Legend3D recently served as the primary conversion vendor on the highly-anticipated 3D holiday release of Hugo – a live-action fantasy film based on the popular children’s novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Hugo is renowned director Martin Scorsese’s first stereoscopic 3D film, and opened Nov. 23.
While Hugo was shot using 3D camera rigs, Legend3D was tasked with restoring, colorizing and converting to 3D an assortment of vintage 2D material across three key sequences in the film. This included classic cinema from the early 1900s, such as Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon and The Merry Frolics of Satan, as well as new footage of Ben Kingsley in his role as Méliès. To accomplish this, the Legend3D team first prepared the source material in 2D, using restorative techniques to stabilize and accentuate the image quality while still retaining the vintage “look.” This material was then converted to 3D to match the overall depth of Scorsese’s native photography.
“Having had previous experience with Legend3D’s fine work on The Aviator, we had complete confidence in their ability to handle our historic Georges Méliès footage,” said Rob Legato, visual effects supervisor on Hugo. “Their 2D-to-3D conversion not only exceeded our very high expectations, but their fast turnaround and innate creative attention to detail produced take-one finals every time.”
“Applying VFX and conversion work to some of the first‘visual effects’ scenes in the history of cinema … this was intrinsically fun,” said Jared Sandrew, VFX supervisor at Legend3D. “The footage is inherently playful, which made it really come to life when introducing another dimension.”
Matt Akey, VFXproducer at Legend3D, added that “Rob (Legato) and Marty communicated a clear vision for our three sequences, and then trusted us to come up with stereo solutions and VFX treatments that helped augment key moments of the story, including the film’s finale.”
Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. The film was produced by Graham King, Tim Headington, Martin Scorsese and Johnny Depp, with Screenplay by John Logan (The Aviator, Rango) and stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield (as Hugo Cabret), Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer and Jude Law.