IBC 2017: Blackmagic Design announce Ultimatte 12

IBC 2017: Blackmagic Design announce Ultimatte 12

12 months after acquiring the company, Blackmagic Design have announced Ultimatte 12, a new realtime hardware compositing processor for broadcast quality keying, adding augmented reality elements into shots, working with virtual sets and more. Ultimatte 12 is available immediately, and US pricing is $9,995 – we’ll confirm the UK price as soon as we can. Here’s the press release…

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Ultimatte 12 will be demonstrated at IBC 2017 on the Blackmagic Design booth in Hall 7, Stand 7 H.20.

The all new Ultimatte 12 is more than the world’s best keyer, it’s an advanced realtime compositing processor designed for the next generation of broadcast graphics. Ultimatte 12 features entirely new algorithms and colour science, incredible edge handling, greater colour separation, amazing colour fidelity and better spill suppression than ever before.

The advanced 12G-SDI design gives Ultimatte 12 customers the flexibility to work in HD today and switch to Ultra HD when they are ready. Customers get sub-pixel processing for amazing image quality and textures in both HD and Ultra HD. Plus it’s compatible with virtually all SD, HD and Ultra HD equipment, so customers can use it with the cameras they already have.

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Ultimatte 12 can create incredibly lifelike composites and place talent into any scene, working with both fixed cameras and static backgrounds, or automated virtual set systems. Imagine presenting the weather, sports, news and entertainment in a cinematic quality environment, all composited in real time. Ultimatte 12 is also perfect for on set pre-visualisation in television and film production because it lets actors and directors see the virtual sets they’re interacting with while shooting against a green screen.

Ultimatte 12 is designed to be affordable, so customers can use it on even more cameras to increase production quality. For example, when working on live shoots with multiple cameras shooting from different angles, it’s common for the green or blue screen to suffer from variations. The keyers built into live production switchers use the same keying parameters for all cameras, which complicates keying and image quality because each camera sees the green screen a little differently. Ultimatte 12 eliminates this problem with incredible new technology at an affordable price so it’s now possible to add keyers to every camera for the highest possible quality keys. With the power of a dedicated keyer on every camera, Ultimatte 12 is perfect for live broadcast news, weather, sports, virtual studios and more!

Augmented reality is becoming more and more popular. On air talent now interacts with glass like computer generated charts, graphs, displays and other objects with coloured translucency on virtually every broadcast television show. Adding tinted translucent objects is virtually impossible with a traditional keyer and the results customers see on television don’t look realistic. That’s because when blue or green is subtracted out of a semi-transparent tinted object, it changes the object’s original colour. Now, with Ultimatte 12, customers get a revolutionary new “realistic” layer compositing mode that can add tinted objects on top of the foreground image and key them correctly. This means that the object properly transmits the colours seen through it. Talent can even walk behind it and the tinted colours are accurately preserved, making the shot look completely realistic.

Ultimatte 12 also features one touch keying technology that analyses a scene and automatically sets over a 100 parameters so pulling great keys is easy without having to do a lot of extra work. Of course, customers still have to ensure the scene is well lit and the cameras are properly white balanced. One touch keying is dramatically faster and helps accurately pull a key with minimum effort, leaving operators free to focus on the program with less distractions, while Ultimatte 12 takes care of the rest.

The incredible new image processing algorithms, huge internal colour space, and automatic internal matte generation lets Ultimatte 12 work on different parts of the image separately. It’s like having the power of multiple Ultimatte keyers all working together on the same image. Fine edge detail is preserved where it’s needed the most, like on hair, and transitions between colours or other objects in the scene is completely smooth. Everything is handled by new math and sub pixel processing that’s designed for incredible quality and clarity in both HD and Ultra HD.

When it comes to color handling, Ultimatte 12, has new flare, edge and transition processing to remove backgrounds, without affecting other colors. The improved flare algorithms can remove green tinting and spill from anything, even dark shadow areas or through transparent objects. This means Ultimatte 12 can retain and faithfully reproduce colors that are impossible on other keyers, such as a bright yellow dress in front of a green screen. Unlike other keyers, Ultimatte 12 delivers crisp clear, photorealistic images with vibrant colours that pop!

Ultimatte 12 is controlled via Ultimatte Smart Remote 4, which is a touch screen remote that connects via Ethernet. Up to eight Ultimatte 12 units can be daisy chained together and connected to the same Smart Remote, so customers don’t have worry about adding a video router or hub. Smart Remote 4 features physical buttons for switching and controlling any attached Ultimatte 12. There are also buttons for quickly loading and saving presets, along with a touch screen that provides total control over every parameter. Customers can also create their own custom control solutions because Ultimatte 12 uses a simple, open text based protocol. Simply Telnet into Ultimatte 12, to start developing and testing custom solutions.

“Ultimatte has been the world’s highest quality broadcast keyer for 40 years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “We’re excited about taking this incredible technology to the next level! Ultimatte 12 is no longer just a simple keyer, it’s an Ultra HD realtime compositing engine designed specifically for the needs of today’s live broadcast, television and film production needs!”

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‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

NAB 2017: Blackmagic Design dramatically reduces price of Ultimatte 11

NAB 2017: Blackmagic Design dramatically reduces price of Ultimatte 11

Blackmagic Design today announced an immediate 60% price reduction for Ultimatte 11, which is available from Jigsaw24 now for only £8169 ex VAT. Acquired by Blackmagic Design in October, 2016, Ultimatte is the worldwide leader in blue and green screen removal technology for the broadcast television, commercial and feature film industries.

Now with this price reduction, customers can purchase three Ultimatte 11 units for a similar price to that which a single Ultimatte 11 cost when Blackmagic Design acquired the company. What this means is that customers can now put a full Ultimatte 11 on each camera and then use more cameras in a scene than was previously ever possible.

This also means that customers can use still frames as a background on each camera and leave the camera “locked off” so the result is customers can build their own virtual sets using multiple cameras, as more cameras on set eliminates the need to move cameras. This means simple still frame based virtual sets could be built affordably.

Ultimatte is known worldwide for delivering broadcast quality realtime blue and green screen removal hardware that is used in studios around the world to seamlessly composite reporters and talk show hosts into virtual sets. Almost every newscaster and weather reporter stands in front of a green or blue screen while delivering the news and weather. 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.

Ultimatte was founded in 1976 and has won an Emmy for their realtime compositing technology, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as an Oscar.

“Ultimatte’s realtime blue and green screen compositing solutions have been the standard for 40 years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Our efficient manufacturing capabilities have allowed us to drastically reduce the price of Ultimatte 11 by 60%. That means more customers will be able to afford more professional blue and green screen removal hardware for their studios than ever before!”

Availability and price

Ultimatte 11 is available now from Jigsaw24 for £8169 ex VAT.

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.

Ultimatte joins Blackmagic Design stable

Ultimatte joins Blackmagic Design stable

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.

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“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.

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

IBC 2016: Blackmagic Design acquires Ultimatte and Fairlight

IBC 2016: Blackmagic Design acquires Ultimatte and Fairlight

Not content with bringing Resolve to the masses and supporting the Cintel scanner, Blackmagic Design have announced that they’ve acquired Fairlight, specialists in 3D immersive audio mixing and finishing, and Ultimatte,  the excellently-named world leaders in blue and green screen removal. 

Fairlight

Fairlight has an impressive history of designing and manufacturing integrated audio control surfaces and software that are renowned for their speed, flexibility and exceptional sonic quality. Fairlight Live products feature consoles that are designed for the most demanding on-air and live productions, giving customers leading edge audio processing and control surfaces that range from 12 to 60 faders, along with audio I/O interfaces with full redundancy for mission critical work in broadcast facilities, outside broadcast trucks, performing arts venues and houses of worship.

For post production solutions, Fairlight creates everything from compact desktop audio post systems to large format mixing consoles with dedicated controls. Fairlight audio engines can deliver up to 1000 tracks which lets customers create complex productions without premixing, along with a massive 64 channels of monitoring.

Fairlight’s editing software and fully featured audio post consoles give customers complete tactile control along with unique features like time compression and expansion that allows audio within a single clip to be precisely aligned to picture. Designed for the film and television post production markets, Fairlight also creates immersive 3D audio workstations so customers can deliver 3D sound in formats such as 5.1, DTS MDA, Dolby Atmos, NHK’s 22.2 and more. Fairlight’s 3D audio workstations are large format mixers with complete support for both 2K and 4K video playback.

“Fairlight creates the world’s most powerful digital audio software and hardware for video production,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “The exciting part about this acquisition is that it will add incredibly high end professional audio technology to Blackmagic Design’s amazing video products. We look forward to working with the Fairlight team to build even more exciting new products for our customers!”

Ultimatte

Ultimatte is known worldwide for delivering broadcast quality compositing results that make virtual sets indistinguishable from real sets. Ultimatte creates realtime blue and green screen removal hardware that is used in broadcast studios around the world to seamlessly composite reporters, talk show hosts and more into virtual sets. Almost every newscaster and weather reporter stands in front of a green or blue screen while delivering the news and weather. For the past 40 years, Ultimatte has been the industry standard hardware or software responsible for keying these people in front of weather maps, stock charts, and other info graphics. In fact, many of these newscasters are using Ultimatte to place them 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.

Ultimatte was founded in 1976 and has won an Emmy for their realtime compositing technology, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as an Oscar.

“Ultimatte’s realtime blue and green screen compositing solutions have been the standard for 40 years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Ultimatte has been used by virtually every major broadcast network in the world. We are thrilled to bring Ultimatte and Blackmagic Design together, and are excited about continuing to build innovative products for our customers!”

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

Simple Chromakey Setups

Simple Chromakey Setups

Believable chromakey (or Chroma Key) is now not only reliable but, provided it’s used properly, is also pretty attainable in most situations. With this being the case, plenty of manufacturers have begun to produce chromakey kits, which is pushing the technology forward and the price down. So, with the reality that every studio is now able to have a decent and cheap chromakey set-up, the question is no longer “Can we afford a chroma key set-up?” but rather:

“How much should we pay for it and how should we use it properly?”

There are basically two types of chromakey set-ups available at the moment; traditional green screen and reflective. They both work on the same principle of creating super-imposed keys on just one colour channel, R, G, or B.  Green (sometimes blue) is normally chosen as it is a less common wardrobe choice and modern cameras are generally more sensitive to green, meaning a higher level of accuracy can be achieved. Green and blue are also considered the colours least like skin-tone.

The subject then stands in front of a matte background of the selected colour and the signal is altered to replace that colour with an alternative signal – a nice weather map for example!

The signal alteration can be done in post-production through software with various editing packages and plug-in software solutions, but for live productions the foreground and background video must be combined using a hardware keyer.

And there it is – it’s as simple as that! Well, sort of…

Back to the two main types of chromakey set-ups. In a traditional green screen set-up the subject is in front of a bright green background. Set up correctly, this can produce amazing results, provided there is good even lighting on the screen and at least 3 point lighting on the subject. As such it is well-suited to a permanent set-up in a spacious studio. Lastolite’s collapsible backgrounds are great for this. Vivid colours and a wide range of sizes are available, or you can simply paint the background with Chroma paint.

With a reflective chromakey setup, the subject stands in front of a background containing millions of glass micro-beads that reflect light put out from a ring of green (or blue) LEDs mounted around the camera lens. The previously grey screen then becomes green. To the eye, the screen doesn’t appear particularly green; the camera picks up the single frequency light emitted by the LEDs creating a pure green matte background. At close range this can give fantastic results. Predictably, with increased distance the light drop-off means the screen may start looking grey again but, in terms of budget solutions, this method really can’t be beaten.

Backgrounds come in all sizes and, perhaps more importantly, so do the rings – meaning that a ring can fit any lens you care to mount it on and if it doesn’t fit immediately then the supplied adapters will make sure it’s snug. One of the main advantages in this set up is that lighting is only required for the subject. As with a traditional green screen the subject will require the usual key, back and fill lighting, but unlike a traditional set-up the screen itself doesn’t require lighting at all.

With the option to switch between a blue and green light ring, you can easily change the colour used for your chromakey (just in case a guest arrives in the studio wearing a bright green jump suit…). All light rings come with a control box to adjust the level of light emitted, and all that remains is the “tuning” of the keyer into your setup.

For smaller cameras (72mm) the Datavideo CKL-200 kit is good value and produces great results for professional corporate videos or educational projects. It has the added benefit of changing between green and blue at the flick of a switch. However, the keyer only has composite in and out, so isn’t of the highest quality available.

For larger cameras and broadcast standard kit (still at an attainable price) the Reflecmedia kits are not to be sneezed at. With the option of collapsible backgrounds it makes putting up the kit a cinch and taking it down only slightly less so! The light rings come in small (72mm), medium (112mm) and large (147mm) and with the whole gamut of adapters for differing lenses.

The Ultimatte DV keyer supplied with these kits has not only composite in and out, but also DV in and out. Admittedly not at the same time, but with the onboard frame store, it’s possible to import the background required, store it, and then digitally output the keyed video unlocking a whole new level of quality for affordable and reliable chromakey.

With great solutions at low-end prices there’s now no reason to miss out on a chromakey set-up whatever situation you’re in, and for a simplicity on a budget the reflective set-ups are so user friendly it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Want to know more? Call us on 03332 400 222, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or take a look at our full broadcast range.