SGO's Mistika is Enterprising technology at Bad Robot providing unique film-based workflows in “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”

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Bad Robot selected Mistika for its high-end finishing and innovative 2D and stereoscopic 3D film workflows

Last Updated: September 6, 2013 12:01 am GMT
(Los Angeles, California--September 6, 2013) Already lined up for a variety of projects at Bad Robot, SGO’s Mistika was used in the post production finishing of the 2D and 3D movie “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”. Mistika's involvement also included unique workflow technologies for film and conform, in all dimensions for 2D, stereoscopic 3D and IMAX versions. Bad Robot's Mistika systems were put to work in all of the the visual effects systems integration and 3D coordination throughout the film. “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”, directed by J.J. Abrams, in co-production with Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, and Bad Robot Productions, represents the second feature in the brand which grossed more than $450 million at the worldwide box office.


Photo credit: ILM courtesy of Paramount Pictures The Enterprise in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. © 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

“Mistika has opened up an entirely new world of workflow efficiency and quality control to us by bringing high-end finishing capabilities inside our facility.”
Bad Robot Production Executive Ben Rosenblatt

“I don't see how we could have been able to do what we did without Mistika and SGO's stellar support!”
Juan Ignacio Cabrera, Digital Intermediate Supervisor on “Star Trek Into Darkness”

“The Mistika at Bad Robot represents a shift in the business, it moves a lot of "movie making" to the production company and closer to the Director which could turn out to be an interesting trend...there will be post production technology creep towards the camera again and Mistika will be a significant part of that."
Colin Ritchie, CEO, AArmadillo Inc., L.A.

MISTIKA'S UNIQUE TIMELINE AND ADVANCED CONFORMING TOOLS ENABLED BAD ROBOT TO WORK ON BOTH THE 2D AND STEREO 3D FEATURES TOGETHER
Filmmaker J.J. Abrams wanted to shoot on film to recreate the look of 2009’s STAR TREK, and yet this new instalment was meant to be released in Stereo 3D. The motion picture was therefore shot in 2D on 35mm film and 65mm IMAX film and then converted to Stereo 3D in post production. The conversion process created a new set of image material for both the left and right eyes in order to provide the best quality 3D experience. This meant that throughout the post production process, both a 2D and 3D master was maintained from their own source files, in comparison to a native shot 3D workflow where one of the "eyes" of the 3D footage becomes the source for the 2D version.


Photo credit: ILM courtesy of Paramount Pictures The Enterprise in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. © 2013 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Mistika's unique timeline and advanced conforming tools allowed Bad Robot's in-house post production division, Kelvin Optical to work on both the 2D and 3D features together, while Mistika's famous 3D tools were put to work on the 3D footage during the depth grade.

MISTIKA OPENS UP A NEW WORLD OF PIONEERING WORKFLOW EFFICIENCY AND FLEXIBILITY
Juan Ignacio Cabrera, Digital Intermediate Supervisor on “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”, who worked on the powerful workflow and script design in both 2D and Stereo 3D to optimise the pipeline infrastructure explains the innovative set-up at Bad Robot and why Mistika provided them with so much flexibility, "At Bad Robot most of the post production happens under one roof. This is truly great for the project, but you cannot fully benefit from it unless your tools can talk fluently with each other. In our case, the interaction between Avid and Mistika was constant, so having Mistika being able to both read and write Avid compatible media, as well as being able to conform against AAF or EDLs, equipped us with what we required in order to make the process transparent.”

Juan adds “It didn't matter if we were conforming against DPX's for the final project, or using Avid media for a quick review, or doing a full round-trip from Avid to Mistika, and back to Avid for the Editors to have pre-graded versions of shots. It all worked flawlessly thanks to Mistika's open architecture."

MISTIKA'S OPEN ARCHITECTURE OPTIMISES WORKFLOW INTEGRATION
Juan also provided technical supervision on the visual effects workflow regarding colour and LUTs as well as quality control and supervision of the exhibition copies, in all versions which included 2D, Stereo 3D and IMAX.

He discusses further how Mistika's open architecture helped with the workflow needed to post produce the film, "A great advantage of Mistika is that almost every file it generates, from timelines to clips or render files are “humanly readable” as plain text. This provided impressive scripting capabilities and integration with our workflow, enabling us to optimise its functions. In the case of “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” we had several scripts, from matching LUTs to specific shots (the film had a different LUT per shot to provide its unique visual style) to pulling only the used version of a shot on a conform from the server."

COMPLEX DELIVERABLES MASTERFULLY MANAGED AND CREATED IN THE TIMELINE
Mistika's advanced timeline and project management processes enabled Bad Robot to manage and create a complex set of final deliverables. There were in fact four different masters; which were scope versions in 2D and Stereo 3D with an aspect ratio of 2.4:1, plus IMAX versions in both the "3D Digital" and "3D Film" IMAX standards with aspect ratios of 1.9:1 and 1.66:1 respectively.

The IMAX versions were in fact made from both IMAX and scope shots and Juan explains "Centering the conform around the Mistika allowed us to keep all versions together and change from one to another with ease during the output process."

DIRECT GENERATION OF DCP'S FROM MISTIKA'S TIMELINE ACCELERATED REVIEW PROCESS
Apart from mastering the films themselves, Mistika was also used to generate all the promotional footage and trailers. The ability to directly generate DCP's from Mistika's timeline was also used extensively during the post production process, as was Mistika's abilities to supervise colour during the “pick-ups”.

SGO AND MISTIKA PROVIDE STELLAR SUPPORT
Juan notes “The incredible flexibility and reliability of Mistika allowed us to harness control of the conform and finishing process of the movie. Being able to go from almost any source to almost any deliverable at Mistika's remarkable speed, helped us meet every deadline along the way, maintaining creative control to the very end of the process. I don't see how we could have been able to do what we did without Mistika and SGO's stellar support!”

MISTIKA'S INNOVATIVE CAPABILITIES BOOSTS CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY AT BAD ROBOT
Bad Robot Productions invested in SGO's Mistika DI and Stereo 3D systems to serve as the centrepiece of its rapidly growing in-house production services operation, Kelvin Optical. Bad Robot now has constant access to the industry's performance-leading toolsets, by adding Mistika to its production pipeline, which is intuitively designed to help boost creativity and productivity. Mistika provides Bad Robot with a reliable high-end one-stop production solution within a seamless, file-based workflow environment.

Bad Robot Production Executive Ben Rosenblatt says “Mistika has opened up an entirely new world of workflow efficiency and quality control to us by bringing high-end finishing capabilities inside our facility. The platform’s versatility has already made it an essential part of every project, of any size, that we make. I’m particularly impressed by the Stereo 3D features which are unrivalled by any other system we considered, as is SGO’s commitment to personalised support and customisation of the software based on our needs.”

SGO's North American partner AArmadillo Inc. headed by CEO Colin Ritchie comments “The Mistika at Bad Robot represents a shift in the business, it moves a lot of "movie making" to the production company and much closer to the Director which could turn out to be an interesting trend. There's a lot of people looking at the Bad Robot model, its impact on the bottom line. If, which I am sure it will, save the company money I'm convinced there will be post production technology creep towards the camera again and Mistika will be a significant part of that."

SGO's Director of Sales & Operations Geoff Mills states “It is rewarding to see that “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” is yet another great example of how Mistika is being used to produce the highest quality Stereo 3D images. Crucially, it has also enabled the entire infrastructure and workflow to be as efficient as possible allowing creative processes to achieve stunning results. We pride ourselves in providing first class service to our customers who have a Mistika system on board and we look forward to working with Bad Robot on many more projects to come.”

SGO's CEO, Miguel Angel Doncel concludes “We are extremely proud to be working with J.J. Abrams and the incredible team at Bad Robot. SGO is delighted that its award-winning technology has been used on yet another high profile project, confirming once again that Mistika ensures the very best Stereo 3D experience in the industry. Mistika being encompassed by the most captivating storytellers of our time is phenomenal.”

THE SCI-FI PLOT
The film is is about the crew of the Enterprise being called back home, having to confront an internal terror threat that could place planet earth in a critical crisis. Captain Kirk declares a manhunt to find the human weapon of mass destruction.

Visit the official movie website here http://www.startrekmovie.com/#about


As the cornerstone of many internationally acclaimed facilities and broadcasters, Mistika provides creative tools for 2D and highly-developed stereoscopic 3D productions, boasting remarkable speed and real-time visual effects, colour grading, editing, compositing, graphics and multi-format mastering and much more. With Mistika operating from non-proprietary hardware with an open file structure, including widespread codec-support, it enables easy integration and compatibility with other systems. Mistika uses NVIDIA's Quadro GPUs to accelerate algorithmic computations involved in all visual effects, pushing the boundaries of science. SGO entrusts Mistika to HP's platforms in order to achieve maximum real-time editing, ultimate grading and compositing. HP Workstations are time-tested and dependable and exclusively used to accelerate 2D and Stereo 3D post production workflows in all Mistika projects. Mistika's breath-taking speed is indicative of how demanding it is on bandwidth to its storage devices and ATTO Celerity Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) provide that vital connection. Find out more about Mistika at http://www.sgo.es

About Bad Robot
Bad Robot was formed by filmmaker J.J. Abrams in 2001. The company has produced television series such as ALIAS, LOST, FRINGE, PERSON OF INTEREST and REVOLUTION, and feature films such as CLOVERFIELD, STAR TREK, SUPER 8, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
Bad Robot is based in Los Angeles and can be followed on twitter.com/bad_robot.

About Star Trek Into Darkness
“STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” is written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof and directed by J.J. Abrams.
Abrams produced with Bryan Burk through Bad Robot Productions, along with Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci; Jeffrey Chernov and Skydance Productions.

About AArmadillo
AArmadillo is a unique resource to the Entertainment industry consistently introducing groundbreaking products to the business. Established for over 10 years the company has played a significant role in Private Media Networks, On Set Recorders, 3D workstations, On Set Dailies Systems, Mobile video and rendering trucks and Colour Correction Suite design. The company has a wealth of knowledge with digital pipeline development, both 2D and 3D and has advanced solutions to solve today's production challenges. http://www.aarmadillo.com

About SGO
An established European developer of leading high-end solutions including its flagship DI and Stereo 3D finishing system Mistika, and onset application Mistika Live application for the post production and broadcast industries, supported by specialist technology partners such as HP and NVIDIA. SGO also relies on ATTO Technology, Inc., the storage and network connectivity solutions provider to bring even greater performance standards to Mistika workflow solutions for high-end film and broadcast projects. With ATTO Technology's experience in engineering advanced technology into real-world product solutions, they provide SGO with a unique competitive advantage. A global company, SGO continues to expand rapidly with offices and reseller partners across the world. http://www.sgo.es

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Comments

Re: News: SGO's Mistika is Enterprising technology at Bad Robot providing unique film-based workflows in “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS”
by Siggy Ferstl
Congratulations to Stefan Sonnenfeld who has been nominated for an HPA award for coloring “STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS” on a BMD Da Vinci Resolve color corrector.
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