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.


  1. kopias says:

    blender can handle 4k compositing?

  2. ton says:

    Of course Blender can! The new compositor was designed to handle large resolution well.

  3. Mal says:

    Get the open pandora console on the network to help bring down rendering times, Blender test just released for it ;P

  4. LOGAN says:

    In a time where Blu-Rays get flamed if they don’t release a movie in its original format? Black Bars > Cropped!

    Good luck with the 4K! A good time to correct the faulthy grading of the original release as well releasing a 5.1 version!!!

    • J. says:

      This movie has been designed for 2:39:1, so no cropping, please!
      Just downscale it!

      • ton says:

        For the 4k TVs – scaling it down from 4096 to 3840 would need filtering, so it loses a bit of the brilliant detail then. Just removing 128 pixels (only 3%) from the sides would really still look great.

        The 2k and HD versions will be of course in original aspect.

        Further: you don’t have a 4k tv, right? So why worry! :)

      • David Jordan says:

        It should be fine to just download the 4096-wide version and have the player downscale it. I believe this is the choice made for the 2096-wide version of sintel. I believe Ton suggested that there would be a 4096 version and a cropped 3840 version. If you prefer downscaling, the 4096 version should do fine.

    • David says:

      Since they are making (and I’d expect releasing the uncompressed frames on xiph.org based on past films) the renders in the original aspect, it would be trivial to either crop or downscale from that. Cropping for those that favor image crispness and downscaling for those who favor faithful mise-en-scene. If Blender Foundation doesn’t make one or the other, it could certainly be done by anyone with sufficient bandwidth.

  5. Robbie Losee says:

    Sounds great! So ToS will still look awesome in space 10 years from now.

  6. Claus Munch says:

    Looking forward to blasting this up on the big screen in my local public cinema ;)

  7. sounds GREAT! Wait some rendered png format :).

  8. Otto says:

    It would be great if there was a way to do a version of blender render that could support distributed computing (e.g. Folding at home, seti@home etc). Then the server allocates frames out to people. I’m sure many people would be keen to help out.

  9. Tae says:

    You know about the crap we posted in All DVDs shipped? You may avoid the smart quotes filter that Typophile removed; using HTML entities, hexadecimal or decimal.

  10. Peter says:

    Will it be possible to render and offer 4K also in Webm (VP8 + Vorbis) please? Thanks!