CGW Announces Silver Edge Awards
April 30, 2012

CGW Announces Silver Edge Awards

This year’s 2012 NAB Show, held April 14 through 19, drew more attendees and exhibitors (which occupied more floor space) than last year.
According to show organizers, NAB had 1,600 exhibitors spanning 815,000 square feet of exhibit space, up from 1,550 exhibitors occupying 745,000 square feet at the 2011 conference. NAB--the world's largest electronic media event covering filmed entertainment and the development, management, and delivery of content across all mediums—also saw an increase in attendees, from 91,932 in 2011 to 92,112 this year. Of those, nearly 25,000 were from outside the US.

Generally speaking, storage, cloud computing, and (again) stereo 3D were hot topics among the crowd of digital content creation and postproduction professionals. And, as always, attendees were looking for offerings that enable them to do their jobs faster and better. After careful consideration, Computer Graphics World has selected the following for the magazine’s annual Silver Edge Awards at NAB, presented to companies whose particular product represents the best of show at this leading conference and exhibition.

Autodesk Smoke 2013
The star of the show for the DCC/postproduction industry appeared to be the redesigned/repackaged Smoke video editing software for the Mac. The key description for this offering is “all-in-one,” as the new version unifies the editing and effects workflow. Among the features is ConnectFX for node-based compositing inside the timeline, enabling high-end effects and advanced compositing without leaving the editorial environment. A redesigned user interface makes the product more inviting for users, as does the price ($3,495).

Adobe Creative Suite 6
A large portion of the industry utilizes Adobe CS to some extent, and Adobe showed off its latest iteration: CS6 Production Premium, which contains enhancements to all the tools in the package (including After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition). In addition, there are new tools, including Prelude (for ingest, logging, and transcoding) and SpeedGrade (for color grading). Oh, and then there is the cloud subscription, too. (For an in-depth look at Adobe’s new strategy, see the story in the April-May 2012 issue of CGW.)

Blackmagic Cinema Camera
For years, Blackmagic has razzled-dazzled attendees with a plethora of offerings, from its capture cards to its switches, converters, and more. At this show, however, the company threw its hat into the camera arena, unveiling the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, for a true feature-film look at an affordable cost—ideal for shooting high-end television commercials, episodic television programming, and feature films. The camera contains super-wide dynamic range with 13 stops for film-look quality, a high-resolution sensor, a built-in high bandwidth SSD recorder, open file format support, color correction with a full version of DaVinci Resolve, and a built-in LCD with metadata entry—all for only $2,995.

AJA Ki Pro
There are a few things you can count on at NAB—the neon lights of Vegas, the sound of slot machines, and AJA showcasing new products. This year, the company unveiled three new offerings: the Ki Pro Quad, a new solid-state portable video recorder supporting 4K and 2K recording; the Ki Pro Rack, enabling recording of high-quality, edit-ready files for the fastest path from camera to edit in a new 1RU rack mount form factor; and the T-TAP Thunderbolt adapter a very small new bus-powered device that takes advantage of Thunderbolt connectivity for high-quality 10-bit SD, HD, and 2K output through SDI and HDMI connection. And that was just the warm-up, as the company had a number of upgrades up its sleeve, as well.

The Pixel Farm PFDepth
The Pixel Farm has grown some great offerings over the years, and this season it has a new, fully integrated tool set for spatial scene reconstruction, depth creation, and 2D-to-3D conversion designed so that even small facilities can participate in the conversion process. Benefiting from the technological capabilities of PFTrack already in use, PFDepth is an evolution of the processes involved in representing the perceived geometric shape and depth of two-dimensional objects in 3D. The tool performs 2D-to-3D conversion by assigning accurate depth cues relative to the camera’s position over time; dynamic adjustments to the perceived dimensionality of the scene then are animated automatically.