Grading Dredd


Digital Vision has announced that Berlin-based post production facility The Post Republic has graded DNA Films’ sci-fi thriller Dredd 3D (a remake of the classic Judge Dredd), using Nucoda Film Master. Written by Alex Garland the film, which opened in the UK last week, immediately took the number one weekend box office slot.

Filmed on location in Cape Town, SA by DOP Anthony Dodd Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) Dredd 3D was shot on pairs of RED MX cameras across three rigs and SI-2Ks on a Steadicam rig, all supplied by 3D experts Paradise FX Europe. The shots were matched via a custom made colour matrix as part of Post Republic and Prime Focus’ on-set digital lab process. Prime Focus provided all the VFX, working closely with The Post Republic throughout the post production process.

The feature was graded on Nucoda Film Master by Colourist Adam Inglis in 2D on the right eye assisted by Dirk Meier, the 2D grade was then eye matched by Meier with the help of Prime Focus’ VFX department. Inglis then completed an overall 3D pass. He says, “The main emphasis on the brief was to make the film look visually strong, unique and colourful. Anthony Dodd Mantle didn’t want to go for a traditional steely-blue sci-fi grade. Dredd has a very gritty tone so we avoided a look that was too clean, sharp or polished.’

He adds, “When it comes to the grading tools I like to keep things as simple as possible particularly on complex projects like this one. We went extreme on some brief scenes such as the CCTV screens and emergency lighting where we played with Nucoda’s colour mixer to achieve a result completely different from the source material. We also used the system’s DVO grain tool quite frequently to match the camera textures together and to slightly break up the Red material. The main challenge was the sheer variety of material we were weaving together: different cameras, full CGI shots, special subjective VFX worlds etc. The whole film pretty much takes place over a day or so and in very few locations so it was about keeping a consistent and coherent look and feel whilst also finding a suitable rhythm of variation.’

Kelvin Bolah Digital Vision MD says, “Listening to the requirements of our customers like The Post Republic, Nucoda has become the grading tool of choice for a host of leading facilities. When it comes to stereoscopic 3D work, Nucoda’s stereo workflow includes complete control over the monitoring of tracks. Assignable left, right and mono tracks allow stereo compositing and flexible monitoring options to ensure the user only sees what he needs to.’

He continues, “At IBC recently, we unveiled Nucoda 2012.1, which includes a new, automated S3D Colour and Align tool allowing the colourist to automatically match 3D cameras using advanced geometry technology providing morphing and colour matching capabilities. The addition of these 3D video tools enables our customers to expand their 3D services and never compromise when it comes to the finest quality Stereo 3D and DI. Nucoda is used by The Post Republic and many other film and television companies around the globe.’

A Dredd 3D review in the The Hollywood Reporter says, “While its R rating will inevitably limit commercial potential, this is a superior genre piece which ticks enough effects-heavy action-franchise boxes to generate healthy box office.’


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