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August 2012
Colorfront Launches Express Dailies
Colorfront has introduced Express Dailies, a high-performance and easy-to-use dailies tool for commercials, motion picture and television production workflows.
Visual Effects Go “There”
Visual-effects and production veterans Elliott and Taylor Jobe have launched There, a bicoastal company that specializes in the capture and compositing of digital sets with greenscreen production. 
Pixomondo Expands to Baton Rouge, Detroit
International visual-effects company Pixomondo has announced the opening of its 12th and 13th facilities in Baton Rouge, La., and Detroit, Mich., respectively.
Spy: LA Opens Doors in Santa Monica
Spy, a FotoKem company that offers creative finishing services for commercials and feature films, has opened a new studio in Santa Monica, Calif., within the sound studio Margarita Mix. 
CinePostproduction Gets into On-Set Dailies
CinePostproduction has introduced Copra, an app that allows users to play back color-graded, sound-synced 1080p H.264 dailies on their iPads.
Calibrated Software Encodes AVC-Intra
Calibrated Software has released Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Encode, a QuickTime Encode codec that enables exporting of up to 10-bit compressed AVC-Intra .MOV files from PC- and Mac-based applications that support QuickTime. 
GoPro Partners with Technicolor
GoPro and Technicolor have collaborated to embed Technicolor’s CineStyle color profile in GoPro’s free Protune firmware upgrade for the HD Hero2 camera. 

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Colorfront Launches Express Dailies

Colorfront has introduced Express Dailies, a high-performance and easy-to-use dailies tool for commercials, motion picture and television production workflows.

Express Dailies is based on the image-science technology and color-grading and management tools featured in Colorfront’s On-Set Dailies system. It delivers integrated, production-proven tools for dailies work — including playback and sync, QC, color grading, audio and metadata management — with state-of-the-art color and image science, and simultaneous deliverables in all common file formats.

To optimize performance, the 64-bit software runs on the Mac OSX platform and supports Nvidia Cuda GPU processing. Express dailies delivers real-time raw support for all major raw formats and the latest digital cameras, including Red Epic, Sony F65, ArriRaw, Canon C300 and C500, Phantom, GoPro and DSLRs. HD previews can be enabled through the addition of Red Rocket cards. Users can quality-check imagery using waveform monitor and histogram analysis tools. Additional highlights include a simple graphical user interface, and data and archival management.

Output-format options include DNxHD 444 for Avid editorial; ProRes for Final Cut; and uncompressed DPX, TIFF, OpenEXR, QuickTime and H.264 for web-based dailies services and Apple devices. 4K raw images can be saved as still images and dailies can be streamed in full HD, via a bundled server to Copra, a free-of-charge iPad application available in the App Store.

The image-processing capabilities of Express Dailies include support for the IIF/ACES workflow, as well as high-quality raw image deBayering, color grading, image resizing and a range of burn-in/watermarking options.

For data management and security of material, Express Dailies delivers logged checksum copies to LTO and multiple drives, and integrated PDF WC reporting, tying together copy, archive and physical inventory control.

Colorfront has also announced the first multi-license purchase of Express Dailies by Hollywood-based post facility Light Iron, who will integrate Express Dailies across its entire range of Outpost mobile systems.

contact info:  
www.colorfront.com
Visual Effects Go “There”

Visual-effects and production veterans Elliott and Taylor Jobe have launched There, a bicoastal company that specializes in the capture and compositing of digital sets with greenscreen production. The company provides an alternative to traditional location-based production, making it possible to capture locations that would otherwise be impossible to shoot in an expedient and cost-competitive way.

“We combine on-set technology with digital sets using assets we capture or create, as well as existing assets we repurpose,” explains Elliott Jobe, There’s creative director. “With digital sets, we can give our clients access and control of lighting so it can be magic hour all day.”

“Our studio is a hybrid of practical and digital technology, which many live-action productions tend to approach separately,” adds Taylor Jobe, the company’s development director. “You can be inside the Louvre, Red Square or Grand Central Terminal in one afternoon.”

There enables both director and cinematographer to interact with talent on the greenscreen stage as if they were shooting in an actual location. For example, the director can work with actors on performance while referencing the digital environment as opposed to having only limited contextual reference within the greenscreen stage, and the cinematographer can choose which lens to use and how to light a scene based on actual distances and images within the digital set.

Among There’s recent projects are commercials for Virgin America and Crystal Geyser, featuring digital sets of a plane interior and a modern kitchen, respectively; and a “Rock Center” promo with Brian Williams, featuring digital sets for seven floors of Rockefeller Center-based productions (such as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock) that facilitated shooting with multiple celebrities.

There evolved from the company LiveLocation. R&D led the Jobes to launch the brand more precisely as There. Additional clients include Bravo, Lucasfilm, Geico, Warner Bros. and O Positive Films.

contact info:  
www.hellothere.tv
Pixomondo Expands to Baton Rouge, Detroit

International visual-effects company Pixomondo has announced the opening of its 12th and 13th facilities in Baton Rouge, La., and Detroit, Mich., respectively. The announcement follows the Academy Award win by Pixomondo’s visual-effects supervisor Ben Grossmann and digital-effects supervisor Alex Henning for their work on Hugo, which featured more than 800 stereo 3-D visual-effects shots created by Pixomondo artists around the world. 

“Opening an office in Baton Rouge fits perfectly with our overall company vision,” says Thilo Kuther, founder of Pixomondo. “Louisiana offers a very generous production tax rebate that we can pass on to our clients to bolster our project load as well as our growing teams in Los Angeles, London, Germany, China and Canada.

“Baton Rouge is a beautiful city with a wealth of resources,” Kuther continues. “We’ve already connected with the Louisiana State University science department to help set up remote render farms and virtualization with our other studios.”

Pixomondo DTW, the new studio in Detroit, was formed through the acquisition of boutique visual-effects company With A Twist. It will focus on feature, television and commercial work, handling both local and international projects.

With A Twist has a long-standing relationship with Pixomondo as a sub-vendor on several features, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Fast Five, Sucker Punch and Hugo. David Burton, co-founder of With A Twist, notes that the company “had reached the point where we needed to grow to remain competitive. Pixomondo has already accomplished much of what we aspired to do, and done it well, so it was a natural progression to join into their team. Our cultures mesh well and the timing was right.”

“The visual-effects industry is such a worldwide marketplace,” adds With A Twist co-founder Pam Hammarlund. “It is a tremendous asset to have access to [Pixomondo’s] global resources.”

With extensive experience creating visual effects for such companies as Audi, VW and Mini, Pixomondo is aptly suited for work in the Motor City. The Detroit location will enable the company to service clients locally while simultaneously working on other diverse projects for its other 12 studios around the globe.

contact info:  
www.pixomondo.com
Spy: LA Opens Doors in Santa Monica

Spy, a FotoKem company that offers creative finishing services for commercials and feature films, has opened a new studio in Santa Monica, Calif., within the sound studio Margarita Mix. 

Extending the capabilities of Spy’s main facility in San Francisco, Spy: LA will specialize in visual-effects-based commercial productions. The company recently worked on spots for UPS, Asics, THQ/UFC, Hillshire Farm and Canon.

Visual-effects artist Scott Rader joins Spy: LA as creative director and lead Flame artist. He previously worked at Radium, Hydraulx and Digital Domain. Rader’s work on numerous television series, feature films, commercials and music videos as an Inferno artist/visual-effects supervisor has earned him a number of awards, including nine Emmys.

“Spy: LA provides the same level of quality services that is offered in our San Francisco facility,” says co-founder Eric Hanson. “The two studios are securely connected by a high-speed network [that offers] real-time interface capabilities between San Francisco and Santa Monica, and this new location greatly enhances our ability to interface effectively with our clients.

“The connection and design of the facilities will empower collaboration,” Hanson continues. “When there are tight turnarounds, creative changes and advancing deliveries, this will be a great value-add for the creative process.”

contact info:  
www.spypost.com
CinePostproduction Gets into On-Set Dailies

CinePostproduction has introduced Copra, an app that allows users to play back color-graded, sound-synced 1080p H.264 dailies on their iPads. Copra integrates seamlessly with Colorfront’s On-Set Dailies, offering features such as built-in notes, graphical annotations and access to comments from the QC report.

The Copra app on the iPad connects wirelessly to a local Copra Server that runs on OSD to provide high-quality HD streaming dailies within minutes of wrapping.
contact info:  
www.copra.de
Calibrated Software Encodes AVC-Intra

Calibrated Software has released Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Encode, a QuickTime Encode codec that enables exporting of up to 10-bit compressed AVC-Intra .MOV files from PC- and Mac-based applications that support QuickTime. 

The codec also introduces a Post-Encode feature that lets users embed Final Cut Pro X metadata such as ReelName, Scene and Location information, and a Clip Memo into an AVC-Intra .MOV file after encoding. Once embedded, this information can be readily seen when imported into Final Cut Pro X. Additionally, the Post-Encode feature allows users to insert new time code via a TimeCode Track in the AVC-Intra .MOV file; the track can be seen by applications that support QuickTime TimeCode Tracks.

Additional capabilities of Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Encode include YUV conversion from either SMPTE RGB or full-range RGB, support for 8/10-bit YUV 4:2:2 color space, support for 8/16-bit RGB color space, 100Mb or 50Mb I-frame AVC-Intra compression at industry-standard resolutions and frame rates, and a variety of gamma-correction settings.

“Many PC professionals want to work with 10-bit compressed media, but they may not be able to easily hand off 10-bit compressed media to Mac professionals,” says Greg Booth, president of Calibrated Software. “This new codec solves this workflow hurdle for customers who are using Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro CS5/CS6 applications on the PC so that they can now export AVC-Intra .MOV files, which can easily be imported into Apple Final Cut Pro 7 or Apple Final Cut Pro X. It also opens up additional encoding options for customers using Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro CS5/CS6, Compressor 3.5/4, or Apple Final Cut Pro 7/X on the Mac.”

contact info:  
www.calibratedsoftware.com
GoPro Partners with Technicolor

GoPro and Technicolor have collaborated to embed Technicolor’s CineStyle color profile in GoPro’s free Protune firmware upgrade for the HD Hero2 camera. Certified by Technicolor and developed by GoPro, the Protune firmware upgrade offers users a flexible and improved workflow for seamless integration with other source material and postproduction platforms.

Key features of the Protune firmware include 2-fps frame rate, enabling Hero2 content to be easily intercut with other sources without a frame-rate conversion; 35Mbps data rate for a high-quality compressed image with virtually zero artifacts; neutral color profile, allowing greater flexibility in a color-correction workflow; Log curve encoding, offering more detail in shadows and highlights; and reduced sharpening and noise reduction for improved flexibility in professional post and color workflows.

Protune makes integration with GoPro CineForm Studio simple, allowing automatic detection of Protune settings and application of default adjustments. The workflow is further enhanced by a variety of color-tuning presets.

Using Protune with CineForm Studio Premium and CineForm Studio Professional provides additional benefits, including extensive color-correction controls, customizable presets and non-destructive 3-D LUTs.

“Developing this with Technicolor has provided us with a level of technological expertise that optimizes Protune for the professional market,” says David Newman, senior director of software engineering for GoPro. Alejandro Guerrero, senior vice president of Technicolor Digital Productions, adds, “Technicolor is thrilled to make its color science available to GoPro throughout its Protune upgraded firmware. With more than 130,000 (and counting) cinematographers already using our CineStyle color profile, we are committed to expanding the CineStyle toolkit and thrilled to support GoPro as it expands its market base.”

contact info:  
www.gopro.com
www.technicolor.com