Movies

Academy honours DI pioneers

MUMBAI: Post-production tools that helped launch the digital intermediate process figured prominently during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ annual Scientific and Technical Awards presentation.


The Academy honoured a total of 10 technologies with scientific and engineering awards and five with technical achievement awards.


The digital intermediate, or DI, process gives filmmakers extended creative flexibility by shifting color grading and other post-production tasks from a chemical process to one that is digital. 


Said SciTech Awards committee chairman Richard Edlund, "The digital intermediate is taking over the post-production field the way Avid took over the editing field."


DI became the common term used to describe this process because at its launch approximately a decade ago, a film was initially shot on film and after post-production, it was recorded back to film for theatrical release.


That is already changing. With the proliferation of digital cinematography cameras, movies increasingly begin in the digital realm -- and with digital cinema projection, they often end as files rather than film. For that reason, many believe that the still-young term will need to be retired.


Among the technologies recognized for enabling the DI process were scanners, which convert film into files for the post process; look up tables and color management tools, which allow filmmakers to create and maintain a consistent look; color grading tools, offering creative flexibility in adjusting color; and display, enabling accurate monitoring of the images.


While this year the SciTech Awards honoured various tools from the intermediate portion of the digital pipeline, no digital cinematography technology has been recognized to date.
 

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