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Hannah Montana 3D Uses Quantel Tech

Walt Disney Pictures' HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT not only broke box office records when it was released earlier this month, playing to sold out shows across the United States - it also made history.

It was the first live action feature to open in digital 3D, and it was the first film produced using Quantel's Pablo 4K with the Stereoscopic 3D option, Quantel announced Friday.

The film, directed by Bruce Hendricks, was produced very quickly. Shot in St. Louis and Salt Lake City in October, 2007, the concert film was in theaters a mere 11 weeks later.

That allowed Disney to capitalize on the intense interest in the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus live concert tour, which wrapped up its U.S. run just a day before the movie's debut on February 1, 2008.

Completing an ordinary feature film in less than three months would have been a tall order, but, given the daunting technological hurdles, to do so with a 3D movie was an extra challenge.

Color grading and conforming was completed at FotoKem using a pair of Pablo 4Ks, each with the stereoscopic 3D-D option, in DI Theaters set up specifically for 3D work.

An industry leader in both 35mm and 70mm 3D, the facility was the first in Hollywood to acquire Quantel's new stereoscopic technology, which was introduced last September.

Considering that the project effectively required coloring and conforming two 80-minute films (due to the left eye/right eye film streams), it was not a task that FotoKem took on lightly.

FotoKem's first step was to set up a pipeline to take full advantage of tools and efficiencies inherent in Quantel's Pablo 4K platform and stereoscopic 3D technology in order to keep pace with the film's breakneck production schedule.

Anticipating that convergence (effectively adjusting Z space) would present a challenge, FotoKem General Manager of Digital Film Services Bill Schultz, an Academy Award-winner for Scientific and Engineering Achievement, worked with Quantel engineers to implement special developmental software that allowed convergence adjustments to be made in real-time without rendering.

The project required a literal round-the-clock effort. Michael Tronick edited the film, cutting 19 songs (12 of which were eventually used in the film) on average at one per day. FotoKem then went to work, conforming each new sequence for a screening with Hendricks and Tronick either that night of the following morning.

In addition to grading, Fotokem used the Pablo 4K and Stereoscopic 3D technology to perform a variety of image repair functions.

The majority involved subtleties such as removing a camera flag from one eye and compositing the analogous information from the other eye.

The system allowed such effects work to be done in stereo and previewed before rendering, resulting in more accurate adjustments and less time spent waiting for media to render.

The developmental software provided by Quantel engineers provided the solution to convergence issues.

The software offered the ability to play out and process two streams of synchronous, high resolution media simultaneously without rendering.