Fully Automated: The MetaRender Pipeline for “Bunraku”

For TV, web, commercials, and feature films, IRIDAS MetaRender has quickly become one of the most critical tools in Origami Digital’s VFX Pipeline. For the 1000 VFX shots on Guy Moshe’s Bunraku, Origami Digital channels the IRIDAS power combined with custom tools so the artists can do their job faster and more efficiently.


Bunraku is a feature film, starring Josh Hartnett, Kevin McKidd, Woody Harrelson, Ron Perlman, Demi Moore and Jordi Mollà, set in a surrealistic Origami world where the buildings and city need to be as alive as the people.

Bunraku required roughly 1000 VFX shots that Origami Digital is solely responsible for. “While 1000 shots are no easy task for any VFX company, we knew that we could rely on our production proven pipeline and handle the volume of work needed to complete the film”, says Oliver Hotz, founder and CEO of Origami Digital, LLC. “Part of our custom pipeline includes powerful tools like MetaRender that allow the artists to be artists, and not programmers or asset managers.“

On Bunraku, a few specific changes had to be made to the pipeline to create a single click ingest process to the VFX pipeline. When Editorial gives a scan request to the scanning facility, the shots are delivered on a drive to Origami Digital in the form of 10-bit DPX frames. When Origami Digital gets that drive the single click magic starts:

1) Specific Shots and Directories are set up based on the editorial count sheets that get delivered with the drive.

2) The DPX frames get copied from the delivered drive to the Origami server into their appropriate folders.

3) Once on the server, MetaRender gets busy and creates an Avid Quicktime file that is then sent to editorial as a Scan Lineup so that Editorial can make sure that the scanned frames are correct.

4) Next, MetaRender creates a JPG sequence from the DPX frames with the appropriate look-up table burned in. This squence can then be used by artists as quick, fast loading proxies.

5) MetaRender also creates a 1K Quicktime of the DPX frames with burn-ins of shot information as well as a soft 2:35 mask which the artist can quickly load to look at a reference.

During all these steps, the original key code or time code is preserved in Quicktimes and image sequences and carried all the way through until the final comps are delivered.

Typically, this would involve multiple people in multiple departments and usually quite a bit of time and error prone manual labor. At Origami Digital, all of this is automated. The artists don’t even have to know how to use IRIDAS Meta­Render, making the process completely invisible.

For more information about Origami Digital, please visit http://www.origamidigital.com

Fore more information about MetaRender, please visit http://iridas.com/metarender

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