Posted by Bill Ennis, 16 August 2010 8:00 pm
All of the 2011 releases of Autodesk products feature stereoscopic tools and my good friend Marc Hamaker had a chance to sit down with some of our best clients to discuss how artists, especially Flame artists, are preparing to meet the challenge of Stereoscopic Finishing. Take a look at Marc's guest blog post and be sure to watch the you tube video he links to at the end.
As Senior Product Marketing Manager for Creative Finishing here at Autodesk, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of our customers to talk about the emergence of stereoscopic 3D (S3D) in all facets of post production. While feature length S3D films like Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon are obvious successes in movie theaters, I was curious to see how S3D was impacting Flame and Smoke customers in the commercial post and broadcast market. I’m excited to see S3D content is quickly picking up the pace, and in the second half of 2010 we'll continue to see more and more television and broadcast outlets adding S3D programming. Though viewers love the feeling of S3D - it’s adding a whole new dimension to the way they are experiencing and demanding entertainment, literally - it does create new challenges for artists, designers and content creators at all levels of production.
S3D and broadcast
HD infrastructure already in place has made it relatively easy for broadcasters to deliver S3D programming to the home, and this is putting pressure on production houses working to bring this technology into their workflow as they deliver show and promo content for the small screen. David Klinkowize, Designer/Editor from The Creative Group in New York City, upon hearing that one of his biggest clients was launching an S3D channel, said, “Ok, this is happening. We’re going to be creating S3D content, in the very near future, and how are we going to do that?”
Uncharted territory – familiar workflows
Branching out into any new creative direction can be nerve-racking, but in the case of stereoscopic 3D, the people who have ventured out are really walking into uncharted territory. The thought of taking on that first stereoscopic 3D project can be daunting, but it’s becoming a reality that we may all have to face soon. Artists must learn new skills and take on a new thought process for S3D projects. When moving into S3D, there are a lot of things to consider. However, with Autodesk solutions, your pipeline can remain virtually unchanged as Autodesk tools like Flame or Smoke make moving into S3D almost as easy as a single button click. As Scott Malkie, Post-Production Supervisor and Flame artist for The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia, explains, “There isn’t a new workflow for stereo; there isn’t anything different you have to do to make it stereo. You basically tell [Flame or Smoke], 'this clip is stereo,' and all your soft effects, all your batch effects, all your action set ups, everything just works. It’s a very quick and easy transition from working in mono to working in stereo.”
While delivering whole stereoscopic project might not be that simple, making the move to S3D as easy and flexible as possible was paramount to our goals for the 2011 releases of Autodesk’s Creative Finishing software. 3D technology is at the core of all of Autodesk’s software offerings, and S3D is simply the next logical step in a creative workflow where artist are already used to working in a true 3D compositing environment. In the relentless world of high-end finishing, artists have to learn quickly - often trying new tools and workflows only when that first S3D job comes into their suite - so asking them to learn a whole new toolset for stereoscopic work would be overkill. Our 2011 line of Creative Finishing tools provides an out-of-the box solution for editing, viewing and compositing Stereoscopic 3D content that integrates S3D into your existing creative workflow to ease the transition from 2D to 3D delivery. “It’s a big bonus for us. We aren’t having to learn a complete system from scratch again," says Jonathan Hancock, Flame artist at UK broadcaster B Sky B. For artists already familiar with Flame’s 3D compositing toolset, the new stereoscopic 3D finishing tools in Flame and Smoke simply builds on the existing creative and technical workflows that they are already depend on.
“Yes, I can do that!”
We sometimes like to say that being a Flame or Smoke artist means never being able to say “no” - even to your clients' most outrageous requests - so we understand that it is important for to be able to adapt quickly and easily to new technology in order to be successful. We hope that the 2011 releases deliver a stereoscopic 3D workflow that anticipates the needs of artists working in real-world sessions. Dale Boyce, Senior Editor/Compositor at The Creative Group in New York City said, “It’s nice to have the tools arrive having already thought through some of the problems you were wondering how you were going to face.”
So with that, I leave you with this video on Stereoscopic 3D for television featuring Autodesk customers from around the globe sharing their thoughts on S3D as they pioneering this new workflow in broadcast and commercial post.
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