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IBC Wrap-Post

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As postproduction continues its rapid evolution, it’s go, go, go at every trade event where it showcases new technology. IBC was no exception, with announcements coming thick and fast.Digital Vision displayed a new time-based licensing option for its DVNR image processing system. Users can purchase the Digital Vision hardware and license-specific software for particular projects. Licenses are available in SD, HD and 2K formats ranging from one week up to a year.Available software includes: AGR4 ME (an adaptive film grain and video noise reducer); ASC3 ME (dust, dirt and scratch concealer); ZOM (aspect ratio converter and pan-and-scan processor), and ACP (color-correction processor for SD and HD).The company also announced that it is now shipping Version 3 of the Nucoda Film Master system, its flagship finishing system for feature films, commercials, long-form television and restoration applications.The new version has over 50 new features designed to enhance overall workflow, improve interoperability with third-party systems like Avid, Apple Final Cut Pro, Autodesk Smoke, and support new D-Cinema mastering standards.Quantel introduced new version 3.6 software for the iQ, eQ and Pablo at the show. The new release is based on numerous requests from the user group, but one of its key new features is Revolver (on Pablo systems). Revolver is a secondary color-corrector that can handle up to six simultaneous color corrections in one cascade, without the need for creating keys or rendering.Steve Owen, Quantel’s head of marketing for Post and DI called it “a new way of doing secondary color corrections.” Relying on the system’s TimeMagic rendering core, Revolver can do secondaries on the fly in real time.The company also introduced a new, cheaper HD version of its Pablo color correction system, which offers all the same features of its 2K and 4K versions of Pablo to HD facilities.And in a surprise move, the company, (which has always been known for its hardware-accelerated systems) launched Marco—a new standalone desktop editing software package designed to run on a standard laptop or desktop PC. It offers the same editing interface as the sQ system. And while it’s designed as a news editing system, “it’s the first of many,” said company CEO Ray Cross. “We’ve got many more software products to launch in 2007. Some of those will be at NAB, with more at next IBC.”Autodesk launched the new version of Lustre, which will be called Lustre 2007. The new version has three configurations: Lustre Master Station designed for GPU-accelerated sessions where the colorist works together with the cinematographer; Lustre HD Station designed for cost-effective conforming, grading and mastering HD projects; and Lustre Station, designed for tasks that do not require the direct intervention of the colorists such as dust-busting.The company also announced that it was opening up its Stone storage system to third-party software developers using a software application called Wiretap. Previously, only Autodesk machines could recognize Stone storage drives.Toronto-based compositing software developer eyeon Software was one of the first to take advantage of Wiretap with an application the company is calling eyeon Connection.Connection allows for direct reading and writing of file sequences to and from the Stone storage array, enabling Fusion machines to directly access the Stone file system over a LAN and interoperate with inferno, flame, flint, fire, and smoke systems.The Pixel Farm released PFTrack 3.5. The latest version of the company’s camera tracking and motion analysis software offers additional features including a more sophisticated camera solver, segmented shot solving, improved geometry tracking, 64-bit support and extensive UI and workflow improvements.”Overall improvements have been made to many of the core tools within PFTrack, both under the hood and from a workflow point of view,” said Richard Spöhrer, managing director of The Pixel Farm.Running up to 400 percent faster than the previous version, the new camera solver in version 3.5 produces better results, with greater speed and on a wider range of shots.Spöhrer explained that the idea of segmented tracking is that, “a shot can be broken down into three segments with the first and the last solved as free motion and the middle segment solved as a nodal pan. The software then ‘joins’ these tracks together to provide a single compound for export.”Lightworks introduced two new software-only editing systems Softworks and Softworks LE. Both versions support the classic Lightworks console, which connects via USB. Softworks is designed for both SD and HD editing, while the LE version is designed for SD only, and has a reduced feature set without effects.The central attraction at FilmLight’s booth was its 4K color grading workflow. The demo relied on a Sony 4K projector driven by a Baselight Eight, through the company’s Cinema4K combiner.The company also introduced Baselight 3.2. New features in the company’s DI grading system include grouped grading, a new high-performance renderer and video-friendly UI enhancements. Through an agreement with Grass Valley, the company’s software-based grading system can now control Spirit One and Shadow telecine systems, enabling colorists to emulate the traditional film-to-tape workflow, while still relying on a software-based color corrector.FilmLight was also demonstrating interoperability with Avid DS Nitris which enables users to color-match both systems and share metadata.IBC marked the European launch of Cintel’s new STEADY system. STEADY is a real-time image stabilizer and the latest application for the company’s imageMill image processing platform. Running on imageMill platform, STEADY allows real-time SD and HD sub-pixel image stabilization of either film or video acquired images. 2K and 4K data can be stabilized at up to 15fps via HSDL.The company was also showing its Grace, a grain-reduction tool also running on imageMill. Grace runs at resolutions from SD through HD to 2K and 4K data, regardless of film gauge and image format, running tape-to-tape or disc-to-disc.da Vinci Systems announced the newest version of its Resolve digital mastering suite, Resolve v3.4. The new version adds a series of drag-and-drop editing tools, which can be used to construct a grading timeline or trim an existing EDL to match an offline master tape. Users can assemble timelines from scratch, creating dissolves and other effects, and then generate an EDL.”In a DI session the director and the DP might say, ‘I want to trim that shot a little’ and you don’t want to have to send it back,” explained Bill Robertson, general manager of da Vinci Systems. But he admitted that the ability to make changes to the EDL right up until the very end is both a blessing and a curse. “On the one hand, the good thing about DI is that you can make changes right to the end. On the other, the bad thing about DI is that you can make changes right to the end,” he said.The company also announced that it had integrated the latest Rising Sun Research cineSpace color management into Resolve, a 3D LUT that allows colorists to view on-screen colors precisely as they will look when printed on film.Pandora announced that its long-awaited Revolution hardware/software real-time image processing system is now shipping. The company currently has 13 systems on order.With four CPU modules in a 1RU box, Revolution is capable doing multiple layers of color correction at 4K in real time without rendering.The company also introduced YoYo—a pair of Macs running Pandora software that form a bridge between the color processor and a facility’s storage area network. The first Mac (Yo #1) manages the data and handles the EDL, presenting the colorist with a complete project as a virtual clip, while the second Mac (Yo #2) reformats the processed material and sends it back to the SAN as DPX files.”There are a lot of linear color correctors ou
t there like Pixies,” said Adam Welsh, who represents Pandora in the US. “YoYo will make the old-fashioned color correctors behave like a nonlinear one because now you have the ability to random access anywhere in the list.”

Written by Scott Lehane

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