Tag Archives: DITs

Lowepost offering Scratch training for DITs, post pros

Oslo, Norway-based Lowepost, which offers an online learning platform for post production, has launched an Assimilate Scratch Training Channel targeting DITs and post pros. This training includes an extensive series of tutorials that help guide a post pro or DIT through the features of an entire Scratch workflow. Scratch products offer dailies to conform, color grading, visual effects, compositing, finishing, VR and live streaming.

“We’re offering in-depth training of Scratch via comprehensive tutorials developed by Lowepost and Assimilate,” says Stig Olsen, manager of Lowepost. “Our primary goal is to make Scratch training easily accessible to all users and post artists for building their skills in high-end tools that will advance their expertise and careers. It’s also ideal for DaVinci Resolve colorists who want to add another excellent conform, finishing and VR tool to their tool kit.”

Lowepost is offering three-month free access to the Scratch training. The first tutorial, Scratch Essential Training, is also available now. A free 30-day trial offer of Scratch is available via their website.

Lowepost’s Scratch Training Channel is available for an annual fee of $59 (US).

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.

Assimilate Scratch 8.4 targets DITs, post workflows

Assimilate’s latest version of Scratch is now available. Scratch 8.4 is offering new features such as ACES Log, support of the new 10-bit deep-color option in the latest version of OS X, bi-directional editing and improved online content review. According to company CEO Jeff Edson, their goal is “developing realtime tools and a workflow that DITs, post artists and all filmmakers need,” at an affordable price. Scratch 8.4 is available at a range of price points, from $60 per month to $650 per year. Site licenses are also available.

“We provide an extensive toolset for DITs so they can easily work with multiple formats,” says Edson. “They can also do everything, from simple jobs to expanding their skill set to color grade on set, collaborate on looks with DPs, do visual previews and create deliverables. And now with Scratch Web they can do cloud-based, realtime reviews as well.”

The new ACES log-grading option, they say, makes working in ACES as easy as working in any other log-space media. ACES Log gives the Scratch grading tools a more natural feel and response when working with ACES clips, and there’s no need to convert media or add steps to an ACES workflow. Users can just set the Scratch project to use ACES Log, and the Scratch color-space management will take care of any required transforms.

Scratch 8.4 also offers increased conform flexibility so users can now import a partial timeline from an EDL, AAF or XML project and use placeholders for any missing media, all while preserving all the metadata from the conform file. They can easily replace the placeholders at a later time, when the missing media becomes available.

There is an enhanced noise generator in this new version, which enables better blending of composite elements from different sources into the main scene. Another update includes a new video wall option, which allows users to quickly view and compare a series of versions of a single shot, or compare multiple shots within a timeline in one view. With the new right-view option, they can display all versions on a reference screen or projector for the client and update in realtime while continuing to work on the individual shots on their main UI display. Enhanced XML scripting options let users further extend and integrate Scratch with other tools to create an advanced and fully automated processing pipeline. Additional multilingual options are also available, so in addition to a simple switch from an English to Chinese UI, Scratch now has bidirectional editing capabilities for text in Arabic, Hebrew or other bidirectional languages. This feature is useful for entering any metadata in a Scratch project, as well as for rendering subtitles or adding burn-in text onto output.

The company also announced new features for Scratch Web, including:

– A quick-link option to create a direct link to a publication. Users can restrict that link with an expiration date or protect it with a password.
– The ability end links to clients for content review. The client does not need a Scratch Web account.
– Customizable subdomains that go beyond changing the background of the log-in screen and uploading a logo. Users can create a subdomain to brand a facility.