San Francisco based 4K Studios are using Blackmagic Design gear to scan old 35mm Film prints to bring old Kung-Fu movies to the world’s first all 4K Ultra HD streaming network. Roundhouse kicks, mis-matched dialogue dubs, and Kung-Fu style snap zooms straight out of the 70s never looked so good.
4K Studio’s gear list reads like a Blackmagic Design catalogue. They are pressing into service the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, ATEM Production Studio 4K and DaVinci Resolve, as well as a number of additional Blackmagic Design products, to convert existing media and create original materials for its new Ultra HD network, UltraFlix.
The HyperDeck Studio Pro and SmartScope Duo 4K are being used to capture old Kung Fu films for clean up and conversion to HD. “Capturing these older formats is a common use for the HyperDeck and SmartScope,” said Owen. “We capture the old tapes in real time at low res and then take the files up to HD. The HyperDeck and SmartScope combination is often used like this to create workable files from old formats.”
Sr Producer at 4K Studios, Owen Morris is responsible for the clean up and compression of various content sources they receive, most of it is 35mm film. “Once the 35mm film is scanned at 4K, we run it through DaVinci Resolve for color and clean up, and the mastered films then get compressed and placed in the cloud ready to stream,” he said. “DaVinci Resolve has been the biggest game changer so far. We scan a film to 6TB of uncompressed 4K at roughly 1TB per reel of film, and we need a way to color grade, assemble and sync these huge sequences,” continued Owen. “DaVinci Resolve is a great all in one application that lets us output an assembled master file in a single step. For good quality scans, Resolve’s dust cleaning tool takes care of quite a bit of cleanup, instead of having to use an additional damage software, which saves significant production time.”
4K Studios is a subsidiary of NanoTech Entertainment, a San Jose based technology company focusing on all aspects of the entertainment industry: 3D, Gaming, Media & IPTV, Mobile Apps and Manufacturing. UltraFlix, Launched at CES 2014, is the world’s first all 4K Ultra HD streaming network and has been ported to multiple platforms, including Smart 4K Ultra HD TVs, such as Samsung, Vizio and Sony as well as Android devices
In addition to converting existing content, 4K Studios also creates its own original 4K content using the Production Camera 4K. 4K Studios produces full 30 minute episodes as well as shoots short videos and promos on a number of different subjects to build and populate the 4K channels. “It’s amazing to be able to stream 4K live to the Internet from a camera that’s actually shooting high quality 4K,” said Owen. “We even used the camera in conjunction with the ATEM and DeckLink to live grade with DaVinci Resolve. We have plans for a 4K gaming channel, and I anticipate the camera, ATEM and DeckLink to let us produce amazing 4K streams.”
Owen is working on a Twitch like streaming channel that will feature a host of gamers and entertainers hanging out and gaming. Shot with the Production Camera 4K and a few additional cameras, the ATEM Production Studio 4K will mix the camera footage with a live feed of the game and produce a 4K stream. “The notion here is to be able to broadcast video games at 4K, and the ATEM can capture and handle multiple video sources, including broadcasting the final 4K signal. Game developers will be able to showcase their games at a higher resolution thanks to the added production value from Blackmagic Design’s 4K products,” said Owen.
“We don’t have big budgets, and we don’t have lots of artists with the hours to burn, so we need affordable tools to begin working in the 4K space now,” he concluded. “Blackmagic Design is simply ahead of the game when it comes to professional 4K.”