Mumbai, India “July 12, 2004” Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced that its lustre digital grading and color correction system is now installed in 17 film studios and post-production facilities around the world. Introduced in April 2003, Discreet’s lustre system has been used on blockbuster feature films Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and X2: X-Men United, as well as on upcoming feature films The Polar Express (starring Tom Hanks), A Different Loyalty (starring Sharon Stone), The Phantom of the Opera (starring Minnie Driver) and National Treasure (starring Nicolas Cage and Harvey Keitel).
Digital intermediates (DI), the latest revolution in film technology, is a process that converts film to high-resolution digital files and then back to film, thereby providing greater control over colour manipulation and visual effects. An April 2004 survey by Film & Video magazine indicates that 39 percent of post-production houses in the United States identified DI as being the most significant technical opportunity for business in 2004. Today, many films are being digitized from start to finish for creative purposes, whereas in the past only select shots requiring visual effects were digitized. Discreet’s lustre system is used on numerous films to digitally create consistent colouring and grading, and was developed in conjunction with Colorfront, a Budapest-based software development company.
Supervising digital colourist Peter Doyle, who graded both Catwoman and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, recounted: For Catwoman, the filmmakers wanted to recreate all the colour and glamour typical of the original comic books. Using custom plug-ins as part of the grading process, we were able to carefully control colour and recreate the lushness of older, silver gelatine-style black-and-white paper prints. Colorfront technology allowed us to achieve the filmmaker’s objectives with the greatest ease.
Companies that have purchased Discreet’s lustre system in the past four months include: Pacific Title & Art Studio (LA), Sony Pictures Imageworks (LA), Technicolor Creative Services (LA), Asylum (LA), Pixel Farm (Minneapolis), Universal Production Partners (Czech Republic), Oktobor (New Zealand), Prime Focus Limited (Mumbai), and clair Laboratoires (France).
Pacific Title & Art Studio has been in the feature-film post-production and film titling business for more than 85 years and has worked on feature films such as Titanic, Mystic River, The Cat in the Hat, and The Matrix Revolutions. Phil Feiner, CEO and president of Pacific Title & Art Studio, commented, With its robust toolset, Discreet’s lustre system offers our facility creative avenues we wouldn’t otherwise have. In the past, Pacific Title & Art Studio worked with Colorfront’s colour correction technology. Pacific Title & Art Studio decided to purchase the lustre system after using it for DCI StEM testing.
Mohsen Sadeghi, president and founder of Pixel Farm (Minneapolis), explained why he bought Discreet’s lustre system: Pixel Farm has a tradition of innovation in the Twin Cities post-production market. Now, I’m happy to be the Midwest pioneer of Discreet’s lustre system – the new generation of colour correctors. lustre creates an environment in which our colorist and clients can achieve more creative solutions to their work. Pixel Farm was drawn to the lustre system’s rich feature set, particularly the Non-Linear Collaborative Workflow and Resolution Independence (including 2K and 4K).
Discreet’s lustre system is the most mature, production-proven colour grading system available today, and is the choice of leading film studios, effects companies and post facilities, said Martin Vann, vice president of sales and marketing for Discreet. Its software based toolset allows us to innovate faster than hardware based offerings, and our success around the world reflects that innovation and speed to market. For example, we have an especially strong presence in Bollywood (Mumbai), the world’s fastest growing digital cinema market. There are more digital cinemas in India than in any other country, and Discreet is well-positioned to equip Bollywood with its growing need for digital post-production tools.
Bollywood’s Prime Focus Limited (PFL) is India’s largest post-production and visual effects studio. PFL has one of the world’s most sophisticated DI pipelines, including two Discreet lustre systems, a Spirit Datacine, a CELCO Fury and ARRI laser. To date, PFL has used the lustre system to colour grade more than five full-length Hindi feature films (Qayamat, Asambhav, Aan, Gayaab, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi).
Namit Malhotra, PFL’s managing director, said, “The DI process is welcomed by Bollywood filmmakers. The feature set in lustre is amazing! lustre’s keying, tracking, and the Automated Dust Busting Tools are far superior and greatly assist the DI project flow.”
Oktobor has facilities in Auckland and Wellington, and is currently working on several feature films, such as Spooked and Boogeyman. The post house invested in Discreet’s lustre system in order to expand its visual effects services to include digital color grading and DI for standard-definition, high-definition and 2K film projects. Oktobor aims to use lustre as the hub of an integrated and easily accessible visual effects toolset.
Dean Lyon, head of Oktobor, said, “I believe DI is a natural extension to our visual effects capabilities. We’ve been scanning film, manipulating and color grading images and sending them back out to film for years so we fully understand the process. Discreet’s lustre system fits with the thinking behind our purchase of a Millennium telecine, which allows us to maintain consistency and keep control of the look of a project throughout the entire post-production process.”
Discreet empowers media professionals to realise the visual experience and transform their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Discreet’s award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management and delivery across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, colour grading and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive, and design visualisation. Discreet is based in Montral, Qubec and is a division of Autodesk, Inc, the world’s leading design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company. Product and corporate information: www.discreet.com.
Discreet is a division of Autodesk, Inc. Autodesk, Discreet, and lustre are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc./ Autodesk Canada Inc. in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.