The 2012 edition of the National Association of Broadcasters convention will convene on April 14 for six days of panel discussions, presentations, technology demonstrations and more. To call the event overwhelming is an obvious overstatement but the crowds of more than 90,000 people who have traveled around the world in the name of new technology can be a mix of dazzling and confusing. Throw in a cocktail reception every evening and things really get interesting. For me the experience is nothing more or less than a technology circus that is equal parts fascinating, intimidating and fun.
Attendees will be able to see more than 1,500 exhibits and a dizzying number of presentations. More than 185 new exhibitors will showcase the latest technological innovations that are driving the evolution and demand for content anytime, anywhere. These companies will join a wide variety of NAB Show exhibiting veterans on the 850,000+ square feet of space that make up the NAB Show exhibit floor.
"No place will the great content shift be more evident than on this year's NAB Show exhibit floor, where the companies and products showcased will reflect the new world of multiplatform media," says NAB executive vice president of conventions and business operations Chris Brown. "People come to NAB Show to see what is new, and the many companies expected to exhibit for the first time is indicative of NAB Show's ability to evolve with a rapidly changing environment and deliver fresh perspectives on innovations that are fueling the industry's growth."
Also on the exhibit floor this year are two new attractions in the South Hall: Start-Up Loft, a showcase for new companies and Content Market, a central place to unite programming executives with digital distribution platforms, featuring the Content Lounge (sponsored by Warner Bros.) and the popular Content Theater (Sponsored by FremantleMedia). In the Central Hall, the new Cloud Computing Pavilion will offer the latest in cloud applications, platform structure, software, data storage and security.
There will be exhibits of technology for all aspects of production and post-production and, as always, there will be surprises. What follows here is a brief preview of the highlights we learned about in the days leading up to the convention. More complete coverage will appear in Reports in the weeks to come.
3ality Technica will unveil some of its new 3D production technology. With the recent acquisition of Element Technica by 3ality Digital, the combined single company, 3ality Technica, calls itself the world leader in the design, engineering, manufacturing and distribution of 3D production technology.
The showcase includes the new Helix, which is the result of the combined efforts between the former designers and engineers from 3ality Digital and Element Technica. “The Helix has all the precision, automation and refinement of the TS5 with the configurability and user-friendliness of the Atom,” says Stephen Pizzo, senior vice president 3ality Technica. “It offers complete functionality when coupled with the Stereo Image Processor.”
The Helix was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the new IntelleSuite enhanced control and automation software, making the Helix the most intelligent system of professional 3D camera platforms.
The company will also showcase its proprietary software applications including IntelleCam, IntelleCal, and IntelleMatte. Coupled with 3ality Technica’s sophisticated hardware, these applications fully automate the hardware, giving DPs and live sports broadcasters smart technology that eliminates setup time and production costs.
Also being presented under 3ality Technica’s banner accessories brand, Elements, for the first time as a complete kit will be the Sony PMW-F3, designed in partnership with Sony for their F3 2D camera. “As a DP myself, I appreciate what working DPs need in a camera rig. This is everything you need in a single unit. It’s our go-to solution,” says Mitch Gross, AbelCine applications specialist who worked on developing the Sony PMW-F3 solution with Pizzo and the Elements team. The former Element Technica accessories have been rebranded under the Elements brand name from 3ality Technica.
3ality Technica will also showcase the SIP 2100 and its benefits for post-production work, which will be demonstrated by editor George Bellias, who has worked on such high profile projects as The Black Eyed Peas (The Beginning) – Paris (2011), Britney Spears Live: The Femme Fatale Tour for EPIX (2011), We Are the World 25 for Haiti (2010), and most recently, Alter Bridge’s Live At Wembley (2011). “The SIP 2100 provides real-time 2D and 3D analysis that allows us to match color and alignment far more accurately than our eyes can perceive. It isn’t just another tool in my post-production tool-belt—it is the foundation,” says Bellias. Bellias will give attendees a sneak peek at what he does when editing with the SIP 2100 at 3ality Technica’s booth.
“2012 is coming together as a banner year for 3ality Technica, as we continue the art of perfection and efficiency in our 3D production systems. We are delivering some of the smartest systems the industry has known, which are being utilized by Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers and the world’s leading broadcasters. Our systems are setting new standards in the broadcast industry, saving on production time and cost. These are systems that will remain in a technological leadership position for many years to come. They are ahead of their time and ahead of the competition. In fact, these are systems our competition would like to be building but are only talking about,” says Steve Schklair, CEO of 3ality Technica.
Cinedeck will showcase the latest versions of Cinedeck EX, its portable multi-format, multi-codec, HD-SDI recording system.
Fast Forward Video will unveil the sideKick HD, a multi-format, straight-to-edit, camera-mountable digital video recorder. Designed to ease production workflows and satisfy the demands of both producers and post-production editors, the sideKick HD enables customers to get the most out of their camcorders without compromising on quality.
"Superior picture quality is the hallmark of our award-winning line of DVR systems, and the sideKick HD is the latest example, delivering the pristine output and flexibility producers expect while making life much easier for post-production editors," says Paul DeKeyser, founder of FFV. "With the sideKick HD, camera-to-editing workflows have never been more streamlined. Instead of using the camera's on-board recording device, users can capture video directly from any HD/SDI or HDMI output and choose the final post-production codec without any additional transcoding — saving valuable time and removing steps that could degrade image quality."
The sideKick HD attaches to any HD camcorder or HDSLR using a standard ¼-20 mount. As a true straight-to-edit DVR, the system records to off-the-shelf, hot-swappable 2.5-inch SSD drives in native ProRes (for Apple Final Cut Pro) or DNxHD (Avid) NLE formats. Bringing files into the NLE environment is a simple matter of moving the disk from the sideKick HD to the computer; no time-consuming ingest or transcoding operations are required. A 4.3-inch on-board confidence monitor offers playback options including scrub and jog capabilities.
To simplify power management, the extremely lightweight sideKick HD is intended to be powered from the camera's battery. FFV offers power cables for direct connection to Anton-Bauer and IDX camera batteries, as well as approved OEM-compatible batteries with a DC output for Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and JVC camcorders. In addition, FFV offers a battery pack option that extends the full power of the sideKick HD to users of smaller cameras that are not equipped with full-sized batteries. On remote location shoots, these users now have the ability to unplug a discharged battery and replace it with a fully charged one without interrupting a sideKick HD recording session.
FujiFilm Optical Devices Division has announced that two compact HD lenses, each featuring technical firsts in their size, will make their U.S. debut at the show. The two new HDTV lenses, which expand their respective product lines, are the HA19x7.4BERM/BERD 2/3-inch Premier Series high-performance HD ENG/EFP production lens and the XA19x7.4BESM-D8 compact, HDTV studio and field box-style lens.
First introduced at IBC 2011, the two lenses both with 19x zoom ratios, are the first in such a compact size to feature three floating zoom groups and Aspherics, which combine to produce unsurpassed optical performance. They also feature the latest EBC coating, resulting in richer colors and improved blue response and transmittance. The XA19x mini-box lens offers automatic compensation of focus breathing. This mechanism synchronizes the zoom movement to the focus movement, enabling the image size to remain constant when focusing - a must in episodic production.
“The advanced features we’ve built into these lenses are extremely important in the HDTV/big screen era as television viewers can see much more picture detail—including information in the corners of the screen—than ever before,” says Thom Calabro, director, marketing and product development, FujiFilm North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division.
“For this reason, it’s vital to have consistent resolution from edge to edge,” Calabro says. “These two new lenses expand our product portfolio with capability and superb optical performance that is ideal for high-end HDTV production. With 16-bit encoders and 2.2X extenders as standard features, these new 19X lenses ensure precision performance even in the most demanding HD production applications.”
Weighing only 3.3kg, the lightweight HA19x7.4BERM/BERD 2/3-inch lens is ideally suited to the rigors of high-end ENG/EFP HDTV production, including entertainment, news, sports, and documentaries. A new ergonomic grip reduces operator fatigue, and the lens can be ordered with manual or servo focus and zoom.
The XA 19x7.4BESM-D8 is ideally suited to live studio production, such as live news, sports, and entertainment. With features like RS-232 control and tally lights, it can also be used in conjunction with virtual reality studio sets and robotic camera systems. Both the XA19x7.4BESM-D8 and HA19x7.4BERM/BERD lenses have advanced diagnostics to keep them working reliably, as well as a short “MOD” or minimum object distance of 0.55mm, which allows shooting at closer distances.
With the 2.2X extender as standard, both lenses give users zoom capabilities and reach comparable to that of Fujinon HA23X lenses. Their inherent advanced optics also compensate for aberrations throughout the entire zoom range, with dramatic reduction in geometric distortion on the wide side of the focal range for superior optical performance.
Litepanels will debut a variety of new LED lighting products including a new member of its daylight balance Sola Series of Fresnels, along with the entirely new Inca Series of tungsten balanced Fresnels.
The Sola 4 daylight Fresnel fixture is the smallest DMX controllable LED Fresnel on the market. The new focusable fixture features a 4-inch (10cm) Fresnel lens and uses a small fraction of the power consumed by conventional fixtures. It employs Litepanels’ proprietary LEDs to produce the company’s hallmark soft light quality daylight color balance. The Sola 4 is based on the same breakthrough Fresnel technology as Litepanels’ award-winning Sola 6, but in a smaller, more lightweight form factor. It provides the controllability and light-shaping, single shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light, with a range of focusing from 70 to 10 degrees. Like all Litepanels fixtures, Sola 4 can be dimmed from 100 percent to zero with no noticeable shift in color temperature. Both focus and dimming can be controlled manually with dials on the fixture, or remotely via DMX 512.
Litepanels’ Sola 6 Fresnel fixture has been upgraded over the past year and like the Sola 4, now sports an external power supply, and the same capability of being powered by DC via a standard XLR connection.
A new line of Litepanels tungsten-balance Fresnel fixtures, the Inca Series, will make its worldwide premiere at NAB. The Inca 6 and Inca 4 mirror the capabilities of their daylight counterparts in the Sola Series of Fresnels, but will output tungsten-balance light that can be integrated with light from legacy tungsten fixtures. This now allows studios with existing tungsten fixtures to begin realizing the cost-saving benefits of LED lighting today without changing out their whole lighting installation.
Like the Sola series, new Inca Fresnel fixtures feature a lightweight form factor, 1/3rd that of traditional Fresnels. They provide the controllability and light-shaping, single shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light, focusing from 70 to 10 degrees. Like all Litepanels fixtures, the Inca 4 and Inca 6 can be dimmed from 100 percent to zero with no noticeable shift in color temperature. Both focus and dimming can be controlled manually with dials on the fixture, or via remote DMX.
Litepanels will also unveil new on-camera LED lighting fixtures, the Croma (variable color-temperature) and Luma (daylight). The Croma can illuminate in any color temperature from daylight to tungsten via an on-fixture control knob, making it a versatile solution for run-and-gun news shooters, event videographers, and still photographers who move rapidly from one light environment to the next. The Luma provides powerful daylight illumination that is perfect for fill light when shooting outdoors or in similar color temperature conditions. Both the Croma and Luma are sleekly designed fixtures that can be dimmed from 100 percent to 0 via an on-fixture knob, with no noticeable shift in color balance. They draw just 9W of current, with comparable light output to that of a 40W (HMI) to 90W (tungsten) fixture. This miserly use of power provides long life from AA batteries, or both fixtures can also be powered off an AC adapter.
Also making its NAB debut will be Litepanels’ Hilio high-intensity LED lighting fixture. The daylight-balanced Hilio is a small-footprint LED fixture capable of emitting daylight illumination over a 20’ to 25’ (6.1 - 7.6 M) distance, without requiring an external ballast. Early users of the Hilio compare the new Litepanels fixture favorably to the venerable HMI fixtures used by the television and motion picture industry, but without the HMI disadvantages such as heat generation, power hunger, short bulb life and required off down-time before restrike. The new high-intensity Hilio draws just 115W (while providing comparable illumination equivalent to a 575W HMI), and offers bulb life of 50,000 hours while operating from 100-240VAC 50/60 Hz, or 24VDC battery.
Matrox will introduce its MC-100 system, which is designed for on-set monitoring and 3D convergence for independent films.
Matthews Studio Equipment, the exclusive distributor of all FloatCam products in the United States, North and South America as well as Asia, will introduce the new member of the FloatCam DC-Slider family, HD-DC Slider to support heavier cameras like Arri Alexa.
“Now, FloatCam HD-DC Slider can do the same for heavier cameras like Alexa,” says Robert Kulesh, vice president of sales and marketing for Matthews Studio Equipment. “It can handle much larger cameras without compromising stability, performance and, of course, creativity.”
The new FloatCam HD-DC Slider features a rail length of 73-inches(185cm), tracking length of 63-inch (160cm), vertical height of 79-inch (200cm) and maximum load of 70 pounds (32Kg) with rail and fulcrum weight of 50 pounds (23Kg). The counterweights top at 70 pounds (32Kg). And the mini jib specs are a working diameter horizontal at 63-inch (160cm).
Matthews will also introduce their new line of Tinker Tools. Designed, for those who have made iPads, iPhones and other small devices a vital part of their production package, the Tinker Tools are a way to keep everything close at hand – but hands free. MSE’s Tinker Tools not only keep your smaller gear close and safe – they’re cool to use.
There’s the MicroClamp that is the base of the whole system. It can grip to round of flat surfaces, as well as many other objects or any shape you can find on the set. “Think outside the box and we’ll get it can clamp to almost anything you need handy,” says Kulesh. “It has dual 3/8-inch and ¼-inch mounting holes for flexibility, high performance stick pads and an aluminum locking kip handle.”
For those who need to keep their phone handy but want their hands free there’s the Smart Phone Adapter that uses the MicroGrip technology and two brackets for secure mounting. “Best thing about it you can take advantage of all those iPhone/iPad apps you need on set or location or even in a moving vehicle,” says Kulesh.
Then there is the MUT, which helps mount any kind of tablet or iPad, with or without a protective case. It simply adjusts form 10-inch to 13-inch long and 1-inch to ¾-inch thick. It works with standard mounting devices and comes with a ¼-20-inch female thread hole on the back of the bracket.
To meet the new market trend of lighter weight sports and outside broadcast production needs, Miller Camera Support has unveiled a new 150mm ball base fluid head, Skyline 70 that supports a diverse choice of camera configurations up to 40 kg / 88 lbs.
Skyline 70 embraces easy-to-operate rear facing illuminated controls that brings the functionality and ergonomics to a new level. Features include 7-position pan and tilt drag, 8-position of selectable counterbalance, +90 degrees tilt, 120mm sliding quick release camera platform, mounting block / adaptors for accessories and safety tilt lock. The ergonomic design reflects the shooting needs of sports based configurations and outside broadcast operations using barrel or lightweight box lens with external viewfinders.
The Skyline 70 incorporates a totally new counterbalance system that provides 8 positions of adjustment to enable payloads from 4.5 kg to 37.5 kg / 10 to 82.5 lbs @ 150mm C of G to be perfectly balanced. With this extended range the Skyline 70 will accommodate a wide range of cameras in various configurations making it versatile for many applications.
A variety of system packages are available, from the Heavy Duty 2-Stage Carbon Fibre tripod to Heavy Duty Single Stage Alloy tripod to studio based Heavy Duty Studio Alloy tripod, Skyline 70 systems are built with the strength, stability and rigidity to enable the user to always be in control especially in challenging shooting conditions.
Fluid head pioneer OConnor will unveil several new offerings. For the first time at NAB, attendees can experience hands-on the Ultimate 1030D (30 lb/13.6kg capacity) and Ultimate 1030Ds (41 lb/18.6kg capacity) fluid heads. Designed to replace the popular Ultimate 1030HD and HDs, the new systems add sporty industrial design and features originally engineered for OConnor’s larger fluid heads. These include stepless, ultra-smooth pan and tilt fluid drag that provides ultimate control and stability for digital cinematography shooting. Also adapted from OConnor’s heavier duty heads is the Sinusoidal Counterbalance system for true, accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. Counterbalance can be adjusted by a new ergonomic crank-style control that simply pulls out of the back of the head.
The 1030D model provides a tilt range of ±90° while the 1030Ds head has a ±60° tilt range for heavier loads up to 41 lb/18.6kg. Designed to ease the way for cinematographers to seamlessly transition from heavier to lighter payloads, both heads are ideal for use with full-format sensor lighter weight cameras, such as the Red Epic and Scarlet, Sony F3 and Canon C300.
The new 30L carbon fiber tripod combines the benefits of new-age materials with precision engineering to create a support system that is lightweight, yet solid and stable. An ideal fit for the new generation of smaller Ultimate 1030D and 1030Ds fluid heads, the 30L weighs just 8.8 lbs (4 kg) and can safely and stably carry payloads of up to 209 lbs (95 kg).
Joining OConnor’s growing lineup of camera and lens accessories is the new O-Focus Dual Mini, a compact, double-sided direct drive follow focus unit optimized for both still and cine-style camera lenses. It is designed to meet the exacting needs of professional camera operators and assistants. The precision gear drive of the main bridge offers a gear ratio of 1:0.75 so that 360 degrees of input results in 270 degrees of output (i.e. rotation on the drive gear).
There are two versions of the O-Focus DM: the Photo Set and the Cine Set. Each provides its own unique transmission ratio. The difference is accomplished by the use of two different types of handwheels that interface with the main bridge to generate optimized transmission output. Changing the transmission ratio is as easy as changing a lens. The handwheel(s) can be easily swapped without tools.
The Photo Set utilizes a new Hard Stop Handwheel, which has a transmission ratio of 1:1 (input: output). When coupled with the O-Focus Bridge, it yields a follow focus industry first; a 1:0.75 transmission ratio. This translates to longer, more exacting focus pulls when using limited barrel rotation still lenses for digital cinematography, and allows more precise lens control than has previously been available for these camera configurations. The hard stops enable the operator to set minimum and maximum focus points for lenses with unlimited rotation and to carry out hard focus stop pulls. To allow the focus-puller to react to unexpected movements, the unique single-hand-operated hard stop on/off switch allows for instantaneous disengagement of the end stops for critical adjustments even during the shot.
The Cine Set utilizes the existing CFF-1 Studio Handwheel, and has a transmission ratio of 1:1.8 (input:output). When coupled with the O-Focus Bridge it yields a 1:1.4 output transmission ratio well suited for cine lenses with an expanded focus scale. The Studio Handwheel is offset, so it has 360 degrees of rotation for optimum placement and view of the lens witness marks.
A breakthrough camera accessory introduced by OConnor is the Universal Camera Baseplate, designed to adapt small to medium size digital cinema cameras to the thousands of standard camera accessories available in the professional cine industry. Accommodating a wide variety of form-factors, from standard camcorders to hybrid DSLRs and compact digital cine cameras, the Universal Baseplate provides the ability to adapt each camera to a studio 15mm or 19mm bridgeplate by changing out four vertical 15mm rods (custom size rods available). It features dual 15mm LWS rod brackets that are adjustable to perfectly align the camera accessories to the optical center of the lens.
Pictorvision, which won an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award this year for their innovative Eclipse system, was recently tapped by Arri to help create an in-booth promo to be shown at the convention.
The first aerial use of the Alexa M, the promo will demonstrate the compact size, lightweight and modularity of Arri’s versatile new camera. “We wanted to show the great advantage of using Alexa M for aerial photography,” says Stephan Ukas-Bradley, manager, digital production of Arri Inc. “The Eclipse seemed to be the perfect match for the new Arri camera.”
Ukas-Bradley called on cinematographer Bill Bennett ASC and the two worked with Pictorvision’s Tom Hallman to create a variety of aerial shooting opportunities. “It was exciting to be the first company to take this camera up in the air,” says Hallman. “We pulled out all the stops and were able to integrate it into the Eclipse system quickly.”
Bennett says, “We put the Alexa M camera body inside the helicopter, allowing my camera assistant to easily change data cartridges on the Codex recorder and manipulate the various camera controls. The camera body was connected to the camera sensor block in the Eclipse mount with a very robust fiber optic cable.”
Pilot Peter McKernan took the Eclipse on quite a ride, at first helping the Alexa M capture footage of 18-year-old Sam Mason flying his parent’s restored Stearman biplane then shooting scenic views of the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood sign and downtown Los Angeles at sunset.
“Pictorvision was a great collaborator and supporter on this project,” says Ukas-Bradley. “The Eclipse is a great tool for aerial shots because it allows quick installation, convenient and intuitive handling of the camera.”
Sachtler will unveil the new Ace tripod system. Compact, durable, and absolutely lightweight due to its unique composite material, Ace offers familiar Sachtler quality at a sensational price/performance ratio. Ace is the optimal camera support for the growing video and DSLR filmmaker market. The product is now available in the USA.
In addition to Ace, Sachtler will present other dependable camera support products including the Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 ENG/EFP fluid heads. Also on display will be the artemis Cine HD Pro modular camera stabilizer system with leading-edge features like HiCap cabling and Hot Swap technology to provide an uninterrupted power supply when changing batteries.
London-based Aframe has launched its Aframe service into North America. Aframe has established operations in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles where it has deployed the company’s private cloud infrastructure to support its growing US client list, while also better serving global clients like the BBC and MTV. The company says the move gives Aframe local presence in the world’s top three global production centers – London, New York, and LA – where data centers provide the ingest and high-speed upload facilities to meet the needs of major video production, feature film, advertising and corporate projects.
Aframe says it is the first private cloud, SaaS video production platform offering that eliminates many of the issues associated with video production, and is as easy to use as Facebook. The system allows for any original, large broadcast-quality video format in any length to be uploaded either over the Internet or at Aframe’s network of drop off points into Aframe’s private cloud storage infrastructure. This includes uncompressed raw footage, not proxies or intermediaries – a former impossibility given typical cloud computing constraints.
Operational in the UK since November 2010, Aframe already has over 50 customers including the BBC, MTV, Giant Film & Television, Thumbs Up, Zig Zag Productions, Shine Group and others. It also has a fast-growing community in the US.
“Witness what Salesforce, Dropbox and Huddle have done in deploying cloud computing for their respective sectors. It’s about time that video production puts the promise of the cloud to work and at Aframe that’s our mission,” says David Peto, founder and CEO of Aframe.
“Finally technology has caught up with the creative process so it can enhance the video production workflow, while not forcing creative minds to change the way they work,” Peto says. “The ease of use and flexibility that individuals have come to expect in their personal lives with social media and Internet speed are now doable in the professional edit suite. We are incredibly excited to expand our reach into North America, and grateful for the support of such esteemed venture capital firms to make it happen.”
Peto, a former founder of a London post-production facility with a belief that making video should be about talent, not technology. With Aframe and the power of cloud computing, users can share, search and collaborate without on-site equipment or full-time staff, and only requiring an Internet connection. As the video production industry embraces another transformational shift – to cloud computing and away from costly purchases of on-premises solutions – Aframe’s new funding and expansion into North America positions the company for rapid growth.
Aframe is available as a free personal account, with professional accounts available starting at $99 a month per user, or an enterprise account at $249 a month per user.
Fuelling the company’s expansion is a new $7 million Series A round of venture capital funding, provided by Octopus Investments and Eden Ventures, with participation by existing investor, Northstar Ventures.
Aframe also named Mark Overington who was part of the founding team at Avid Technology and its former head of marketing, as president of Aframe North America. While at Avid, Overington grew the company from an idea to $500 million in revenues, and established Avid’s nonlinear editing platform as the catalyst behind the industry’s shift from editing as cutting tape into editing as a fully digital process.
“Aframe is fantastic for accessing our video content easily and quickly, wherever we happen to be. Whether we’re sharing pilots, sizzle reels or finished shows with broadcasters I know I can rely on Aframe – it’s a great tool to have,” says Tom Brisley, creative director at Arrow Media, a content company, working across television, film and other media.
Cintel International will launch a new 6K imaging sensor for the diTTo evolution film scanner, providing over-sampled 4K data files, as well as new timeline interface options and extended vertical range option for the imageMill2 real-time data processing engine.
The diTTo evolution film scanner scans both 16mm and 35mm film with 2K speeds at up to 11fps. The new 6K imaging sensor provides the highest quality over-sampled 4K data files demanded by the post-production and archive industries. diTTo evolution is the first film scanner to be instantly switchable from pin registration to non-pin registration, and is also the first film scanner to include integrated film grain management and image stabilisation tools. The company says it is the ideal film scanner for all applications and stock types; from OCN ingest for digital intermediates, to dense print for restoration projects.
Simon Carter, sales director Cintel says, “Origin can now fix a lot of image defects in real time, which is amazing considering many software-only systems can take up to a minute per frame. With speeds in excess of 31fps for 2K and HD files, the performance of imageMill2 is unequalled. We are currently processing 4K files at 10fps and can also deal with SD files at twice real time. Having Origin alongside Grace and Steady on the Flow timeline provides an extremely powerful data restoration system.”
DFT Digital Film Technology will highlight Flexxity for the Mac. In addition to supporting a Linux workflow, Flexxity v1.5 for Mac provides the post software tools for dailies, play out, and archive applications for facilities with an existing Apple infrastructure. The scale-up flexibility of Flexxity allows users to implement a software system that is fine-tuned to their specific needs from single-user seats, to multi-user workgroups.
Flexxity Version 1.5 includes the following new features: Mac (Mac Pro, iMac) and / or Linux support; native pro-res handling and transcoding; and advanced dynamic processing thread handling.
Flexxity Dailies can be used as an on-set or post tool for both digital and film dailies. It provides native support for ProRes, QuickTime, MXF and DPX files as well as most digital cinematography camera formats. Flexxity Dailies performs simultaneous image and audio synchronization, timeline editing, color correction, image scaling as well as layout and file generation of many different file formats. Flexxity Dailies also supports parallel workflows for higher throughput and efficiency. It also supports stereoscopic 3D workflows.
"Flexxity has its roots in our digital intermediate technology, which is based on many years of development and a collection of advanced ideas and features that we have gathered over the years," says Morris Lindenkreuz, product manager for Flexxity. " Flexxity 's multi-format timeline, flow graph based architecture, scalability, and efficient use of all hardware resources such as CPUs and GPUs offer an unmatched flexibility of operation, making it a unique on-set and post production software tool."
DVS will present version 5.0 of its digital intermediates workstation Clipster, which now offers a sophisticated 3D workflow thanks to the Stan (stereoscopic analyzer) software, which is now integrated into the system. A new algorithm analyzes and corrects the 3D material geometrically, including keystone correction.
Grass Valley will demonstrate the latest version Edius v.6.5, with a comprehensive 3D editing workflow and native support for raw footage captured with digital cinematography cameras from Red Digital.
“The Grass Valley Edius system continues to increase market share, due to its growing reputation as a fast, reliable, ‘edit anything’ editing solution,” says Charlie Dunn, executive vice president of products for Grass Valley. “As the market has demanded new features to accommodate new file-based formats and even 3D production, we have kept pace and want to ensure our users that we are committed to the platform and will continue to add new improvements and the most critical features as they become available.”
Grass Valley is also making its intermediate codec technology freely available to other applications. As well as the PC-based HQ/HQX codecs, a QuickTime version of Grass Valley’s HQ and 10-bit HQX codec (for Windows and Mac platforms), will be available for free download.
The new Edius software boasts a comprehensive 3D workflow, complete with 3D stereoscopic editing tools and new 3D support across its editing peripherals. The full family of 3D-compatible Grass Valley editing peripherals—such as the Storm 3G 3D and Storm 3G Elite 3D accelerator cards (with stereoscopic 3D I/O through a single 3G SDI source and/or dual 3G SDI signals)—are now all supported from the Edius timeline. Edius software and hardware supports all of the most common stereoscopic modes—including the Side-by-Side, Top & Bottom and Line-by-Line display methods.
The new Edius 6.5 software will begin shipping in June for a list price of $699. Existing Edius 6 users can upgrade to the new version for $299. Details of price and availability of the system version will be announced at a later date.
The Matrox Video Products Group will feature new Matrox I/O drivers for Adobe Creative Suite, Windows release 6.1 and Mac OS release 2.5 for the Matrox MXO2 family of I/O devices and the Mojito MAX card provide Adobe CS5.5 support optimized for the latest multicore, high-performance systems.
"Early users of this release are raving about the rock-solid performance they now get from their Adobe editing experiences with Matrox I/O solutions," says Dan Maloney, technical marketing manager at Matrox. "The forums are buzzing with positive feedback."
"With the combination of Matrox MXO2 and Adobe CS5.5, my editing system behaves the way I expect it to," says Craig Van Horne, editor at Scorched Ice Digital. "Adobe CS5.5 gives me complete creative freedom and Matrox enables me to see all my work on my HD-SDI monitor, all while dynamic linking among Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop. It's pretty awesome."
"As a long time user I can say without hesitation that Matrox is demonstrating a commitment to giving professionals hardware and software that works to the high standards required by the broadcast industry," says David Cherniack, documentary filmmaker at All In One Films.
Release 6.1 for Matrox MXO2 I/O devices and Mojito MAX for Windows, and release 2.5 for Mac OS are now available to registered users as a free download from the Matrox website.
MTI Film will showcase its new Cortex platform, a family of products that the company says marks a major step forward in digital asset management for production and post-production. Based on MTI Film’s ten years of experience in developing file-based workflow solutions through its Control Dailies and Convey products, Cortex brings coherence and portability to the process of managing digital assets from the set to the screen.
“The rapid shift to digital acquisition and tapeless delivery that has occurred over the past two years has changed the way post production is done and created new challenges,” says MTI Film vice president of product development David McClure. “Processes that were once housed under one roof are now often handled by different parties in different locations. Some of those processes can be unnecessarily painful or confusing to new users. Cortex is designed to eliminate that pain and confusion.”
Cortex::Convey is an alternative to automated transcoding applications that require specialized training or are needlessly complex. “It is perfect for editing rooms, post facilities, production offices, or any environment where transcoding from one format to another is required with a minimum of technical expertise,” says McClure. “Cortex includes a user-friendly template designer that makes transcoding an effortless process for all users.”
Cortex’s advanced project management features include multiple deliverable templates per project, automated workflows, and a one-to-many render engine. It is a simpler and more flexible way to reliably and simultaneously generate multiple, high-quality file-based deliverables for all steps in the post-production process.
Cortex::Convey includes MTI Film's best-of-breed algorithms for down-conversion and color processing in a 32-bit floating point pipeline, as well as the latest real time, GPU-accelerated demosaicing algorithms for RAW camera codecs.
MTI Film plans to roll out other Cortex products to address other points in the production and post-production process. Ultimately, the Cortex family will form a seamless solution for managing media assets from pre-production, through post-production and beyond.
“A lot of time and money is wasted because creative decisions and other metadata cannot be passed seamlessly from one step in the process to the next,” observes McClure. “It either has to be re-entered or is lost completely. The Cortex platform is designed to allow all the actors - from DITs to dailies colorists to assistant editors and more - to easily share this information while remaining focused on their central task, undistracted by a large, complex application.”
Signiant announced that 2G Digital, a California-based media fulfillment and post-production company, has deployed Signiant Media Manager and Signiant Media Exchange as key enabling technologies for its new fiber optic-based facility in Burbank, California.
“The economic climate of the past few years has challenged companies like ours to evolve very rapidly and adopt technologies that can advance our market leadership. In 2G Digital’s case, it meant going beyond our traditional roots in post-production to reinvent ourselves as an ultra-efficient media/file-fulfillment factory, and Signiant is central to that effort,” says Chuck Filliettaz, owner of 2G Digital. “Signiant is critical to the automation and workflows we’ve put into place not only to remain relevant in our industry, but also to stay steps ahead of our competition. In fact, the Signiant solution has been integral to our relationships with electronic sell-thru providers, and the ability to attract new global clients.”
Signiant’s Manager software provides security, management and control of automated file exchanges between 2G Digital and studio clients that also have Signiant agents, speeding such tasks as the processing of raw content, adding metadata and closed captions, or formatting conversions for distribution in other countries.
“In a business climate where so many post-production companies are being consolidated or struggle to stay relevant, 2G Digital is truly the ‘little engine that could’ — a company that has been able to adapt and thrive by embracing technologies that help it stay nimble and operate as efficiently as possible,” says Lisa Clark, vice president of marketing at Signiant. “We’re pleased that our software is playing such a prominent role in helping 2G Digital to create new efficiencies in aggregating and delivering digital media, allowing them to significantly expand their business opportunities across the globe.”