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IBC Preview

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IBC is the Yin to NAB’s Yang. The prototypes you saw at NAB come to life as shipping products at IBC, and vice versa. In mid-summer, as IBC approached and attendees scrambled to find accommodations in Amsterdam, it was evident that the cycle of life goes on.Once again digital cinema will be a key theme at this year’s IBC Conference and Expo, Sept. 9–13, with conferences, technology demos and digital screenings via a Sony SXRD 4K Cinema Projector. One special session will target postproduction for D-Cinema and bring speakers from US studios and international post houses to talk about the technology that will be needed in the future. Speakers include Walt Ordway, chief technology officer, Digital Cinema Initiatives; Howard Lukk, executive director, production technology, Walt Disney Studios; and Wendy Aylesworth of Warner Bros.On the show floor, key themes will include new tools for 4:4:4 uncompressed data across the production pipeline, as well as 2K and 4K digital intermediates. What’s going on today in color management is somewhat reminiscent of what happened to editing in the early ’90s with the introductions of the NLE—a technology that forever changed how movies are made.Cintel will be focusing on DI technology with the launch of its new film scanner diTTo (seen in prototype mode at NAB). diTTo delivers 2K and 4K data scans for a fraction of the price of most film scanners. The company reports it will sell for under $300,000, putting DI technology in reach of smaller commercial and boutique post houses. But diTTo’s versatility makes it suited for applications ranging from high-end DI and special effects through to archiving and restoration. It uses a three-color light source and solid-state, low-noise detection device to produce high-resolution, repeatable results.Imagica will introduce its newest digital film scanner, the Imager HSX, which scans 35mm film to 4K/2K, 10bit/color DPX digital data files for digital mastering, digital archive and DI applications. Combining a newly developed CMOS area sensor/camera and LED illumination light source, it runs at the speed of one second per frame for 4K and three frames per second for 2K.The company will also introduce the Imager HSR high-speed film recorder, which offers a speed of three fps in 2K motion picture data to Kodak 5242 intermediate film for digital interpositive or internegative films.da Vinci will introduce version 3.9 of its 2K Plus, which includes several upgrades, including the release of Toolbox2. Enhancements in 3.9 include fingertip access to many features like enhanced PowerVectors, improved Defocus, and real-time special effects. More controls are now visible within the redesigned Toolbox2 interface, making it easier for colorists to utilize a library of real-time preset effects.The company will also be showing its 2K Elite series, introduced at NAB, with three distinct assortments of upgrades packaged with a creative control panel. The 2K Ruby includes two PowerTiers, each of which adds two independent image-processing channels for color processing. The 2K Sapphire includes three PowerTiers, and the 2K Emerald features four, resulting in a total of 10 independent image-processing channels.Pandora International, which introduced its PiXi Revolution at NAB, will be showing its PiXi creative color correction suite of products, which consists of a combination of software modules running on ultra-fast proprietary hardware accelerators for real-time processing at up to 4K resolution, delivering a bandwidth of 30 gigabits per module. Three packages will be demonstrated, including an entry level dual-link HDTV system.The company has also developed its PCI Express Interface—a multi-channel optical transceiver card. Using a single multi-fiber cable, up to eight lanes of PCI Express can be processed by each Revolution Processor. Pandora will also introduce a Resize engine that enables colorists to play full resolution 2K or 4K images in real time on an HDTV monitor.Celco will showcase its new FilmOut Pro Graphical User Interface Software, which includes the new 3D Lookup Table (LUT). The 3D LUT gives users a color management tool for filming out DIs. When applied to the imagery, the end result will give filmmakers a color match of what they saw in the digital color timing theatre after going through the DI process.Quantel will dedicate an area of its booth to the business and art of color correction and unveil a production model for its QColor Excel—a new color control interface for iQ and eQ that was shown as a prototype at NAB.Autodesk’s Media and Entertainment Division, formerly Discreet, will show its new Toxik feature-film compositing system, as well as Incinerator—a hardware accelerator for the lustre that enables real-time color grading, first seen at NAB. There will also be new 64-bit versions of its high-end editing and visual effects systems—Discreet Fire 7, Discreet Smoke DI 7, Discreet Inferno 6.5 and Discreet Flame 9.5—as well as 32-bit versions of its IBM Linux-based systems, Discreet Smoke 7 and Discreet Flint 9.5.Assimilate will be showing its Scratch Data-Centric Workflow Solution product line for film post (2K, 4K, and beyond). The system offers real-time, multi-resolution review/playback, assemble/edit, conform, primary color grading, scratch audio, and visual effects (with over 150 optional plug-ins), as well as data management and final mastering to film.In terms of compression, Zaxel Systems will introduce a lossless compression scheme called ZLC (Zaxel Lossless Compression) that delivers average compression ratio of 2.8:1. The ZLC Software Codec is optimized to run on a standard Windows platform with single CPU for Serial Standard Definition, dual Zeon CPU for HD video and Quad CPU’s for 2K and 4:4:4.Lightworks will introduce its new Alacrity MR (Multi Resolution) editing system, which supports both HD and SD. The initial product release is targeted to the television long-form and commercial production markets.Brick House Video will unveil Proteus, a cost-effective alternative to traditional standards-conversion products. This full-featured converter addresses concerns over lipsync errors by offering fully integrated audio delay and synchronization.Vinten will introduce the new Vision Ped Plus. Designed for lightweight production, the pedestals offer the same camera balance developed in the Osprey pedestal line, an increased payload of 30kg-plus, an integral manual pump and an inlet for use with an external power supply.

Written by Scott Lehane

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