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YoYo Helps Smoke & Mirrors Make Magic


Smoke & Mirrors' new grading suite.

Award-winning commercial visual-effects facility, Smoke & Mirrors NY recently implemented YoYotta’s YoYo workflow management system to accommodate the wide variety of camera formats in use today. In mid-2010, the facility opened a new colour grading suite built around a da Vinci Resolve system, and found that they needed an efficient system for creating DPX files for grading. With YoYo, Smoke & Mirrors can now ingest, transcode, conform, and also output any standard video- or data-based file format without tying up the resources of the grading suite or the colourists.

“Clients were coming in with footage shot on Canon 5D, 7D, or ProRes and we couldn’t easily get them into the Resolve,” explained Simon Hester, head engineer at Smoke & Mirrors NY. “It was a growing problem, and we realized we needed a comprehensive solution fast because we didn’t really have anything to handle multiple formats. YoYo really fit the bill.”

YoYo offers a software-based system for managing postproduction workflows. Originally created to be the conform i/o interface for Pandora colour correctors, YoYo has grown into a suite of three modules – YoProject, YoCapture and YoSource. YoProject manages file-based data. YoCapture allows users to ingest video sources, and YoSource is designed for conforming and outputting video masters.

“The main advantage is that you can open pretty much any type of file and convert it immediately. It’s so much easier to use in just one package. Without it, we would have to download different software packages from different camera manufacturers to transcode individual files, and we would be running around between different machines,” explained Hester. “YoYo is just far simpler and faster.”

Hester explained that the company’s London facility has also installed a Resolve colour corrector and YoYo, in conjunction with Pandora’s Psi to run Spirit telecines. “We try to keep our facilities technology compatible,” he said. “It’s easier for us engineers to fix a problem, and we can also share knowledge across the Atlantic.”

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