The American Society of Cinematographers Motion Imaging Technology Council has completed production on a new version of the Standard Evaluation Material II (StEM2), which will be provided free of cost to the motion picture industry to stress and evaluate exhibition systems and image processing software.
The Mission is a 17-minute short film, carefully crafted by ASC cinematographers and associate members, image scientists, colorists, manufacturers and technologists to provide a cinematic and diverse piece of media that may be freely used to test theatrical projection, theatrical emissive displays, professional monitors, consumer monitors and post production image processing software and hardware.
Created by the ASC’s Motion Imaging Technology Council (MITC), under the leadership of the Next Generation Cinema Display Committee, the StEM2 material will be available in a multitude of delivery formats to be downloaded and utilized to test visual systems.
The Mission is written and directed by ASC Associate member Jay Holben, photographed by Christopher Probst, ASC, executive produced by ASC MITC chair Curtis Clark, ASC, produced by Wendy Aylsworth, Jay Holben and Joachim Zell, visual effects supervision by David Stump, ASC, 2nd unit director/cinematographer and stunt coordination by Steven Shaw, ASC, post production supervision by Associate member Joachim “JZ” Zell and metadata supervision by Associate member Greg Ciaccio.
The short film contains a wide variety of locations including daylight exterior and interior, night exterior and interior, bright high-contrast desert to dimly lit dank cave. The narrative also includes high action, multiple examples of high dynamic range exposures, high color gamut material, high resolution detail, diversity of skin tones, CG animation and the latest production techniques including in-camera visual effects shot on an LED volume. Additionally, various audio tracks are available from Dolby Atmos to 5.1 surround sound for additional evaluation.
Carefully crafted material stresses:
- High dynamic range
- Mastered versions at 48, 108, 300 and 1000 nit brightness values
- Bright values of practical and CG elements
- High color gamut
- Practical and CG elements of extreme color saturation
- High resolution origination material generated primarily in 8K and 6K, but also incorporating 12K and 4K original material
- High resolution CG material created to test exhibition resolving power up to 8K
- Compression algorithm testing components such as fade in from full white screen, smoke, dust, high action
- HDR jutter testing elements created in fast action and specifically-integrated components to push contrast-driven jutter
- Skin tone reproduction of various ethnicities in various lighting conditions