Eye to Eye: Video Post-production


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This column’s previous excursion into video post-production was just before the 2011 NAB Spring Convention, always a dangerous time to talk about new hardware or software when a deluge of upgrades, lookalikes and lite-editions are about to hit the aisles of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Quite a lot has happened in this category over the past 12 months, notably in editing and content restoration.
Avid introduced new versions of its Media Composer, NewsCutter and Symphony editing systems. Media Composer version 6, Symphony version 6 and NewsCutter version 10 are based on a new open 64-bit architecture and new user interface designed to speed workflows. Third-party hardware support now includes AVCHD and Red Epic with Avid Media Access (AMA), an Avid DNxHD 444 codec, and support for Avid Artist Color.
Blackmagic Design's HyperDeck Software Update 2 for HyperDeck Studio adds broadcast quality compressed 10 bit recording and playback to the Avid® DNxHD format. All content is recorded in MXF format so is immediately available in Media Composer without need for file copying or import processing.
Boris' Red 5 is an integrated 3D compositing, titling, and effects program for use with video editing software from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Grass Valley, Media 100, and Sony. It integrates text generators, paint, rotoscoping, tools to create and extrude vector objects, true 3D shapes and animation, and image processing filters. Support is provided for 64-bit programs such as Adobe CS5 and Sony Vegas Pro 10. Red 5 also adds 60 new Continuum Complete and Final Effects Complete filters. Cintel International announced a range of three 2K/4K image restoration workflow packages for film archives and restoration companies. They are designed for use with Cintel’s diTTo evolution 2K/4K film scanner which has optical dust and scratch concealment tools as well as pin registration and non-pin capabilities. The ‘film out’ function is provided by CCG’s DefinityHD film recorder. Between these processes, each package includes Cintel’s imageMill2 real time 2K restoration system, including Grace film grain and image noise management, Steady image stabilisation and Origin dust and scratch reduction, plus individual selections of storage, monitoring and colour correction tools suited to different tasks and requirements:
DFT Digital Film Technology introduced the latest version of its Scanity Archive sprocketless cine film transport. New features include variable scaling, film shrinkage measurement, vertical over-sampling, individual light and density range control, and variable aperture correction. A real-time scaler resizes the image and compensates for film shrinkage. Variable aperture correction compensates for optical scanning losses. Using neutral aperture correction means the images are seen exactly as they are on the film. An expanded algorithm allows the operator to over or under compensate, making the image sharper or softer.
DVS’ Venice multi-channel broadcast video server now supports Avid Isis and Interplay, handles stereo 3D material and provides real-time playout of JPEG2000 files. DVS has also added support for the Panasonic AVC-Ultra codec series which offers broadcasters interoperability with P2 materials at frame rates of up to 1080p60. Venice additionally supports the AVC-Intra 3D stereo function P2-3D, which is also part of the AVC-Ultra group. Venice can be used both for 3D ingest and 3D playout.
Eyeheight’s LE-3D is a stereoscopic multi-mode legaliser based on the company's geNETics platform. Legalisation settings for left and right video channels can be adjusted from a single operating panel. Adjustable parameters include RGB, YUV or composite mode selection, clipping level, soft clipping knee, luma and chroma gain, black level, and hue rotation. Six user memories are available to store group settings. EBU 2003 standard legalisation settings are also provided. The LE-3D has two independent HD-SDI inputs and outputs. Processing is to full 10-bit depth throughout.
Image Systems has addressed film and video restoration in the latest version of its Phoenix software. The 2011.2 release sees a move to 64-bit to improve speed and performance when restoring memory-intensive projects such as 4K. Phoenix now delivers interlaced motion estimation tools which allow users to correct and deliver mixed film and tape projects within a single timeline. Tools have been added to manage and replace cached material on the timeline when the original material has been changed or updated. A simplified effects selection, new review and scrubbing modes and improvements to the bookmark system allow users to work faster.
Media 100's new Suite Version 2 video editing software for Mac OS X supports 4K, 2K, HD, and SD standards. Integration with Adobe After Effects and Apple Final Cut Studio enables projects to be shared among After Effects, Color, and Final Cut Pro. Projects can be exported to Final Cut Pro for further editing and revisions. Final Cut Pro sequences can be imported into Media 100 Suite. Media 100 Suite supports optional video I/O interfaces from AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox, and Red and provides AVCHD, AVC-Intra, FireWire, Panasonic P2, and Sony XDCam acquisition interfaces. Boris Red is included for integrated 3D compositing, titling and effects.
Pixel Farm claims a new approach to film restoration with the launch of PFMill. Based on PFSilo, the company’s collaborative workflow management system for the restoration market, it enables up to 10 restoration artists to work simultaneously on restoration projects across an intranet, using special versions of the PFClean clean-up and remastering software. PFMill runs on one workstation which hosts all support hardware and services. Users can log into PFMill from any computer on the facility network and run a PFMill-only, modified version of PFClean as a lightweight client on their machine.
Sony Creative Software announced the latest upgrade to its Vegas editing software. Vegas Pro 11 is claimed to be the world's first Windows-based OpenCL nonlinear editor. New features include Nvidea 3D Vision support for single-display 3D computers such as the Vaio F Series 3D laptops and L Series 3D desktops, an enhanced video stabilising tool, and new software tools for creating animated titles.
Having expressed reservations some time ago about performing video edits with Apple iMovie on the 10 inch screen of an iPad2, I made the investment, found it too restricting and returned to the less confining workspace of a 27 inch iMac. Video editors with more than the usual supply of patience and dexterity now even have the option of running iMovie on an iPhone. To each their own!

Tags: iss061 | sony | avid | blackmagic | boris | contel | dft | dvs | eyeheight | image systems | media 100 | pixel farm | sony creative | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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