Dolby Atmos for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with DVS and Park Road Post
When The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), premiered on December 12th, 2013, the new Dolby Atmos standard added another dimension to the experience of sound, alongside stunning images. Dolby Atmos envelops the audience, allowing for precise sound event positioning in the auditorium, perfectly complimenting the stunning High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D images. The full three dimensional experience was brought to life at Park Road Post Production, mastering both HFR-3D at 48 fps and immersive Dolby Atmos sound, all on the DVS Clipster.
Dolby Atmos takes into account each venue’s unique configuration; the powerful and sophisticated sound mix is adjusted to each and every cinema. Instead of assigning audio tracks to discrete channels, 64 objects are available and are freely positioned spatially within the auditorium. Thanks to an intelligent decoder box, sound events are rendered and distributed to the required number of speakers. Thus, Dolby Atmos enhances quality and performance of the surround speaker installation.
On the production side, the audio (dialogue, music and effects) is fed into the Dolby Rendering and Master Unit (RMU), this allows flexible rendering for different configurations. The final package is then fed into the DCI mastering pipeline, headed by Clipster. The Clipster generates the final DCP or, to be more precise, the various versions of DCPs required by Park Road. Clipster’s powerful feature set allows creation of a variety of versions, within a very short timeframe, thanks to its unprecedented DCI Mastering performance. Clipster masters the material in high quality at 48 fps in 3D – plus the respective Atmos track.
At the forefront of post production technology, the award-winning team at Park Road aims to attain unprecedented results for their clients. In the first The Hobbit film, the HFR 3D and image quality mastered for exhibition thanks to Clipster deployment, was an absolute novum, and the team at Park Road have been internationally recognized for their contribution in bringing this new experience to cinema audiences world-wide. Movement appears noticeably crisper and smoother to the viewer – especially with rapid action – 3D comfort is maximised. With Dolby Atmos Park Road’s aim of elevating cinema is once again underlined: Quality and experience of sound has never been as precise and striking.
Ian Bidgood, Technical Director at Park Road Post, “Again, DVS has proven themselves to be the invaluable partner we have become accustomed to. We were extremely happy to continue our innovative partnership that was started on the first part of The Hobbit Trilogy. Once again, DVS’s significant advancements in the Clipster platform along with their absolute willingness to innovate and push the technological boundaries has not only helped to master a 3D HFR DCP with incredible speed, but has now bought Dolby Atmos™ mastering within the same platform.”
Bernhard Reitz, Head of Product Management at DVS: “It is a true honour to once again have played a role together with Park Road Post in the The Hobbit Trilogy. It is a stunning testimony of how Clipster is being used for both high frame rate mastering and exquisite DCP creation. We feel very proud that we can once again pioneer with Clipster by including Dolby Atmos™ in our system. This will undoubtedly add an exceptional dimension of sound on top of a breathtaking image quality to the audience”.