In July 2014, I had a chance to visit RealD’s Boulder facility and to learn more about its TrueImage processing technology (see RealD’s TrueImage Technology is Pretty Amazing). At NAB 2015, RealD announced that TrueImage is now available as an Amazon Cloud-based service through Sundog Media.
The above article provides a lot of detail on what TrueImage can offer, but to summarize, it can:
- Greatly reduce sensor quantization noise in dark scenes (the blue channel can be horrible if you look at it)
- Clean up visual differences between the cameras of a stereo frame
- Add-in film grain
- Improve dynamic range, which also helps improve the encoding process by making it more efficient with smaller file sizes (5-20%)
- Upscale 1080 content to 4K resolution (2D or 3D)
TrueImage eliminates artifacts commonly associated with digital and film based capture through a proprietary process, resulting in higher quality imagery which is more detailed, lifelike and a more accurate reflection of a content creator’s intent. It does this by calculating more than a million points of data per pixel to correct for artifacts, reconstructing an image with the originally intended aesthetic, without compromise.
Sundog Media is a post production house that has worked on a number of leading Hollywood productions. The TrueImage service is now integrated into their toolkit and part of a drop-down menu item. Single frame, scenes or an entire project can now be run through the TrueImage processor, which sits in the secure Amazon cloud. This is an automated process, but some artistic control can also be implemented.
RealD and Sundog see the technology being useful for current production movies as well as archival library content.
Among those expected to utilize RealD TrueImage on the Sundog Media Toolkit cloud platform will be Academy Award winner Ang Lee. Lee stated, “I have seen the RealD TrueImage footage and am excited about the potential of using it on future projects”.
RealD TrueImage is also expected to be integrated into the post production workflow of upcoming National Geographic Studios productions. Mark Katz, President of Distribution, said, “RealD TrueImage addresses many of the big screen challenges Nat Geo’s 3D documentary films face including such things as low light levels, grain and stereo coherence. RealD TrueImage adds additional clarity, consistency and detail to the images that may not otherwise be achieved”.
This summer, the highly anticipated digital 3D re-release of the feature film, “Hero,” starring Jet Li, will utilize RealD TrueImage in Sundog Media Toolkit as part of the post production 2D to 3D conversion process. A worldwide success released in 2D in 2002, “Hero” is being converted to 3D by Asia-based media organization, TWR Entertainment, Inc.