PPO passes the colour grade.
Central to the grading and finishing process for all its motion-picture and commercials projects is Digital Vision's Nucoda Film Master, which provides significantly increased processing speed, powerful grading features and the DVO image processing toolset.
Editors at both facilities use Apple's Final Cut Pro (FCP) connected to a SAN system, which also connects to the Film Master. Dennis Yeung, owner of PPO, said: "In Shanghai most of the process will be in HD but in Hong Kong it's all at 2k. This is because the system in our flagship facility in Hong Kong is much more powerful."
PPO said its Film Master has already been used to grade a number of commercials for clients such as Sony, McDonald's and Canon. Recently, the Hong Kong facility has also completed the grade for Fox International's first Chinese-language film Hot Summer Days. Shot in Beijing and Hong Kong, the film, which stars Hong Kong idol Jacky Cheung, was released in February this year to coincide with the Lunar New Year. The director of photography (DoP) for the project is award-winning Sion Michel, who used Film Master for the first time.
Of this experience, Michel commented: "Recently, I had the opportunity to use Digital Vision's Film Master to execute the DI colour correction for the 35mm feature Hot Summer Days. With this incredible colour and grading finishing solution, there are no limits on one's creativity. Film Master has the ability to employ an infinite number of power windows to isolate a colour correction, density change, or defocus within the frame and then automatically track the correction throughout the scene with the camera movement. This is such a gift to the modern cinematographer."
PPO's Yeung added: "When we originally selected Film Master for the Hong Kong facility, none of the other grading systems that we evaluated offered such a complete toolset allowing us to tackle the type of work that we do.The auto tracker saves a lot of time; our colourists find it easy to track objects with one simple click. The DVO noise reducer is a must as it makes the visuals look clean and crisp, and does not require us to carry out noise reduction on the telecine. DVO allows our clients to see results in real time. We had no hesitation in choosing Nucoda Film Master for the Shanghai facility."
Film Master's "powerful" blade server, Turbine, is said to add significant CPU power to the workstation and improve render times more than tenfold.
Yeung explained: "The background/foreground renderer is like no other systems; once you do the grade, it auto renders in the background--even when using third-party plug-ins the render speed is still fast, often much faster than real time at full-resolution 2k. We tested all the grading systems side by side; the Film Master delivers on every feature without over-complicating the creative process. Our colourists are able to concentrate on grading without being overwhelmed by technicalities."