Soho-based post house, Preditors recently relied on SGO’s Mistika postproduction system to complete editing, grading and finishing of Kylie Aphrodite – Les Folies in 3D and 2D for Sky TV and theatrical distribution.
The Kylie Minogue concert tour was ideal for the 3D experience, with spectacular stage set choreography, which was enhanced by stereoscopic technology. The show was filmed and produced by Blink TV, and directed by Marcus Viner and Minogue’s creative director William Baker. Blink filmed the high profile event over two nights at London’s O2 arena using 12 stereo camera rigs, with additional 2D cameras for the 2D edit.
Reg Wrench and James Collett, owners and editors at Preditors, edited both the 3D and 2D versions, with finishing completed using Mistika by talented stereographer Ross Copeland.
“Preditor’s Mistika suite enables us to post produce high-quality stereo 3D programs and content, such as this high-profile project,” said Wrench. “We have developed a streamlined workflow for 3D projects, including multi-cam projects, off-lining and finishing in Mistika.”
Preditors’ workflow for the project was seamless, with the media being digitized and processed for 3D offline editing. Nine angles running in multi-clip in 3D could be viewed, which is essential when editing a 3D production. Multiple suites were in operation for the editing of 3D multicam footage, which were then switched to 2D using the 3D edit as a base for the 2D cut.
“When we came to start the 2D edit we thought we’d be disappointed after the spectacle of 3D,” said Collett. “In fact the 2D edit was just as exciting as the 3D, as both gave a completely different viewing experience. The 2D edit becomes more a part of the music and rhythm of the piece to provide something in addition to the show itself. It was great to really see how differently 3D and 2D work with music-based content.”
Owing to various distribution outlets in both 2D and stereo 3D, five different master versions had to be created. Convergence was adjusted for cinema and television versions, and cutdowns had to maintain all convergence and grade settings throughout the process. Mistika’s ability to re-link back to renders, with all adjustable parameters intact, made the versioning an easy task for Mistika stereographer Ross Copeland, as masters went back into offline for cutdowns before returning to Mistika for finishing. In total, Copeland post produced a two-hour 3D cinema version, a 3D blu-ray, a Sky 3D seven-part break version, as well as a Sky HD 2D format. Mistika’s new auto conform tools allowed Copeland to use the part break version EDL from the offline edit suite to re-conform the Mistika timeline, with all the color grade and stereo 3D work still preserved. This was then transferred into the part-break version in a matter of seconds. Copeland also used Mistika to conform the one-minute cinema trailer from the cinema version, which took seconds to complete.
Copeland explained that “some of the 3D cameras changed positions between the three performance recordings, giving the director a multitude of angles to work with. The crew did a superb job at covering all the shots. However, even with the best rigs and crew, there is still the need to fine tune the 3D geometry alignment and convergence in postproduction, in order to accomplish a really polished comfortable 3D film, that audiences will be able to watch for two hours.”
When Copeland started the geometry alignment work on the performance, he realized that the multiple angle coverage and the manual nature of the convergence pulling, meant that most shots, (and there were thousands of them), needed to be adjusted individually, rather then applying saved pre-sets for each shot angle. “Normally this would take several days to complete, but SGO had just issued the latest version of Mistika software with its fantastic new feature called Equalize.” Equalize is a new automated stereoscopic image-matching tool in Mistika.
“The new feature provided just one single click to auto-geometrically align the shots and also comes with superb auto color matching functions,” said Copeland. “With the Mistika Equalize auto alignment button, I was able to do three times more shots per hour than before, which significantly saved time.”
Copeland also keyframed-out convergence shifts during a shot, as it was so much faster and only involved one touch of a button on the shifting frames, with no rendering required for real-time playback.
“The director was specific about the color grading of the project which was easy to achieve with Mistika’s fast grading and compositing tools,“ said Copeland. “The new Mistika Equalize tool now gives you the option to match the grade between the eyes on a pixel-by-pixel basis, which can eliminate differences such as flares or reflections, as well as exposure and color balance differences, all with one click!”