flame Award

vico

Congrats to Artery VFX’s Vico Sharabani, Executive Creative Director/Flame Artist, for winning Autodesk’s first Flame Award. It was presented during IBC 2013 in Amsterdam.

The nominees were votes on by the community on Autodesk’s AREA website, and the final selection was made by an advisory board.

There were four criteria: creativity and artistry; deep technical knowledge; contribution to the community; and recognized leader. Continue reading