Vendors Team Up as High-End Color Correction Trickles Down
If you could find them, the few DI doubters wandering about Las Vegas were nervous at the prospect of new workflows. A few facility executives confessed they had made the mistake of splashing out on a DI pipeline without thinking through the data management issues. But manufacturers saw DI as a growth market driven by datacentric thinking – and a feeling that the DI ethos will penetrate down to longform drama, trailer and commercials.
That will be good news for Avid‘s DS Nitris, which is packed with DI tools, but the longform market is also interested in Symphony Nitris, a new DNA family member armed with a new keyer and real-time primaries and secondaries. It’s said to be the only nonlinear SD and HD finishing system to offer guaranteed real-time editing and effects for multi-stream 10-bit HD and SD media, as well as HD Total Conform (recreating from an offline EDL). V7.6 of DS Nitris introduces expanded DPX file-conform functionality and handles multiple streams of 10-bit uncompressed HD, scaling up to 2K and 4K. The DS Nitris and DS Nitris Editor both manage native log or linear DPX/Cineon files at resolutions up to 4K. They manage LUTs and timecode, and give you 16- and 32-bit processing.
Version 2.6 of Autodesk‘s Lustre is boosted by Autodesk Incinerator, a non-proprietary, high-speed inline clustering technology using 20 CPUs. Lustre also has a new editorial metadata architecture, a vastly improved browser, and an improved flag/note system. Toxic, meanwhile, is a point-to-point environment built around a two-part core- ultra-high resolution interaction and high dynamic range imagery. It has the warper from Flame as well as the expected mix of grading, rotoscoping, tracking and keying tools.
Digital Vision‘s acquisition of Nucoda created a mix of hardware and software approaches to film, commercials and TV. At the show it introduced Color Timer, a primaries-based grading system for film labs that want to color-time digitally. It sits on a PC minus any conforming and secondary tools. Also new is Film Cutter, which boosts Data Conform’s editorial power, allowing 4K editing from NAS or SAN sources. Nucoda also showed data dailies (for VFX pre-vis) and 4K real-time playback in Film Master 3.0.
A veritable flood of cross-vendor partnerships indicates that DI workflows will bolster some companies and build foundations for others. A partnership between Arri and Autodesk promises higher levels of precision in pipelines linking the two companies’ products through a set of customer-generated 3D-mesh LUTs. And in response to the boom in multi-vendor HD and 2K workflows, versions 6.7 of Discreet Smoke and Fire support Apple‘s Final Cut Pro.XML interchange format.
FilmLight‘s Truelight color management system will be integrated with the graphics card inside Avid’s DS Nitris. The ambition is to deliver a flexible, file-based enterprise workflow between the DS Nitris and Northlight and Baselight products. In addition, Filmlight is collaborating with Kodak to align its own systems with Kodak’s Display Manager.
Kodak‘s Digital Ice algorithms will be embedded in the infrared channel of the Arriscan film scanner to give users a defect map of scratches, dust and other artifacts that can’t be removed during the initial scanning process. Arri is also working with Avid to make offline editing tools talk directly to the Arriscan. Avid and ARRI have co-developed a template that will sit in the new version of Avid’s FilmScribe and allow users to create source material lists that are imported directly into the Arriscan software.
New features in Assimilate‘s Scratch center largely on deals done with Kodak for its Display Manager, The Foundry and SpeedSix for plug-ins, and Imagica for scanner integration. Imagica’s Cinecure dust-busting tool and Galette color management system will also be available through Scratch, and Assimilate has a strategic partnership with Pandora for the development of "superior DI solutions." Assimilate previewed the Scratch Scaffolds system, which will add $10,000 to the price of Scratch ( $35,000). The demo covered same-source grading stack, keyer animation, shape transitions, stackable LUTs, etc., with secondaries promised before the system ships. Assimilate also showed Scratch Zones, a collaborative review-and-playback station running on a notebook. Zones supports XML, LUTs, and audio playback for $2000.