Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough Wins First 3D BAFTA

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Mon, 06/13/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough has become the first 3D documentary to win a BAFTA in the Specialist Factual category. Sir Attenborough's venture into the prehistoric era brings a magnificent view of an unobserved world back to life on 3D television and the IMAX screen. The project was posted at London’s On Sight. The company used an SGO Mistika for all the stereo 3D 2D and 3D IMAX post work. Due to the enormous scale of the project  On Sight networked two Mistika systems together on Hewlett Packard Z800 workstations and 24-inch monitors in order to improve efficiency where the online workload could be shared in real-time. This set-up using Mistika enabled the Mistika VFX and stereo 3D Artists Andy Lee and MiguelCaamaño at On Sight to work on specific tasks and thus maintain efficiency. One would work on a depth grade in one Mistika while simultaneously the other Mistika operator would work on a stereo correction which substantially accelerated the process. Attenborough had a clear idea of the story he wanted to tell but to shoot at a resolution suitable for both 3D television and 3D IMAX was a challenge. DP Tim Craggs using a Red One camera in 4K shot the footage in multiple worldwide locations. The challenge was to bring extinct pterosaurs back to life in CGI while conveying the story in stereo 3D. The location footage and CGI had to be carefully integrated in particular for one of the final sequences where Attenborough glides with a 50-foot wingspan pterosaur. Large amounts of visual effects footage for the program were received using Mistika and dropped it into the documentary. The stereo 3D finishing work which Mistika managed across the workflow at On Sight included stereo quality control conforming color matching color and stereo 3D depth grading  stereo fixing and compositing. Angus Cameron founding partner and post stereographer at Vision3 says “It is important that stereo 3D projects can be handled as efficiently as possible in post to encourage programme makers to embrace the medium. Mistika is an important tool when it comes to making this a reality. Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough was a ground-breaking project for both television and the big screen that presented a range of exciting challenges which we were happily able to meet.” Andy Shelley COO of On Sight says  “The Mistika platform  supported by Hewlett Packard Z800 workstations  provided incredible flexibility efficiency and stereo 3D workflows which allowed for real-time adjustments which was great for the client to be able to see immediate results in the finishing suite. Mistika's incredible power in stereo 3D has opened opportunities for film-makers to create exciting content now and in the future.” On Sight SGO