March 15th, 2007 | Tags:

by Jennifer Wolfe

When David Blum of Catalyst FX was hired by Bauer Martinez Studios as vfx supervisor on the upcoming Warner Bros. thriller, The Flock, he recruited Product Factory’s George Rizkallah to develop a customized 2K pipeline to enable the team to do a final conform using Apple’s Final Cut Pro (FCP). The pipeline employed four AJA KONA 3 cards running on Apple Mac Pro systems on an XSAN network with 26 terabytes of storage, connected via 2-Gig fibre.

The Flock, starring Richard Gere and Claire Danes, is the first major film finished in 2K, DPX, 4:4:4 log color space using FCP, and both Blum and Rizkallah credit the workflow’s success to the AJA KONA 3 card.

“Because of the way our vfx shots were created—many multi-layer timeline effects on over 800 shots—the only way to complete the film on time and budget was to do the final conform in Final Cut,” said Blum. “The AJA KONA 3 was the perfect solution.”

With the offline FCP sequence too complex for vfx and editing to be replicated within the production company’s timetable, Rizkallah customized a pipeline using Cinema Tools with original software to create pull lists for scanning, setting the handles of the scan to match the Media Manager handles set in FCP to the KONA 3 2K setting.

“We chose the KONA 3 card because with a 2K conform in Final Cut, you’re working with huge file sizes and amounts of data,” said Rizkallah, DI Supervisor for The Flock. “Only AJA can handle files of these sizes.”

Using AJA’s DPX-to-QuickTime Translator, sequential DPX files were wrapped as QuickTime files for proofing and rendering, then converted back into sequential DPX frames, and delivered to Warner Bros. for color correction on a Filmlight Baselight system.  

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