LOS ANGELES — Joe VanDalsem of ParadiseFX (www.paradisefx.com) recently detailed the studio’s work on an upcoming 3D stereo movie. A Dolphin’s Tale stars Morgan Freeman and is currently half way through production. Paradise FX has a custom-designed line of 3D Tri-Delta dual camera systems, as well as several digital systems in development, and recently invested in Iridas’s SpeedGrade DI.
“Right off the bat, we knew we were shooting with Red,” says VanDalsem (pictured), “so Red Rocket support was critical for viewing dailies. We invested in Iridas’s SpeedGrade DI for a couple of reasons. One was the Red Rocket support — this alone made it possible for us to be running dailies in 3D and in realtime with cinema grade image quality. Before Red Rocket support was part of our toolset, allowing us to stay in RAW format, we’d spend literally hours rendering before we could look at the content. Not to mention, once you’ve rendered, you’re locked into formats, color spaces, resolution… there’s no going back — there’s no time.”
With SpeedGrade DI the team is viewing 3D content in realtime without rendering and without commitments to formats. “We’re shooting a full day’s worth of stereo content and viewing the entire thing right away.”
VanDalsem is a fan of DualStream NX, Iridas’s stereoscopic toolset which sits at the heart of SpeedGrade DI.
“It came down to how DualStream handles stereo files,” he notes. “It’s not only just faster, there’s an entire range of features that enable us to deliver the director and DPs a theatrical 3D experience right in the production office.”
To create a theatrical experience, the team paired an 11 foot projection Stewart silver screen and a Full 1080p LG CF3D passive polarized projector.
“Today, there’s an expectation amongst directors, DP and production crews. They want to see shots graded, in stereo, as close to (I can’t say exactly because we’re not working in XYZ space, which is the digital projection standard) how it’s going to look in theaters as possible — and they want to see it now.”
It’s this level of expectation that VanDalsem says is driving decision making at the outset of a production: what cameras are being used and in what format; what grading and previz tools are going to be used in the workflow; and what’s going to deliver-cinema grade content, ensuring it was shot right the first time.
“With SpeedGrade DI, we know what we’re looking at here in realtime is exactly what it’s going to look like in theaters,” he notes.
Keep an eye out for Post's December trends issue, where VanDalsem shares his expertise on stereo work.