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Autodesk solutions used on ‘King Kong’

Colour grading for Universal Pictures’ ‘King Kong’ was realised using media and entertainment technology from Autodesk.
Visual effects facility Weta Digital relied upon Autodesk’s Discreet Lustre system to digitally colour grade the entire film.
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri summarised Weta Digital’s use of the Discreet Lustre system on the film: "Weta Digital used the Discreet Lustre system as part of the entire visual effects colour grading process while making King Kong. We used it to grade at the front end, before the computer-generated elements were added, and also at the very end of our pipeline to grade the final images. As the elements came in, the Lustre system helped us work out the look for complex environments like Skull Island and 1933 New York."
Lighting and colour are key aspects of King Kong. The Discreet Lustre system influenced the film’s creative process. The filmmakers knew they had control and flexibility in the digital grading post-production phase, which gave them more freedom while shooting. For example, when shooting took place at various times of day, the lighting could later be corrected with the Discreet Lustre system to match the preferred lighting and time of day.
With five Discreet Lustre systems installed at Weta Digital in New Zealand, digital colourists were able to explore numerous options for the film’s look. “Colour Bibles” were created in the Lustre system. These Bibles contained two or three digitally colour graded shots from each of the film’s scenes, establishing colour references for the final colour grade. The end result is a stunning, stylised film in which colour greatly enhances the viewer’s experience.
Supervising Digital Colourist Dave Cole said: “Establishing the right look and feel for King Kong was an essential part of the storytelling. We achieved this with the Discreet Lustre system. This extremely powerful tool made it possible for the film to appear realistic yet stylised. The grading capabilities of Autodesk’s Discreet Lustre system have been used extensively, allowing the creative desires of the director, director of photography and visual effects supervisors to be realised.”
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