Tag Archives: Tim Nagle

AI and deep learning at NAB 2019

By Tim Nagle

If you’ve been there, you know. Attending NAB can be both exciting and a chore. The vast show floor spreads across three massive halls and several hotels, and it will challenge even the most comfortable shoes. With an engineering background and my daily position as a Flame artist, I am definitely a gear-head, but I feel I can hardly claim that title at these events.

Here are some of my takeaways from the show this year…

Tim Nagle

8K
Having listened to the rumor mill, this year’s event promised to be exciting. And for me, it did not disappoint. First impressions: 8K infrastructure is clearly the goal of the manufacturers. Massive data rates and more Ks are becoming the norm. Everybody seemed to have an 8K workflow announcement. As a Flame artist, I’m not exactly looking forward to working on 8K plates. Sure, it is a glorious number of pixels, but the challenges are very real. While this may be the hot topic of the show, the fact that it is on the horizon further solidifies the need for the industry at large to have a solid 4K infrastructure. Hey, maybe we can even stop delivering SD content soon? All kidding aside, the systems and infrastructure elements being designed are quite impressive. Seeing storage solutions that can read and write at these astronomical speeds is just jaw dropping.

Young Attendees
Attendance remained relatively stable this year, but what I did notice was a lot of young faces making their way around the halls. It seemed like high school and university students were able to take advantage of interfacing with manufacturers, as well as some great educational sessions. This is exciting, as I really enjoy watching young creatives get the opportunity to express themselves in their work and make the rest of us think a little differently.

Blackmagic Resolve 16

AI/Deep Learning
Speaking of the future, AI and deep learning algorithms are being implemented into many parts of our industry, and this is definitely something to watch for. The possibilities to increase productivity are real, but these technologies are still relatively new and need time to mature. Some of the post apps taking advantage of these algorithms come from Blackmagic, Autodesk and Adobe.

At the show, Blackmagic announced their Neural Engine AI processing, which is integrated into DaVinci Resolve 16 for facial recognition, speed warp estimation and object removal, to name just a few. These features will add to the productivity of this software, further claiming its place among the usual suspects for more than just color correction.

Flame 2020

The Autodesk Flame team has implemented deep learning in to their app as well. It portends really impressive uses for retouching and relighting, as well as creating depth maps of scenes. Autodesk demoed a shot of a woman on the beach, with no real key light possibility and very flat, diffused lighting in general. With a few nodes, they were able to relight her face to create a sense of depth and lighting direction. This same technique can be used for skin retouch as well, which is very useful in my everyday work.

Adobe has also been working on their implementation of AI with the integration of Sensei. In After Effects, the content-aware algorithms will help to re-texture surfaces, remove objects and edge blend when there isn’t a lot of texture to pull from. Watching a demo artist move through a few shots, removing cars and people from plates with relative ease and decent results, was impressive.

These demos have all made their way online, and I encourage everyone to watch. Seeing where we are headed is quite exciting. We are on our way to these tools being very accurate and useful in everyday situations, but they are all very much a work in progress. Good news, we still have jobs. The robots haven’t replaced us yet.


Tim Nagle is a Flame artist at Dallas-based Lucky Post.

Lucky Post hires finishing artist Tim Nagle

Dallas-based Lucky Post has added Tim Nagle as finishing artist. Nagle’s first collaboration with Lucky Post began as the engineering designer of the studio back in 2012, designing the studio’s all-important technology backbone.

In 2002 Nagle founded Creative Integrations, a full-service engineering and integration firm specializing in post, recording, animation and broadcast facilities. For over a decade, Nagle helped companies design, improve and streamline workflows of all types, including facility design for companies throughout the country. Among them, Red Car in Dallas and NY, Union Editorial, 1st Avenue Machine, Smoke & Mirrors and Passion Pictures in NY, DigitalFX in Baton Rouge and Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

He began his career as an engineer for Solid State Logic (1997-2000) working with the company’s many clients, including Fox, Warner Bros., Skywalker Ranch, EA Games, Wonderland and ABC, among others. Since 2002, he has also lent his talent to the sound department of studio feature films and television before making this transition to online editing.

“I’ve always loved the independence of consultancy but when I wasn’t at Lucky Post I found I really missed the environment and the people. When I reflected on my future, I kept returning to Lucky Post.”

Since joining Lucky, Nagle has collaborated with agencies McGarrah Jessee, Moroch and The Richards Group. View his spot reel here.

In addition to assuming the artist’s chair, Nagle leads the company’s assistant training program, providing those working alongside Lucky Post’s editors, designers and sound designers with the necessary technology knowledge and experience.