By Simon Ray
Head of Operations and Engineering
Goldcrest Post, London
Today is picture day, and I definitely earned my expenses. A day full of meetings and demos that were all interesting and enlightening in their own ways. Quantel was first. They were showing us the new features in the Pablo Rio, which is their top of the range picture finishing system which now runs on readily available hardware. This differs from their previous systems which ran on their own proprietary hardware. Pablo Rio has some great features (and a lousy name) and performs well at 4k and beyond. I also like their Neo Grading Panel which makes a client think the suite looks worth the money! As I am looking at ways of keeping workflows fluid and efficient, they showed some good solutions for flexible working between systems and rooms. They have a big stand, set over two floors with a cinema screen and lots of workstations to stand around. Free beer! Stand rating: *****.
A Baselight visit was squeezed in between Quantel and Mistika, but we had a good demo of the new 4.4 features. There were some nice changes that made some of the things that were previously a bit awkward work much more smoothly and there is the addition of a render queue. I still like the look of the Baselight panel more than any of the others. Not being a colourist I cannot say which one works the best, but the Baselight one definitely looks the money. Even the new smaller panel looks great. Baselight have a medium sized stand set alongside a walk way with a few small system set up for demo. Helpful and knowledgeable people Stand rating: ***.
SGO is a company that always seems to be coming up with cool stuff and they have done it again with the launch of Mamba, which is a node-based VFX toolset that includes compositing, keying, tracking, painting and restoration. Mamba looks like it integrates really well into the Mistika finishing system and this then expands the possibilities of a Mistika based solution within a facility in many ways. I really like the Mistika. It is a powerful platform with a great feature set. I also like their philosophy of selling the storage (which is a widely used StorNext system) alongside the workstation as a whole solution. They are saying that consideration of infrastructure is as important as your choice of software and have made every effort to build that into the Mistika package. I thought about describing the slickness of their workflow and how easy it is to share information between systems and projects etc, but that would get boring quite quickly, sound over complicated and not do it justice. The best thing to do is to go and see it, it works really well. SGO have a medium sized stand, with a nice private room and a few demo systems set up to see. Stand rating: **** 1/2 (half a star for the best selection and speedy distribution of free beverages).
Something else that works really well and impressed my colleague from New York was the Penta broadcast monitors and particularly the set up of their stand. They were one of the few monitor exhibitors to have all of their displays, from the smallest to the largest (55”), next to each other, with the same programme showing on them all so it was easy to compare the quality and calibration between the different sizes of screen. It was amazing how closely they all matched. If you are doubt about which monitor is the most accurate and easiest to keep calibrated or even what display technology you should be considering for broadcast colour accuracy you should speak to Branko from Penta, he makes a very compelling argument for his displays and the technology they use! When you are at the stand the proof is right in front of you. Nice open stand, everything in front of you, demonstrates exactly what you are there to see. Stand rating: *****.
The thoughts and opinions here don’t necessarily reflect those of postPerspective.