A key component of the 844/X is the GenesisEngine, a proprietary embedded operating system that enables the 844/X to process several concurrent visual effects, including filters, color corrections, and color effects, in real time. Visual Voicing is a proprietary technology built into the GenesisEngine that allows any four layers in a multi-layer composition to be viewed and changed individually or as a group-all in real time with no processing or rendering.
The 844/X's 10-bit signal architecture, which the company claims is the first for a disk-based system in the digital media marketplace, handles more than 1 billion pixels and effectively eliminates the banding error artifacts common to most 8-bit systems (in which picture quality de grades as successive layers are added.)
At Reality Check Studios in Los Angeles, a beta test site for the system, the 844/X is being used to finish the sports and television commercial projects the studio creates for its clients. "The real-time previewing is great," says Reality Check president Andrew Heimbold. "We do heavy compositing-mixing graphics and live action-so, where before we had to composite, render out, and play back a spot, which took anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, we can now do it in real time. The last phase [of a project] is happening a lot faster. The 844/X fills a great niche that has been held by higher-end systems that cost a lot more."
The 844/X includes a 1.7ghz dual-processor Compaq W8000 Workstation, the GenesisEngine, junction box, Matrox G550 graphics card, Wacom tablet, and a host of other connectors and equipment. The system is scheduled to begin shipping this spring. Prices start at $65,000 for a base unit with 360gb of storage. (Media 100; www.media100.com) - Jenny Donelan