Camera and Color Control
demonstrated FilmLight’s Baselight system in direct control of the entire command block of the Grass Valley Spirit Classic DataCine camera. This event marked the first time a software-based color-grading system has been used to control a Spirit DataCine, and the pairing lends to a more productive telecine workflow. Baselight controlled the system’s film transport, primary and secondary color, focus, resize and rotate, sharpness, and degrain features. The companies also have integrated
’s Bones Dailies postproduction solution with FilmLight’s Truelight color-management system as part of a calibrated, on-set to deliverables production pipeline. Baselight control for Spirit Datacines and Truelight color management for Bones Dailies are available this month.
Encoding in a Flash
Kulabyte is shipping the Kulabyte Professional Flash Encoding Suite, introduced at NAB2007. The video encoding solution uses industry-standard codec engines and combines Kulabyte’s Live 2-pass variable bit rate encoding and on-demand broadcasting. The Kulabyte system enables media creators to encode and distribute digital content more than 12 times faster than industry-standard codec times, while also delivering high picture quality and optimal bandwidth use. Kulabyte’s Professional Flash Encoding Suite, packaged with the On2 VP6 codec engine, starts at $8000.
Fx for Final Cut
Noise Industries unveiled its FxFactory for Apple Final Cut Studio 2, a visual effects tool for postproduction and broadcast professionals. FxFactory Version 1.05 includes GPU-accelerated, native visual effects plug-ins for Final Cut Pro 6 and Motion 3, via Apple’s FxPlug architecture. The latest edition also boasts custom presets, new filters, and GPU-accelerated rendering. The included FX for Motion Pack offers Glitch, 3D Shatter, Panel Vision, and RGB Trails effects plug-ins; whereas the FX for Editing Pack contains Cheshire Fade, Explode Away, Panels Mix Off, Spinner, and Zipper transitions. Noise Industries also demonstrated two new FX Packs: ImageFlow FX with 10 different animation styles, and TextFlow FX with 10 beat-synchronized text animation effects. FxFactory Pro is priced at $399 and includes the Motion and Editing Packs. Version 1.0.5 is a free update for current owners of FxFactory. The Motion and Editing Packs are each available for $99.
Red or Blue?
Bluefish 444 introduced its RedThing and BlueThing compact multi-standard HD-SDI to DVI-I converters, enabling HD and SD signals to be viewed on virtually any LCD, plasma, or projector display. The solutions automatically sense and size incoming signals and output resolution to ensure image conformity with 16:9 and 4:3 screens. Its high-quality spatial and temporal video processing deliver frame-rate conversion, scaling, and de-interlacing to provide high image quality on inexpensive displays. Other features include DVI-D and DVI-I output, a test-pattern generator, support for output resolutions between 1024x768 to 1920x1200, and proc-amp, gamma, and color matrix controls. Both RedThing and BlueThing are housed in metal enclosures and powered by an external AC/DC power supply and locking connector. RedThing and BlueThing are priced at $1695 and $2095, respectively.
Kulabyte and AMD partnered at NAB to demonstrate the Kulabyte Professional Encoding Suite, a multi-core encoding system, driven by Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors in an eight-socket server. This 16-core video encoder server is said to deliver a 60 percent speed increase over comparable multi-core processing systems, which are largely limited to a maximum eight cores in a single server. The product combination is well suited to DVD authoring houses, postproduction facilities, television studios, and producers of mobile video. Kulabyte’s suite is infused with TimeSlice technology, designed to deliver faster encoding and improved picture quality.
It’s a RAID
Ciprico demonstrated a direct-attached storage system using the new PCI Express external cabling standard and based on the company’s RAIDCore software RAID stack. Ciprico’s RAIDCore was running on a direct-attached 20gb/sec PCI Express 8x external connection to a SATA 2 I/O card. The external card was mounted in a 3U, 16-drive chassis with 16
1tb SATA 2 drives running Adobe’s video editing suite and supporting multiple streams of HD video. The scalable RAID system is designed to meet the bandwidth demands of HD, 2k, and 4k video applications.
Precision with Previzion
Cinital showcased the latest motion-tracking and visual effects features in Previzion HD Studio, the company’s end-to-end virtual studio solution for previsualization and visual effects creation. Previzion aids artists at visual effects and film, television, and multimedia companies in integrating computer-generated graphics and live video to create synthetic visual spaces. The solution combines camera motion tracking, scene integration technology, and advanced features such as keyed subject occlusion. Use of the FBX file format ensures camera motion data can be recorded and imported into popular 3D programs, including Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max, Softimage XSI, Luxology Modo, and Maxon Cinema4D.
Enhancing After Effects
GridIron Software previewed Nucleo Pro 2, an upgraded version of its tool for visual effects artists using Adobe After Effects. The latest edition supports Adobe’s new After Effects CS3 Professional, as well as all versions of After Effects 7. With new offerings in Nucleo Pro 2, users can customize how nested compositions are rendered, and run and manage popular 3D application renders in the background with the Background Render Queue. Supported applications include Maxon Cinema4D, Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Softimage XSI, Apple Shake, Side Effects Software Houdini, Mental Images Mental Ray, and Splutterfish
. Compatible with Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, Nucleo Pro 2 is scheduled to ship in early summer at a price of $395 for new users, $295 if purchased before it begins shipping, and $99 as an upgrade from Nucleo Pro 1.
Made for Masking
Turbo Mask, an image-masking tool from Paravue, made its debut during NAB. Turbo Mask is designed for graphic and Web designers, photographers, and motion graphic artists working in Adobe Photoshop CS and CS Extended. Turbo Max analyzes images, isolating subjects and removing them from backgrounds. Users can accomplish image cutouts with as little as a single mouse click, without the need of the traditional hand-drawn masking method. Paravue Turbo Max, now shipping, is priced at $249.
Boris FX announced Boris Blue 2.0 and Boris Continuum Complete 5.0 during NAB. Version 2.0 of the Boris Blue real-time motion graphics solution features new 3D deformers such as Curl, Shatter, and Glow; Lens Flare, Glint, and other accelerated filters; and improved 3D interactors for objects, cameras, lights, and split views. Enhancements also include the ability to animate a 3D camera along a Bezier spline-based motion path and support for Avid’s AVX RT plug-in, which enables users to create 3D elements directly in the Avid timeline without the need to render in another program. Boris Blue 2.0 is now available and priced at $995. Users of Boris Red can purchase Boris Blue 2.0 at a cost of $295, whereas existing Boris Blue customers can download the upgrade free from the company’s Web site. Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) 5.0—a suite of native filters and transitions for Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Avid nonlinear editing and compositing systems—offers universal binary support for host applications running on the Mac platform, in addition to native support for Apple FXPlug and Avid AVX 2.0 on Intel-based Macs. Also new to Version 5.0 is BCC UpRez for converting SD files to HD, the BCC Pan and Zoom filter, BCC MatchMove motion tracking, and new OpenGL accelerated filters. BCC FXPlug for Apple Final Cut Pro, BCC for Adobe and compatible hosts, and BCC AVX for Avid Express Pro are priced at $795 each. BCC AVX for Avid Composer and Symphony is priced at $1995. Existing BCC owners can upgrade to Version 5.0 for $249.
Bluefish444 released its 2K Lust and Symmetry software upgrade for users of its HD Lust 4:4:4 video card. 2K Lust offers I/O support for 2k film resolution via high-speed data link (HSDL), enabling real-time SDI monitoring of HSDL output, integration with telecine and film scanning systems, and real-time hardware scaling, cropping, and color processing. 2K Lust also boasts 2048x1080 resolution at a 24p/psf frame rate for digital cinema. The company has upgraded its Symmetry software to support these new 2K Lust features. 2K Lust and 2K Symmetry will be offered as a free software upgrade to current customers.
Growing Product Family
Red Giant Software unveiled its latest professional video software tools. The newly expanded Magic Bullet product family includes the Magic Bullet Looks design solution, Magic Bullet Frames file-conversion utility, and Magic Bullet Colorista color-correction tool. The full Magic Bullet Suite will be available this summer for $799 to new users and $199 as an upgrade. The new Trapcode Flux particle system, enabling the creation of fluid organic shapes and geometric moving 3D patterns, offers customizable parameters and presets and is set to ship this summer. New versions of the company’s Trapcode Shine, Starglow, and 3D Stroke visual effects and motion graphics plug-ins for Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Avid editing programs begin shipping this month for $99 each. Instant HD Pro, to ship this summer for $399, provides video editors with file conversion capabilities and a tool set with de-interlacing, de-noising, sharpening, re-graining, and advanced pan and scan utilities. Primatte Keyer Pro 4—to ship this summer for $499 or $199 as an upgrade—includes such upgrades as support for Adobe Premiere Pro, Auto Setup, and GPU-accelerated features.
Eyeon for Editors
Eyeon announced that Fusion supports Primatte 4 chromakey software for image compositing. As a result, Fusion users have access to Primatte’s core library, floating-point precision, SSE2 acceleration, film grain removal, and new Auto-Compute utility. Additional features in Fusion include a color-spill removal function, intuitive user interface, internal processing at 16 bits per RGB channel, and multiple undo and redo.
Eyeon Software; www.eyeonline.com
At the trade show, Signiant demonstrated for the first time the native integration of its Digital Media Distribution Management Suite with the Avid TransferManager client on Avid editing systems. The integration reportedly contributes to transfer rates of up to 200 percent faster than previously possible. Signiant’s active bandwidth management tools enable video professionals to monitor and prioritize the real-time transfer of content from a central Web-based console to an Avid editing system.