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January 2010
RingSide Creative Builds DI Facility Online
RingSide Creative has added a digital intermediate color-grading suite to its Detroit, Mich. facility. 
GenArts Upgrades Sapphire Online
GenArts Inc. has introduced Sapphire 5 for Autodesk systems, the next generation of the company’s flagship visual-effects software package.
Sony Intros NXCam Online
Designed to bring the benefits of seamless, easy-to-use solid-state capabilities to professionals and prosumers, Sony Electronic’s NXCam family of video products delivers an ideal combination of image quality and performance.
Vicon Launches Bonita Online
Vicon, a developer of motion-capture products, has introduced Bonita, a small, affordable, optical-capture camera for tracking and analyzing motion. 
XC Micro Helmet Cam from Tachyon Online
Tachyon, Inc. has announced the launch of the digital, mountable XC Micro Helmet Cam. Boasting a waterproof design without an external case, a patented shockproof design, wide field of vision and superior light-gathering ability, the XC Micro accepts the entire range of Micro SDHC cards, from 4 to 32GB.

Lex Gets Slim  Online
Lex Products has unveiled the Slim Dimmer, a portable 1.8K dimmer featuring a high-quality fader coupled with a digital intensity display, enabling easy intensity matching of multiple units.
LiteGear Offers LiteRibbons
LiteGear Inc., a specialty lighting company owned and operated by on-set lighting technicians, has announced the official availability of its LED LiteRibbon system.
Dadco Shines with 24K HMIs
Dadco, manufacturer of the Sunray line of HMI lighting fixtures, has introduced two 24K HMIs, the Challenger SunArc and the G4. 
LEDZ Expands Brute Line
LEDZ has introduced the Brute3, a versatile, lightweight, 5500°K LED fixture. 
Panasonic Updates P2 Mobile
Panasonic has introduced the solid-state AJ-HPM200 P2 Mobile, a P2 HD mobile recorder/player.

Camtrol Opens Operating Possibilities
The Camtrol stabilizing platform for video and DSLR cameras is now available.
Atlas Supports, Stabilizes Cameras
The Atlas Camera Support and Stabilization System uses patented over-the-shoulder support — combining a comfortable harness with a flexible fiberglass rod — to hold a camera.
Sony Pictures Opens Colorworks
Sony Pictures Entertainment has opened Colorworks, a full-service digital-intermediate facility located on its historic lot in Culver City. 
Key Grip Systems Unveils Monotracks
KGS Development, a subsidiary of Key Grip Systems Belgium, has introduced the Monotracks system.


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RingSide Creative Builds DI Facility

RingSide Creative has added a digital intermediate color-grading suite to its Detroit, Mich. facility. The investment in the suite demonstrates the company’s support for the film and advertising industries, bringing a Hollywood-style postproduction experience to Detroit.

The DI suite boasts a comfortable atmosphere and the latest digital-imaging and audio technology. Key components include a Digital Vision Film Master 2K color-grading system, a Spirit 2K film scanner, a DVS SAN, an HD projector, a 52” plasma monitor, a professional grade TV Logic grading monitor and a Genelec 5.1 full surround sound system. The room is capable of grading either film-originated or digitally acquired media for delivery in any medium, including theatrical, HD and SD video, and Web and mobile formats.

“We have always been fueled by innovation and are committed to delivering the best resources, expertise and creative talent to develop and produce assets for any media, whether it’s for Web, print, broadcast or theatrical release,” says Doug Cheek, owner and CEO of RingSide Creative. “We can now accommodate any creative postproduction workflow.”

The DI suite is fully compatible with today’s 2K and 4K digital-acquisition cameras, including the Red One, Grass Valley Viper, Vision Research Phantom and Arri D-21. Additionally, the suite’s Digital Vision color grader is linked directly to the facility’s 24TB shared-storage system, allowing the colorists to share access to media files with RingSide Creative’s editors and visual-effects artists. “We are currently working on a series of short spots for Meijers shot on the Red camera,” says colorist Rick Unger. “Our workflow allows us to load our storage with 4K images and move them into color and visual effects very easily. The great part is we all work on the same project at the same time. It is a very effective way to create stunning visuals.

“We understand that cinematographers put their heart and souls into their shoots, and we share their passion for making those images come to life,” Unger adds.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
ringsidecreative.com
GenArts Upgrades Sapphire

GenArts Inc. has introduced Sapphire 5 for Autodesk systems, the next generation of the company’s flagship visual-effects software package. The Sapphire 5 upgrade is fully GPU-enabled to provide artists a completely interactive user experience at HD resolutions while accelerating render speeds up to 700 percent. In addition, support for full floating-point workflows will deliver true photorealistic image quality with the highest possible dynamic range.

“GenArts Sapphire has long established itself as the must-have element in the compositor’s or editor’s toolbox,” says Steve Bannerman, CMO of GenArts. “More and more customers are telling us that the opportunity cost of porting and optimizing in-house effects to new technologies like GPU is just too high. Sapphire 5 represents another huge step in supporting the rapidly growing trend away from this expensive development toward standardization on tools from their trusted vendor.”
Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.genarts.com/5
Sony Intros NXCam

Designed to bring the benefits of seamless, easy-to-use solid-state capabilities to professionals and prosumers, Sony Electronic’s NXCam family of video products delivers an ideal combination of image quality and performance. The first model in the NXCam series is a professional camcorder featuring Sony’s Exmor CMOS sensor with ClearVid array; the camcorder delivers full high-definition resolution and low-light sensitivity with low noise.

The NXCam camcorder records AVCHD up to 24 Mbps, delivering 1920x1080 HD images with both interlace and progressive modes, along with native 1080/24P, 720/60p and MPEG-2 SD recording. The camcorder includes HD-SDI and HDMI outputs, as well as two-channel linear PCM audio capabilities.

AVCHD technology has been widely adopted in Sony’s consumer camcorder line. AVCHD is a highly efficient codec based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long-GOP compression, a member of the MPEG family of codecs embraced by Sony’s HDV, XDCam HD optical and XDCam EX series of professional camcorders.

The NXCam camcorder shares the G lens used in Sony’s HVR-Z5U professional camcorder, and it will also use Memory Stick Pro Duo recording media along with an optional 128 GB Flash Memory Unit for Hybrid Recording. This module can be easily removed and simply powered through a computer’s USB connection to make file downloading or editing easier and faster.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.sony.com
Vicon Launches Bonita

Vicon, a developer of motion-capture products, has introduced Bonita, a small, affordable, optical-capture camera for tracking and analyzing motion. Bonita is capable of capturing 240 fps while being small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. Vicon has also announced the launch of Tracker, a robust object-tracking software providing unparalleled data accuracy for integration in 3-D applications.

Vicon’s smallest optical capture camera, Bonita has been engineered to be powerful, accurate, reliable and affordable. It’s easy to set up and accurate enough to capture with positional accuracy down to one millimeter in a 4-meter-by-4-meter volume. Key features include small form factor, single Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection to a PC for easy configuration and system connectivity, a variable focal-length lens for full flexibility within a variety of environments, and 68 high-powered LEDs for better illumination of markers than other cameras in its class.

Key features of Vicon’s Tracker software include optimized rigid body tracker, resulting in reliable data tolerant to occlusion of markers; low latency output, allowing data to be received quickly after an observed event; ease of use; flexible integration with third-party applications; full support for Windows Vista; and compatibility with Vicon MX3+, F-Series and T-Series cameras. Tracker can also be used independently of any hardware by using the Vicon Virtual System Emulator.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.vicon.com
XC Micro Helmet Cam from Tachyon

Tachyon, Inc. has announced the launch of the digital, mountable XC Micro Helmet Cam. Boasting a waterproof design without an external case, a patented shockproof design, wide field of vision and superior light-gathering ability, the XC Micro accepts the entire range of Micro SDHC cards, from 4 to 32GB.

Designed for capturing action in extreme conditions, the XC Micro comes with a universal mounting system that can connect the camera to goggles, helmets, sporting equipment, dashboards and more. The camera’s high-dynamic image sensor and 90-degree wide-angle lens allow users to capture clear, undistorted video even in low light and underwater. Additionally, Tachyon’s patented shockproof battery system keeps the camera’s batteries locked and secure.

“We’re constantly looking to produce high quality, affordable products that fill in the necessary technology holes for our consumers,” says Chris Whitehouse, creative director for Tachyon, Inc. “We listen to our customers and the XC Micro combines the top features requested in a helmet camera in a compact design, allowing customers a supreme adventure experience.”

The Tachyon XC Micro can be purchased for $129.99. 

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.tachyoninc.com
Lex Gets Slim

Lex Products has unveiled the Slim Dimmer, a portable 1.8K dimmer featuring a high-quality fader coupled with a digital intensity display, enabling easy intensity matching of multiple units.

Housed in an all-metal case, the UL-listed Slim Dimmer has extra protection around the display and fader area, making it robust enough to survive the rigors of location use. 15-amp Edison input and output connectors ensure compatibility with location power and a wide range of light kits. Keeping everything safe, a convenient push-to-reset breaker provides overload protection, and a hanging interface accommodates a variety of common film and entertainment hanging methods.

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.lexproducts.com
LiteGear Offers LiteRibbons

LiteGear Inc., a specialty lighting company owned and operated by on-set lighting technicians, has announced the official availability of its LED LiteRibbon system. The system consists of a flexible LED ribbon, flicker-free dimmers, and a complete line of power supplies and distribution. LiteRibbon is available in Warm White, Cool White, Diffused Silicone, RGB and other color configurations.

Able to be cut into custom lengths in 1" increments, LiteRibbon is complemented by LiteDimmer, a high-frequency, high-capacity LED dimmer capable of flicker-free operation regardless of camera speed, shutter angle or ramping. LiteRibbon strips are easily powered by 12 volts of DC power from supplies, batteries or automobile adapters. The system can also be made waterproof.

Al DeMayo, LiteGear’s head of engineering, says, “Technicians like the ability to easily create custom light fixtures that meet their unique needs. On the fly, guys can whip up something that fits into a handheld prop, spaceship or even the [illuminated] power source for a certain iron superhero.” LiteRibbon has been tested and proven on such features as Star Trek (AC June ’09) and the upcoming Iron Man 2 as well as such series as Bones, The Mentalist and Southland.

contact info:  
www.litegear.com
Dadco Shines with 24K HMIs

Dadco, manufacturer of the Sunray line of HMI lighting fixtures, has introduced two 24K HMIs, the Challenger SunArc and the G4. Both fixtures are designed with a host of advanced features, including a cost-effective convertibility allowing each unit to operate as a 12, 18 or 24K light.

Boasting 30-percent more light output than 18K discharge lights, both the Challenger and G4 are ETL listed to UL standards and built by highly trained IATSE Local Union craftsmen.

In addition to the Sunray product line, Dadco manufactures a line of specialty lighting fixtures and AC power-distribution systems.

contact info:  
www.dadcopowerandlights.com
LEDZ Expands Brute Line

LEDZ has introduced the Brute3, a versatile, lightweight, 5500°K LED fixture. The Brute3 boasts a circular beam with a long throw, and the light’s various accessories — including an onboard battery — make it useful in a variety of situations.

The Brute3 is available in different kit options, including a car kit with two head units and an extended battery that clips to a belt or c-stand; the extended battery will run the fixture for up to 4 hours. Additionally, LEDZ provides the following photometrics for the Brute3:

Distance    Footcandles    Diameter
2'                 400                   1.5'
4'                 90                      2'
6'                 48                      3'
8'                 30                      4'
10'               22                       5'

All LEDZ products are available through worldwide
distributor Hollywood Rentals.

contact info:  
www.led-z.com
Panasonic Updates P2 Mobile

Panasonic has introduced the solid-state AJ-HPM200 P2 Mobile, a P2 HD mobile recorder/player.

The HPM200 offers all of the popular features found in its predecessor, the AJ-HPM110, and adds such functionality as enhanced editing with separate source and record windows, playback from external disk drives, AVCHD compatibility (with the AJ-YCX250G option card), up-conversion of live video inputs in real time, FTP and Giga-bit Ethernet interfaces for expanded network connectivity and 24p time code input for production applications, including use as a source for a dailies process.

With DVCPro HD and AVC-Intra standard compatibility, AVCHD optional compatibility and expanded input/output connections, the HPM200 P2 Mobile is a comprehensive and versatile master-quality HD field recorder that can be used with a wide array of camera systems. The field recorder offers 10-bit independent-frame 4:2:2 quality recording in a variety of high-definition formats and frame rates, including 1080p (native), 1080i and 720p, as well as standard-definition DVCPro50/25 and DV.

With enhanced editing functions and network capabilities, the HPM200 has increased appeal for use in production facilities, news, sports and live-event staging applications. The HPM200’s split-screen function displays both the source and recorded images simultaneously for easier editing, and other new features enable clip exchange, multiple clip selection, undo/redo last action, auto record and text memo. The P2 Mobile also offers two-channel voiceover recording and real-time audio memory during playback.

In addition to the connections offered on the HPM110 — including HD-SDI input/output, analog com-ponent/composite and audio, IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 — the HPM200 adds compatible AES Digital audio inputs and outputs as well as high-speed eSATA and Giga-bit Ethernet. The P2 Mobile ensures high-quality recording with 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra or compatibility with existing DVCPro editors when connected to any HD-SDI-equipped camera, camcorder, deck or device; professionals can then randomly access and view content selected via thumbnail clips on the unit’s built-in 9" LCD monitor.

Additional features include RS-422A for remote-control operation, a range of recording functions (including loop record), eight 16-bit digital audio channels, built-in waveform and vectorscope, broadcast-level editing controls with a jog/shuttle dial (100x forward/reverse speed) and audio faders, an SD card slot and assignable user files. The P2 Mobile boasts a durable, compact, laptop-style design with a magnesium die-cast frame for easy transport. It operates on either AC or DC power and is backed by a five-year limited warranty program.

contact info:  
www.panasonic.com/broadcast
Camtrol Opens Operating Possibilities

The Camtrol stabilizing platform for video and DSLR cameras is now available. Following a “no rules, only tools” philosophy, Camtrol offers users balance, support and freedom while enabling dynamic shooting possibilities.

Features of the Camtrol include a LANC remote receiver, “true-feel” Action Control Grip (ACG), fully articulated joint system, channeled mounting plate and retractable “landing gear.” The ACG provides for natural hand positioning and control, and the channeled mounting platform helps keep the system centered, level and easy to handle. The platform also adds critical weight for stability, and its cushioned design prevents camera slippage and unwanted vibration.

Camtrol’s three 360-degree rotating ball joints enable both low angle and overhead shots, and the four swing-out legs give the user a quick and safe way to reset the Camtrol in different positions. A vertical stabilizing bar properly adjusts the system’s center of gravity and also enables two-handed control. Additionally, the sturdy T-6 aluminum body offers protection and support in case the camera is dropped.

The Camtrol has a recommended price of $399.99.

contact info:  
www.camtrol.com
Atlas Supports, Stabilizes Cameras

The Atlas Camera Support and Stabilization System uses patented over-the-shoulder support — combining a comfortable harness with a flexible fiberglass rod — to hold a camera. This design takes the camera’s weight off the operator’s shoulders and arms and distributes it to the operator’s core, enabling longer periods of shooting without fatigue.

A Velcro strap with an attached D-ring wraps around the camera’s handle and allows the camera to be connected to the fiberglass rod using an adjustable webbing strap. The rod, which is held in place with a tunnel casing on the back of the operator’s harness, then absorbs vibrations before they reach the camera, making for smooth shots even when moving. The regular-duty Atlas can accommodate cameras from 4 to 14 pounds, while a heavy-duty option works with cameras up to 30 pounds.

contact info:  
www.atlascamerasupport.co
Sony Pictures Opens Colorworks

Sony Pictures Entertainment has opened Colorworks, a full-service digital-intermediate facility located on its historic lot in Culver City. The 14,000-square-foot center, housed in Stage 6, features state-of-the-art technology offering real-time 4K processing in a full digital workflow. 

The facility can scan and manage film in 4K to ensure the highest quality archival and distribution product for new and restored motion-picture projects. To manage the extraordinary size of digitized motion pictures, the DI center houses nearly 3.5 petabytes of computer storage. In fact, Colorworks’ digital-file-based workflow leads the studio’s development of a digital production and distribution infrastructure called the Digital Backbone.

“Digital intermediate and mastering are a lesser known but critical piece of the filmmaking puzzle,” says Gary Martin, president of Production Administration and Sony Pictures Studio Operations. “We are thrilled to have our own center here on the lot, but more than that, the facility and the personnel are truly top of the line.” The Colorworks team includes colorists John Persichetti, Steve Bowen and Trent Johnson; projects that have already gone through the Colorworks’ pipeline include Michael Jackson’s This is It, Zombieland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

contact info:  
www.sonypictures.com
Key Grip Systems Unveils Monotracks

KGS Development, a subsidiary of Key Grip Systems Belgium, has introduced the Monotracks system.

Designed for ease of use, the Monotracks are precision machined from carefully chosen aluminum alloys. The lightweight, rigid, symmetrical tracks boast a sleeper assembly allowing for fast setup in a variety of shooting situations. The Monotracks’ high-resistance stainless-steel connectors and pre-stressed mechanical assembly contribute to the track system’s precision, while plastic profiles guarantee the tracks are protected during transport.

contact info:  
www.kgsd.eu