Blackmagic Design’s biggest news at IBC wasn’t a product – it was the reveal that they had acquired respected chromakey solution Ultimatte.
Blackmagic have a reputation for acquiring niche companies and using their existing products as a jumping off point to create innovative, low cost technology (see: DaVinci Resolve, Teranex, Cintel), and we’re excited to see how they develop the already impressive Ultimatte lineup.
“I went to the Ultimatte stand after the announcement – very impressive stuff,” our Product Manager Meg said after IBC. “The Ultimatte 12 is available in HD and 4K, and one thing I really liked about the virtual sets was the fact that they are dynamic – you can have a moving image set up in the windows of the virtual set. On the stand they used some footage of the outside of the RAI centre that they had shot with a GoPro, and having it in the windows made the virtual set look a lot more active. And that the lighting settings include the shadows from the green screen really adds realism to the virtual set.”
Also impressed are the film and television academies, who’ve gifted Ultimatte with an Oscar and an Emmy. Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty, summed the firm up with: “For the past 40 years, Ultimatte has been the industry standard hardware and software used to key these people in front of weather maps, stock charts, and other info graphics. In fact, many broadcasters use Ultimatte to place entire news teams, weather reporters, talk show hosts, sports commentators and more into completely virtual sets.
“Ultimatte uses advanced 4:4:4:4 image processing and provides enhanced matte controls that lets customers accurately separate the subject from the background. Customers also get matte correction features, indirect and direct lighting features, spill suppression tools, edge artifact controls and more, all in realtime.”
We’re excited to see how this partnership plays out and, while we’ve not heard any official release announcements, we’re crossing our fingers and hoping that they’ll at least have a prototype by next year’s NAB.
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