4 TB original 4k footage available as CC-by

by - 2013/03/15 27 Comments Compositing, Development, Filming, Production

Thanks to our friends at Xiph.org we now can offer everyone access to the original source footage of Tears of Steel.

You’ll find something like 80,000 frames, each in OpenEXR half float files, in 4096 x 2160 pixels. This is 5 times more footage than used in the film, including unused shots, but mainly it’s because of long lead-in and lead-outs, and of course we’ve been cutting shots sharp.

Pictures have been shot using the (4k native sensor) fantastic Sony F65 camera. The raw files were converted with Sony software to OpenEXR, using ACES color. We then converted these with OpenColorIO to Rec709 “scene linear” which we further used for the movie pipeline.

Before we started with this VFX project we already noted a huge lack in available free high quality footage for motion tracking, keying and cleaning testing. With this huge data set this problem now belongs to the past forever!

Browse the full catalog at Xiph.org here.

Note about Creative Commons Attribution: apart from the obvious crediting, you have to be aware that the actors keep their Personal Image (Portrait) and Privacy Rights. That means the footage is OK to use for technical demos, showcases, tutorials etc. But not to use the actor for making a commercial. Read more here.

Have fun!

-Ton-

(BTW: xiph.org is currently syncing files from another server, arrival of all footage finishes in a few days).

New Premium Sponsor: Rovi Corporation

by - 2013/03/08 8 Comments Production

Our open film projects and the 4k re-rendering of Tears of Steel don’t go unnoticed by the industry. We’re very happy to confirm today that Rovi Corporation has offered to become Premium Sponsor for our project, to fund the work we’re doing here to get an amazing 4k (Ultra HD called now) version of Tears of Steel.

Rovi Corporation will premiere the first screening of several minutes of 4k ToS in April at the famous NAB show in Las Vegas.

Rovi Corporation press release

We expect to release the new version (downsized to HD, and a 2k DCP) shortly after. The 16 bits lossless frames (and OpenEXR originals) will be available some weeks after – it takes a while to upload another TeraByte of data.

Thanks Rovi!

-Ton-

Building a 4k display with 4 monitors

by - 2013/02/21 17 Comments Development, Production

So then we want to view 4k as well! Here’s a quick making-of.

  • We selected 4 monitors that can be wall-mounted, with a foot you can remove. Our 26″ Iyama screens worked perfect.
  • In the hardware store I bought “shelves rail” which is sturdy and has enough holes for the screens to mount.
  • With everything mounted, it was even standing reasonably firm on the bottom two screens

That was the easy part! Now get X11 to show a full desktop with 2 graphics cards and 4 monitors… how we got it to work:

  • You need two identical cards, different NVidia types mixed didn’t work
  • The cards have to be connected with an SLI bridge (see image)
  • Sudo mv your /etc/xorg.conf away to a backup name, restart system with all monitors connected
  • Start the Nvidia X Server Settings panel, “detect displays”, enable “twinview” and “Xinerama” for the screens, and arrange them in the right layout. This might take a couple of steps of “Save settings” and logout/login to see the effects.
  • The Gnome desktop insisted on drawing footer/headers on every monitor, and even doubling/tripling them. But with Xfce it was all perfect.

And voila, we even had Blender running! And more awesome, in the fresh 2.66 release the Blender “DPI” option (user prefs) scales a UI smoothly and crisp to double size as well. Works totally amazing :)

This is very promising for the future 4k computer monitors that soon will be available for more reasonable prices!

 

Tears of Steel – 4k

by - 2013/01/09 15 Comments Production

The Amsterdam Cinegrid Consortium has agreed on allocating a budget for us to re-render the film in epic 4k! With all original footage being in 4k (and cleaned at that size as well) it’s going to be mostly a challenge for our rendering, compositing and grading pipeline. Interesting job!

The format we’ll use is 4K CinemaScope cropped, 4096 × 1714, in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. That will become available as DCP as well.

An Ultra HD TV version of 3840 x 1714 will be made by cropping away from the sides, that’ll work fine I expect.

Best of all is that this version can get scaled down perfectly for a 2k cinema DCP (2048 wide) and a perfect crisp HD version as well (1920 wide). We might even make versions available for those having HiDPI tablets and screens!

Work on this will last until end of March. Estimated render time for our 30 systems is about 2 months, full time. Discussions with festivals for screening 4k, and/or Ultra HD vendors to use it for showcase will be going on as well.

-Ton-

All DVDs shipped

by - 2012/10/19 48 Comments Production

Right after the conference, Anja’s been very busy packing and sorting all pre-order DVDs for Tears of Steel. Here’s a picture of a proud Anja just before it all got picked up!