At the Burbank-based Fotokem, which has been beta-testing Cinnafilm‘s suite of image processing software tools, a  technology launch event celebrated the availability of the software via ARRI worldwide sales channels. Cinnafilm signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar global reseller agreement with ARRI, giving that company the worldwide rights to market and resell Cinnafilm’s software, newly christened ARRI Relativity, dubbed “a space/time converter.” As part of

DPs Amy Vincent and Daryn Okada flank ARRI's An Tranh

DPs Amy Vincent and Daryn Okada flank ARRI's An Tranh

the agreement, Cinnafilm will provide ARRI with ongoing technical support and feature upgrades.

“From the first demonstration, we understood the power of Cinnafilm’s Pixel Strings platform, and we’re excited about the opportunity to bring a family of technically advanced new software products to our post production customers,” said Glenn Kennel, CTO, ARRI, Inc.

Cinnafilm’s software suite provides professional-grade format conversion, retiming, film simulation, degraining and texture control—innovative technology co-developed with Digital Film Central — all on a single workstatioadvance its own independent R&D.

The event at Fotokem drew numerous Hollywood cinematographers, including ASC President Daryn Okada, ASC; Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC; Nancy Schreiber, ASC; Amy Vincent, ASC and many others. In demonstration rooms, ARRI CTO Glenn Kennel and demo artist Sarah Priestnall, showed off the features of the Cinnafilm software. Priestnall showed how quick and easy it was to up-rez material to 4K or slow down the action 10 percent. She also showed 60i wildlife footage that, on the fly, she de-interlaced and transformed to 24P. She also showed adding grain, to better integrate digital footage with film footage.”With enough andwidth, these conversions can happen in real-time,” reported Cinnafilm founder/CEO Lance Maurer. “You’ll need a lot of disc bandwidth to do that, obviously, but it can be done.”

Maurer came from a mechanical engineering background and worked in aerospace. But he also had a yen to make movies and shot two proejcts in 16mm. “As I gbot better at my expensive hobby, I looked into digital cameras, but the result didn’t look as good as film,” he said. The engineer in him saw a problem that needed to be solved, and what started as a short research project turned into a five year R&D effort. “I had to find the programmers to do what I was trying to create,” he said. To keep going, he sold stock in the nascent company, and first showed a pre-release–which was just a video-to-film look–at NAB 2008. But he got enough attention to get Fotokem interested; that post facility became a beta-test site for the software. Later, with Vancouver-based Digital Film Central, which had a previous relationship with ARRI, Cinnafilm worked on texture control.

The GPU-based motion analysis tool to reduce grain and noise is aimed to become part of the DI process, to adjust grain and texture. For that use, a scene with heavy grain can be processed at 6 to 8 fps.

The ARRI Relativity software suite is intended to enable users to shoot on Super 16mm and 2-perf 35mm; produce big-screen film footage from prosumer video cameras; create Blu-ray masters by eliminating the data payload caused by film grain; create virually noiseless HD masters that hold up in the bandwidth squeeze of cable TV; control the texture of images, regardless of acquisition or exhibition format; and re-purpose and optimize libraries of films and tapes to generate new HD revenues.