Rhythm & Hues is one of the five top-of-the-line visual effects companies operating today. (The other four are Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Weta and Industrial Light and Magic.) R&H delivers first-rate animation effects, is staffed by really nice people, has a serene work environment (employees are allowed to bring their dogs to the office) and so on. But what impressed me the most about today’s visit was the same thing that got me when the InFilm group visited Digital Domain two days ago — i.e., the digital projection quality in the companies’ respective screening rooms.
There’s still no comparing the quality of the projected digital projection in these rooms (provided in both houses by a Christie DP 2000) to what most people see in even the best theatres equipped with digital projection. I was amazed when some simple white-on-black titles appeared on the Digital Domain screen. The letters were bright, sharp, rock-steady perfect. In theatres white-on-black titles are almost always fuzzy and/or ghostly, and sometimes simply unfocused. This isn’t a huge deal if you haven’t seen digital images the way they’re meant to be seen. But once you’ve been to Paris they’re’s no settling for the farm.