American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 41

this environment, and [using 2-D instead of 3-D] was a corner we didn’t want to cut, so we found a simple 3-D model of D.C. online that was available for download — the data set was provided by the U.S. government,” recalls Breakspear. CIS used the data to create corresponding 3-D blocks within their software (Maya and Houdini), and then skinned them with textures and twinkling lights. “We went to Washington and studied 30 or 40 buildings, shot textures, and fed those elements into a computer,” explains Breakspear. “We added air-conditioner units, antennae and water tanks to the rooftops, and with the camera movement and the parallax, it looks absolutely stunning.” Optical performance is a critical element of all visual-effects work, and CIS matched a set of CG lenses into its Maya and Houdini software based on the lenses Elswit and his collaborators used for principal photography.

Breakspear explains, “When you’re tracking a shot, you have to negate the distortion the lens gives you. Before production starts, we shoot lens grids, which are big white boards with a black grid. The lens we use to shoot the grid takes the square geometry and distorts those lines. We scan the test shots, using the lens grids to show us how to undistort the original photographic elements. When we’ve added our [CG] elements to the shot, we then use a secondary piece of software to redistort the final composite so it matches the original.” Principal photography on Salt wrapped in June 2009, and as the visual-effects team finalized shots, they referenced Elswit’s dailies, which had been timed by Nolan Murdock at Deluxe’s New York facility. Elswit supervised the film’s final digital grade at Sony Colorworks, where he worked with colorist Steve Bowen. After again passing most of the credit for the film’s

look to his collaborators, Elswit sums up his DI work in an equally humble fashion: “There are many cinematographers who do wonderfully creative work in the DI, but I spend most of my time fixing things I screwed up in principal photography.” ●

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American Cinematographer - August 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2010

The International Journal of Motion Imaging - August 2010 Vol. 91 No. 8
Features
Cat and Mouse (Salt)
Girl Trouble (Pilgrim vs. the World)
A Magical Manhattan (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
True Colors (Get Low)
Departments
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: Quiksilver ad campaign
Production Slate: Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 • The Kids Are All Right
Post Focus: True Blood Workflow
Filmmakers’ Forum: Steven Fierberg, ASC
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Charles Minsky
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - The International Journal of Motion Imaging - August 2010 Vol. 91 No. 8
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 3
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Short Takes: Quiksilver ad campaign
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Production Slate: Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 • The Kids Are All Right
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Cat and Mouse (Salt)
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Girl Trouble (Pilgrim vs. the World)
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - A Magical Manhattan (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 66
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - True Colors (Get Low)
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 74
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Post Focus: True Blood Workflow
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Filmmakers’ Forum: Steven Fierberg, ASC
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 81
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 83
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 84
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 85
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 86
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 87
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 88
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 89
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 93
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - 95
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - ASC Close-Up: Charles Minsky
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2010 - Cover4
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