Friday, March 18, 2011

Framestore flies with Mistika to demystify stereo 3D for ingenious LG cinema commercial “Rare Butterflies”

LONDON, UK: SGO's Mistika was used by Framestore for all the stereoscopic alignments, depth grading and visual effects compositing for the LG “Rare Butterflies” cinema commercial for LG's integrated 3D cinema and digital campaign. Directed by Richard Ayoade for Framestore’s digital team, and lead by Executive Producer, Simon Whalley, Framestore conceived, filmed and post produced the high profile campaign for agency Mindshare, to demystify stereoscopic 3D, using humour and interactive elements on the online version.

Framestore used its extensive stereoscopic 3D knowledge gained from working on Avatar and subsequent stereoscopic productions such as the PHILIPS' Parallel Lines' The Foundling to create the spot and chose SGO's Mistika to complete the cinema commercial. Filmed with a pair of SI-2K cameras, the project was a “one shot” commercial and therefore, initially, the best take was selected to work from.

At the start of the film, Mistika was used to mimic the tone of an old “anaglyph 1950's B-style movie”, using internal colour grading and grain generating features. Framestore's Executive Producer, Simon Whalley states: "Mistika was the perfect tool for this project. It was essentially the main hub for the commercial, and we were able to plug our CG pipeline directly into it. Also, as this was a commercial for cinema, the ability to export a DCP from the Mistika to our network and be viewing the film back in our cinema, in stereo 3D, within fifteen minutes, was fantastic.”

David Cox, Visual Effects Artist & Colourist, worked on the entire stereo 3D post effects at Framestore, using Mistika, where he explains the stereo 3D post process: “The next main section of the commercial shows a footballer kicking the ball directly at the audience for a classic, 3D surprise “duck” moment. In fact, the ball was actually kicked directly upwards and out of the frame.

At the point of the kick, Mistika's stereoscopic painting and compositing tools were used to remove the original ball and replace it with one created in stereo 3D, which could then be carefully animated to create the desired effect.” David continues: “A similar process was used to remove a puppet of a parrot that flew through the frame, and replace it with an alternative version that hit its cue mark a little better.”

Mistika was also used to augment an eye-catching sequence that included hundreds of blossoms falling from a tree. Around fifty additional blossoms that exactly matched the original ones, were created and animated in Mistika, in order to enhance the stereoscopic 3D experience. The final scene includes hundreds of flying butterflies that fill the 3D space around the main characters.

These were animated in Maya and passed to Mistika as EXR files for compositing along with shadows, reflections and so forth. David concludes: “The commercial ends with a classic product shot, which had all the usual “beautification” processes applied to it, but this time in stereo 3D by Mistika.”

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