PROFESSIONAL IMAGING CONFIDENCE

Display solutions for science and art

LAIKA Animation and EIZO

28/08/2015  |  Reviews

EIZO Delivers Consistency Throughout LAIKA’s Large Studio Facility

LAIKA, an animation company specializing in feature films, commercials, and short films located in Portland, a recent adopter of ColorEdge monitors for use in the capture, editing, and playback of video content. EIZO recently spoke to Trevor Cable, Lead Media Engineer at LAIKA to understand their process and find out why they chose to go with over 110 of the ColorEdge CG243W for their daily in-house use. Among some of his major tasks include ensuring editorial stays up and running and builds and maintains all screen rooms and theaters color matched to their theatrical projectors.

Laika ColorNavigator EIZO

“Consistent color is key in our workflow”, says Cable. “The ColorEdge monitors have been a lifesaver for us, especially the ColorNavigator software that comes with it. It allows us to maintain color consistency throughout all of our on-site groups: Commercial, Entertainment, and 3D all maintain a very uniform look so that if we have to share work among departments we are ensured that we are consistently matching colors and image quality from one workstation to the next.” After hearing that the displays they had been using were switching to a glossier panel format, they immediately knew this would no longer work for them. Cables project for choosing new displays for LAIKA was unique in that he had a small window of time between films in order to bring in all new equipment. 

“I ended up bringing in about 7 different display types and brought them into our theater for a color shoot-out. We used highend color probes to analyze the color and it ended up being a fairly scientific procedure. The color was measured over the course of a month and we tracked how much drift there was on each. Eizo’s performance blew us away and the fact that a sales person made themselves available to us on-site anytime we needed assistance was incredibly helpful.” One of the main headaches that LAIKA had with previous monitors used was for matching up their monitors to the projectors they use to view the finished films. With the CG243Ws now used throughout their workflow, they are able to send the projectors calibrated profile throughout the studio and ensure they get a consistent feel for the finished product. From their sound stages where cameras are set-up to capture their stop motion work, a ColorEdge is on-set to ensure the captured images carry through consistently to the next department. There the images are reworked to enhance colors or clear out any irregularities or background distractions in the animation. Since the monitors are already synched from the beginning, numerous hours are saved in the matching process without the need to go back and forth between post-production and retouching to get their images on the big screen to look as they did on the monitor.

LAIKA has seen some great improvements in their overall workflow. One of the most noticeable differences was the reduced amount of complaints from technicians throughout the process. Cable was constantly getting techs coming to him with complaints that two of the same type of display looked completely different. “The color consistency across all the implemented monitors was like nothing we had ever seen before. With our very busy production schedule we are even able to implement a monthly calibration process and every monitor continues to return accurate and stable results.”

LAIKA was always concerned about dead pixels on their monitors. Even though Eizo doesn’t guaranteee against pixel defects on the ColorEge monitors1 , Laika has found that of the 110 Eizos they have ordered to date, no pixel defects have been found which has been incredibly impressive to them. They will also be utilizing 10-bit technology on upcoming projects, so to know that the ColorEdge monitors already support this gives them great confidence they chose the right equipment for their future needs. LAIKA is known for its stop-motion feature Coraline (2009) and the studio utilized ColorEdge displays during the making of the film ParaNorman. For more information about LAIKA, go to www.laika.com.