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Mistika Helps Control Chaos for Nike Campaign

Hollywood-based Identity FX employed SGO’s Mistika to help complete the interactive portion of Nike’s “Quick Controls Chaos” transmedia campaign promoting the brand’s Jordan CPV.3 athletic shoes.

Press release from SGO:

Los Angeles, CA -- Hollywood-based Identity FX employed SGO’s Mistika to help complete the interactive portion of Nike’s “Quick Controls Chaos” transmedia campaign promoting the brand’s Jordan CPV.3 athletic shoes.

The CP3 Jump Man website features basketball player Chris Paul and is available online as an interactive experience under the search string "Quick Controls Chaos." Designed for online customers to dynamically experience a Nike product launch, the unique ad campaign was made to generate a transmedia experience destined for the web, live events and broadcast. Online users are able to interactively participate in the commercial by operating a camera, ensuring that no two viewings would ever be the same.

Despite facing tight and unforgiving deadlines with multiplex project management challenges coupled with the pressures of a client-driven commercial scenario, Identity FX victoriously accomplished sensational results. They delivered complete post production services which ranged from data management, editorial, pre comp, visual effects, colour correction and online finishing, using Mistika.

“Mistika allowed us to read in R3D files at full resolution, in 5K without transcoding and therefore saving us a huge amount of time,” said Leo Vezzali, Co-Founder and Stereoscopic Supervisor, Identity FX.

The production team created an impressive set-up, made up of the largest single array of RED EPIC cameras ever to be used on a commercial at the same time.  An array of nine arc-mounted cameras, moved once, for a total of seventeen camera positions with a single camera overlap, were used. The Identity FX team faced the daunting task of creating a one-thousand frame-length final product, comprised of the seventeen individual camera positions that captured up to twelve green screen layers, per camera, in a 170 degree arc. “To put this in perspective that's a total of 11 hours of 5K footage captured over a two and a half day shoot.” David Scott Van Woert, Owner and Producer at Identity FX, emphasised.

Most record-breaking high-level projects bring with them a series of labyrinthian challenges, and this was no exception. One example that illustrates the sheer complexity, was how the team had to provide a seamless basketball play to the end-user, which ultimately had to be built from interwoven, disparate takes. The footage incorporated a chain reaction of various interdependent scenes that included a man on fire, a mounted policeman rearing up, a “Vancouver Kiss,” a fan falling from the announcer's booth, and, dramatically, a child almost being trampled by a horse.

“Simple logistics and safety concerns were paramount, along with the early realisation that we would not be able to do this in a single take, across an eighteen-camera array.” David explained. “There was not enough glass available to rig eighteen cameras together using 14mm prime lenses and secondly, even if there were, and we were not concerned about safety at all, this scenario would dictate that we would have had to paint out the rig in every shot, from every angle.”

The team also faced the monumental task of isolating the moments of action in the basketball play, into separate green screen layers across the array. The camera array had to be moved backwards and forwards for each and every layer, which, in itself, resulted in additional issues that required resolving. This involved matching the action across multiple takes and various array moves across up to a dozen different layers, as well as processing an increased volume of 5K RED EPIC material at 48fps across the entire timeline.

Identity FX had already invested in a Mistika system last year and decided to implement Mistika's advanced toolsets and mind-blowing speed for this project. “After evaluating multiple tools and a variety of potential solutions, it quickly became clear to us, Mistika was the only answer. We feel this would have been impossible without the Mistika system.” declared Leo Vezzali, Identity FX Co-Founder and Stereoscopic Supervisor. Ultimately, the team managed more than 20 Terabytes of material within Mistika, the equivalent of nine 2K feature films, all executed over a twelve-week period.

David expanded further: “It was during Conan, in 2011, after evaluating the 3D market trends for more than a year, we realised that the future of Stereo 3D lay in more of a hybrid approach than strictly conversion alone, and, as such, our studio lacked a critical component - a stereo capable finishing system.”

David continued: “Identity FX purchased a Mistika system back in October of 2011 to solve this problem. We have since executed half a dozen projects on our system, including stereo optimisation for 20th Century Fox's Prometheus, and another soon to be released major feature film for Sony Pictures.”

“Examining the CP Jumpman Experience, within the context of the Mistika workflow that was employed to manage the project to fruition, is where the real magic begins.” enthused Leo. Mistika's technical pass approach enabled the Identity FX team to quickly eliminate brightness disparities between the cameras, and optimise the green screen for extractions, using its RGB Correction function. The R3D parameter tool also allowed for the camera’s metadata to be ingested and debayered at the highest quality possible. The warp and de-noise tools in Mistika came in handy for controlling lens distortion and noise, especially in the blue channel. The time warp feature in Mistika gave Identity FX the ability to refine the performance line-up, across the multiple takes.

Leo elaborated: “Mistika allowed us to read-in R3D files at full resolution, in 5K without transcoding and therefore saving us a huge amount of time.” In addition, Mistika's infinite timeline feature made it easy for the team to line-up all seventeen cameras vertically in order to synchronise the performances layer by layer and therefore eliminate any fear of drift for our compositing department.

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