MUMBAI: The next James Bond motion picture, Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, will feature a complex visual effects shot captured with eight DALSA 4K Origin cameras.
As with most of James Bond’s missions, the details surrounding the cameras’ use must be kept top secret for the time being. However, the company revealed that the technically ambitious visual effects shot featured Craig and actress Olga Kurylenko, and involved simultaneously shooting with eight shutter-synchronized DALSA Origin 4K cameras.
Quantum of Solace, the 22nd James Bond film and the second to star Daniel Craig, is scheduled for release on 31 October, 2008 in the UK, and 7 November in the US and internationally.
The decision to go with DALSA was made by visual effects designer, Kevin Tod Haug. "The DALSA Origin was the only uncompressed, high-resolution, low-noise camera system we could count on to do what we needed to do. The folks at DALSA were completely supportive of all our complex needs. We could not have done this sequence without them," Haug said.
DALSA shipped all the camera packages from Los Angeles to Movietech Camera Rentals at Pinewood Studios. Working closely with Movietech, the cameras were all prepped for the complex shoot. The eight DALSA cameras recorded their data to eight CODEX digital disc recorders. Then, after the successful shoot, the CODEX disc packs were delivered to sohonet in London for backup, after which the RAW 4K files were delivered to Double Negative in Soho for rendering and final compositing.
David Stump, ASC, the consulting VFX cinematographer, collaborated with Director of Photography Roberto Schaefer, ASC on the shoot. Stump observed, "Working with uncompressed 4K gave us the ability to mine the maximum amount of detail from the scene. The low noise floor of the DALSA enabled us see every nuance of detail from the dark blacks of the clothing."
"We were incredibly excited to be chosen for this complex part of the movie," commented Rob Hummel, President of DALSA Digital Cinema. "It was amazing as we watched all eight cameras shooting and pouring data into the CODEX disc units. In total, we recorded over 3.8 gigabytes of image data every second. After a year of fine tuning the DALSA camera system, we felt we were ready to put the camera to the test. Of course, passing this particularly tough test, with eight cameras synchronized together, was the best outcome I could imagine!"
DALSA and 4K – a history that goes back almost 20 years
Although "4K" is a relatively new term in the field of cinematography and motion picture archiving, it actually dates back almost 20 years to the early days of machine vision. In the late 1980s, DALSA released the world’s first commercially available high performance line scan image sensor chip capable of capturing at 4K resolution (4096 pixels per horizontal line).
The company’s chip technology evolved over the next decade into a viable and widely deployed solution for scanning 35mm film, which helped to usher in an era of affordable, high quality 2K and 4K film scanning and lead to the successful restoration of film classics and the digitization of new projects as the motion picture industry moved toward the digital intermediate process. In the late 1990s, the company developed the world’s first 4K eight million pixel image sensor chip for Japan’s NHK.
That development proved to be a springboard for the eventual development of the current DALSA motion picture image sensor and the award-winning DALSA Origin 4K camera, which was launched at NAB in 2003.
In 2005, Director and visual effects guru, Alan Chan, used the Origin to shoot the world’s first, fully digital, 4K project, "Postcards from the Future," premiering in May, 2007. Also in 2007, DALSA completed its first 4K feature length motion picture, "Reach for Me", directed by LeVar Burton. After nearly 20 years, DALSA’s 4K legacy continues, as the company delivers on its commitment to bringing the motion picture industry the very best image capture tools, without compromising on image quality.