Issue: Volume 34 Issue 5: (May 2011)

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Software

VFX
64-bit Effects
Digieffects introduced its new family of 64-bit VFX plug-ins, as well as previewed its new library of a la carte plug-ins. The company also announced across its entire product line native support for Apple FxPlug, an image-processing plug-in architecture offering fast rendering, high color depth, and seamless integration with Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion. Digieffects’ new family of 64-bit VFX plug-ins includes: Delirium V2 with 45 effects in six categories; Damage V2 with seven effects to degrade footage artistically; and Buena Depth Cue V2 with six 3D object-manipulation effects for After Effects. Support for Apple FxPlug delivers such workflow advantages as faster rendering by harnessing the power of the GPU; integration of technologies, such as OpenGL and Apple’s Core Image and Quartz Composer; and 32-bit float processing. Now available, Delirium V2, Damage V2, and Buena Depth Cue V2 are priced at $299, $99, and $199, respectively.  
Digieffects
www.digieffects.com

Broadcast
Multiplatform Monetization
Prime Focus Technologies’ Clear, a hybrid cloud-based operations solution for content and workflow management, made its US debut at NAB. The 24/7 global production/postproduction environment is designed to enable broadcasters to increase efficiency and revenue while delivering programming across various viewing platforms, such as the Internet, smartphones, and HDTV. Clear provides a secure, scalable global digital pipeline that enhances collaboration, productivity, and asset utilization, while increasing monetization opportunities. Clear enables concurrent work processes, multiplatform fulfillment, a reduction in overall media processing, and business agility.
Prime Focus Technologies
www.primefocustechnologies.com 

Viewer
Dailies and Review
Tweak Software unveiled RV SDI, a new version of its cross-platform, film-resolution image and sequence viewer for VFX and animation artists. RV SDI adds Dual Link SDI output with embedded audio to the advanced playback and review tool using Nvidia Quadro SDI hardware. RV provides a customizable dailies workflow and advanced media architecture, enabling users to combine media of different resolutions, frame rates, color spaces, and audio sampling rates. RV SDI’s high-dynamic-range, floating-point, linear light pipeline also features review, collaboration, editing, and comparison tools. Further, users can script, customize, and automate RV to fit into existing pipelines or workflows. RV SDI supports Linux and Windows and is available for $4999.
Tweak Software
www.tweaksoftware.com

VFX
Start from Scratch
Assimilate unveiled Version 6 of Scratch, its end-to-end digital cinema and broadcast imaging tool for postproduction workflows. Scratch V6, available for Mac
OS X and Windows 7, offers such updates as a multilayer timeline for tighter integration with editorial systems, advanced tracking and keying technology for color grading and VFX workflows, enhanced 3D stereo capabilities, and support for a wider range of input/output formats. Scratch is now priced at $17,995. Scratch Lab, the company’s end-to-end digital solution for the review, versioning, color correction, conform, and deliverables for on-set and VFX dailies pipelines, is available for $4995.
Assimilate; www.assimilateinc.com

Hardware

Video
AJA Announcements
AJA Video Systems expanded its portfolio with several new products, including the Hi5-Fiber Mini-Converter and four new FiDO (Fiber Digital Optical) SDI/Optical Fiber Mini-Converters. Hi5-Fiber converts HD/SD-SDI over single-mode fiber-optic cable to drive HDMI monitors, while FiDO converters transport SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G SDI up to 10km. Hi5-Fiber is priced at $695, whereas the FiDO T-ST, R-ST, T-SC, and R-SC Mini-Converters are $445 each. AJA also released KONA 3G Version 9.0 driver software with a 4k Mode, which supports true 4k playout and monitoring. AJA also previewed its Thunderbolt multi-format I/O technology for new high-frame­rate 3D, 2k, 4k, and 5k workflows. AJA launched FS2, priced at $4995, for a variety of video and audio signal conversion, adaptation, timing, and processing applications. A universal frame synchronizer and converter in a compact 1RU design, FS2 has two independent channels that can be used separately or together and support virtually any input or output. In other news, AJA’s Ki Pro Mini, which snaps onto the back of the camera using the AJA Mini Mounting Plate with a standard V-Lock adapter, is the first recommended Apple ProRes solution for the new RED Epic camera.
AJA Video Systems
www.aja.com

Input Devices
Step up to the Blackboard
FilmLight launched Blackboard 2, a new control surface for its Baselight color-grading system designed to transform high-end finishing for feature films, television, and advertising. Blackboard 2 enables colorists to perform complex functions with a single keystroke, given that its keys are soft programmable and labeled from below with back projection that changes as the functions change. In this way, Blackboard 2 can accommodate future functionality and individual preferences without the need for redesign. Blackboard 2 also features configurable haptic controls and four high-resolution screens that provide the user with live, in-context feedback about complex grading functions. FilmLight plans to begin shipping Blackboard 2 in the summer.
FilmLight
www.filmlight.ltd.uk

Interactive Pen Displays
Wacom showcased its DTU-2231 interactive pen display for digital content creation, video editing, broadcast, presentation, teaching, and telestration. The widescreen, high-definition DTU-2231 integrates with popular applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint. The new hardware and software system combines natural, pen-on-screen capabilities with a new preconfigured radial menu option, delivering annotation and mark-up capabilities. The DTU-2231 sports a 21.5-inch, 16:9 widescreen LCD with full-HD (1920x1080) resolution and Wacom’s patented cordless, battery-free pen technology. The new pen display is now available for $1899.
Wacom Technology
www.wacom.com

Data Storage
EditShare Enhancements
EditShare enhanced its data storage infrastructure with new features, such as Avid and Final Cut Pro project sharing, to optimize collaboration for postproduction, digital intermediate, and broadcast production workflows. New capabilities include: simplified media space management, support for solid-state drives and dual-port 10-gig cards, a streamlined user interface, 6g bit/sec performance for all drives, 10g bit bonding, and support for Avid DS. The company’s Flow production asset-management solution is upgraded with support for AVC-Intra (SDI and File Ingest), ProRes in Flow Scan, and metadata for NLEs. EditShare Geevs, for broadcast ingest and playout, boasts a new user interface and a sports application with multichannel, synchronized recording and playback for up to 16 cameras, including instant playout and slow-motion replay. The new version, Geevs 5.0, adds support for the popular Avid DNxHD and ProRes postproduction formats, enabling integration with Avid and Final Cut Pro editing workgroups and enhancing media migration. EditShare also demonstrated the phase one release from the Lightworks Open Source large-scale development initiative for a nonlinear editing (NLE) platform.
EditShare
www.editshare.com

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