At NAB 2010, FilmLight—which  manufactures film scanning, color grading and color management systems—came to Vegas with the glow of having just won four Sci-Tech Awards from AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences). Displaying its wares at the Renaissance Hotel, across from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall, the company had plenty of news to share (along with food and drink) with convention attendees who made the trip.

The big news was the debut of a new, entry-level price for the flagship Baselight color grading systems, intended to make the high-end system available to a new group of users. “Baselight provides the broadcast TV-focused post facility with tools and capabilities previously only available in much higher-priced systems,” said FilmLight commercial director Peter Stothart.

At $95,000, Baselight is a fully featured color grading system that handles inputs and delivers multiple output formats up to and including dual-link RGB 4:4:4 HD. Baselight includes a GPU renderer, Blackboard control surface, Baselight Kompressor and 12TB formatted RAID 5 storage as standard, all as part of a configuration designed to work as part of an integrated, file-based workflow with support for industry-standard editorial systems. The system is also upgradeable to the top of the range 8 x GPU Baselight EIGHT, and takes advantage of FilmLight’s global support, maintenance, training and specialist consultancy services.

At the Renaissance, FilmLight also previewed its Baselight 4.2 software, which included robust tools for stereoscopic 3D grading.

On the convention floor, FilmLight could be seen in action at the Sony Electronics booth, where Baselight and Truelight On-Set were part of Sony’s showcase of its new HDCAM-SR file-based workflows. Output from the Sony F35 camera to a Sony HDCAM-SR SRW-5800/2 VTR, FilmLight’s Truelight On-Set showed the application of 3D LUTs to visualize how the output would look; the system is compliant with the American Society of Cinematographer’s CDL or Cinematographers Color Decision List. ASC-CDL decisions on-set were showcased as being easy to embed as auxiliary data and recorded on the HDCAM-SR tape as a starting point for the final grade in Baselight (or to create digital dailies).

Sony showed the latest advances in HDCAM-SR workflows with 2X speed uncompressed HDSDI ingest (or real-time 3D stereosopic ingest) to FilmLight’s Baselight non-linear color grading system. The showcase also demonstrated native grading support for the standards-based 440Mbit MPEG-4 SStP codec, on which the HDCAM-SR recording is based.  SStP is now available as MXF-wrapped media for near real-time exchange over a GB Ethernet connection from the latest SRW-5800/2 VTR and can be decoded in real time within Baselight.

At NAB 2010, FilmLight also announced several sales to post-production companies around the world. In the U.S., LaserPacific Media added a second Baselight EIGHT to its 4K film mastering workflow and The Mill, New York added a second Baselight FOUR to its commercial workflow. Elsewhere, Kodak purchased a Baselight FOUR and a Northlight 2 as part of an expansion of its DI resources at Kodak Cinelabs Romania; the FilmLight buy is part of a worldwide network of Kodak-owned film processing laboratories and digital film transfer facilities and will be part of a new DI grading theater to open this summer. Baselight and Northlight will be integrated into a 10 GB Ethernet network that will include dust-busting system and other digital processing resources.

In Japan, Imagica bought a Baselight FOUR for a DI suite at the Tokyo Imaging Centre; and New Zealand-based Oktobor, an Omnilab affiliate, purchased a Baselight FOUR to expand into high-end color grading for commercials. At Oktobor, lead colorist Kenny Gibb selected the Baselight FOUR based on his experiences with it when he was at Moving Picture Company in London. Gibb has already used Baselight to grade commercials for McDonald’s, Fiji Tourism, Tower Insurance and New Zealand winery Montana. The company’s Baselight is connected by fiber to its smart SAN, which can distribute graded 2K media in real-time to other points along the company’s network, which include 2D visual effects, 3D animation, motion graphics and design resources.