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HomeNewsMistika Helps Visualize the Evolution of Flight for David Attenborough's Conquest of...

Mistika Helps Visualize the Evolution of Flight for David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies


Atlantic Productions' David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies (By Copyright Colossus Productions).
Atlantic Productions’ David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies (By Copyright Colossus Productions).

London-based post house ONSIGHT recently relied on SGO’s Mistika finishing system to create a visual account of how flying animals evolved into the familiar species we see today for the documentary series David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies, produced by Atlantic Productions

As well as winning a 2014 BAFTA, the series was recently nominated for a British Academy Television Craft Award for special, visual and graphic effects. The results will be announced at a ceremony in London on April 26.

This is ONSIGHT’s seventh Attenborough project for Colossus Productions. The series depicts complex flight skills with creative ingenuity. Formats used included 4K, HD, 3D and 2D including a custom 4K workflow built by the ONSIGHT post division. After also providing R&D and cameras for the project, the facility worked with massive amounts of data amounting to approximately 50 terabytes and a variety of camera formats such as RED Epic. In post, ONSIGHT provided plate preparations, DI, VFX, conform, QC, mastering and deliverables in 3D and 2D. This included the ability to screen 4K masters, combining 5K live action with 4K VFX and CGI.

LR-Conquest of the Skies 3D PR36 MOON MOTH (2) Copyright Colossus ProductionsMistika’s real-time speed enabled ONSIGHT’s senior colorist Andy Lee to alternate between the color and depth grades, as well as the VFX conform as he graded subtle tones to convey the changing landscapes filmed in places ranging from Ecuador to the grey palettes of Scottish skies.

“Mistika allows me to work with ease across multiple formats, frame sizes and deliverables,” said Lee. “David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies is an example of one of our extensive and innovative projects in 3D and 2D, which requires that level of flexibility, benefiting us and the production team.”

VFX stereo artist Miguel Camaño Riveiro supported the project with stereo corrections and compositing work.

Conquest of the Skies builds on all the storytelling and technology that we have been developing on these programs with David over the last five years,” said Anthony Geffen, producer and CEO of Atlantic Productions.

ONSIGHT’s previous collaborations on Attenborough productions include David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive and Flying Monsters, both of which won BAFTA awards for specialist factual, as well as Micro Monsters, Galapagos, Kingdom of Plants and The Bachelor King.

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