Leading visual effects developer, The Foundry, announced the completion of the first OpenFX project: the indie feature THE PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES, due for release in November. An open API for visual effects software, OpenFX has been used on the film in conjunction with FilmLights Baselight grading and finishing system by German vfx facility, Optical Art.
Set in the late 19th century, THE PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES is a dark, strange love story where the look and feel of the film is as important to the tale as the narrative. However, having been shot in HD, when it got to post it was decided that the resolution was too sharp for the required atmosphere of the overall film.
Frank Hellman, digital intermediate supervisor, Optical Art commented, OpenFX is not just an idea anymore, it is in use in the real world today and with the greatly appreciated help of The Foundry and FilmLight, we have completed a full-length feature film that had at least half of the entire footage (HD/2K) running through OFX plug-ins. It was a hair-raising venture for us in the beginning, but after seeing everything coming together in December it all worked out very well.
Faced with weeks of processing, to soften the look before the VFX team could begin on the creative work, Hellman approached The Foundry to develop a specially designed plug-in to work with Baselight. As FilmLight had been an early supporter of OpenFX, The Foundry was able to quickly create a custom diffusion spark, producing a glow and anti-glow effect, to rectify the issue.
By running the project through Baselight, Hellman and his team were able to work on the footage during the grade. This was vital, as the HD shoot had also created a need for numerous color changes as well. The operators were then able to move back and forth freely between shots applying the spark during the Baselight grading process, saving an astonishing six weeks in post.
Jonathan Barson, md, The Foundry, added, As FilmLight is a great advocate of OpenFX we were able to respond very quickly to Optical Arts requirements and produce the software that they needed. This project is a perfect example of the rationale behind the development of our open API and we look forward to continuing our expansion of Open FX to other companies within the industry.
All shipping versions of Baselight support OpenFX technology.
The Foundry (www.thefoundry.co.uk) is a software developer specializing in plug-in visual effects for the film and video markets. The company was set up in 1996 by Bruno Nicoletti after writing custom effects for flame operators at Rushes Post-production in London. Simon Robinson joined soon afterward to form the partnership. The Foundry was the first sparks developer for Discreet and now have their Tinder, Furnace, Keylight and Anvil plug-ins on the leading compositing platforms for customers throughout the world.
FilmLight (www.filmlight.ltd.uk) was established to develop an integrated digital film mastering process by providing the worlds highest quality digital film scanning, grading and color management techniques. The FilmLight team has been pioneering digital film techniques for nearly 20 years. The companys clients for its Northlight, Baselight and Truelight digital film technology include Cinesite, ILM, Éclair, Rhythm & Hues, Pacific Title, FotoKem, Framestore-CFC, Matchframe and The Moving Picture Co. FilmLight has offices in London, Los Angeles and New Zealand.
Optical Art (www.opticalart.de) was established by Christian Burgdorff and Harald Lehmann in 1987 as an Optical House for commercials and feature film effects. In 1994 Optical Art made the transition into the digital realm as an early adopter. With its locations in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, Optical Art is a full service provider for the advertisement and film industry, with services including digital intermediate, digital dailies, visual effects, special effects and motion control. Since 2001 Optical Art is a fully owned subsidiary of the VCC Perfect Pictures AG.