IBC has developed a reputation as a laid-back version of NAB. Insteadof the hectic pace of Vegas, with its incessantly chirping slotmachines and blinking lights, you quickly adapt to the pleasant pace oflife in Holland, where everything happens on Dutch time—a little slowerthan the rest of the world, but that’s okay.That’s not to say that work doesn’t get done. In fact, it’s every bitas busy; it’s just a little more civilized.Show organizers reported over 43,000 visitors made the trek toAmsterdam this year. And many exhibitors reported that business wasbrisk, and customers seemed to come with cash in hand. MTI sold aControl Dailies system on the stand to Deluxe Toronto, the largestdailies facility in the city. Filmlight sold a Northlight 2 to OffHollywood NY out of the blue. And da Vinci inked a huge deal withAscent Media in which Ascent will standardize its facilities on daVinci’s 2K Plus and Resolve digital mastering suites.The Red MenaceOverall, manufacturers and users are starting to sort out the problemsof working with 4K data throughout the production and post chain, fromacquisition through to final DI sessions. But it isn’t easy, and itisn’t cheap.That’s why Red’s claims have drawn so much flak. The company is talkingprice points that seem impossible, and miniaturization that seems yearsahead of its time.Once again, Red Digital Cinema set out to upstage the big manufacturerswith its extravagant claims that it plans to release a full-featured,versatile, 4K camera that they plan to sell for just $17,500.The company has built a fanatical base of indie filmmaker-fans andwedding videographers who believe that Red is destined to rock theirworld. But it has also irritated and alienated about as manyprofessional cinematographers, who view the marketing hype with extremeskepticism and doubt. Debates between the two camps can quickly becomeacrimonious.The company was again taking $1,000 deposits on cameras at the booth,and has topped 500 orders since NAB. Pre-orders are set to close Oct.31.The company showed some of the initial test footage off its so-calledMysterium Super 35mm-sized CMOS image sensor, and revealed additionaldetails about the workflow behind the camera.For the test footage, Ted Schilowitz, who bears the title Leader of theRebellion, explained that “there’s is no dead pixel correction, noerror correction. This is first-look footage.”The audience at the company’s press conference was stacked with Redfans, who applauded the images, and the company refused to takequestions from the press or explain exactly how the images wereacquired.But they did introduce a proposed workflow for dealing with 4K imagery.While the company claims the camera will be able to handle 4Kuncompressed (actually 4.5k), none but the most intrepid filmmaker willbe remotely equipped to deal with uncompressed 4K data.The company is emphasizing the role of its Redcode codec in workingwith compressed 4K, coupled with color correction and transcodingsoftware called Redcine.According to Schilowitz, “Redcode is a wavelet-based, 10-bit,next-generation compression codec. It gives us the ability to compressthese huge 4K images to a very manageable size with no loss in visualquality. That’s how we get from 323 Mbytes per sec, which is 24 framesper second uncompressed, (which would take a whole refrigerator-sizedset of drives to actually record) to a more manageable 27 Mbytes persec.”According to Schilowitz, Redcine is designed to color correct thefootage, resize it and encode it back using whatever codecs users haveinstalled on their system.The company also announced a new Red lens—the RED 18–85mm Zoom—whichwill sell for under $10,000, along with the previously announced RED300mm f2.8 lens, which will sell for $4,995.If it all works, it could have a big impact on the industry. Butskepticism is very high, even among those who have put down a deposit.”I think what they’re doing is probably impossible, but that’s whatmakes it exciting,” said Michael Bravin, CTO of Band Pro Film &Digital, who stressed that he ordered one for himself, not for thecompany. “I’m not endorsing it. It’s a ride and I just want to go alongfor the ride.”Meanwhile, back in the real world, Dalsa Digital Cinema was showing itsOrigin 4K uncompressed camera at the Codex booth.Codex has developed a ruggedized on-set data storage system for cameraslike Origin, Thomson’s Viper and other high-end electroniccinematography cameras.It uses two removable 360 GB or 720 GB disk packs, which can store upto an hour of uncompressed 4K data.But Colin Ritchie, who represents Codex in the US, explained that it’smore than just a big hard drive or an ingest station, with extensiveshot-logging and metadata management capabilities, the ability togenerate proxies on set, and a touch-screen GUI designed to fit intoreal world production environments.Codex is currently available for rental from The Camera House as wellas Dalsa.Is 3D Coming of Age?Driven by pioneering filmmakers like James Cameron and RobertRodriguez, 3D filmmaking has become a hot topic, but the logistics ofshooting and posting stereoscopically are daunting.Assimilate, along with 3D camera developer Cobalt Entertainment, hosteda demo of a jointly developed real-time stereoscopic 3D digitalpostproduction workflow designed to reduce the time it takes to produce3D content.Cobalt Entertainment manufactures the 3ality Systems 3D camera. The3ality camera, which can support zoom lenses, is suitable for a rangeof production situations, from long lens sports photography to extremeclose-ups, and can cover this range within a single continuous shot.Steve Schklair, CEO of Cobalt Entertainment, revealed that the companyis also in the final stages of building a 20,000 square foot 3Dpostproduction facility in Burbank.The facility relies on Assimilate’s Scratch, which is capable ofproviding 3D screening directly out of the system without anyadditional processing. Using the dual-DVI outputs on the nVidia QuadroFX card, and the functionality of the Scratch CONstruct, users cancreate a timeline with right-eye material on one layer and left-eyematerial on another. The two clips can be edited at the same time andcolor grading, or other effects, can be applied and copied to both.Once editorial fine-tuning and color grading has been applied, thedual-stream stereo imagery can be output directly from Scratch to thescreen for review.
Written by Scott Lehane