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: NewTek’s NDI For Adobe Creative Cloud applications

NAB 2016: NewTek’s NDI For Adobe Creative Cloud applications

At NAB 2016, NewTek today announced NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud, a software plug-in with NewTek’s groundbreaking Network Device Interface (NDI) technology. The NDI integration enables users of Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC and other Adobe Creative Cloud applications to send real-time video and audio to any NDI-enabled receiving product, such as production switchers or capture cards, across a standard Ethernet network.

With NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud, creators and producers can significantly accelerate their pre- and post- production pipelines, bypassing rendering and uploading of creative elements for a faster, more efficient delivery for content review and approval. It also allows teams in different locations to work together in one interface in real-time, making creative decisions collaboratively—and saving valuable time in the process.

The NDI integration for products in Adobe Creative Cloud also enables just-in-time editing workflows over IP for live production environments, such as news programs and live sporting events. Producers will be able to deliver edited content, including key and fill, directly from the Adobe Premiere Pro CC timeline into their production switcher for use on-air, without needing to render and push to playout servers.

“NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud transforms the workflows for Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC users by making creative elements visible on virtually any screen or any output on their local area network in full resolution,” said Michael Kornet, executive vice president of Business Development for NewTek. “The creative efficiencies plus time and cost savings to be gained is tremendous and represents a breakthrough across the board in all traditional pre-, live-, and post-production workflows. We are so excited to see how Adobe Creative Cloud customers will utilize the NDI integration to achieve things in ways that until now were unimaginable.”

“Adobe Creative Cloud users appreciate our advanced tools which help them be their most creative,” Sue Skidmore, head of partner relations, Adobe Pro Video. “NewTek NDI for the Adobe Creative Cloud plug in delivers the efficiency that content creators need to help them do great work in today’s fast-paced production environments. It also opens the door for editors and producers who want to bring the streamlined power of Adobe Premiere Pro CC into their live production workflows.”

NDI, the new standard for live production IP workflow, is bi-directional and backwards compatible with a large number of devices from top manufacturers already utilizing NewTek’s open standard allowing IP connectivity between devices. NDI is now available as a royalty free software developer kit (SDK) for any company looking to establish IP workflows within their organization, or in production tools and systems they manufacture.

Pricing and Availability

NewTek’s NDI plugin for Adobe Creative Cloud is available now as a download from NewTek’s site as a one-time purchase for $99 USMSRP.

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.

Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of DaVinci Resolve 12.1, which adds dozens of new features such as remote rendering, 10-bit viewers, new editing and colour correction tools, and more. The DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update is available now for both DaVinci Resolve 12 and DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio customers, and can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 12 is the most successful update in the history of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor. The feedback from the DaVinci Resolve community has been overwhelmingly positive and Blackmagic Design engineers have been hard at work to add even more of the features that professional editors and colourists have asked for.

DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update gives editors the ability to select clips when using the blade tool, extend freeze frames, use faders on generators and titles, perform negative timecode offsets, filter clips more efficiently, media manage groups of selected timeline clips, sort bins and footage more easily, create better filters for smart bins, and much more. Customers also get improved subclip support with Final Cut Pro 7 XMLs and improved audio rendering of audio transitions.

For colourists, DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds the ability to colour correct nested timelines and to decompose compound nodes along with new manual keyframe options for Power Windows, support for 3D stereo decision lists version 0.25, filtering of keyframed clips, the option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace and more.

In addition, the free DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds support for native display profiles on Mac OS X El Capitan, along with the option to enable 10-bit precision in the on screen viewers. That means customers using the new iMac with Retina P3 display will be able to see more colour, detail and dynamic range than ever before.

Since its release in September, the rapidly growing community of DaVinci Resolve 12 editors has meant that developers are now bringing their best and most exciting OpenFX plugins to DaVinci Resolve. For example, GenArts has been working with Blackmagic Design to bring new Sapphire Builder support to DaVinci Resolve 12.

Expected in an upcoming Sapphire 9.0.1 release, Builder will let DaVinci Resolve users combine Sapphire plug-ins together in any order to create a virtually unlimited number of unique effects and transitions. “DaVinci Resolve is the first OFX host to support Sapphire Builder!” said Sapphire product manager Brian Fox, “We’re very excited that DaVinci Resolve 12.1 users can benefit from all the new capabilities of Sapphire Builder.”

To support the growing momentum of DaVinci Resolve 12, Blackmagic Design has conducted multiple hands-on training sessions with the Motion Pictures Editor’s Guild in Hollywood. “I feel like DaVinci Resolve 12 is the NLE users have been waiting for all of these years,” said Noam Kroll, Los Angeles based filmmaker and editor whose feature film credits include The Grace Of Jake (2015), Shake The Dust (2014) and Footsteps (2012). “DaVinci Resolve 12 offers the same track based system that many editors are most comfortable with, but also provides truly innovative tools that feel very forward thinking.”

“Since it was released in September, DaVinci Resolve 12 has been downloaded by more customers than any other version of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “DaVinci Resolve is now used on virtually all major films, television shows and commercials! We’ve listened to feedback from professional editors and colourists and are excited to give them this free update which includes even more of the features they’ve been asking for!”

What’s new in DaVinci Resolve 12.1?

– Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio.
– Support for native display colour profiles on OS X.
– Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
– Ability to select clips when in blade mode.
– Support for faders on generators and titles.
– Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit.
– Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline.
– Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes.
– Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML.
– Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders.
– Auto scroll during timeline item resize.
– Improved sorting in media storage and media pool.
– Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type.
– Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view.
– Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems.
– Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager.
– Ability to decompose a compound node.
– Ability to grade nested timelines.
– Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes.
– Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking.
– Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte.
– User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace.
– Improved ACEScc support.
– Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25.
– Support for RED SDK v6.0.4.
– Support for embedding timecode in audio output.

Want to know more? 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.

We were proud sponsors at the Production & Post Forum

We were proud sponsors at the Production & Post Forum

If you were at BAFTA on Wednesday night, you might have spotted our Soho team cheering along – and you’ll have almost certainly seen our extremely subtle and not at all aggressive promotion of our new Soho office… 

Powered by Broadcast magazine, the Production & Post Forum brought together some of the industry’s leading lights to talk workflow, delivery standards, funding, career progression and how to make your footage look as cool as Peaky Blinders, among other things.

As well as plastering the place with our logo, bags, and drinks tickets (we like attention) we also sent along our M&E team to see what they made of things. Here’s what they had to report…

Kim Beard, Post-production Product Specialist

“Hugo Blick was worth getting into central London by 9am for, which is the best review you can give anyone. A lot of his talk focused on The Honourable Woman as it was his latest, and it was interesting to see the UK and US trailers side by side – they looked like they were for completely different genres. It was interesting to hear how he balanced having many masters – most of his productions run at a deficit and rely on international sales to make money, so he ends up answering to a lot of people – but still manages to have his own vision of each project.”

Lauren Irwin, M&E Marketing Manager

“Stephen Lambert spilling Gogglebox’s secrets was probably my favourite bit. I’ve never actually seen Gogglebox before the clips they showed us in the forum (which were hilarious – everyone was laughing). I guess I was quite pretentious about it and thought, “why would I watch someone watching television?” but it was really interesting to see the relationships and the fact that they hadn’t auditioned people, they’d found them by hanging around places and looking for the sort of people they wanted on the show. This seemed to be a running theme, too – Dan Adamson from Firecracker Films had gone with the same angle for their new show Quiz Night,  which films pub quizzes around the UK. It was just really great to hear that they’re creating more compelling television that their audiences can relate to.

“Seeing Richard Merrik set up a radio mic in three seconds was good too – a fast way to point out that it pays to get the professionals in because it is actually really hard to do (I know, I’ve had to muck around doing it at Uni and it is a nightmare with different clothing material).

“Gabriel Tate was a really compelling chair on the conversation with Hugo Blick and asked really engaging questions.”

What was your Forum highlight? Let us know @WeAreJigsaw24 or on our Facebook page. For more information about any of the tech you saw, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com 

 

Expansion pack brings new features to Autodesk 2014

Expansion pack brings new features to Autodesk 2014

It’s a good day to be an Autodesk user. Not only have the 3D giants revealed new features for their M&E range, they’ve also dropped the price of Entertainment Creation Suites and announced that you can upgrade to the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate for 20% less. 

Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Mudbox get new extensions for subscription customers

Not content with rolling out service packs left, right and centre, Autodesk are introducing new features to their core VFX and 3D applications. Highlights include the addition of Python scripting to 3ds Max, and 3ds Max users with an Autodesk Subscription can also log in to the Autodesk App Exchange to download a separate update that adds stereo camera viewing functionality.

Maya users should brace themselves for the arrival of Xgen, the program Disney and Pixar developed to make their award-winning range of animated hair, fur and feathers. Autodesk have had Xgen on an exclusive licence for a while now, but this is the first time we’ve seen it take centre stage in one of their biggest applications, and we could not be more excited.

Mudbox has received a refresh of its retopology toolkit, so you should find it easier to force topologically symmetrical results or to mix topological symmetry with spatial asymmetry. There’s also a new caliper tool that enables you to measure the distance between two points on a model or along a curve.

To be able to access these new features you’ll need an Autodesk Subscription. If you’re not a subscriber already, you can get in touch with our team over at Autodesk@Jigsaw24.com for advice on how to go about adding Subscriptions to your existing licences.

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

 

Are you using the right hardware for your Autodesk software?

Are you using the right hardware for your Autodesk software?

Whether you’re sculpting in Mudbox, animating characters in Maya, whipping up pre-visualisations in 3ds Max or drafting like billy-o in AutoCAD LT, some of the basics of what makes a good Autodesk workstation stay the same (stock up on RAM and pack in as many cores as possible), but with so many different software suites and qualified components out there, it can be difficult to work out which workstation is best for you. To help make things easier, here are our top tips for choosing Mac and PC workstations for your Autodesk software of choice… 

For AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT for Mac users

We have good news: virtually any Mac will run AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, from the beefiest of Mac Pros (ideal for handling big models quickly) to the smallest Mac mini (great for setting up freelancers with temporary desks, or if you want to take your setup with you to meet a client, as it’ll plug into any keyboard and display).

We know that a lot of users are sticking to their ageing Mac Pros in order to keep using NVIDIA Quadro 4000 or Quadro K5000 cards due to their higher fidelity, but the latest models have a huge amount to offer. With powerful 12-core CPUs on offer, the latest Mac Pro can help you create and navigate simulations far faster. The fact that the usual lumbering hard drive has been replaced by a fast, agile SSD means you’ll also be able to work with huge models far more efficiently.

If you’re really itching to customise your workstation, we’ll say it again: you can never have enough RAM. Get in touch with our team to find out how easy it is to pack your Mac with some extra memory.

For 3ds Max users

Autodesk 3ds Max 2014

If you’re working in a field like games development, odds are you’re using 3ds Max or a 3ds Max-based Entertainment Creation Suite (if you’re not, you might want to drop us a line…). You’ll want plenty of processing power, so we’d recommend opting for a 16-core HP Z820 for maximum responsiveness, although a high-spec Z620 will do the trick if you’re budget-conscious. While the new Mac Pros look promising, we’re still waiting for Autodesk to qualify a configuration, so if you need an interim Mac workstation go for a 27” Quad-core i7 3.4Ghz iMac with at least 8GB of RAM – preferably more.

If you invested in iMac before the latest Mac Pro was announced and are wincing at the cost of replacing them, remember that you can use the iMac screen as a second display and harness the internals as part of your rendering setup, meaning that artists can continue working on their Mac Pro while their iMac takes care of rendering work, rather than sitting and watching the progress bar.

When it comes to graphics, you need to bear in mind that Autodesk recently rewrote 3ds Max’s viewport engine, moving it over to DirectX from OpenGL. This means you’ll get faster performance for your money using gaming cards than you will using traditionally professional cards – which is great news for your wallet, and means you can design your work on the same card your end user will be playing it on.

One good choice for working with Autodesk software is NVIDIA’s 6GB GeForce GTX Titan, as it has the kind of stamina you usually only see in pro cards and so is least likely to melt under constant use. However, it’s not qualified yet and is also pretty expensive, so you might want to opt for Autodesk’s qualified card, the lower-spec 4GB GeForce GTX 680, which delivers a surprising amount of power for such an affordable card.

For Maya and Mudbox

For areas like graphics or post-production work, we’d typically recommend Autodesk Maya or a Maya-centric Entertainment Creation Suite (Autodesk’s Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate gets you Maya, 3ds Max, Motionbuilder, Mudbox, Softimage and Sketchbook Designer, so it’s a good option if you want to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality). The main difference between Maya and an application like 3ds Max is that you really need a NVIDIA Quadro card to get the best possible graphics performance. The Quadro drivers are optimised for Maya, and going for something like the ultra-powerful Quadro K5000 or the K2000 if you’re kitting out an assist station will give you the smoothest, most accurate viewport performance.

While we’re still waiting to hear how Autodesk plan to handle the dual GPU potential of the 2013 Mac Pro, if you need a Mac in an interim then your only real option is the top spec 3.4GHz i7 iMac, with 8 or 16GB of RAM depending on the size of project you think you’ll need to handle (this can always be repurposed as a combined second display and a render node if you decide to upgrade to a Mac Pro further down the line). For PC workstations, we’d recommend going no lower than an HP Z620 (ideally a Z820) with as many cores and as much RAM as you can pack in, as both will help you complete projects in the fastest possible time.

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

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.

 

What’s new in Media Composer 7?

What’s new in Media Composer 7?
Not content with saving us money by dropping the price, saving us time by upping the number of mind-numbing tasks that can be done in the background, improving our MAM and making it easier for us to work in hi-res, Avid have also tightened up Media Composer’s integration with Symphony, Interplay and Pro Tools. Here’s our round up of the key changes…

Automating the process of media management with Dynamic Media Folders
This new feature allows you to designate any folder on your machine as a Dynamic Media Folder and tell Media Composer to automatically copy, transcode or consolidate any files you drop into it. This accelerates and simplifies AMA tasks, as you can assign a profile to each folder to determine the format, resolution and destination of any files it works on. For example, you could drop 4K rushes into a folder, create HD DNx36 offline, transfer it to ISIS and start working with it immediately while the transcode happens in the background – you’ll receive a notification right on your timeline when the folder has finished its work. You can also automatically copy and relink to new media locations and check in to Interplay 3.0 without having to consolidate or transcode clips.

New codecs and improved AMA support
Avid’s quest to get you working with every format in Christendom continues in Media Composer 7, with AS-11 standard support and XAVC 2k/4k support both being added. The AMA workflow has been streamlined, too – linking media can now be taken care of in a single window, and you can drag and drop the clips you want to link to rather than generating new media. All your AMA media will now appear in the Media Tool panel so you can keep track of it, and you can relink, transcode or consolidate audio and video tracks separately. Any files with Alpha channels will retain them if they’re linked to (they appear as matte keys on your timeline).

Supporting AMWA standards for file-based delivery
Media Composer 7 sees Avid adding new tools to support project segmentation. They support the AS-11 delivery standard, and you can access your AS-11 file directly so that you can edit them without importing. Your segmentation will be displayed in the timeline, your metadata will show up in the right bin columns, and you’ll be able to export your AS-11 files in a single multi-essence OP1-A MXF file. There’s also AS-02 support for anyone looking to manage multi-version master files as a single bundle. You can create and manage the file essences of J2K, DNxHD, 1:1, AVC-I and IMX files, too.

Colour Space Conversion
1D and 3D LUT and CDL support is now built in throughout your Media Composer workflow, allowing you to manage, preserve, create and output colour metadata, convert colour spaces in real time, bulk modify clips, apply custom LUTs from other apps such as DaVinci Resolve and auto-convert clips to their proper colour space using their metadata. Your clips’ colour info will now appear right in the media bin, and taking a hint from the increasing popularity of node-based editing in other post apps, Avid are now letting you change the order in which multiple colour transforms are added to a clip.

Free edit stations from rendering with Avid’s new background transcode engine
As we mentioned earlier, you can now transcode, consolidate and copy clips in the background. Avid’s background transcode engine leverages not only your computer’s CPU but the power of any platforms you’re connected to (an Interplay Sphere environment for example) in order to process transcoding jobs with the least possible impact on your system performance. You can manage jobs simply using the new Process List, which allows you to cancel, pause and prioritise tasks, as well as monitor their progress.

Converting high res to HD with Frame Flex 
Frame Flex is a cunning new feature that enables easy pan and scanning of high res images so that you can cut an HD frame out of a 2K or 4K shot in order to deliver that media straight to HD. All you do is use a simple framing selection tool to choose the area of the clip you want to keep (you can check what it will look like in a source monitor UI). You shot is then cut down to size, and you can keyframe it, animate it using pans and zooms, use the same settings to bulk modify clips and then output them via Avid I/O or an Open I/O supported third party solution.

Improving your audio workflow
Last but not least, Avid have also given Media Composer’s audio workflow a boost. As the improved integration with Pro Tools and its new video engine suggests, the emphasis is on making audio for post workflows as seamless as possible and saving you valuable time. You can now cache audio waveforms and instantly redraw them on the timeline or at the source. The waveforms are stored at project data level and associated with a user, not a project, so you can have your own cache rather than working from a centrally stored one. You can also make gain adjustments on the timeline simply by clicking and dragging a clip’s gain, and there’s even an audio mixer UI that you can call up right on the timeline.

Symphony and Interplay
Media Composer will run on Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8,  Windows 7  and Windows 8. If you have ongoing projects, don’t worry – you’ll now be able to roll back to the previous version of your software if you need to. If you opt for Media Composer 7 with Symphony option, you’ll get a 30 day free Symphony trial in-app, complete with Boris Continuum Complete, and if you decide to upgrade, all you need to do is enter the upgrade key Avid provide. Once you have your Symphony licence, you’re free to move it between systems, so your artists aren’t tied to one machine.

One thing you need to bear in mind is that Media Composer 7 comes in two versions – a standard version and an Interplay version. As the name suggests the Interplay edition is the only one that’s capable of integrating into a full Interplay environment, and as a result costs £380 extra (unless you’re an academic  – the standard price education version of MC7 is Interplay-capable. You also get some exclusive networked licensing options). However, you can upgrade from the standard to the Interplay edition for just £359 ex VAT, so if you’re thinking of moving to Interplay or are not sure how many of your users will require access to it, we’d recommend starting out with basic licences and then upgrading as many as you need when you’re ready to head over to Interplay.

You can buy Avid Media Composer 7 now on our site. If you’d like to know more, 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

Telestream Episode 6.4 is here!

Telestream Episode 6.4 is here!

Telestream have just announced the arrival of Episode 6.4 – a free update to Episode, Episode Pro and Episode Engine v6 encoding solutions. The goal for this latest release? To make it easier for you to integrate Episode Engine into your workflow and handle high volume workflows.

Episode v6.4: the highlights

This latest update is optimised for higher volume workflows, so anyone who’s thinking of upgrading to Pro or Engine from their current Episode setup should definitely give it a look. It adds support for .SCC and H.264 web captions, allowing you to insert closed caption data into MPEG3 and H.264 video streams – you can also add CLAP data to .MOV outputs. A new video rotate filter adds more filters to your inbox, allowing your to rotate source footage 90 degrees or 180 degrees, and flip it horizontally or vertically.

Workflow-wise, the most pleasant addition is the fact that you can now recreate sub-folders scanned via a monitor within the deployment root folder, and automatically mirror folder structures. There are also 20 levels of priority in Episode 6.4 versus three in Episode v6.3, while your workflow history, workflow displays, maximum bandwidth control and API performance have all been given a bit of a spruce.

Take a look at the full Episode 6.4 release notes here

Download Telestream Episode 6.4

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

Avid extend ISIS trade-in and add new Final Cut seat swap scheme

Avid extend ISIS trade-in and add new Final Cut seat swap scheme

Anyone who thought they’d missed the deadline to take advantage of Avid’s ISIS shared storage trade-in offer, which lets your trade in your existing Unity or LANshare seats for discounts on ISIS units, will be pleased to hear that the deadline has been extended.

Avid ISIS 5000

You now have until March 15th 2013 to hand over your old shared storage and receive a shiny new Avid ISIS 5000 in return, complete with FlexDrive resource management, support for simultaneous access to shared files and compatibility with Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro in case any of your artists need to retain their non-Avid workstations.

However, if you’ve decided to leave FCP for Media Composer, you’ll be pleased to hear that anyone who’s crossgraded ten or more seats can now get themselves an ISIS 5000-32TB Primary engine with a year of ExpertPlus support and hardware support from Avid for just £35,900 ex VAT. Alternatively you can get an ISIS 5000-32TB Primary Engine with a year of Elite support for £36,900 ex VAT if you’re prone to breaking things and would prefer to have more comprehensive cover.

Not ready for shared storage? 

Get Avid Symphony and Mojo DX for £3999 ex VAT

Get Avid Symphony and Nitris DX for £5799 ex VAT

You can also pick up a great deal on individual seats of Symphony. Pick up Symphony 6.5 with a Mojo DX for just £3999 ex VAT (that’s 40% off!) or with a Nitris DX for just £5799 ex VAT (also 40% less than usual). That means you get all the functionality of Media Composer, plus secondary colour correction tools, the Boris Continuum Complete plug-in collection, universal mastering tools and your choice of reliable I/O device, all without making your accountant weep. Who says no to that?

Want to know more about Avid Symphony or the ISIS 5000? 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