When does production become post?

When does production become post?

The increasingly common combination of high shoot ratios and tight deadlines puts pressure on facilities to increase efficiencies across production and post. In an effort to reduce turnaround times and cut down the amount of time spent on non-billable activities, production and post teams are now working together from far earlier into the production schedule, with post houses sending staff to set to ensure footage is logged as soon after the shoot as possible, and DITs performing post-critical functions.

Manufacturers are keen to facilitate this collaboration – AJA seem to have kicked off the scramble to unite the two when they released the first Ki Pro back in 2009, and noone seems to have paused for breath since. But there are dozens of factors to consider when planning your workflow, from whether you’ll be handling HDR footage, to IP integration, to the impact of the incoming 5G connectivity standard. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at a few different points of contact, and how you can make sure your workflow there is mutually beneficial for production and post.

Shooting and monitoring

Accurate metadata can speed up post-production immensely, by making it far easier for artists to match the original scene conditions when compositing, compensate for issues with specific cameras or lenses when correcting footage, and more.

Zeiss are currently setting the standard for incredibly detailed metadata with the new eXtended Data lens, the CP.3 XD. As well as giving your DoP precision, quality and all the other benefits of working with Zeiss glass, XD lenses create a huge amount of metadata about each shot, containing details not just of features like focal length and exposure, but details about the lens itself. In post, tweaking this metadata becomes a quicker, easier way to compensate for lens shading, or to correct for the different distortions of individual lenses used in production. When compositing, the metadata drastically cuts down the amount of trial and error (and therefore time) needed for artists to match on-set lighting conditions. This ultimately drives down the time and money needed for post, and so could even help buy you more time on set.

Monitor and recorder manufacturers Atomos have attempted to bring a similar spirit of cooperation to monitoring with their newly announced SUMO 19 HDR production/grading monitor, which can record dailies, proxies or 4Kp60 masters as needed.  This means camera crews can see what they’ve captured in HDR, as it will appear to post teams, and be sure they’re happy with the shot as it appears, rather than having to guess based off a Rec.709 image. The recording feature also means that dailies (or a low res proxy, if you have limited bandwidth/storage) can be send to a post facility immediately, and assembly can begin far earlier than usual.

Solutions like this are making it easier for production and post crews to maintain a common vision of the project throughout, and reduce the time taken to create the final product without limiting either party’s options in that way that, say, Sony baking HLG into footage from some of its lower-end cameras does.

Logging and metadata

Loggers and ingest technicians are increasingly venturing out to log footage as close to set as possible. While data and asset management has been an intrinsic part of post for a long time, it’s now widely acknowledged that by focusing more on this on set, crews can increase the overall efficiency of the project, and drastically reduce the time needed to put everything together in post.

Asset management systems like axle Video are excellent – axle is particularly good if you’re new to this, as you can just point it at your file system and it will automatically index all media files, then update its database automatically in realtime as you add new footage. You can then share low res proxies through a web browser so that people can reject, trim and comment on clips; it’ll even integrate with NLEs so that editors can search new footage without leaving their editing application. It ships with a standard metadata schema, but you can customise this to the requirements of your shoot.

Avid’s MediaCentral | Asset Management option (formerly Avid Interplay MAM) performs a similar function, indexing media in a range of formats and allowing you to add custom metadata in order to make it easier to find. It even allows you to remotely access assets from multiple locations, so if crews at different locations both log footage, all of it will be available for review at the same time. Avid’s MediaCentral system also allows for a high degree of automation when it comes to things like ingest, logging, archiving and sharing footage, meaning you can achieve more in less time, and with a smaller team.

Cloud delivery

Once footage has been logged, it can be sent back to the post facility, or to a staging post if you’re in a remote location. As the available networks have become faster, cloud delivery has gained popularity, whether that’s ENG crews using in-camera FTP capabilities to send footage back to the newsroom, or crews on location leveraging file sharing services to deliver footage to post as quickly as possible. And with 5G set to make 100Mbps over the air file sharing a reality over the next few years, this option is only set to get more popular.

If you’re collecting or monitoring footage from drones, car-mounted cams and other inaccessible recorders, Soliton’s on-camera encoders and receivers are a great investment – they use a mixture of H.265 compression and proprietary RASCOW technology to ensure you see an HD live stream of your footage even in areas where 3G and 4G coverage is patchy, with delays as low as 240 ms.

For reliable file transfer, we’d recommend IBM’s Aspera service. While it’s pricier than WeTransfer, it uses end to end encryption to to keep your footage secure and, unlike consumer services, doesn’t get slower the larger your files are. Another feature we’re particularly keen on is that it calculates the precise time a transfer will take on your current connection before it begins, so if it says a transfer will take seven hours, you can ring ahead and let your colleagues know when to expect the file with a fairly high degree of certainty.

How does this all fit together?

We can help you develop workflows to maximise efficiency in production and post, and advise on ways to prepare your existing infrastructure for the future, or fold new releases into your existing workflow. As well as providing consultancy, workflow design and specialist hardware, we can provide ongoing support and maintenance for your core kit. To find out more, get in touch with the team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NAB 2016: axle 2016 to include Panel plug-in for Premiere Pro CC

NAB 2016: axle 2016 to include Panel plug-in for Premiere Pro CC

Alongside their new Pulse solution, axle Video have used NAB 2016 to debut  axle 2016, the newest version of their radically simple media management software.

The biggest change is the inclusion of axle Panel for Adobe Premiere Pro CC. This new plug-in “saves time and effort and improves creativity by allowing Adobe Premiere Pro users to instantly access and use any media managed by axle 2016 and the core axle search features from within their editing environment,” according to the axle team.

Other new features include: 

– Elastic search.

– OSX status application.

– Improved process monitoring.

– Improved administration.

– Large text fields.

For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

NAB 2016: New axle Pulse turns audiences into contributors

NAB 2016: New axle Pulse turns audiences into contributors

Today axle Video announced the first-ever integrated solution for news organisations and brands to gather and stream video directly from their audiences.

axle Pulse is a new mobile app that lets broadcasters and brands source immediate, authentic content; their communities are empowered with an easy way to capture and share video footage from their smartphones. The system is available either as a complete software/hardware solution for purchase, or as a monthly cloud subscription. It includes branded apps for iPhones and Android smartphones, and lets contributors sign up, shoot and upload video. The users can also join a dialogue with the broadcaster or corporate media department which can include requests to capture specific material in exchange for compensation. For breaking news stories, a livestreaming mode is available which turns the smartphone into an immediate on-location asset for news organizations.

axle Pulse

The axle Pulse system combines an easy-to-use mobile app and a powerful media management back end, based on axle’s radically simple axle Gear software. The solution works as follows:

– The company operating the software can request footage from contributors in their audience, optionally with specific assignments.
– Contributors capture and upload video footage in response to assignments, with any compensation predetermined.
– A built-in search tool lets the broadcaster quickly tag, curate and subclip submitted videos.

In the case of breaking news or live events, streaming from one or more contributors can be enabled for direct feeds.

Axle Pulse is based in part on pioneering mobile software called VidLasso, which axle Video has acquired and adapted for use in the new system. Christy King, a cofounder of VidLasso, who has joined axle as an advisor, said “I am delighted to see VidLasso grow up to become axle Pulse. The axle software team has expanded our original feature set in smart ways for news organizations and brands to harness the power of mobile video capture and streaming. axle is the leader in affordable media management, with great customers in the broadcast and corporate markets, and I’m thrilled to see axle Video build on our mobile capture technology, and make it even easier to gather and organize user generated content.”

The system includes axle Gear media management back end technology that gives permissionbased browser access to all uploaded content, as well as postproduction features like the ability to select and approve footage for use on air or on a website. When integrated with affordable networked storage and playout options from axle Video’s partners, axle Pulse can form the core of a next-generation media operation at a small fraction of the cost of traditional broadcast infrastructure.

 

 

Pricing and availability

axle Pulse is available now for complete on-site system deployment; after June 1 as a monthly cloud subscription. Both approaches include branded iPhone and Android mobile apps, as well as all required back end infrastructure for managing submitted video content and (with the streaming option enabled) live streams. Contact axle Video for details. axle 2016 software is available now starting at $995 for two users.

For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Buyers’ Guide: Content management and storage

Buyers’ Guide: Content management and storage

The say cleanliness is next to godliness, but we’d make a strong case for organisation being slightly closer. If you don’t have your fonts managed and your assets organised and backed up, you’re not going to be able to work efficiently, repurpose content and – most importantly – leave on time. Yes, we know it’s not the most exciting thing to read about, but getting your content management workflow together now will save you time for years to come.

The quick fix (for when there’s only a couple of you, and you don’t produce that much)

Okay, so let’s say you have a pretty speedy MacBook Pro. Get yourself a nice dependable desktop drive like a G-Technology G-DRIVE, then set up Time Machine for backup locally. To avoid any unwelcome data loss, we’d recommend getting some RAID storage – if your MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 2, try making the most of it with a high-speed PROMISE Pegasus R4 array.

If you need to work together, the Synology Diskstation DS414 is a feature-rich 4-bay NAS specifically designed for growing businesses to effectively manage, protect, and share data. You can even add Extensis Portfolio Studio for better asset management and Suitcase Fusion to keep your fonts in order.

The neat freak (for when you’ve got a team to support)

If you’re working in a range of media we always recommend a capable iMac with Universal Type Server and Portfolio Studio to keep your files in check and easy for the team to access.

If you need extra local storage or want to run backups to a local drive, try something spacious like this 8TB G-RAID, while euroNAS’s 16TB, 16-bay 3U network server storage solution is a sterling contribution to your server room, and you can manage your backups with Archiware’s P5 software which can support two servers or a tape library. (Here’s the tape library we’d recommend, as it’s cheaper than high speed online or nearline storage for the long run.)

The archivist (for when you need big storage for big files and bigger archives)

If you’re churning out high volumes of multimedia files on something like this and a high speed Thunderbolt 2 RAID array, then you’ll need to beef up. Maximise your font management capabilities by upgrading to the Enterprise versions of your Universal Type Server and Portfolio asset management solutions. If you’re after something more video-specific, it’s well worth taking a look at axle Video’s solutions.

If you want to be sure all your data is backed up, opt for our manual backup service, Backup24, in which our team ensure your data is backed up to our Tier 2+ data centre. And to handle your NAS needs, the GB Labs Space range offer extremely fast large capacity shared storage for digital content creation.

Take control of content with MatrixCMS

By connecting up your PIM and CMS systems to create a single version of the truth for all work and enabling seamless cloud-based sharing of drafts and revisions, MatrixCMS makes it easier to stay on top of your assets. MatrixCMS provides a centralised store for all digital media, enabling an organisation to collate, manage and distribute their investment across the entire company. Arrange an online demo here (you have to scroll down to the bottom).

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Introducing axle Cam: the radically simple camera to computer workflow

Introducing axle Cam: the radically simple camera to computer workflow

axle release new camera workflow software, axle Cam, which automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Here’s the press release…

“ORLANDO, Florida- June 17, 2015- axle Video, developer of media management tools for video production, broadcast, news-gathering, and other applications that are easy to install, use and afford, today announced the release of a groundbreaking new product that resolves elegantly and cost effectively – the most persistent problem faced by videographers today: managing complex camera media. Shown for the first time at InfoComm 2015, axle Cam is a low-cost camera ingest application that streamlines the process of acquiring, organising and sharing media from today’s most popular video cameras and DSLRs.”

axle Cam resolves organisational issues caused by multiple file formats, bitrates, file wrappers and folder structures. The software automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Users are then able to instantly access, edit and share files through a simple user interface that leverages axle’s radically simple media management technology. The product supports DSLRs and HD cameras made by Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC, Nikon and GoPro. The company is developing specialised modules to support higher-end cinema cameras, though release dates have not yet been announced.

axle Cam is an ideal solution for news organisations, sports broadcasters, professional videographers, schools, governmental organisations, religious groups and others who deal with large volumes of camera media. It provides a simple path between production and editorial, and makes it easier to share camera media with other parties for review and approval or collaborative editing.

“axle Cam is the missing link between the camera and the computer,” says axle Video CEO Sam Bogoch. “It eliminates the countless hours video professionals now spend in processing and organising camera files before they can be used by others.”

With a cost of just $995 for a two user licence (UK pricing TBC), axle Cam is priced far below competing solutions, making it a compelling choice for a range of professional users.

axle Cam is a comprehensive and versatile solution. During ingest, camera files are rewrapped with no reduction in image quality, and low resolution H.264 proxy versions of camera media are created for use in editorial and review. The application also features a suite of integrated media management tools, including an interface for displaying media in browsers or mobile devices, a search function for technical and other metadata, and a dashboard grid layout that makes it easy to designate sources and select actions.

“DSLRs and video cameras generate dozens of files and folders, which for the majority of users, are needless clutter,” notes Bogoch. “It leads to more workflow steps, more errors and misplaced shots, and less time for creativity. axle Cam provides an elegant, automated solution, it cleans up incoming files, makes H.264 proxies, grabs the metadata, and displays it in a browser/mobile interface.”

axle Edit screen shot[2]

Media Files Supported:

– MOV/MP4 – Samsung NX1 H.265, any format playable by QuickTime Player or plug-ins.

– MXF – Sony XAVC (XAVC-L, XAVC-I).

– Canon XF.

– Panasonic DVCProHD, AVC Intra.

– ProRes.

– MPEG-2.

– DNxHD, VC-3 (when DNxHD QT component installed).

– SRcam (when SRCam QT component installed).

– MTS/M2TS (AVCHD).

– H.264 – AC3 Audio, LPCM Audio.

– M2T – HDV-style M2T streams (MPEG2 video with MP2 audio).

Availability

axle Cam was demonstrated at axle Video’s booth at InfoComm2015 in Orlando, FL on June 17-19 (Booth 490) and will ship by the 1st July. The software is priced at $995 for a two user licence, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available to order in the UK!

Want to find out more about axle Video and their new axle Cam? Call 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.