Red Giant Enhances Color Production Pipeline for Stargate Studios
October 28, 2011

Red Giant Enhances Color Production Pipeline for Stargate Studios

Portland, Ore. - Stargate Studios, an internationally renowned production company that provides advanced production and postproduction services for film and television, has adopted Red Giant Colorista and LUT Buddy applications as central components of the studio's advanced color production pipeline.
Stargate Studios is using Red Giant software to enhance some of Hollywood's most talked about television series, including ABC's Pan Am and Revenge, and AMC's The Walking Dead.

Chris Martin, a visual effects supervisor; Jason Sperling, head of postproduction; and Adam Ealovega, pipeline supervisor, are charged with overseeing the technology pipeline to ensure it best suits each project and enables the team of VFX artists to produce the highest-quality results, and in an efficient, cost-effective way.

"There's an interesting trend in Hollywood today; television production is rapidly shifting into more of a feature film workflow, wherein images are captured and delivered in a logarithmic color space. What this means for Stargate Studios is, we need to have powerful tools able to handle a wide variety of color workflows. Red Giant fits that bill for us perfectly," says Martin.

For the pilot episode of ABC's Pan Am, Stargate Studios had to be sure its VFX and color pipeline could quickly and efficiently handle the sequences sent to them from the studio. Pan Am is a prime example of the Hollywood trend; leading edge feature film production technology to create a television series. 

It was shot with the ARRI ALEXA, which captures Log-C for the most dynamic color space for flexible color grading. Color decisions are made in a color bay with high-end grading tools, such as DaVinci. The challenge for Stargate Studios then becomes the ability to match the "look" set by the high-end system from within an After Effects pipeline. Typically, this information is sent as a 3D LUT or as a CDL, both of which are supported in Red Giant LUT Buddy and Colorista.

Chris adds: "The sequences we receive from the set come to us with very precise color specifications pre-approved by the directors. In the case of Pan Am, we had to recreate the rich, saturated Kodachrome look that captures the essence of the show, and we have to do it quickly and within budget. As much of our VFX and post work is done in After Effects, we needed a solution that filled an important gap--something that could read the sophisticated color data while integrating with our After Effects workflow. Red Giant Colorista and LUT Buddy filled that gap. They are so powerful, in fact, our artists have become accustomed to working in an uncompressed log color space with very high end results."

Deployed across the entire studio, the Stargate post team is now empowered with Colorista and LUT Buddy on every desktop, enabling artists to quickly and easily see LUTs generated by the client, and recreate each look with precision and quality using Colorista.

In addition to Pan Am, Revenge, and The Walking Dead, Stargate Studios is also working on upcoming episodes of Missing, and are also completing work on a feature-length film in Germany--all of which are leveraging the studios new color production pipeline built around After Effects, Colorista, and LUT Buddy.