Planimonteur Case Study

Planimonteur, a French post facility based in Paris has added a Nucoda HD colour grading system to its post-production workflow.

Nucoda HD is a key component in their tapeless workflow that also includes seventeen Avid editing systems. A key factor in Planimonteur’s choice was national French broadcaster France 3 also choosing the Nucoda HD for use on its high value dramas and documentaries. Planimonteur specialises in commercials, documentary, TV fiction and TV reality programmes.

“When TV programmes started to come to us in HD, we were all wondering about how to deal with colour grading”, says Philippe Morisset, CEO of Planimonteur. “The initial goal was to find a HD grading solution able to be fully integrated into our existing post-production workflow while maintaining the highest quality throughout the process. The fact that Digital Vision offers the most advanced grading tools with integration to the Avid non linearediting systems is essential to us, as we have a lot of Avid workstations here.”

Digital Vision has demonstrated its total compatibility with the Avid storage infrastructure systems Unity MediaNet and ISIS. Nucoda HD provides native support for media and metadata including AAF. As a supported Unity client, Nucoda HD can work directly with files stored on the Unity server without having to transcode them or copy them onto local storage. "This capability saves time, disk storage and helps us operate more efficiently than if we were using other grading systems within an Avid environment".

The total storage at Planimonteur is 10 terabytes which allows the company to keep all media for a 90 minute project shared with all workstations  while they work on the editing, grading and finishing. Planimonteur’s editors work on offline Avid Adrenaline workstations with the conform being done on the Avid Symphony, then all high-end productions are graded on Nucoda HD. When the grading is ended, the project goes back to Symphony for finishing.

Flexible Workflows; Easy Integration

Nucoda HD is based on the same infrastructure as Data Conform, Film Cutter and Film Master. Its main strengths are its real time grading performance  and ergonimics, but also its integrated editing and compositing. Planimonteur has been testing the 3.6 version which adds additional DVO image enhancement and restoration tools  alongside the award winning grain reducer, stabiliser, re-grain, dirt and scratch concealer. The Nucoda HD offers extended support and integration for broadcast formats and metadata exchange including Quicktime, MXF and many codecs inclding H264, DNxHD, IMX50, P2&XDCam, RED R3D and has platform compatibility with Avid Workstations and Storage Servers.

“After a short learning period, the station offers power and is very easy to manipulate“ saysPhilippe Laine, Film Master colourist. “On a Da Vinci system, you usually start by putting up the film on the telecine while the colourist views it. Here, the acquisition is made ahead of time.”

Real time as a key factor

The Nucoda HD also provides infinite timelines, mattes, caches and a powerful auto motion tracker. Users can create as many layers as it wants, for the masks of Windows or just to compare different versions of the grades. In contrast to other similar systems, Nucoda HD converts formats automatically from 16/9 to 4/3 and  vice versa. The current version also offers a “note making” tools. In a small window of the interface, users can read any information related to the grading and effects of each shot. Plus users can duplicate the effect on another shot, or in another project, and recall it entirely or partially depending on your needs.

Last but not least, the ever-increasing demands of complex processing at higher and higher resolutions, particularly with regards to image enhancement, should be considerably improved with the new render accelerator grid, Turbine that will be released later this year.

“Nucoda is a fantastic and complete picture enhancement tool. It also streamlines our workflow through easy integration into the Avid environment,” added Bertrand Dargent editor and Colourist at Planimonteur.