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Belgiums Grid VFX Uses Fusion Studio to Create Animated Feature, Latte & The Magic Waterstone

13/12/2019

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Blackmagic Design today announced that Grid VFX relied on Fusion Studio throughout its in house compositing pipeline to deliver newly released children's animated feature, Latte & The Magic Waterstone. Directed by Regina Welker, the team's latest project Latte & The Magic Waterstone involved the completion of more than 1,200 visual effects shots, including the complex compositing of background and foreground plates and CG render layers for 3D assets, lighting, procedural effects, and more.

Latte was a huge project for us. It's a feature animation with a limited budget, so we knew we had to work as efficiently as possible, begins compositing supervisor at Grid, Laurens Bekaert.

Fusion's GPU accelerated render engine was amazing at being able to handle geometry and 3D space compared to alternative compositors. We could add smoke and particles behind our characters and see a good representation of how they would look in 3D instantly, without needing to re render.

Using Fusion in conjunction with Grid's in house pipeline management system, Gclus, the team built several node trees to act as the containers for a base look for all the film's sequences. CG supervisor Chara Sottou could then set the mood for each scene, including specifying elements such as caustic effects, depth haze, depth grading, volumetrics, digital matte painting spherical projections, motion blur and depth of field.

There were also motion vector tools to allow for the motion blur to be added in post, UV tools to reposition and remap textures, and finally relighting tools that could modify the normals, ambient occlusion and position passes to allow for atmosphere and grading adjustments throughout the compositing process.

Being able to modify so much of our final render in Fusion, without the need for round tripping, was crucial in allowing us to complete this project on time and on budget, Chara continues.

We were able to manually adjust depth of field, stylistically blurring certain areas of the frame to our advantage to guide viewers' eyes to the action we wanted them to focus on.

The team were also able to add effects such as glow to key scenes, enhancing the feeling of magical realism the story required. All with less than ten compositors instead of 50 or more.

I think its really important to show that this level of production quality and creativity can come from a small team in the European animation industry, she concludes. There's this hesitancy with big productions, because theyre worried that the budget wont allow for quality. With tools such as Fusion now becoming more accessible to artists, that's changing.

Latte & The Magic Waterstone will be in cinemas in France from December 11 and in Germany from the December 25 with further release dates across Europe in 2020.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world's highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, 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 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

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