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IBC Preview


By Scott Lehane
The 40,000 attendees gathering at IBC in Amsterdam on Sept. 10–14 will to see new technology, shop for equipment and gauge the health of their industry.
For the third year running, IBC’s D-Cinema initiative will be a major focus, using a 1,700-seat theater and state-of-the-art equipment to demonstrate what’s new in projection, digital intermediate and camera technology. New 4K digital cinematography cameras and 4K film scanning and color correction will be hot topics on the show floor.
According to estimates from Thomson Grass Valley, there is a total worldwide market for film scanning and postproduction equipment of about $1.6 billion. Digital intermediate post currently represents a $215 million market worldwide and is projected to grow 20 to 25 percent annually.

And Thomson is after an even bigger piece of that market. The company will introduce a Grass Valley color space converter — the CSC 4000 — a new tool for color grading targeted at the DI market that enables calibrated previsualization of a film print on a high-definition display or digital projection system. The color space converter allows color gamut transformation for SD and HD dual-link signals via a 3D look-up table (LUT) to enable users to see what the film print will look like.
The company will also unveil new features for its Spirit 4K DataCine and Spirit 4K film scanner. The additions include a six-sector color processor, newly designed Scream Film Grain Reducer software, and a VistaVision and audio pick-up scanner. The color processor allows individual manipulation of six selectable color vectors using the parameters of hue, saturation and luminance. The upgrades will let Spirit 4K users scan 8-perf VistaVision films. The company will also have new version 6.0 software for the Specter FS Virtual DataCine, which includes several enhancements that simplify DI workflow.

Band Pro Film & Digital will introduce its new Cine SpeedCam, a compact native HD high-speed camera system. It employs a prismless native 1536 x 1024 CMOS imager to deliver widescreen HD images at up to 1000 fps. Cine SpeedCam can also capture up to 10,000 fps at lower resolutions and is designed to integrate with existing optics, matteboxes, and other professional cinematography equipment. Features include a real-time electronic viewfinder for framing and focus, and it accepts the full range of PL mount 35mm optics or Nikon bayonet mount lenses.

Cintel, will unveil dataMill, a new film scanner, designed to handle all formats from Super 8 through to 65/70mm. It has been developed to enable easy, high-quality film scanning for those wishing to work in the data environment and can scan 2K images at up to 15fps and true 4K images at up to 3.7fps
The company will also introduce imageMill, a new image processing platform designed to run a series of image manipulation applications enabling a flexible, modular approach to post’s differing workflow and environments. The first of these software applications is Grace, a grain reduction tool that was previously a piece of hardware running inside the scanner. Cintel managing director Adam Welsh explained, “The flexibility of imageMill means that wherever you are within the workflow, you can make use of the Grace grain reduction algorithms, whether working in SD or right up to 4K data.”

Celco will be introducing its new FilmOut Pro V 2.0 Advanced Digital Film Recording software. FilmOut Pro V 2.0 is designed for the latest generation FURY and Firestorm digital motion picture film recorders.
The software features a new intuitive GUI to control the film recorder and includes a variety of image processing and viewing tools. FilmOut Pro will allow the operator to define aspect ratios and formats, and will provide image cropping, offset and resizing tools. The new software also includes an automated color management tool to give filmmakers on film what they see in the digital color-timing suite. One unique feature of FilmOut Pro is an interactive A/B image comparison slider that allows the user to view images before and after different image processing tools have been applied.

da Vinci will be showing its new On-Set color enhancement and monitoring system created in conjunction with Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions and S.two Corp. The new system allows cinematographers and colorists to share image-enhancement ideas on-set without changing or compromising the recorded image.
The latest version of da Vinci’s revival restoration system now includes da Vinci’s primary color controls, imported session list with selected scenes, a preset Look library, as well as an automated toolset for controlling white, black, lift, gain, and gamma balance. Also on display: the company’s Nucleas DI product suite consisting of an ingest system, server interface, conformer, and formatter. Nucleas enables all DI functions in a collaborative, nonlinear data environment.

FilmLight will launch a new generation of Baselight, offering real-time 4K color grading in a software-based system. Baselight will be available with a scaleable high-bandwidth backend image processing system (unveiled at NAB as SpeedFX). Users will be able to create a suite for client-attended film grading sessions by upgrading to Baselight Four, offering four times the performance of the current Baselight system and shipping with four terabytes of storage, or Baselight Eight, offering eight times the performance and eight terabytes of storage. Comments Filmlight’s Peter Stothart: “The user interface is the same across the whole Baselight range, and the user just experiences the speed upgrade.” FilmLight will also present additions to the Truelight color management system and a preview of upgrades to the Northlight scanner.

ARRI reported that its D-20 digital cinematography camera, which caused quite a stir at IBC 2003, continues to be field tested with a proposed launch date sometime in 2005. The company will also show the Arriflex 235, which debuted at Cinegear Expo a small lightweight 35mm MOS camera designed for hand-held and remote applications and its new Arriflex 435 Xtreme camera. Available for either 4- or 3- perf, the Xtreme combines the features of the 435ES, 435 Advanced and the Functional Expansion Module 2 (FEM-2).
The company’s lighting division will be showing several recently launched products, including Studio Cool, Compact 12kW and 6kW electronic ballast and the Sky Panel.

Dalsa is about to jump into the electronic cinematography market with its Origin camera, a 4K device that uses a 35mm image sensor, so DPs can deploy standard cine-style lenses. It offers 12 stops of exposure latitude and an optical viewfinder. A launch is planned for November, and at IBC Dalsa expects to announce a distribution agreement with a major rental house. The target rental price is $3,000 per day for the camera and data recorder. Dalsa has been working closely with SGI to develop a multi-terabyte-capacity data recorder for the camera.
Montreal-based Zicatela Films recently used a prototype Origin to shoot Le Gant (The Glove). Philippe Ros, a French cinematographer who has seen the footage, said, “There was finesse in the blacks, detail in the highlights and it is very encouraging to see a digital camera that achieves such serious results.”

Kino Flo will show off a number of lighting design innovations. The company has added a new swing-out mounting arm for its Kamio Ring Lites, which offer a soft, controllable, cool on-camera light. Attendees will also see a new style lens adapter kit for the Kamio 6 Ring Lite. The adapter kit attaches the Kamio fixture to the Panavision 11-1 and 4-1 zoom lenses.
In addition, DMX control has been added to the Kino Flo Select and Mega set lighting systems. The DMX 4Bank Select Ballast and the DMX 4Bank Mega Ballast can operate single, double and 4bank fixtures through a DMX control board. The company will also be showing the Kino Flo line of LED lights.

Cooke Optics will introduce an addition to its S4 range of 35mm prime lenses, the new 180mm telephoto S4/i lens, shown for the first time to the European community. The lens offers a close focus of 4 feet, 3 inches, and offers great contrast and resolution through focusing distance and true T2 up to 10x MOD. The lens is thermally compensated so camera operators can trust the markings on the lens to be accurate regardless of temperature changes.
The Cooke S4/i electronic lens system, introduced at IBC2003, provides cinematographers and camera operators with vital “real time” information on lens setting, focusing distance, aperture, depth-of-field and more. The system is designed for use with any PL mount camera body and with LDS equipped cameras.

At press time, Quantel would not comment on its plans for the show other than to say it will have major announcements across its product lines.

During IBC, Hewlett-Packard’s experts in entertainment and media will be available at the HP Pavilion to discuss the company’s offerings for content creation, integrated content management systems, content distribution and IP television.

In terms of hardware, Apple will be showcasing its Xsan, a 64-bit cluster file system for Mac OS X which shares files and volumes up to 16TB in size on a high-speed Fibre Channel network. The company will also have its 64-bit Macintosh desktops and the latest Xserve technology on hand.
On the software side, Apple will be showing Final Cut Pro HD, the Motion behavioral animation system, and a newly optimized version of the Shake compositing package. The company will also feature DVD Studio Pro authoring package with newly added transitions, HD to SD MPEG-2 encoding, graphical view, and support for all professional audio formats. Apple also recently released a Production Suite bundle, which includes Final Cut Pro HD, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro for $1,299.

The Foundry will introduce a beta version of Furnace 2.0 for Shake with new features for image preparation, including automated dust busting and scratch removal, automatic matte generation, and motion estimation technology. Also, the company will add nine new plug-ins. Shipping at IBC: Foundry’s Kronos & Steadiness for Avid|DS, as well as a version for Adobe After Effects.

J.L. Fisher will introduce a new Rotating Facing Rail Handle for the Model 7 Microphone Boom designed to allow the boom operator complete flexibility when working from any angle. The new handle rotates 360 degrees and can be locked in place with a screw.
The company’s Model 6E base for microphone booms now features an electric charging system for the hydraulic lift, a new back seat, and a satin black finish to reduce glare. J.L. Fisher is also offering a new fluid damped beam control that allows more precision when raising or lowering beams and provides an adjustable stop so the speed of beam movement can be duplicated on subsequent takes.

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