Ooh ahh.. just a little DIT with Will Strauss


Will Strauss# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Will Strauss
Issue 84 - December 2013
Issue 84 - December 2013
Like the Offshore Windfarm Engineer or the Waste Management Consultant, the Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) is very much a 21st Century profession and one that didnt exist 10 years ago.

Generally recruited for a digitally-shot feature film, commercial or TV drama, the role was initially a camera technician position, a sort of security blanket for the transition from tape-based to digital production.

Although still very much an intermediary between camera and editorial, the DIT role has changed quite a lot since its inception, and, in truth, is still evolving. So much so in fact that it is regularly misunderstood with DIT becoming a catch-all job title for anyone that manages media.

In truth, the role is something akin to the modern day equivalent of the old film lab especially on a 4k shoot.

The DIT will certainly manage the media and back it up. But he or she can play a much bigger role than that, doing quality control, colour correction and transcoding on set and then creating quick-turnaround dailies for almost-instant review. Crucially, the DIT also works closely with the DoP to apply a specific look to footage before it gets to post-production.

As you can imagine, to do all those things requires a whole heap of kit. And, while the requirements differ greatly from shoot-to-shoot, generally speaking, there are several consistent elements of a DIT station, cart or van.

First up is a computer. Not just any old PC obviously. This could be a Macbook Pro laptop or a Mac Pro or any of a number of other available high spec workstations (HP ones are popular).

Then the DIT needs hard drives, video cards, card readers, a Red Rocket card (if shooting Red), RAID storage, a transcode drive, fast transfer connectivity, a decent monitor (including a grading one if doing colour work) and an uninterruptable power supply.

Available software should include some sort of data management app. Depending on what camera is being used this could be R3D Data Manager, ShotPut Pro, Al3xa Data Manager or Elklights Velarium. Then they need something for those dailies, first grades and colour corrections such as Da Vinci Resolve, Color, Assimilate Scratch, Truelight or Pomfort LiveGrade Pro.

Another option is Red Giant Softwares recently launched Bullet Proof, a one-stop shop for data transfer, on-set review and colour correction. Or, if its a Red shoot, the REDCINE-X.

Thats not all. Some DITs will also need an editing package, and most will want some QC scopes or waveform monitors. They may also need to bring along iPads (other tablet devices are available) for review and approval. And it all needs to be mobile in some fashion.
You can of course build a DIT station yourself but here are six commercially available options:

The ready-to-go DIT kit

DIT agency 4K London offer a wide range of equipment for rent, from laptops to fully loaded DIT carts. One option is the companys On Set Colour Management Kits.

The Truelight-based package consists of: two TVLogic XVM 24-inch Grade 1 monitors; two Leader 5380 waveform monitors; four IDX V- Lock batteries; two Blackmagic Design HD Link Pro LUT boxes; a 15-inch or 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro; and a custom DIT cart (including UPS, smart video hub, patch panel, and Ethernet hub, cabling, mounts, cases and accessories). The package also includes Blackout Tent, Looms and Drums.

In a similar way, Digital Orchard offers what it calls its OnSet DIT Station Digital Lab. This option is for doing one light grades and for the creation and application of LUTs but also facilitates backups, transcoding, onset download and onset QC.

Built around Assimilates Scratch, it can accommodate Red Rocket cards, Codex transfer docks, LTO decks and fibre or SAS RAID storage.
The DIT station in a flight case

If youre looking for something so mobile that you can take in on a place and store it in an overhead locker, DIT Stations Rogue4 may be up your street.

Designed for data management, LUTs, onset colour correction and dailies, it costs about £6000 (not including the laptop) to buy and comes in a military-grade resin flight case.

The Rogue 4 is built around Thunderbolt connectivity to offer workstation quality in a notebook size and form factor and uses Sonnets Echo Express expansion chassis to provide four PCIe slots for things like Red Rocket cards and up to 12TB of RAID storage.

Files can be ingested from SxS cards, REDMAG SSDs, SD and CompactFlash while other features include a Wi-Fi router and an iPad mount.

If youre looking to hire, rather than buy something like this then Glasgow-based Futurist Digital has a mobile DIT "Shadow" case.

A camera agnostic option, capable of handling Red, Alexa, Sony F65, Canon C300 and more, this option allows for digital negative offloading and checking, audio sync, backups, LUTs, transcoding and deliverables.

Based around a portable Peli case the kit is made up of a MacBook Pro with a 15-inch Retina screen, 8TB of internal RAID storage, a RED Rocket card, outputs to eSATA, Thunderbolt and USB3 and readers for SxS, RED, SSD, CF and SRMemory cards. Like the Rogue4 it is suitable as carry-on flight luggage.
The DIT suite on wheels

Options for DITs dont end at flight cases or carts. Now, thanks to engineering ingenuity, commercial vehicles can be kitted out as mobile DIT suites too.

Alongside its inventory of DIT carts and data wrangling equipment, Coach House Studios, now based at Twickenham Studios, currently hires out two DIT vans for doing on-set deliverables, transcoding, media management, grading and assembly editing.

Independent, uninterruptable power is crucial. As such, both vans can be powered from the mains or make use of on-board generators. Importantly, they also have large battery packs attached to the UPS that stabilises the supply. This all means the vans can run for several hours on battery power alone, which is crucial if silent operation is required (as it often is on set).

Highly specced workstations form the backbone of these customizable vans with Hewlett Packard Z820s and Z800s the norm. For grading and colour correction they can be fitted with Da Vinci Resolve or Assimilate Scratch.

A colour accurate Sony Trimaster monitor can also be included plus plenty of RAID storage connected by 10Gb Ethernet. Various communications options are available as is air-con and heating.

Coach House Studios is not the only company to offer DIT vehicles. Bristol-based Non-Linear Evolution has its 'DIT Van Lab', a converted Volkswagen long wheelbase Transporter that can be used for data wrangling, transcoding, editing and grading.

As with the Coach House offering, power supply is crucial. The Non-Linear Evolution vehicle can power a laptop and external hard drives for a full day - or a Mac Pro and display and several external hard drives for up to four hours - without having to use external power.


Tags: iss084 | DIT | file based | crew | technology | options | guide | color | colour | 4k london | coach house studios | Will Strauss#
Contributing Author Will Strauss#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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    Photon Beard Platinum Blonde at IBC 2014

  • Photon Beard Photon Beam at IBC 2014

    Photon Beard Photon Beam at IBC 2014

  • MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

    MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

  • Dejeros products at IBC 2014

    Dejeros products at IBC 2014

  • Zylight Fresnel updates at IBC 2014

    Zylight Fresnel updates at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

    TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

    WORK Microwave at IBC 2014

  • EBS at IBC 2014

    EBS at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

    Gearhouse Broadcast OBLite at IBC 2014

  • Comigo at IBC 2014

    Comigo at IBC 2014

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2014

    AVIWEST at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

    Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

  • Cinegy at IBC 2014

    Cinegy at IBC 2014

  • Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

    Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

  • TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

    TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

  • TMD at IBC 2014

    TMD at IBC 2014

  • Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

    Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at IBC 2014

    Facilis at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

    Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

    Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Metus at NAB 2014

    Metus at NAB 2014

  • Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

    Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

  • MultiDyne Products at NAB 2014

    MultiDyne Products at NAB 2014

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • PAG Batteries at NAB 2014

    PAG Batteries at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix RX rack mount range at NAB 2014

    Phabrix RX rack mount range at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix at NAB 2014

    Phabrix at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix TAG at NAB 2014

    Phabrix TAG at NAB 2014

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2014

    Pixel Power at NAB 2014

  • Polecam presents award to AMS Pictures at NAB 2014

    Polecam presents award to AMS Pictures at NAB 2014

  • Pronology at NAB 2014

    Pronology at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

  • Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

    Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

  • RTW at NAB 2014

    RTW at NAB 2014

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVE product range at NAB 2014

    SIS LIVE product range at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak at NAB 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak at NAB 2014

  • Softron MovieRecorder updates at NAB 2014

    Softron MovieRecorder updates at NAB 2014

  • Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

    Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

    Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Volicon at NAB 2014

    Volicon at NAB 2014

  • Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

    Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego at NAB 2014

  • Cinegy at NAB 2014

    Cinegy at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

  • Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

    Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

  • CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

    CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Dejero at NAB 2014

    Dejero at NAB 2014

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Ericsson at NAB 2014

    Ericsson at NAB 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

    GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

  • Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

    Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Haivision at NAB 2014

    Haivision at NAB 2014

  • IMT at NAB 2014

    IMT at NAB 2014

  • Inmarsat at NAB 2014

    Inmarsat at NAB 2014

  • JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

    JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

  • JVC concept products at NAB 2014

    JVC concept products at NAB 2014

  • Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

    Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

    AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • Atomos Shogun and Ninja Star at NAB 2014

    Atomos Shogun and Ninja Star at NAB 2014

  • Atomos Operating System at NAB 2014

    Atomos Operating System at NAB 2014

  • Atomos at NAB 2014

    Atomos at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Brainstorm Multimedia at NAB 2014

    Brainstorm Multimedia at NAB 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

    Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

  • Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Official TOUR Video 2013

    Official TOUR Video 2013

  • AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

    AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Gekko at IBC2011

    Gekko at IBC2011

  • Guided Tour of the Polecam Stand at BVE 2016

    Guided Tour of the Polecam Stand at BVE 2016

  • Guided tour of the Global Distribution Stand at BVE 2016

    Guided tour of the Global Distribution Stand at BVE 2016

  • Guided tour of the Holdan Stand at BVE 2016

    Guided tour of the Holdan Stand at BVE 2016

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

    Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

  • Area 48 Color and more from BBS Lighting at IBC 2018

    Area 48 Color and more from BBS Lighting at IBC 2018

  • Dedolight show the LED Raptor Bicolor at IBC 2018

    Dedolight show the LED Raptor Bicolor at IBC 2018

  • Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Datacolor Spyder on the Atomos stand at IBC 2013

    Datacolor Spyder on the Atomos stand at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

    i-Movix Slow Motion and D-Flicker at IBC 2013

  • Litepanels at NAB 2012

    Litepanels at NAB 2012

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • ADDER Technology LIVE at BVE 2016

    ADDER Technology LIVE at BVE 2016


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF