Senior Colorist Siggy Ferstl at Company 3's Santa Monica facility worked with the filmmakers to help bring a refreshed look to the new installment of this popular series. Known previously for its overall cold, steely, blue feel, the world of "Awakening" is somewhat different. "The creative team was intent on building a bold new look for the franchise, especially since this is the first 3D installment," says Ferstl. "Of course, being part of the 'Underworld' series, a lot of the story takes place in darkness with characters who are often dressed in very dark costumes. We used color a lot to help the viewer differentiate between people, vampires and Lycans, often during intense, fast-paced action scenes."
Shot by cinematographer Kevan, the original material, Ferstl recalls, "had very rich, deep blacks. The wealth of information in the shadows gave me a tremendous amount to work with during color grading. It was great to have so much to work with in the darker areas of the frame and to have such control in Resolve to finesse things.”
"This is especially important for a stereoscopic film," he adds. "Today's 3D projection technology can't display whites as brightly as we're used to in 2D, so if we want to see a lot of contrast on the screen, it has to come from the darker areas."
Ferstl explains how he made extensive use of Resolve's parallel node function to help fine tune the film's look. "If you give the scene an overall cold, blue look, of course you lose a lot of your warmer tones," he notes. "The richness of red, say in blood, will be lost. But by using parallel nodes, I can very efficiently give a scene that colder feel in one node and then bring back certain information from an earlier node. This way, the shot can have a kind of blue feel overall but the blood can still retain that powerful red color it had before I added the blue wash."
Resolve's stereoscopic 3D hardware capabilities also played a significant role in the grading process. "Any movie shot in 3D can have some alignment issues between the left and right 'eyes’, that impair the 3D illusion," Ferstl explains. "In the past, these would have to be fixed at a visual effects facility. But I was able to use the Resolve's auto alignment function for virtually every shot that needed adjustment. It worked very well and added a great deal of efficiency to the DI process."
"'Underworld: Awakening' was a challenging project from a color grading standpoint," Ferstl says, "and I was very glad I was able to do the work in Resolve."
About DaVinci Resolve
Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is the world’s highest performance color correction solution for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux computers. DaVinci Resolve supports more real time color correction than any other system because it’s not limited by the performance of the computer it’s running on. DaVinci Resolve eliminates this performance barrier because it’s based on a cluster of high performance GPU cards, so all processing is always real time. DaVinci Resolve has the power of a true real time performance solution so handles complex color grades even when using dozens of primaries, secondaries, Power Windows™, multi point tracking, blurs, and more. DaVinci Resolve provides incredible performance in a low cost solution that can be easily upgraded by adding extra GPU’s for supercomputer power to handle 4K resolutions, stereoscopic 3D and real time grading direct from raw camera files such as ARRI raw and RED raw R3D files can be handled with ease.
Product photos of DaVinci Resolve, and all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagic-design.com/press/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check www.blackmagic-design.com.