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Sonne moves into film with Autodesk Lustre HD

4 September 2007 – Copenhagen post-production facility Sonne (formerly known as Sonne Film) has invested in Autodesk systems and rebranded itself as the company moves into long-form post-production. It has bought an Autodesk Lustre HD digital grading system and upgraded its visual effects systems to Autodesk Flint 2007. The systems were sold through Autodesk’s reseller Kinovox, and installed at the end of August. Sonne has recruited Lasse Marcussen, a well-known colourist from Digital Film Lab, and lined up its first film project for Lustre: a feature based on an old series of films called Father of Four.

Andreas Rostock, managing director, explained: “We’ve been pretty much a commercials facility until recently, when we started doing features work as well. We’re taking on more long-form projects as well as our daily commercials work. We’ve rebranded to that effect as well. The entire company has gone through something of a generation change. More than half of our employees are new, which is great because it opens up new opportunities and ways of working.”

Until now, Sonne would use Flint to add a look here and there, but the final grade would be done elsewhere. The company wanted to handle the whole grading process to offer clients a smoother workflow: “It was the obvious step forward in getting a bigger piece of the pie,” said Rostock. “But it’s more about getting a smoother workflow than it is about money. The opportunity to start doing your compositing work and know that the frames you get in the final grade will be the same means you can start working earlier in the process, and with more peace of mind.”

Sonne’s new colourist Lasse Marcussen played a key role in choosing Lustre. “The main reason we chose Lustre is its interoperability with the other systems at Sonne and because we think it has the most creative toolset and offers the most possibilities,” said Rostock. “We opted for Lustre HD because of the price and what our projects require. The work we’re doing mainly goes out in HD.”

Sonne plans to use its Autodesk Smoke editing and finishing systems for conforming and then bring the metadata into Lustre either straight from the Autodesk Stone file system with the Autodesk Wiretap API or by using the soft import workflow. The company is also looking into using high-speed Infiniband networking.

The facility has upgraded four systems to the latest version of Flint – Autodesk Flint 2007 – running on Linux workstations. Two of the four systems have also been upgraded to Flint HD. According to Rostock: “We’ve been very happy with our Flint systems. All of our projects go through Flint. We upgraded to HD because there’s more demand for HD and we need it for our feature work. On the older systems, loading HD data was rather cumbersome, but with the new Flint HD systems, we don’t have to worry about it.”

Sonne has recently used Flint for a series of environmental commercials for power supplier NRGI, encouraging people to switch off stand-by buttons to conserve energy and use environmentally-friendly energy products. It has also completed commercials for V6, DSB, Kvik Kitchens and SAS.

About Sonne
Commercials director, Michael Sonne, established Sonne Film in 1989 originally as an in-house post facility for his production company. After the production arm was sold off, post-production became the company’s sole focus with an international client list spanning some of the best-known brands such as Coca Cola, McDonalds, Microsoft, Kodak, Carlsberg, Shell and Heinz.

The facility provides digital grading, offline and online editing, visual effects, 3D graphics and sound design for documentaries and feature films as well as commercials. It was the first Nordic facility to invest in the Autodesk Flame visual effects system. It now has an Autodesk Lustre HD system, four Autodesk Flint visual effects systems and two Autodesk Smoke editing and finishing systems; and uses Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya 3D modelling and animation software

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