Rotor builds 4K HFR grading and mixing room as part of a seamless set-to-screen, render-free workflow
Rotor Film, the post production provider founded in 2011 and housed in the historic Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, just launched the most advanced grading and mixing theatre in Europe. The theatre features high-performance colour grading from Baselight, Auro 3D and Dolby Atmos audio mixing and monitoring, plus a Barco 4K 60fps projector.
The finishing theatre, built to meet the highest standards both in audio and visual post-production, is equipped with a 15 metre wide screen. It is a bold design, allowing colourists and audio mixers to finish major projects in a cinema-like environment, as well as giving producers and directors uncompromised quality when viewing and monitoring projects.
The theatre features a new Baselight TWO system with a Blackboard 2 control surface. This gives the colourist real-time control over every aspect of grading and finishing, even at 4K and high frame rate (HFR). In addition to the already established audio department, the Baselight TWO in the theatre takes part in a larger collaborative, render-free workflow which manages colour from the shoot to final delivery.
“Our clients – big name international productions as well as the leading German producers – wanted us to build a state of the art 4K post facility,” said Martin Frühmorgen, joint CEO of Rotor Film. “But workflow is everything, so our choice was about finding uncompromised speed and quality with maximum flexibility. It was more than just choosing a grading system: it was a question of philosophy and how we wanted to work.
“We knew we wanted to go from set to delivery without intermediate rendering, and that editing, grading and review sessions had to be done at the same time,” he added. “That ruled out several grading solutions, and the cloud infrastructure that comes with Baselight made a SAN obsolete, which was also a very big factor in our final decision.”
Rotor Film also invested in a Baselight ONE system, Slate control panel and the recently launched Baselight ASSIST system for file preparation and rendering of final deliverables. Additionally, Rotor purchased FilmLight’s Daylight to offer a seamless colour experience between set and post, and two Baselight for Avid plug-ins that allow editors to see graded material at all times, and to make adjustments to the grade if and when required.
This approach ensures that colour decisions made at any stage of a project are captured, retained and passed on to form part of the final grade. At every stage the content itself remains in its raw form, with the grading decisions stored as metadata in FilmLight’s BLG format. Content can be freely moved between devices without time being lost in rendering, boosting productivity without locking down the grade.
“For me, FilmLight’s insight into the realm of colour science was an important reason why we chose the company’s workflow solutions,” colourist Sebastian Göhs concluded. “Having worked on numerous productions with world class DoPs, I have a very clear idea on what a grading system needs to offer. Baselight’s performance at 4K resolutions, the innovative toolset and high colour depth in ACES, combined with the flexibility and interactivity that the BLG workflow provides made the choice an easy one.”
Rotor Film has been involved in international productions including Spiderman and The Hunger Games as well as German films like Generation War and Stations of the Cross. The facility also works on high-end television dramas and series, such as the recent spy thriller series, Deutschland 83.