Joust Helps Keep Cosmos in Check

Category: Web Exclusives

The final episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is airing on FOX with an encore on the National Geographic Channel, and  Joust, a VFX digital workflow solution, played an instrumental role behind the scenes.



Joust provided an economical and efficient workflow solution for the critically acclaimed television mini-series. It equipped production with the ability to produce high-quality visual effects that distinguished and defined the series. 

“One of Joust’s most valuable contributions is that it allows creative supervisors full control over the assets during the production. Joust allows for instant reviews of shot submissions through a web based ‘dailies viewer’as well as on demand editorial pulls,” explained Joust founder, Jenny Fulle. “The process empowers productions to securely transfer and receive data to and from multiple VFX vendors, with the touch of a button.”

© 2014 FOX BROADCASTING

Eli Dolleman, co-producer, postproduction and animation on Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey , noted, "On Cosmos, we used Joust to streamline a number of areas in our digital pipeline.  Joust provided an online viewing platform for all our dailies. It also served as a centralized asset repository for the VFX camera data collected on set, as well as viewing proxies of vendor-delivered shots in all stages of production.  This allowed producers and executives to both review footage and keep tabs on shot production.  In addition to helping organize and view incoming vendor shots, Joust also smoothed out the turnover process, pairing relevant data with raw plates and delivering this material securely to more than a dozen different VFX vendors.”   

To elaborate on Joust’s role in facilitating the turnover process, Dolleman explained: “Through file association during the dailies ingestion process Joust allowed our editorial staff to pull plates through the submission of simple EDLs. These EDLs would be read by Joust, which would work in tandem with a Colorfront Transkoder, referencing camera masters, converting them to full-resolution DPX files and posting these files to our various vendors.” 

“In short, Joust was extremely important in the postproduction process for a show with as many complicated shots and production elements as Cosmos It allowed us to be flexible and reactive and helped with efficiency, all of which were necessary on this massive 13 episode mini-series." 

Addie Manis, VFX producer on Cosmos , added, “The fact that Joust allowed editorial to pull the VFX plates in-house was the greatest time and money saving tool.”

Streamlining the management of the digital workflow and enabling the production to access, transcode and deliver assets and meta-data at any time not only saves hundreds of thousands of dollars, but also give artists more time to work on shots. Such precious time is often in short demand. 

Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey is hosted by renowned astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. As with the legendary original series, the new Cosmos is the saga of how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time. The series brings to life never-before-told stories of the heroic quest for knowledge, transporting viewers to new worlds and across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest -- and the smallest -- scale.



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