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Upstairs Builds Landscapes with Realviz ReTimer and MatchMover

(October 03, 2001)
REALVIZ announced that Upstairs, a Miami-based production company completed a series of visual effects projects using ReTimer and MatchMover as key tools in their production pipeline.

Upstairs was recently contracted to complete visual effects for several commercial spots including Amenecer (Daybreak) for Delta Cigarettes via Ogilvy Latin America, and Hyundai Aguas (Waters) for Wing Latino, Grey Advertisings Hispanic division. These effects relied heavily on MatchMover for integrating CG elements into live action footage, and ReTimer for slowing down the pace of sequences.

For the Delta Cigarettes Amenecer spot, Upstairs needed a way to insert larger than life cigarette boxes into moving landscapes, appearing as if they were shot as part of the scene. For Hyundais Aguas, footage of walls of water shot practically was combined with CG water to create the effect of parting waters making way for a line of new cars.

The Delta Cigarettes commercial was designed around Upstairs knowledge of the effects MatchMover could create. ?The client came to us with an original concept that was basically to insert larger than life CG cigarette boxes into footage of surreal landscapes. I redesigned the concept of the project around the capabilities of MatchMover. With MatchMover we were able to allow the camera to orbit around the cigarette boxes that were placed into moving image sequences. Delta wanted to highlight their new packaging in a majestic, larger than life manner. Scouting for the shoot was done with MatchMover in mind. ?The confines that previously existed before we had MatchMover were no longer limitations, the application very easily solved what could have been a production nightmare for us,? explained Rodriguez. ?Also, for this spot we had some challenging tracks, where we had a shot of overlapping mountain ranges on the horizon all between moving trees, and we had to work with very subtle track points. Despite all of that, we still got very accurate results. This commercial is to air in October in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.

In the Hyundai spot, cars were filmed driving forward in a parking lot, Upstairs used MatchMover to insert CG water into the sequence to appear as if the cars were driving into the water.

?The effect in this spot is very successful, with use of MatchMover and ReTimer it actually appears that a body of water is parting to make way for the cars driving through. ReTimer was used to slow and smooth footage shot practically of walls of water. With ReTimer changes are relatively transparent to our client.

We can create nice smooth shots without a lot of treatment to them. The ease of plug and play saves us time, commented Rodriguez. ?Another advantage of ReTimer is that it is an ideal tool for removing strobing in frames shot at 24 frames per second. ?Aguas recently aired as a ?roadblock?, on every station, at the same time, in Puerto Rico.

?Any tool that is a one step process makes a huge difference in both quality and quantity of the footage produced. ReTimer is one-step operation for us. I was impressed with MatchMover as it allowed us to do things we were unable to do previously. It is our tool of choice because we can give extra value to projects without the additional time or cost, concluded Rodriguez.

About Upstairs

Upstairs, formerly known as Fireworks Motion Media, is a recognized leader in the South Florida post-production community. Wally Rodriguez and Annabella Sosa, co-founders of Upstairs, have twenty years of experience in special effects and broadcast design. Sixty to seventy percent of the companys work is for the Latin American market. MatchMover and ReTimer are both integral components of Upstairs production pipeline, which also includes Discreets Flame, SoftImage, Adobes After Effects, Pinnacles Commotion and Discreets Combustion.

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