Meet the experts: David Skeggs

Meet the experts: David Skeggs

A former editor, support engineer and technical manager, David Skeggs has been our Project and Pre-Sales Specialist for over ten years, helping customers on multiple continents get a handle on the latest advances in production workflows. 

I’m an engineer, get me out of here

“When I first started in the industry, I was an editor. I worked at ITV’s London studios, where they did all the post for their mainstream entertainment shows. I worked on the first ever series of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, and V Graham Norton, back when he went out five nights a week on Channel 4. It was at ITV that I got more involved in the technical side of things, eventually becoming a support engineer at their main Avid facility. After that, I worked at the MTV facility in Camden as a post-production engineer before coming to root6 and now Jigsaw24.”

Mr Fixit

“In the early days at root6, we did a lot of work on best of breed facilities in the Middle East, so I spent a lot of time on the ground there as the primary contact for those builds. I also do a fair amount of travelling round the world helping our production customers with their live capture workflows at sports events, particularly whenever there’s a big format shift, like the transition to tapeless or the current move to UHD. We’re used to working with 4K because we’ve spent years enabling DI workflows for our film post customers, so we’ve got a bit of a head start there.”

The pacemaker

“Nowadays I’m more involved in workflow design, and helping customers bolt the right products together. We’re seeing fewer and fewer ‘one size fits all’ solutions these days, and it’s important to know which products from which manufacturers are best of breed. We use that knowledge to help our customers find the best solution for them, even if it has to be at a certain price point. With the pace of change being so fast now, it’s important that facilities have someone to talk to who can speculate on where the industry’s going, and the growth and expansion they’ll get out of certain products.”

Head in the cloud

“Jigsaw24 have been helping customers in other industries migrate to datacentres for years, but for our customers in the media industry it’s very new, and poses a different set of challenges. The size of UHD and 4K media means you need to have a high bandwidth connection to high availability storage if you want to play back media instantly – people don’t mind waiting a couple of seconds for a spreadsheet to load, but you can’t edit like that. We’ve been working to help people who want to get out of Soho – where it’s cramped and expensive and the power’s bad – to move their machine room to a datacentre which they can then remote into.”

Jigsaw24’s Dark Side

“We’ve been working with a few different networking companies over the past couple of years to deliver Dark Fibre networks circuits. We’ve got a link-up of our own between our datacentre, our Wardour Mews office and our demo facility in Soho, because we want to be able to show people we practise what we preach, and because having actually done it and learned certain lessons the hard way, we can give customers much more practical advice than if we were speaking speculatively.”

Want to know more about how we can help production and post facilities? 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.

 

Goldcrest build their own ‘drama village’

Goldcrest build their own ‘drama village’

Goldcrest Post are creating their own ‘drama village’ – a combination of advanced DaVinci Resolve systems, audio mixing and Flame suites catering to their rapidly-expanding high end TV portfolio, spearheaded by recent recruit Jet Omoshebi. 

The new suites, which will include one hero suite, two online suites and multiple prep and QC systems, all on Linux turnkey builds, will be installed in Goldcrest’s Lexington Street facility in Soho. Goldcrest plan to combine these suites with a client area and their (newly expanded) audio facilities to create an internal ‘drama village’.

Unsurprisingly, people are keen to hear what kit they choose for the new space, and so far the shopping list has included DaVinci Resolve Hero4 systems based on the latest GPU processing cards, along with an Advanced Control Surface sat on custom AKA furniture. This will bring the overall number of Linux Resolve systems at Goldcrest to 13.

Speaking to Broadcast, managing director Patrick Malone said: “When we started our move into TV drama, we were shoe-horning the work in alongside features. We were getting away with it really. People just had to work bloody hard. But the last thing we wanted to do was compromise our reputation by screwing up one of these jobs because we didn’t have the manpower or infrastructure to handle it. We’re going to be doing TV drama with considerable intent to do it as well as we do features.”

We have an enduring relationship with Goldcrest, and are thrilled to be providing hardware for the exciting new build the Goldcrest team has designed, alongside AKA Design, who are building custom furniture for the suites, and Medialease, who are providing asset finance for the grading and online kit.

The new suites are due to be operational by the middle of November, with Jet taking up her post in January.

Ready to remodel? To find out how we can help develop your facility, 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 2017: Even more efficient storage solutions from Rohde & Schwarz with IBM Spectrum Scale

NAB 2017: Even more efficient storage solutions from Rohde & Schwarz with IBM Spectrum Scale

Broadcasters and post production houses can now implement intelligent solutions for storing their media files based on their needs. The new file system software for R&S SpycerBox Cell and R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL simplifies the storage workflow and makes it more cost-effective.

Reliable storage solutions are essential for broadcasters and post production houses. Digital content is the media industry’s key asset. It must be securely and safely stored. At the same time, certain media files must be quickly and reliably accessible. As budgets shrink and cost pressure grows, efficient storage becomes key in every respect.

To meet these requirements, IBM Spectrum Scale is now available for the R&S SpycerBox product family. This file system enables users to more efficiently utilize different storage tiers based on their needs. Combining high-performance R&S SpycerBox Cell online storage and powerful R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL nearline storage with IBM Spectrum Scale provides the basis for a centralized, tiered storage solution.

The file system solution assigns files to the most efficient storage location based on how frequently they are needed and other file characteristics. The advantages of the R&S SpycerBox products are optimally utilized. For example, R&S SpycerBox Cell features exceptional performance for realtime processing of video material, while R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL is a much more cost-effective nearline storage medium.

IBM Spectrum Scale allows files to be automatically or manually stored in the optimal location. Since file paths remain constant regardless of which tier is used, workflows do not have to be modified.

“It is important for our customers to be able to reliably access their media files at any time,” explains Stefan Weidner, Sales Director Media at Rohde & Schwarz. “This data is their company’s most important asset. With IBM Spectrum Scale on R&S SpycerBox Cell or R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL, broadcasters and post production companies can rest easy knowing that their key asset is securely and cost-effectively stored.”

As storage requirements increase, storage solutions must be scalable in terms of capacity and bandwidth. Customers in the media branch cannot tolerate any interruptions during production and broadcasting when they expand their storage space. The R&S SpycerBox series is capable of non-destructive scaling. Individual R&S SpycerBox Cell systems can be combined to achieve even more performance.

“In the media branch, a deadline is a deadline – especially for broadcasters. There are no extensions,” says Dirk Thometzek, Product Manager File Based Media Solutions. “That’s why a storage solution that guarantees efficient workflows is so important. The combination of Rohde & Schwarz hardware with the IBM file system makes it possible to scale the performance and capacity of centralized storage without interruption.”

R&S SpycerBox Cell and R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL with the IBM Spectrum Scale will be available in the third quarter of 2017. Quantum StorNext is still available as a file system option.

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

NAB 2017: Adobe propels video forward

NAB 2017: Adobe propels video forward

Ahead of the National Association of Broadcasting (NAB) conference, Adobe today announced a major update for video in Adobe Creative Cloud to help filmmakers and video producers collaborate and streamline video workflows.

The Creative Cloud release, available today, delivers new features for graphics and titling, animation, polishing audio and sharing assets; support for the latest video formats, such as HDR, VR and 4K; new integrations with Adobe Stock; and advanced artificial intelligence capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei. Announced at Adobe Summit 2017, Adobe Experience Cloud also allows brands to deliver connected video experiences across any screen at massive scale, while analyzing performance and monetizing ads.

Technology advancements and exploding consumer demand for impactful and personalized content require video producers to create, deliver and monetize their video assets faster than ever before. From the largest studio to next generation YouTubers, a scalable, end-to-end solution is required to create, collaborate and streamline video workflows with robust analytics and advertising tools to optimize content and drive more value.

“I’ve been using all of the Adobe creative programs as part of my visualization process since the early days in movies including ‘The Aviator,’ ‘Avatar’ and ‘Hugo,’” said Rob Legato, a three-time Academy Award winner and VFX supervisor of “The Jungle Book.” “Over the years, technology has improved steadily, largely due to Adobe’s groundbreaking innovations such as Dynamic Link between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, Cinema 4D integration with After Effects, and native workflows. I rely on Creative Cloud to help me pre-visualize and freely experiment on all my films, creating an opportunity to take our creative process to the next level.”

“Our heritage is taking complex challenges and simplifying them so you can concentrate on storytelling and professional, quality work,” said Steven Warner, vice president of digital media at Adobe. “The newest Creative Cloud video release integrates the advanced science of Adobe Sensei to make common tasks faster and easier. All video producers – whether they’re part of the major media companies or up and coming YouTubers – can now bring their creative vision to life without having to be motion graphics or audio experts.”

Attendees at this year’s NAB can get a closer look at the newly available features and hear from industry experts at the Adobe booth (#SL4010, South Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center) and at over 140 partner booths from April 24–27.

New Capabilities Power Creativity From Start to Finish

The new capabilities in Creative Cloud video tools include:

Motion Graphics Templates now bring the power of After Effects to Premiere Pro through easy to use templates, allowing creators to add beautiful titles, animations and lower thirds to their videos and create custom motion graphics templates which can be shared via Creative Cloud Libraries.

Essential Sound Panel in Premiere Pro lets users make audio mixes and sound improvements that in the past would have required a dedicated session by an audio engineer.

Camera Shake Deblur in After Effects rescues unusable footage by reducing motion blur that often occurs with camera shake.

Character Animator (beta) continues to invent the future of live animation with new technology that now animates multiple puppets created in Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC, and embraces full body animation with new walk cycles.

Team Projects (beta) allows Creative Cloud for teams or enterprise members to have a secure cloud-first collaborative workflow with new support for Dynamic Link and Adobe Media Encoder to streamline collaboration.

Ambisonic audio in Premiere Pro expands on its best-in-class native support for VR with positionally-aware audio for VR enabled platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Hundreds of third-party integrations including Apple Touch Bar support for MacBook Pro and new Microsoft Surface Dial functionality in Premiere Pro with shuttle control in the timeline as well as changing hot float and text values.

Powered by Sensei

Leveraging Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, users can now automatically normalize audio loudness across an entire timeline with a single click in Premiere Pro or Audition. In Character Animator, Sensei applies complex algorithms in real time to ensure a puppet’s lip synch is perfect. Within Adobe Experience Cloud, a video recommendation engine learns from hundreds of billions of online video consumption points to surface for audiences the most relevant content.

Integration with Adobe Stock

Deeply integrated into Creative Cloud workflows, customers have access to millions of Adobe Stock video assets, including 4K and HD, and the ability to search and scrub through video directly in the application. New to this release, editors looking to sell their work can now effortlessly contribute to Adobe Stock through the Destination Publish workflow inside Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder, and reach millions of creative buyers. Adobe’s Destination Publishing already supports the world’s top social video sites, publishing to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Behance in one easy step.

“I have been shooting, editing and uploading stock footage for over a decade. The new ability to contribute to Adobe Stock straight from Premiere Pro is an incredibly valuable tool that makes uploading and selling stock much quicker and easier to do. This new feature is a true game-changer for stock footage producers,” said Robb Crocker, CEO of Funnelbox and author of “Stock Footage Millionaire.”

Introducing Pond5 for Adobe Stock

Additionally, Adobe today announced a partnership with Pond5 further expanding the video offering in Adobe Stock. Sourced from an international community of artists across a mix of modern, highly sought after content themes, such as lifestyle, recreation, sports, cinematic and aerial footage, the addition of Pond5 video library will give video producers and designers access to one of the industry’s largest and fastest-growing collections – all natively integrated into Creative Cloud applications. As part of the Adobe partnership, Pond5’s contributors will also be able to reach an even bigger market of creative buyers. (See blog post for more details).

Integration with Adobe Experience Cloud

As the needs of video creators – from creative agencies to media companies – change to reflect a data-driven future, Adobe Experience Cloud benefits the entire video journey, from delivery, to measurement and monetization across screens. Through Adobe’s TV Media Management platform, media companies and broadcasters can leverage analytics to give advertisers true audience-based targeting and more accurate forecasting. Adobe Analytics Cloud enables the measurement of performance video content published to social media channels within Premiere Pro and ensures video ads are targeted and forecasted with a high degree of accuracy.

Adobe Advertising Cloud bridges the gap between traditional TV and digital video advertising, streamlining the ad planning and buying process, enabling deeper collaboration with creative agencies through dynamic creative optimization (DCO), and ensuring maximum brand safety for video ads with the most third party integrations in the industry.

Pricing and Availability

The new features for Adobe Creative Cloud announced at NAB are now available with the latest version of CC 2017, which is available for £708 ex VAT per user per year. You can find out more about Creative Cloud here, and more about Adobe Stock here.

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

NAB 2017: Avid announces strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft for the media and entertainment industry

NAB 2017: Avid announces strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft for the media and entertainment industry

Comprehensive multi-year agreement includes technology collaboration, co-development and go-to-market cooperation that will set the pace for the industry in bringing media enterprises, creative teams and individual artists into the cloud.

Companies will work closely together on cloud-based solutions and cloud services based on Avid’s market-leading creative tools and media workflow solutions, and Microsoft Azure cloud platform and media services

Avid, a leading global media technology provider for the creation, distribution, and monetisation of content for media organisations, enterprise users and individual creative professionals, today announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Microsoft Corp to cooperatively develop and market cloud-based solutions and cloud services aimed at the media and entertainment industry.

As part of the agreement, Avid has chosen Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud hosting platform, and will develop and launch a range of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media. A technology demonstration of the Microsoft Azure hosted Avid MediaCentral Platform with select Avid tools and media workflow solutions will be shown at the Avid booth during NAB 2017 (Booth #SU902).

With a cloud-based offering built on Avid’s portfolio of the industry’s best and most comprehensive creative tools and media workflow solutions, the strategic cloud alliance will enable media organisations and creative professionals to quickly and easily leverage the efficiencies, flexibility and agility that the cloud enables – made possible by Avid’s flexible approach to licensing, deployment and commercial options. The cloud will also enable innovation by the companies around new media workflows, new operational capabilities and new business opportunities. While Avid’s hosting and services offering will be based exclusively on Microsoft Azure, the company’s commitment to openness will allow customers to make their own cloud hosting decisions.

The foundation of the alliance is a comprehensive, multi-year strategic agreement in which both companies will make significant mutual commitments and investments in technology, product development and go-to-market efforts. Under the technology and product development cooperation elements of the agreement, to support Avid’s product development efforts and investments, Microsoft will invest additional resources and funding to help accelerate time-to-market for targeted cloud-based solutions and specific Azure-based cloud services for the media and entertainment industry. As part of the commercial cooperation, Avid will offer Microsoft Azure hosting and media services exclusively as an integral part of its own portfolio of cloud-based solutions and cloud services. In addition, the companies will work in close cooperation on the overall go-to-market approach, which will help clients migrate to the cloud easily and more cost-effectively, and allow them to work with both companies seamlessly.

“We at Avid are very pleased to be entering into this strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft, and believe this will be big for the industry, and even bigger for our clients. The combination of these two strong technology innovators will set the pace for the industry,” said Avid Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. “The depth and breadth of this technical and commercial collaboration will drive significant value for our mutual clients and help them successfully navigate their own journey to the cloud.”

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President – Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft Corp added, “With the industry’s preeminent global community of media enterprises and creative professionals that make up Avid’s client base, the company’s unique platform approach and its extensive domain knowledge, combined with our own powerful Azure cloud platform, we believe that this unique alliance is well-positioned to lead the media industry into the cloud. Microsoft is pleased to collaborate with such a market leader in media and entertainment, and feel strongly that together our companies will produce something powerful for the industry – creating an intelligent, media-savvy cloud solution.”

With a trusted company like Microsoft leveraging decades of enterprise experience to design a unique and unmatched enterprise cloud experience, combined with a full spectrum of capabilities and extensive media services available through 38 Azure regions across the globe – more than any other major cloud provider – Azure is exceptionally positioned to meet the needs of media enterprises and creative professionals across the globe. Azure provides flexible deployment options between public-cloud, private-cloud or on-premise datacenter, empowering media customers to plan their own migration in a way, and at a pace that best fits their specific needs.

“Our competitive evaluations of the leading cloud providers showed that Microsoft Azure is the most open, trusted and global cloud platform that also enables true hybrid-cloud computing—which we believe is very important to media enterprises. This will give our customers maximum flexibility to move at their own pace and orchestrate workflows across on-premise and cloud-hosted environments, which will unleash a new generation of capabilities for distributing and optimising media,” continued Hernandez Jr. “With Microsoft’s strategic alliance and our joint investments to accelerate cloud development and innovation, this cooperation will give our joint customers a competitive edge.”

Hernandez Jr added, “Avid is making a major play in the cloud, which is a significant step for the company. This represents the culmination of our Avid Everywhere vision and strategy for the industry, which will open up significant growth prospects for the company as it looks to maximise on the opportunities that the media industry’s migration to the cloud will unlock.”

The alliance between the companies is expected to deliver a continuous stream of hosting and services offerings over the next 18 months, with the first wave of offerings slated for a phased release during the second half of 2017.

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

Meet Sony’s new A team: PVM-A170 and PVM-A250

Meet Sony’s new A team: PVM-A170 and PVM-A250

 

It’s official – Sony have replaced their PVM-2541A and PVM-1741A monitors with the new PVM-A170 and PVM-A250. 

As well as being easier to spell, the A170 and A250 are 40% thinner and lighter than previous generations of PVM monitor, and boast the industry’s best viewing angle – a whopping 89 degrees.
The Sony PVM-A170

Sony's PVM-A170

The smaller of the two monitors, the 17″ PVM-A170 weighs just 4.2 kilos and is far slimmer than its predecessor, so while we don’t recommend that you carry it about, you could do if you needed to. Sony have been quick to point out that their new slimline design is perfect for on-set setups where space is at a premium, or for large ‘monitor wall’ configurations. If you’re worried about carrying it round, you can buy a protection kit that includes AR-coated protection glass and corner bumpers.

It’s got two 3G-SDI I/O ports, one HDMI port and a composite connection, and waveforms, vector scopes and audio level metres are all present and correct – you can even zoom from 0 to 20 IRE – all which supports Sony’s point that this is ideal for on-set monitoring. There are plenty of other useful features too, with colour edges to help camera focus operation, time code display, safety area markers, serial and parallel remote and an eight channel level meter display.

Sony's PVM-A170
The Sony PVM-A250

Sony's PVM-A250

The larger of the two monitors, the Sony PVM-A250 still manages to be 40% lighter and slimmer than its predecessor, weighing in at just 6.1 kilos. As with its counterpart, there is the option to add AR toughened glass and corner protection to keep your PVM-A250 in one piece. Those charming feet you see in the picture fold if you want to mount your PAM-V250, and there’s also a handle if you want to move it between locations, or use it for some impromptu weightlifting.

The PVM-A250 boasts all the scopes, waveform monitors, focus features and meters that the smaller model does, and continues to use Sony’s OLED and TrimasterEL technology to deliver high colour accuracy and consistency at a far lower price point than its competitors. There’s support for multiple input formats, including 480i, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p at frame rates between 23.98 and 60 fps.

Want to know more about Sony’s new PVM-A range? Give us a call on 03332 400 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Red Giant add Smart Start to PluralEyes 3.3

Red Giant add Smart Start to PluralEyes 3.3

One for PluralEyes and Shooter Suite users: Red Giant’s new update (which takes the software to versions 12.2 and 3.3 respectively) is available for free now, and gives you access to the new Smart Start feature. 

As Red Giant explain it, “whether adding a small set of files or importing multiple folders of multi cam files, the new Smart Start feature in PluralEyes 3.3 intelligently organises your media, so you can start synchronising sooner.” They tell us you can drag and drop entire folders without losing structures or names, which is always a plus as far as we’re concerned.

Other changes in the update include a new look and feel to the GUI, which is designed to streamline it and ensure your focus is drawn to where it’s needed, and support for the Canon C100 and Canon XF range, including spanned clips. The update is free for existing PluralEyes and Shooter Suite users.

You can download the update here or watch Red Giant’s Smart Start tutorial here:

Getting Started with Red Giant PluralEyes 3: SmartStart from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Want to know more about PluralEyes? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Workflows we love: Avid and DaVinci Resolve at Timeline TV

Workflows we love: Avid and DaVinci Resolve at Timeline TV

Timeline TV provide coverage for some of the world’s largest sporting events, including Wimbledon, the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France. Their Timeline North office in MediaCityUK doubles as a base of operations for some ambitious post work, with their first year in MediaCityUK seeing them take on a huge array of work with the BBC, as well as film projects and dubbing work. 

One of the latest projects to go through the facility was ‘Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racket’, an hour-long documentary for the BBC which chronicled Murray’s run up to Wimbledon 2013. Although Murray picked up injuries during the initial shoot and only returned to competition the day before the project was due to be completed, Timeline TV were able to pull together a final cut in record time thanks to a combination of Avid Symphony, Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Avid Pro Tools.

“The Andy Murray documentary was offlined on an Avid Symphony,” explains Eben Clancy, Timeline TV’s Post-Production Director and head of its MediaCityUK facility. “It was due to be onlined in Symphony too, but Andy won Queens the day before the deadline, so we had to extend the offline, which left us with very little time. We sent an AAF of an offline to DaVinci and contracted Chris Packman to grade it – he’s a big DaVinci supporter – while our editor, David Horwell, was still making final tweaks.”

After the final AAF was graded, the project then made a round trip back to Symphony for its final online edit, with a Pro Tools dub being carried out the same way. “Chris managed to grade, render and export an hour long doc in eight hours, which we were seriously impressed by,” says Eben.

His team have been using the same workflow to handle an extremely complex offline for BBC series Fierce Earth. “There are Sapphire effects and time warped shots throughout, plus graphics with nested pictures,” explains Eben, “but we’ve still been able to round trip an Avid AAF through DaVinci and grade every shot, even if we couldn’t always see the final result. The only real issue was the time warped shots. DaVinci could handle shots running at 500% or less, but we had shots running at 5000%. We had to do ‘video mixdowns’ of them and then they all worked smoothly, and we managed to grade seven episodes in two and a half days.

“The main benefit of Avid AAF and round tripping from Symphony to Resolve is that the final sequences came back into Avid with all the Sapphire plug-ins, nested shots etc perfectly in place. The edit was identical to the offline but the pictures being referenced were beautifully graded. Joy!”

Want to know more about your post workflow options? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Media Asset Management with axle and Avid

Let’s say you have this storage thing sorted. You’re got an amazing SAN, you’ve got nearline drives rumbling contentedly close by and the robot in your tape library couldn’t be happier. How are you actually going to keep track of all this stuff? Making sure you can find, manage and monetise assets wherever they are in your storage hierarchy is the job of your Media Asset Management system – and a good one will also help you get through ongoing jobs more efficiently. All the systems we can provide will help your creative and technical teams carry out day to day work more efficiently, so you can save money by automating workflows and ensure that you always deliver jobs on time.

axle

Released in 2012, axle allows you to take one of your facility’s Macs and turn it into a ‘media management and collaboration server’. What this means in practical terms is that it looks through any drives connected to the server, whether that’s the hard drive of each Mac or the contents of your server room, and indexes all the files on them. It then creates an online portal where you can browse every file, regardless of where it’s stored, and your users can preview low-res versions of documents, play back proxy videos, edit metadata and more. Even better, you can create different views of this portal, so people only see the files for work that’s relevant to them, and any clients you give a login to can only see files from their project. You can also save searches for quicker access to common groups of files (say, all the images tagged to a specific location, or everything shot with a certain type of lens).

While this may not sound like it’s that far above and beyond anything else out there, the great thing about axle is that it’s accessible from any device, from your iMac to your iPad to a client’s PC, so you can always access resources. And because everything is web-based, your users don’t have to spend time installing apps on their computers. You can export collections of clips straight to your editor, then view H.264 proxies of the result and flag anything you want to alter in those proxies, without having to have access to the editor yourself (this could work wonders on complex approval processes where you have a lot of non-creative parties to get sign off from).

Once you’re finished with a project, you can even arrange for axle to automatically move it to centralised archive storage – or the cloud, if you prefer to store things online – so everyone can access it if you ever need to reuse it, but it’s not taking up valuable space on your SAN. The project stays in the central index of files, so if you’re ever working on something similar the team will be able to see that some assets already exist, and hopefully save themselves some time and money by repurposing that work, rather than duplicating it.

Avid Interplay 

Interplay has been at the heart of large broadcast AVID environments for some time now, and has a reassuringly strong heritage. A enterprise scale system, it comprises all the components you need for news ingest and delivery straight to air, integrated archive and proxy management, and remote logging and editing. It may seem a daunting amount to take on at first, but you can actually start to harness the Interplay environment on a single server, and only scale up as and when your team are ready.

As Interplay has been designed to work seamlessly with your Media Composer workflow, it’s the perfect tool for managing your assets, projects, users and multi-platform delivery options from a single, central point. You can give your editors more time to cut (and spend less time ingesting and creating deliverables) by introducing lightweight Interplay Central clients to your facility – these act as a browser-based rough cut and project creation assist tool. You can then use the same interface to enable remote viewing and approvals by your clients, as well as allowing everyone to see existing assets while on set to ensure they have all the shots they need before wrapping for the day.

The remote capabilities of Interplay have been moved to the fore recently with the addition of Sphere. Using Interplay Sphere, a second server will dish up media to your remote Media Composer editors anywhere in the world as if they were at your main office, so you can provide a truly global, collaborative service that’ll cover long shoots abroad, journalists in the field or anyone who’s catching up on an edit while delayed on the train – all the while safe in the knowledge that your assets are being managed on your secure ISIS back at the facility.

If you want to see the rest of the Interplay iceberg, you can always call us on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or drop by stand F33 during BVE.

 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or visit us at stand F33 at BVE. To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook