Monday begins another big National Association of Broadcasters convention (at least that’s the day the show floor opens and gearheads are in heaven) and it looks like it’s going to be a big show. Yes, we all say that every year but from the vibes, rumors and pre-announcements that have hit the Interwebs already, I think it’s safe to say this will be an NAB to remember. Remember the year of 3D? This NAB is definitely shaping up to be the year of 4K (and maybe also the year of Thunderbolt). More than a few of the big vendors have major new products to watch.


What more is there to say about Adobe other than CS6! Adobe announced the CS6 Production Premium on Thursday and will be showcasing it this week at NAB. It won’t be shipping and who knows if they’ll even be pricing it yet but you’ll be able to check out all that is in the CS6 suite. It’s a nice update. Here are my top 5 (or so) Premiere Pro CS6 features. If After Effects is more your thing, check this out.

And we can’t mention Adobe and Adobe’s future products without mentioning the company's new venture the Creative Cloud. This new subscription-based service will offer everything from collaboration, exploring and sharing to software, social and community. I don’t think anyone outside of Adobe really understands exactly what Creative Cloud is all about and what it all entails. In fact, I’m not so sure Adobe really knows who they are yet. Not because they don’t have a vision and a plan for Creative Cloud but because that vision and the entire Creative Cloud world is still being formed. Will Adobe’s Creative Cloud evolve to be a boon to all we do or a boondoggle that saddles us with a new monthly fee?


Perhaps one of the first, biggest and buzz-worthy surprises this year was <a href="">Autodesk's announcement on Sunday of its new Smoke for Mac. How much will Smoke for Mac change? Smoke on Linux (where most of the high-end work is concentrated) probably won’t change as much as this Mac version (we shall see), so this might mean there will be two very different Smokes out in the world.

The new more editor-centric version of Smoke that Autodesk has announced is still very powerful for effects and finishing, with a new node-based compositor called Connect FX that is directly in the timeline. Check out the Autodesk channel on YouTube for more information and watch out for a free demo to be released in June. The full version should ship in the fall.


Avid held an event on Sunday and announced a slew of products geared toward shared storage and asset management. As for their flagship NLE Media Composer, version 6 began shipping in November of last year so our MC update this NAB is taking it to 6.1. The big feature is new digital delivery options that include support for JPEG2000 and AS–02. These are important digital delivery formats for the future.

If you’re a shared storage and news customer, then there were a lot of Avid announcements that you might be interested in.
Avid recently announced (last Thursday) a limited-time promotional upgrade and crossgrade for Avid Symphony just the other day but I think it was still a suprise to all when Avid announced it on Sunday.


Quantel is one of those companies that many in post-production have heard of but haven’t ever seen out in the wild. They make some expensive, high-end gear and have a really big place in 3D. But it looks like Quantel might be finally following industry trends and moving some of their products “down market” at this year’s NAB. While I’m sure they wouldn’t classify a more affordable product as down market it seems that everyone is making something that is more affordable these days.

According to their own articles Quantel will show a new software-only version of the Pablo and a “new Neo Nano” control surface (might this be a picture of it?) that we can only assume is a smaller, more affordable version of their very nice and very cool Pablo Neo panel. It was early last year that Quantel released the Pablo PA, and from what I hear, people are using the Pablo PA for quite a lot of work, so maybe that factored into this new Pablo software version. The new Pablo will follow industry trends and apparently leverage the power of affordable graphics cards. It sounds like Quantel is going to keep their lead in 3D post by showing “tight integration with Stereo3D timelines from Avid Media Composer 6, streamlining the Stereo3D post production process.”


Last year Filmlight surprised us all by showing a version of Baselight for Final Cut Pro and announcing Baselight for Nuke. That FCP version has shipped but as we all know legacy FCP is no more. Thankfully, we’ll be seeing a preview of Baselight Editions for Avid Media Composer, which IMHO is more exciting than Baselight for FCP, since Media Composer doesn’t have a really good third-party plug-in for color grading. The Baselight / Media Composer integration is second to none (check out this pdf for more info on how this works) so it’s exciting to see Baselight Editions coming to Media Composer. I’ll be curious to see how the exchange goes between the two systems. It is XML-based between FCP and Baselight but Avid doesn’t really support XML. AAF is the usual interchange route in and out of Media Composer but my understanding is that AAF is more difficult to work with. I’m sure the Filmlight engineers have come up with something clever.

Filmlight will also be showing some on-set and near-set grading options in addition to the Blackboard 2 grading panel. If you didn’t get to see the Blackboard 2 last year, then make it a point to stop by their “stand” at SL2420 where they’ll probably have one working. It is a thing of beauty. Filmlight has a suite at the nearby Renaissance Hotel but like last year, it looks like they’ll have a small space on the NAB show floor. It was a cool, black, fabric igloo last year so I’ll keep my eyes open for that this year as well.


This isn’t a company we talk about that often in post-production but the Post|Production World keynote conference was headed by none other than Steve Wozniak, chief scientist at Fusion-io, who took the stage along with folks from Adobe to talk about the Fusion ioFX product. This looks like it really screams. It could be one of those high-end video card must-haves, provided we have a Mac Pro to put it in … that is unless you use Windows.