Tag Archives: Codex

Collaboration company Pix acquires Codex

Pix has reached an agreement to acquire London-based Codex, in a move that will enable both companies to deliver a range of new products and services, from streamlined camera capture to post production finishing.

The Pix System  is a collaboration tool that provides industry pros with secure access to production content on mobile devices, laptops or TVs from offices, homes or while traveling. They won an Oscar for its technology in 2019.

Codex products include recorders and media processing systems that transfer digital files and images from the camera to post, and tools for color dynamics, dailies creation, archiving, review and digital asset management.

“Our clients have relied on Pix to protect their material and ideas throughout all phases of production. In Codex, we found a group that similarly values relationships with attention to critical details,” explains Pix founder/CEO Eric Dachs. “Codex will retain its distinct brand and culture, and there is a great deal we can do together for the benefit of our clients and the industry.”

Over the years, Pix and Codex have seen wide industry adoption, delivering a proven record of contributing value to their clients. Introduced in 2003, Pix soon became a trusted and widely used secure communication and content management provider. The Pix System enables creative continuity and reduces project risk by ensuring that ideas are accurately shared, stored, and preserved throughout the entire production process.

“Pix and Codex are complementary, trusted brands used by leading creatives, filmmakers and studios around the world,” says Codex managing director Marc Dando. “The integration of both services into one simplified workflow will deliver the industry a fast, secure, global collaborative ecosystem.”

With the acquisition of Codex, Pix will expand its servicing reach across the globe. Pix founder Dachs will remain as CEO, and Dando will take on the role of chief design officer at Pix, with a focus on existing and new products.

Panasonic and Codex team on VariCam Pure targeting episodic TV, features

At IBC in Amsterdam, Panasonic is showing its new cinema-ready version of the VariCam 35, featuring a jointly-developed Codex recorder capable of uncompressed, 4K RAW acquisition.

The VariCam Pure is the latest addition to the company’s family of pro cinematography products. A co-production between Panasonic and Codex, it couples the existing VariCam 35 camera head with a new Codex V-RAW 2.0 recorder, suited for episodic television shows and feature films.

The V-RAW 2.0 recorder attaches directly to the back of the VariCam 35 camera head. As a result, the camera retains the same Super 35 sensor, 14+ stops of latitude and dual native 800/5000 ISO as the original VariCam 35.

Panasonic VariCam Pure“The new VariCam Pure camera system records pure, uncompressed RAW up to 120 fps onto the industry-standard Codex Capture Drive 2.0 media, already widely used by many camera systems, post facilities and studios,” said Panasonic senior product manager Steven Cooperman. “There is significant demand for uncompressed RAW recording in the high-end market. The modular concept of the VariCam has enabled us to meet this demand. We’ve also listened to feedback from cinematographers and camera operators and ensured that the VariCam Pure is rugged, compact and lightweight, weighing just 11 pounds.”

Codex will provide a dailies and archiving workflow available through its Production Suite. In addition, the Codex Virtual File system means users can transfer many file formats, including Panasonic VRAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR.

Along with the original camera negative, frame-accurate metadata (such as lens and CDL data) can also be captured, streamlining production and post, and delivering time and cost savings.

The V-RAW 2.0 recorder for VariCam Pure is scheduled for release in December 2016 with a suggested list price of $30,000.

NAB: Codex Production Suite 4.5 for ingest to post, VR camera rig

At NAB 2016 in Las Vegas, Codex introduced its Codex Production Suite 4.5, an all-in-one software package allowing the color grading, review, metadata management, transcoding, QC and archiving of media generated by the most widely used digital cinema cameras. Codex Production Suite 4.5 provides one workflow for multiple types of cameras — from Arri Alexa 65 to GoPro — from ingest to post.

Codex Production Suite is available on a variety of platforms, including Mac Pro and MacBook Pro as well as Codex’s own hardware: the S-Series and XL-Series Vault. Codex worked closely with their customers on this product, DITs in particular, providing them the tools they need to deliver color-accurate, on-set or near-set dailies and to securely archive camera-original material in one workflow.

The new features of Codex Production Suite 4.5 include non-destructive, CDL-based color grading, enabling the creation, modification and safe communication of looks from on set to editorial and the final DI color session, and import and processing of externally-created CDLs/LUTs, so looks can be applied overall or shot-by-shot. Looks can be baked into editorial dailies or appended in the metadata of deliverables, and dailies can be viewed as intended by the DP.There is seamless integration with Codex Live for a consistent color pipeline from camera through to deliverables and beyond, and also with Tangent panels for grading purposes. There is a full, end-to-end ACES-compliant color pipeline; audio sync toolset, enabling the import of WAV files, playback of shots in a proxy window. Finally, there is synchronization of audio files to shots, based on timecode.

Codex has also introduced a new pricing model: customers can purchase the software only, buy Codex Dock (Thunderbolt) with free software, and gain access to Codex’s workflow and technical support, with free upgrades, through Codex Connect.

Virtual Reality Camera Rig
Also on the Codex booth at NAB was a pretty cool VR camera rig built by LA-based Radiant Images, using 17 Codex Action Cams. Codex Action Cam is a tiny camera head shooting up to 60fps. It uses a 2/3-inch single-chip sensor, with a global shutter, capturing 12-bit RAW, 1920×1080 HD images, at a dynamic range of 11-stops. The camera head connects to the Codex Camera Control Recorder, and is capable of recording two HD streams via a coax cable of up to 50m.

“We quickly realized that Codex Action Cam could help us get to the absolute sweet spot in the equation of making a new, cinematic VR system,” says Radiant Images co-founder Michael Mansouri. “As it captures 12-bit uncompressed RAW, it has the necessary resolution, dynamic range and pixels-per-degree for future-proof VR, and the images are very clean. It has global shutter control too, and the cameras can be genlocked together. Out of all of the lenses we tested, we liked the Kowa 5mm PL Mount. This lens combination with the Codex Action Cam sensor is equivalent to a 14mm in Super 35mm. Although you cannot immediately fit filters, we quickly machined fittings to take ND and other filters. There were few compromises or limitations.”

The final design of the Headcase Cinema Quality VR 360 Rig was made by Radiant’s director of engineering, Sinclair Fleming. It was an iterative process, taking 27 revisions. The result uses 17 Codex Action Cams, in a spherical array, for 360-degree recording with nine recorders. The camera head measures 13 inches wide and 15 inches high, weighing 16 pounds.

DP John Seale on capturing ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

This film vet goes digital for the first time with Alexa cameras and Codex recorders

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth movie in writer/director George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action franchise and a prequel to the first three. It is also the first digital film for Australian cinematographer John Seale ASC, ACS, whose career spans more than 30 years and includes such titles as The English Patient (for which he won an Oscar), The Mosquito Coast, Witness, Dead Poets Society and Rain Man.

Facing difficult conditions, intense action scenes and the need to accommodate a massive number of visual effects, Seale and his crew chose to shoot principal photography with Arri Alexa cameras and capture ArriRaw on Codex onboard recorders, a workflow that has become standard among filmmakers due to its ruggedness and easy integration with post.

Warner Bros.’ Fury Road, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, was shot in Namibia. The coastal deserts of that African country are home to sand dunes measuring 1,000 feet high and 20 miles long. Frequent sandstorms and intense heat required special precautions by the camera crew.

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“I’d shot plenty of film-negative films in deserts and jungles under severe conditions, but never digital,” notes Seale. “So I was a bit worried, but I had a fantastic crew of people who had done that… had worked with digital cameras in jungles, deserts, dry, heat, wet, moist, whatever. They were ready and put together full precaution kits of rain covers, dust covers and even heat covers to take the heat off the cameras in the middle of the day.

“We were using a lot of new gear.” Seale adds. “Everything that our crew did in pre-production in Sydney and took to Namibia worked very, very well for the entire time. Our time loss through equipment was minimal.”

Seale’s crew was outfitted with six Arri Alexas and a number of Canon 5Ds, with the latter used in part as crash-cams in action sequences. The Alexas were supported by 11 Codex on-board recorders. The relatively large number of cameras and recorders helped the camera crew to remain nimble. While one scene was being shot, the next was being prepped.

“We kept two kick cameras built the whole time and two ultra-high vehicles rigged the whole time,” explains camera coordinator Michelle Pizanis. “When we when drove up (to a location) we could start shooting, rather than break down the camera at one site and rebuild it at the next.”

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John Seale on location shooting Mad Max: Fury Road.

The original Mad Max is remembered for its gritty look. Fury Road took a different route due to the film’s heavy use of visual effects. “The DI and the post work is so explicit; almost every shot is going to be manipulated in some way,” Seale explains. “Our edict was ‘just shoot it.’ Continuity of light wasn’t really a question. We knew that the film would be cut very quickly, so there wouldn’t be time to analyze every shot. Intercutting between overcast and full sun wasn’t going to be a problem. On this film, the end result controlled the execution.”

In order to provide maximum image quality and flexibility for the post team, Seale and his crew chose to record ArriRaw with the Alexa cameras. That, the cinematographer notes, made Codex an obvious choice as only Codex recorders were capable of reliably capturing ArriRaw.

“The choice to go with Codex was definitely for the quality of the recording and post-production considerations,” says Seale. “Once again, we were a little worried about desert heat and desert cold. It changes so much from night to day. And during the day, we had dust storms, dust flying everywhere. We sometimes had moisture in the air. But the Codex systems didn’t fail us.”

Shooting digitally with Codex offered an advantage over shooting on film as it avoided the need to reload cameras with film negative in the blowing winds of the desert. “There is a certain amount of paraphernalia needed to shoot digitally,” Seale says. “But our crew was used to that. They built special boxes to put everything in. They had little fans. They had inlet and outlet areas to keep air circulation going. Those boxes were complete. Cables came out and went to the camera. If we were on the move, the boxes were bolted down so that they were out of the way and didn’t fall off. Sometimes we sat on them to get our shot.”

FURY ROAD

RF interfaces were used with the Alexa cameras to transmit images to a command vehicle for monitoring by director George Miller, who was not only able to review shots, he could edit material to determine what further coverage was needed. “For George, it was a godsend,” says Seale. “That refined the film shooting and made it a lot quicker than the normal procedures.”

It was that sort of flexibility that made shooting with Alexa and Codex so appealing, adds Seale. “I was a great advocate of digital 10 or 15 ago when it started to come in. Film negative is a beautiful image recording process, but it’s 120 years old and you get scratches and dead flies caught in the reels. It’s pretty archaic.

“I think the way digital has caught on is extraordinary. Its R&D is vertical, where film development has stopped. The ability of digital to record images coupled with the DI, where you can change it, manipulate it, allows you do anything you like. I know with Mad Max, it won’t look anything like a ‘good film image’ and it won’t look anything like a ‘good digital image’ — it will look like its own image. I think that’s the wonder of it.”

Director George Miller recently appeared at Comic-Con and seems to agree with Seale, “It was very familiar,” he said about returning to the Mad Max world. “A lot of time has passed. Technology has changed. It was an interesting thing to do. Crazy, but interesting.”

Post vet Brian Gaffney joins Codex as VP of biz dev

Codex has hired long-time post industry veteran Brian Gaffney at its VP of business development. He is based at Codex’s LA office and heads up Codex’s business development efforts across the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.

Gaffney comes to Codex from Technicolor, where he was product manager for Technicolor’s Advanced Production Technology Group in development of cloud-based workflows. He joined Technicolor in 2006 when his company Creative Bridge, a provider of on-set digital lab services, was acquired. Gaffney was then named VP of Technicolor’s On Location Services. With Technicolor/Creative Bridge, he worked on over 100 projects using the DP Lights on-set color correction system, including Iron Man 3, where he worked alongside cinematographer John Toll, ASC. Earlier in his career Gaffney worked at Turbo Squid, MTI Film and Autodesk, where he was responsible for sales of the Discreet product line in the Americas.

“Brian has deep roots in both VFX and on-location services. This combination, along with his recent experience in cloud-based services, makes him ideal for this new position at Codex, which we’ve created to support the continued expansion of our product line,” explains Marc Dando, managing director of Codex.

‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’ TV series using ArriRaw/Codex workflow

ABC’s Agent Carter, the newest television series from Marvel, has been getting great reviews and lots of eyeballs. It is also using a distinctive production workflow — footage is captured on Arri Alexa XTs, and ArriRaw is being used for main unit photography.

In order to enable this workflow, Codex has provided digital recording for director of photography Gabriel Beristain’s cameras, and has consulted with visual effects supervisor Sheena Duggal on the lens mapping, to assist VFX production.

The show, which is set in the 1940s, focuses agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) a secretary who has been recruited by Howard Stark to take on secret missions. One episode is produced over the course of eight days, with roughly half shot on stages and half at Los Angeles locations that double for the show’s ‘40s New York setting.

The use of ArriRaw on Agent Carter is typical of Beristain (Magic City, Dolores Claiborne, The Spanish Prisoner, The Ring Two, Blade: Trinity), who was also among the first to pair vintage glass and Alexa XT digital cameras for a television series. On Marvel’s Agent Carter, Beristain worked without a DIT, saying that the Codex/ArriRaw workflow has allowed him to focus on aesthetics and stay involved with the cast.

“It’s analogous to the film system in some ways, where I know how my negative is going to behave,” says Beristain. “It’s going back to a system that always worked really well for us, and we’re getting phenomenal results. Codex recording technology provides us with the technology to capture everything, and get the best possible image.”

The Codex/ArriRaw workflow also helps with post and the VFX shots. Over the course of the eight-episode season, an estimated 1,000 visual effects shots will be created. ILM, Base Effects and Double Negative are working on the show.

“It was always our intention that the VFX should look photorealistic and seamless and, since we had already done a Marvel One-Shot short, the bar was set to a high standard,” explains Duggal (Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games). “The challenge was how to create large volumes of photorealistic VFX shots, at Marvel-feature-quality, but on a network TV post schedule, which ranges from 16 to 20 days, once the picture is locked.

“Gabby decided that we should shoot ArriRaw to capture the best quality images, something that had not been done for network TV before, to my knowledge,” continues Duggal. “And when it came to camera shooting formats, we decided together that we would like to shoot open gate for the VFX plates and 16:9 for the non-VFX shots. I consulted with Codex and we came up with camera graticules and a VFX workflow for the image extraction. I had also been working on a lens mapping initiative with Codex, and camera rental house Otto Nemenz, to map the lenses for VFX, and I’m happy to say that we implemented this for the first time on Marvel’s Agent Carter.”

Codex offering compact camera-to-post package Action CAM

London — Codex  will be at NAB 2014 with Action CAM, an ultra-compact, all-in-one, digital cinema camera and recording package for 2D and 3D stereo production — it is scheduled to ship this summer.

Codex Action CAM, designed as an action/POV camera for use on spots, television and film productions, is an high-definition shooting, capture, transcoding and data management solution for situations that need a small camera with low weight.

Codex Action CAM is capable of shooting RAW at up to 60fps and resolves the common Continue reading

Jens Rumbert joins Codex as director of product strategy

London — Codex has hired Jens Rumberg as its new director of product strategy. Rumberg brings over a decade of experience in motion picture image-science, digital camera and workflow development to Codex, and will focus on developing the company’s current and next-gen product ranges for motion picture and high-end TV production and post.

He comes to Codex (www.codexdigital.com) following a 10-year stint in senior technology — roles at Arri, Germany. He was most recently the technical supervisor of Arri’s popular Alexa XT digital cinema camera, whose pioneering in-camera recording and workflow capabilities were developed in collaboration with Codex.

Rumberg studied solid-state physics at The Technical University, Berlin, and completed a PhD in experimental physics at Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand. He then worked in high-precision, optical measurement systems, and executive produced the sci-fi short Invasion Of The Planet Earth, before joining Arri in 2004 as senior software architect on the ArriScan film scanner team.

In 2009, Rumberg headed Arri’s software development team for the Alexa digital cinema camera system, and became overall project leader after the product started shipping in 2010. In this role he was responsible for the on-going development of the Alexa Studio and Alexa Plus camera platforms, which included the introduction of high-quality recording at high frame-rates (HFR), and the implementation of DNxHD and ProRes codecs.

Rumberg went on to become Alexa’s primary contact for strategic technical partnerships, with companies such as Apple and Intel. In 2012 he was technical supervisor for the Alexa XT project. Working closely with Codex to develop and bring the Alexa XT successfully to market, this latest addition to the Alexa family ushered in uncompressed ArriRaw recording at up to 120fps.

“The digital media landscape is constantly evolving, and Codex is constantly looking at new technologies and technology partnerships that further streamline and enhance production and post production processes for feature and TV production,” said Marc Dando, managing director of Codex. “Jens’ addition to the Codex team, who he already knows through successful collaboration, is a perfect fit and gives added momentum to our product strategy as the company moves forwards with these goals in sight.”

Codex recording and workflow technology has been used on hundreds of motion picture productions worldwide. Recent and upcoming releases to rely on Codex products include: Prisoners, The Wolf Of Wall Street, All Is Lost, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, A Winter’s Tale, Gravity, Need For Speed and The Book Thief.