The Orphanage Brings VFX And DI Processes Together With Film Master

Straight-up press release for now, more thoughts and analysis of how this relates to prior musings later.

Top visual effects studio The Orphanage has purchased its Film Master finishing system to extend its creative and workflow management services to include DI and colour grading.

With Film Master, The Orphanage is able to harness artistic talent more efficiently and eliminate re-work across the VFX and DI processes for both film and commercial work.

The upcoming Frank Miller film The Spirit, shot with the Panavision Genesis camera, is the studio’s first project that leverages the Film Master. The Orphanage is the lead VFX studio on the film, managing the creation of effects by a number of facilities, and will also perform the final DI/colour grade. On the VFX side, the Film Master is the central repository where all of the VFX work comes together. The system is located in The Orphanage’s San Francisco studio, where it is implemented on the studio’s SAN and has access to all VFX assets for real-time playback and manipulation.

Stu Maschwitz, Co-founder, VFX Supervisor and Director at The Orphanage, said, “If a vendor gives me a shot that’s 99% there, rather than send it back and ask them to perfect the color, I can do that work immediately and potentially have a final shot instead of needing another iteration. Because that shot can then be used in the DI as is, because we’re using Film Master for both processes, it also solves that huge frustration of having VFX artists slave over the look of a shot only to have it re-created again in DI.”

With its comprehensive grading and conforming toolset and modular control panels, Film Master fit The Orphanage’s need for a full, high-end system. Maschwitz said, “We evaluated a number of systems looking for the best combination of a software system with a hardware interface, and an approach that was familiar and comfortable for high-end colorists. Every time I looked under the hood of Film Master I liked what I saw. The way the tools work, the order they’re presented in, how they interact with the panels – it’s all incredibly well thought out.”

Simon Cuff, Digital Vision President and COO, said, “The Orphanage’s implementation of Film Master pulls together two highly creative processes—VFX creation and DI—which are typically serial, and combines them to enhance the creative elements and increase final quality. Film Master offers the most complete set of conform, grading, finishing and image enhancement tools that make it an ideal platform for the converging VFX/DI workflow.”