27 Aug 2014

David Fincher's new movie shot and post produced at 6K and used 36 TB of SSDs!

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Gone Girl Gone Girl 20th Century Fox


Working wtih 6K material from a Red Dragon calls for epic computing resources!

Gone Girl was shot on the RED Dragon Camera at 6K and was then offlined at 2054 x 1152 (which allowed them to reframe shots and monitor them at 1920 x 800) in Adobe Premiere CC, before being conformed in Adobe Premiere CC and Adobe After Effects CC at 5120 x 2560. All the computers that were used were fitted with Nvidia's latest Quadro GPUs and all debayering, stabilisation and reframing was performed in real time using a CUDA based version of REDline (no REDRocket cards required)

The numbers are certainly impressive. The resolution of the RED Dragon at 6K is 6144 x 3160 pixels with a single stream of 24fps playback needing 1.8GBps of bandwidth. (Yes that's Gigabytes not gigabits, 4K is a mere 800MBps)

The offline systems were Mac Pro 2011 and 2012 workstations fitted with Nvidia Quadro 5000 and K5000 GPUs, up to 64GB of RAM and connected to a shared storage system from Open Drives over Solarflare 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The conform systems were HP Z820 PCs running 12 core Intel Xeons and 256GB of RAM. They were fitted with Nvidia Quadro 6000 GPUs, dual port 10Gbps Solarflare Ethernet adaptors and pairs of Fusion IO 1.6TB Solid State IOdrives providing 2.6GBps throughput.

All the storage systems were provided by Open Drives, who had previously worked on systems for House of Cards. The offline system had 36TB of SSDs coupled with 60TB of hard drives, connected via 6 10Gbe ports. The conform systems had 320TB with a 1TB SSD cache, again connected with 6 10Gbe ports.

First film originated in 6K to be edited with Adobe Premere CC

According to Jeff Brue, CTO of Open Drives, this was the first feature film originated at 6K on the RED Dragon and the first feature edited and conformed on Adobe Premiere CC in this way. The final movie was conformed by nesting After Effects projects into the Premiere timeline eventually reaching the stage where over 80% of the timeline was embedded After Effects projects.

To be able to maintain real time playback in this situation is a testament to the way Adobe have worked together with Nvidia to leverage the GPU using their Mercury Playback Engine, and how Open Drives are able to configure storage arrays that meet the bandwidth and access requirements of a project of this size.

You can see Jeff's Siggraph presentation here: Jeff Brue Siggraph 2014

Watch the Gone Girl trailer video over the page

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Neil Roberts

I started out as a Video Tape Editor in the 1980’s and was one of the first editors to embrace non-linear editing at the beginning of the 90’s

I then went on to work for Lightworks and was instrumental in the development of their Heavyworks and Newsworks systems, sharing in the Technical Emmy that was awarded to the Heavyworks system.

After Lightworks I moved to Discreet logic (now part of Autodesk) where I was the European product specialist for Smoke and Fire.

I am an accredited Smoke trainer, I also do DaVinci Resolve training and I am an Independent Certified Expert for Sony.

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