Product Spotlight - 1/06
Issue: Volume: 29 Issue: 1 (January 2006)

Product Spotlight - 1/06

Nice Shoes, a full-service postproduction and new media facility specializing in commercial work, has launched Nice Spots, a pay-as-you-go hosted Web-based application for media exchange. Nice Spots allows users to exchange media for review and collaboration on rough cuts and final edits regardless of a person’s geographic location.

Nice Spots can be used for every phase of the audio and video creative process, including archiving and retrieval, viewing and commenting on casting tapes, location scouting, and dailies. When postproduction is complete, Nice Spots archives the finished master, resulting in a stored file that can be used for dubbing or broadcast. QuickTime and Windows Media files are provided for viewing and download. The service allows agencies to avoid the costs and hassles of sending electronic data via commercial delivery services or in a backpack strapped to a bike messenger.

Avid Technology’s new Avid Liquid product line is a suite nonlinear editing software and hardware offerings for event videographers, government and corporate video producers, and high-end enthusiasts.

Drawn from editing products formerly developed by recently acquired Pinnacle Systems, the Avid Liquid family includes new versions (V. 7.0) of the Avid Liquid and Avid Liquid Pro systems. Both systems offer new features for users who want a single application for the creation and delivery of either tape, DVD, and streaming media.

Avid Liquid builds on previous Liquid features, including native HDV editing, GPU-accelerated effects, background rendering, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio with AC-3 encoding, DVD creation directly on the video-editing timeline, and I/O hardware. New features include custom music creation capabilities directly inside the application; native editing of popular codecs, including WM9, DivX, and MPEG-4 for repurposing and output of content to the Internet; effects such as Timewarp, Stabilize, Dream Glow, and over 50 plug-ins from the Commotion effects suite; native HD and SD editing on the same timeline without transcoding; and Preview HDV in SD with Avid Liquid Pro.

The Avid Liquid family runs on Windows XP, and pricing for its various incarnations range from $499 to $11,995, with discounted upgrade paths for users of Pinnacle Liquid products.

In October, a group of overclockers in Pori, Finland, made history by pushing a graphics processor engine to clock levels over 1 ghz on the recently-announced Radeon X1800 XT graphics processor from ATI Technologies. The total speed of the processor reached a clock speed 1.003 ghz and a dual data-rate memory speed of 1.881 ghz, all with system stability and no visual artifacts. The team kept the rig cool using a custom-built liquid nitrogen system that chilled the graphics system to minus 80 degrees Celsius.

ATI expects users to see the potential of the company’s new memory controller design that complements the GPU’s shader engines with additional memory-clock scalability when faster GDDR-4 memory arrives The Radeon X1800 XT’s clock-scaling capabilities are made possible by the use of a 90-nanometer semiconductor process technology, a new ultra-threaded Shader Model 3.0 architecture, and a 512-bit ring-bus memory controller.

Iridas, a company delivering non-destructive color-grading technologies for the film industry, is offering a new edition of SpeedGrade OnSet. Along with a number of interface enhancements, SpeedGrade OnSet Professional Edition includes mask tools, split-screen modes for A/B comparisons, image scrubbing, and scene-based shot organization, among other new features. The Professional Edition also introduces support for calibration LUTs and will be offered with the new CineSpace OnSet application from Rising Sun Research. The idea behind the product is to allow cinematographers to develop creative looks in a fully calibrated environment.