Frame by Frame, one of the most important film post-production companies in Italy, decided to equip all its production studios with EIZO monitors from the ColorEdge and FlexScan series. The challenge was to build a consistent, true-colour workflow across multiple teams and locations. EIZO's total solution of ColorEdge CG Series monitors with their built-in calibration sensors, ColorNavigator software and ColorNavigator Network cloud solution was critical to achieving this goal.
ColorEdge Case Study
Frame by Frame
The Italian film post-production company has 75 ColorEdge monitors in use, including two PROMINENCE CG3146s.
Frame by Frame is a dynamic and creative company where a highly professional, young, and avant-garde team comes together. With more than 70 employees across various locations, Frame by Frame offers its customers a complete package from content production to the finished product (sound mixing, VFX, design, editing, colour correction, finishing, and digital delivery). This resulted in the need for uniform colour visualisation. And not only between team colleagues but also between the other specialist departments from each project and location.
EIZO wasn't just chosen for the renowned quality of ColorEdge series monitors. The complementary software solutions enabling consistent and accurate workflow management are equally important.
For all workstations that are not directly related to colour management, such as 3D renderings, and for all administrative areas, Frame by Frame also uses EIZO monitors from the FlexScan line. This way, every employee can always work with maximum comfort and the best display quality.
75 ColorEdge monitors in use including two PROMINENCE CG3146
Vladimir Vasiljevic, Technical Supervisor of the Rome-based company, explains how EIZO solutions were used to create a unified colour management workflow between the different teams and locations.
How has the integrated sensor made your work easier and how much time has it saved you?
Being able to check the calibration regularly before each new project is a great thing. This is done automatically, at night, without interrupting creative work and without having to repeat the same procedures manually more than 70 times - amazing! The internal sensor in combination with the ColorNavigator software guarantees results comparable to those achieved with hours of calibration with special, external colour measuring devices on older reference monitors.
Which features of ColorNavigator 7 and ColorNavigator Network did you find most useful for your specific needs?
First of all, the ability to replicate the monitor settings, i.e. clone a monitor so that all the other monitors work with the same values and show the same colour representation. I was able to set up and test the first series in my lab to create a master, while I only had to load the settings file for all the other units to ensure identical colour representation! Having colour space customisation available at the touch of a button has allowed us to tackle any job, from television series for major streaming platforms in Dolby Vision, to films for cinemas, to television commercials or websites. With ColorNavigator, our creatives can always choose the right environment for any job: sRGB, Rec709, DCI P3 or HDR PQ P3D65 preview with a single click on the monitor. They may sound like strange acronyms, but every VFX artist, graphic designer or editor needs accurate colours and reliable monitors for all kinds of projects.
ColorNavigator Network makes it possible to distribute the verification everyone is working in the exact colour space to the supervisors of each team: the best way to protect against nasty surprises. As a service provider, we work with other companies that don't always have the same attention and expertise on colour spaces, so it's important to coordinate, and ColorNavigator Network allows us to set up a custom visualisation for the whole team and vary it for each project.
"L'amica geniale" film project
The "L'amica geniale" project was a great opportunity for Frame by Frame to renew its production processes and improve the tools already in the company. There was a lot at stake: a series that is already being broadcast in the USA before Italy, in 4K UHD format and in Dolby Vision HDR.
The focus on quality was extremely important and led to the extension of the use of calibrated monitors to the entire VFX department, which had traditionally been reluctant to upgrade monitors as other departments took care of the final colour. It was decided to provide the artists with the ColorEdge CG2730 (Successor model: CG2700S) and CG2420 monitors, which use the same technology as the models used in grading, but with a smaller diagonal and at a more affordable price.
All the time, except on set and in editing, EIZO CG series monitors were used, where colour fidelity was a must. For online editing/conformity checks, CS series monitors were used.
For several years, with the advent of 4K, Frame by Frame has been colour grading with the ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3145, the CG318-4K and CG319X, which have proven to be highly reliable tools.
The advantage of having separate departments for colour correction and VFX enabled a dialogue already in the preparation of the projects and a shift in focus to colour and quality already in the compositing phase.
Colour Space - Reference Monitor EIZO ColorEdge CG3146
The cinematographer defined a "look" together with the colourist by working with "test shots" at the director's suggestion.
Set monitor provided by production, Rec709
On set, during the filming of the series, it was possible to preview live and watch shots where the "look" was integrated into each shot, with corrections made and saved on the fly.
Grading Suite: - Reference monitor CG3146
Each day, the colourist uploaded the footage along with the look and correction from the set and perfected the scene for editing if necessary.
Cutting room: large format TV, supplied by the production
In the editing phase, the editor and the director see an image on a preview monitor calibrated to rec709 that is already very close to the final result and has been approved by the cameraman and colourist.
frame by frame - compliant - control monitor CS2740
Once the edit is complete, the online editing/conforming department extracts the shots for the VFX department based on the timelines to create the so-called "plates", i.e. the camera files exported in high definition and without compression, not colour corrected, in EXR format together with the look file and the CDLs (Colour Decision Lists) for each shot.
frame by frame - VFX Department - Reference Monitors CG2730 and CG2420
When creating effects, each compositor has the "plates" with the CDLs and the "look" applied to them on the screen so they can see the image as the cameraman, director and colourist saw it. However, all work is done directly on the plates to remove objects and add a whole district of CGI to the set or reconstruct the surrounding landscape.
There are so many elements added to the shots in the scene that for them to blend perfectly it was necessary to see the images in their almost final appearance, with the "colour" created on a monitor of high reliability and quality.
Conformity - Control Monitor CS2740
Meanwhile, in the conforming department, the colour projects were put together by combining the raw files from the camera with the files coming back from VFX to enable the final colour.
Grading Suite Reference Monitor CG3146
By re-opening the files and applying the "looks" and CDL files, the look returned to the look that had already been addressed with the director and cinematographer. At this stage they had to accentuate the scenes by "re-lighting", artificially adding shadows and highlights, creating blur and increasing drama, or brightening from scene to scene by correcting dominant colours, reducing or increasing contrast, darkening or brightening areas or whole frames.
Completion Room - Reference Monitor CG3145
After the colourisation of the individual episodes was completed, they were completed with sound, graphics and titles in the final phase. The result of the completion is the delivery files, which are first checked for quality internally and then with the client for final approval. At this stage of quality control, we decided to use the ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3145, which has been approved by Dolby as a mastering display for Dolby Vision.
Credits: "L'amica geniale" - My Brilliant Friend
The HBO rai fiction series from Saverio Costanzo, produced by Fandango, The Apartment and Wildside, both part of Fremantle, in association with Rai Fiction, HBO Entertainment, in co-production with Mowe and Umedia.
VIDEO PROGETTI - Professional Video Partner of EIZO
The system integrator who made the whole project possible is VIDEO PROGETTI, EIZO's Professional Video Partner.
Video Progetti S.r.l. is an Italian company that has been operating for over 20 years in the field of distribution and integration of professional equipment for television, cinema and telecommunications. With offices in Rome and Milan, Video Progetti is in constant contact with the main players in these sectors and participates in the development of the broadcasting sector by offering its customers the most advanced production technologies.
It was only thanks to the decisive contribution of the system integrator that the monitors could be installed and integrated into the client's workflow.