Digital Vision announced that Industrial Light & Magic has used its AGR4 ME motion-compensated grain & noise management system to prepare the digital cinema master for George Lucas STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH, which hits theaters May 19, 2005.
The AGR4 ME is part of Digital Vision's DVNR product line and supports the 4:4:4 RGB format that ILM selected for this final installment in the STAR WARS feature film series. The film was shot electronically using 4:4:4 RGB 24P cameras and the post-production process was finished in 4:4:4 RGB. Director George Lucas considers the digital cinema version to be the archive master for the movie. The AGR4 system provided ILM/Lucasfilm with realtime image processing, which they used in creating their Digital Cinema Masters.
Rick McCallum, producer of REVENGE OF THE SITH, as well as the first two STAR WARS movies, stated, "The Digital Vision system was a critical tool. It allowed us to refine and enhance the image quality specifically for the digital release of the movie. With digital cinema projectors resolving so much more detail, compared to typical film projectors, we felt we could enhance our digital imagery even further, by adding that extra bit of punch to color detail and sharpness. We have many intricate layers in our shots. Digital photography, digital matte paintings, and digitally rendered characters and this system blends all these elements together smoothly for digital cinema. This could not have been done on our delivery schedule if Digital Vision had not offered realtime processing in RGB 444."
The Digital Vision AGR4 ME system is the first fully motion-compensated grain and noise reducer available for high quality post-production applications. The AGR4 ME is a major generational improvement in Digital Vision's well-known realtime grain and noise management system. The new system uses Digital Vision's Emmy Award-winning PHAME Motion Estimation (ME) algorithms, a completely new 3D edge-preserving spatio-temporal filter, and improved motion adaptation algorithms. This adds up to vastly improved performance. With the new algorithms, the system can be utilized to its fullest capacity without generating artefacts; this saves colorists a significant amount of time, reduces rejection rates and supports improved image quality. The AGR4 ME provides control of grain structure preservation, and allows optimization of processing characteristics for negative or positive film. The system also supports three-channel chroma adaptation to increase or reduce processing in a selectable color range.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 14 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and received 16 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards.
Digital Vision provides innovative image restoration, enhancement, color correction and data conforming systems that major movie studios, television networks and post-production facilities use to produce and enhance feature films, TV programs and commercials. The company's Nucoda product line provides a strong suite of products for the burgeoning digital intermediate 2K/4K market. The company's award-winning products are a standard of the media & entertainment industry and are deployed at top facilities around the world.
Digital Vision AB was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with two wholly owned subsidiaries, Digital Vision (U.S.) in Los Angeles and Nucoda Ltd. in London. The company maintains its global presence through a network of qualified distributors. Digital Vision is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange. For further information, go to www.digitalvision.se.