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May 2010
S.two Ships FlashDock
S.two Corporation has added the FlashDock transfer station to its family of uncompressed digital film production solutions. 
FTC Makes Smooth Moves
Filmotechnic Canada Ltd., a Toronto-based camera-support-equipment rental and manufacturing company, has introduced the 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control Nose Mount for Technocrane and MovieBird’s telescopic cranes.

Schneider Intros IRND Filters
Schneider Optics has developed a range of absorptive IRND filters designed to address the demanding requirements of today’s high-definition cameras. 
Cinevate Accessorizes DSLRs
Cinevate has introduced two support options for DSLR camera systems, the Medusa cage and the Uno rig. 
Thoma Provides Remote Control
Thoma Film und Videotechnik has introduced the Remote Kit, capable of converting conventional tripod heads into full-scale remote systems.
Rose Brand Illuminates Neoflex
Rose Brand has introduced Neoflex, a flexible strip of diffused LED lighting available in a variety of colors.
Barco Acquires Element Labs
Belgium-based Barco has an-nounced its acquisition of the products, intellectual property rights and know-how of Element Labs, an LED video-systems expert based in Santa Clara, Calif. 
MediaRecall Joins Deluxe
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Inc. has acquired the assets of metro-Chicago based MediaRecall Holdings, LLC, a fast-growing player in the digital video services arena.
Fujifilm Establishes New York Office
Fujifilm North America Corporation’s Motion Picture Products Division has announced that, following the elimination of its reseller network, all customers of its motion-picture products will be served on a direct basis nationwide.
Sony Opens 3-D Center
Sony Corporation has opened the Sony 3D Technology Center, located at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif., to train and nurture a community of experts in the rapidly growing market of 3-D entertainment. 
Kodak Releases Film Calculator App
Kodak has released the Kodak Film Calculator and Glossary application as a free download from the iTunes App Store.
ZipCalc App From ZipCam
ZipCam Systems has released the ZipCalc DP freeware planning tool. 
Avid Updates DS
Avid has introduced version 10.3 of its DS finishing solution, combining advanced effects, compositing and graphics capabilities with new features designed to deliver real-time finishing and accelerate the rendering process of popular file-based formats.
The Foundry Upgrades Nuke, Allies with GenArts
Visual-effects software developer The Foundry has released the Nuke 6.0 and NukeX 6.0 composting engines, designed to meet the latest creative and workflow needs.

Phyx Plugs Into Color Online
Noise Industries, developer of visual-effects tools for the post and broadcast markets, has announced that development partner Phyx Inc. has released Phyx Color for the FxFactory platform. 
Digital Vision, CineForm Support SI-2K Online
Digital Vision has announced a partnership with CineForm as a key element of Digital Vision’s Nucoda 2009.1 release. 

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S.two Ships FlashDock

S.two Corporation has added the FlashDock transfer station to its family of uncompressed digital film production solutions. The FlashDock is a portable editorial ingest and archival station for FlashMag solid-state magazines from the OB-1, S.two’s onboard digital film recorder. 

Supporting uncompressed 4:4:4 RGB and raw data — including ArriRaw — the FlashDock provides multiple transfer target interfaces, including dual-link HD-SDI, eSATA, USB 2.0, Gbit Ethernet, RS422 and SAS. FCP-style XML and Avid-style ALE metadata files are generated and made available over Ethernet or to a USB device for automated editorial ingest. An optional Expansion Chassis provides two half-height LTO3/4 drive bays and is powered from the FlashDock for true on-location archival backup capability. The FlashDock is capable of operating on 100-240-volt AC or 24-volt DC power, and is designed for use on remote shoot locations, in the studio or in a post facility.

“This is the workflow component that our OB-1 customers have been looking for,” says Chris Romine, president of S.two. “It is economical, field portable and facility friendly, and satisfies both dailies generation and backup requirements with a user-friendly touch-screen LCD interface.”

The first FlashDock production units have begun shipping to sales and marketing partner Band Pro Film & Digital.

contact info:  
www.bandpro.com
www.stwo-corp.com
FTC Makes Smooth Moves

Filmotechnic Canada Ltd., a Toronto-based camera-support-equipment rental and manufacturing company, has introduced the 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control Nose Mount for Technocrane and MovieBird’s telescopic cranes.

The 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control consists of two fully adjustable rotary hydraulic cylinders with axel shafts apposed at 90 degrees in a single, lightweight, compact aluminum body. The upper cylinder is perpendicular to the crane arm and the lower cylinder is inline with the arm. Each X- and Y-axis has a rotational range of +/-75 degrees.

When a crane arm is panned left or right, the Rotary Damper absorbs the stop and start inertia, as it does when the crane telescopes in or out. The faster the move, the more resistance is provided by the special hydraulic fluid inside the rotating cylinder. The Rotary Damper further eliminates dynamic rotational stress on a crane’s arm sections.

“The 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control was originally designed to work with the Flight Head V on our Russian Arm to improve its performance,” says Oleksiy Zolotarov, president of FCL. Alex Chibisov, FCL’s vice president and chief engineer, adds, “We developed a compact, lightweight but heavy-duty hydraulic damper that would eliminate rotational stress on the arm and allow the gyros in the FHV to work freely, as they should. Then it became clear we could remove our leveling system from the RA, lightening the nose, because the damper also automatically levels the FHV using gravity. The mass of the head and camera, resisted by the damper’s hydraulic fluid, results in a smooth leveling process every time, whether moved slowly or aggressively.”

Zolotarov notes, “When we tested the Damper prototype and saw how the FHV behaved, a second and maybe more significant application came to mind: replacing the heavy electronic leveling gear on the Techno and MovieBird series of telescopic cranes.”

The 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control offers a quiet, responsive, purely mechanical camera-head leveling system, with no electronics that might fail. It also offers a 30-pound reduction in nose load on both Techno and MovieBird cranes; the weight savings can be applied to an increased camera load or a reduction in the crane’s counterweight.

The 2-Axis Rotary Damper & Level Control has a payload capacity of approximately 220 pounds. The Russian Arm version weighs 14.3 pounds, and the MovieBird/Technocrane nose mount weighs 21.2 pounds. Mounting options include Mitchell to Mitchell, Filmotechnic to Mitchell and Mitchell to Filmotechnic.

contact info:  
www.filmotechnic-canada.ca
Schneider Intros IRND Filters

Schneider Optics has developed a range of absorptive IRND filters designed to address the demanding requirements of today’s high-definition cameras. 

Many hi-def cameras have a high sensitivity to light just beyond the visible range. While this can be beneficial in extending the camera’s color gamut to more closely approach that of film, the light in the IR spectrum can also cause unwanted false color shifts and prevent the camera’s imagers from capturing true black tones. To solve this problem, Schneider’s Platinum Series IRND filters limit the light striking the camera’s imager to the visible spectrum. By carefully calculating the cutoff frequency in nanometers, Schneider has produced a near-infrared cut filter, eliminating the near-infrared light leakage and letting the camera maintain true color rendition in the blacks while maintaining high MTF of its lenses and camera system.

Schneider Platinum Series IRND filters are free of off-axis color shift regardless of the focal length and can be stacked without introducing reflections. They can also be used as standard ND filters with all HD video and film cameras. The filters are available in standard video and cine sizes, including 4x4, 4x5.65, 5x5, 5.65x5.65 and 6.6x6.6, plus rounds in 138mm, 4.5" and Series 9. Each filter is available in ½-, 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-stop densities. 

contact info:  
www.schneideroptics.com
Cinevate Accessorizes DSLRs

Cinevate has introduced two support options for DSLR camera systems, the Medusa cage and the Uno rig. 

The Medusa cage features a dovetailed, quick-release tripod plate — allowing users to quickly remove their rig from the rails on the fly — and two vari-mount, form-fitted hand grips — adding stability, comfort and countless options for handling and bracing the cage. Supporting standard 15mm rails and 5⁄8" grip rods, the Medusa also boasts a vari-mount top plate and includes a ¼" 20 and 3⁄8" quick-release tripod mount.

Inspired by Cinevate CEO Dennis Wood’s interactions with still photographers and filmmakers, the Uno rig’s unique link system allows a wide range of configurations customizable to the user’s shooting style and a large array of camera platforms. The Uno rig includes an 11.8"-long, 15mm solid carbon chassis; one vari-mount Uno grip; a tripod mount; a baseplate system; and one vari-mount shoulder stock. Features include CNC machined aluminum components and 360 degrees of flexibility on all parts.

contact info:  
www.cinevate.com
Thoma Provides Remote Control

Thoma Film und Videotechnik has introduced the Remote Kit, capable of converting conventional tripod heads into full-scale remote systems. The user-friendly Remote Kit can be assembled and dismantled in 20 minutes with no mechanical handling. 

With the Remote Kit, remote-controlled panning and tilting is based on friction-wheel drives with DC motors and integrated digital rotary encoders, guaranteeing jitter-free operating. The electronics function via power steering and joystick control, and the system boasts extreme accuracy with 400,000 steps per 360 degrees of motion.

With near-silent (less than 25 dB) mechanics, the Remote Kit is ideal for both studio and location shooting. The mounting kit fits into a small, easy-to-transport case. Furthermore, the robust Remote Kit boasts hardened-steel construction, offering protection against accidental damage. The Remote Kit and its electrical plug connections are watertight according to IP65.

The Remote Kit is compatible with all modern Sachtler tripod heads, and Thoma is currently developing the system to be compatible with Vinten heads.

contact info:  
www.thoma.de
Rose Brand Illuminates Neoflex

Rose Brand has introduced Neoflex, a flexible strip of diffused LED lighting available in a variety of colors. 70-percent more efficient than cold-cathode neon, Neoflex maintains a consistent color temperature throughout its 50,000-hour lifespan.

Neoflex is a rugged, easy to maintain alternative for outdoor installations. Neoflex is available in Diffused 120-volt and Diffused 24-volt, and both varieties come in Amber, Blue, Green, Red, Orange, Cool White and Warm White. Color Jacket Mini Neoflex, which features color embedded in the diffusing plastic as well as in the LEDs — allowing color accents even when not illuminated — is also offered in the 24-volt configuration.

contact info:  
www.rosebrand.com
Barco Acquires Element Labs

Belgium-based Barco has an-nounced its acquisition of the products, intellectual property rights and know-how of Element Labs, an LED video-systems expert based in Santa Clara, Calif. 

“Element Labs’ products have added a spectacular dimension to numerous concerts, events, corporate headquarters and flagship stores around the world,” says Paul Matthijs, vice president of Barco’s Video & Lighting Solutions business. “This transaction will help to accelerate the turnaround which is underway in our Video & Lighting activities by enabling Barco to address a wider segment of the market.”

With immediate effect, the name “Element Labs” ceases to exist. Structured as an asset sales transaction, Barco obtains all product designs, rights and intellectual property of Element Labs. Element Labs’ core team in Santa Clara will function as Barco’s hub for creative LED solutions.

contact info:  
www.barco.com
MediaRecall Joins Deluxe

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Inc. has acquired the assets of metro-Chicago based MediaRecall Holdings, LLC, a fast-growing player in the digital video services arena.

Founded in 2007, MediaRecall offers a cost-effective, high-speed digital-video workflow process and related technologies around digitizing, clip selecting, meta-logging and transcribing enterprise-scale video archives, enabling them to be more easily searched and monetized online. The company’s core expertise revolves around a highly trained North American-based 2,000-person distributed-media workforce and its proprietary technologies, including web-enabled digital services tools, a digital video search platform and a workforce management system.

Remaining in its current metro-Chicago offices, the business will now operate under the name MediaRecall by Deluxe, and it will report to Gray Ainsworth, Deluxe Digital Media’s senior vice president of operations. “Deluxe continues to look for ways to add value for content owners and provide unique services that create true partnership opportunities,” says Ainsworth. “MediaRecall entered the booming online video space at the right time as large content owners are trying to find more efficient ways to get their content digitized and searchable online. MediaRecall did a terrific job on the client projects we have done together, and this transaction was a logical next step for us.”

George Deeb, current CEO of MediaRecall, adds, “Our team is very excited about deepening the relationship we have with Deluxe. We look forward to bringing our technologies into the Deluxe pipeline for film studios and television networks in addition to the non-Hollywood market.”

contact info:  
www.bydeluxe.com
www.mediare call.com
Fujifilm Establishes New York Office

Fujifilm North America Corporation’s Motion Picture Products Division has announced that, following the elimination of its reseller network, all customers of its motion-picture products will be served on a direct basis nationwide. The announcement accompanied news that Richard Kalinsky has been appointed key account executive for the eastern United States.

“Motion picture film customers demand the highest levels of personal attention and care,” says Graeme Parcher, group vice president of Fujifilm North American Motion Picture Division. “Our own professional staff is in the best position to provide Fujifilm customers with the high level of service and collaboration they need. We can only do this by controlling the distribution of our products.

“The east coast is a critically important region in motion picture film and television production,” Parcher continues. “The continued growth in the region, particularly in the metro New York area, has prompted us to take this new approach to personally serving our customers.”

contact info:  
www.fujifilmusa.com
Sony Opens 3-D Center

Sony Corporation has opened the Sony 3D Technology Center, located at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif., to train and nurture a community of experts in the rapidly growing market of 3-D entertainment. The new center offers professionals from across the industry a hands-on opportunity to learn more about the techniques and equipment used to create top-quality 3-D productions of all kinds, including sports, television and movies. The center also features Sony’s top-of-the-line business and professional products, which are widely used in capturing, manipulating and displaying 3-D productions. 

“Our mission is to support the spread of high quality 3-D throughout the marketplace,” says Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Chief Officer of the Sony 3D Technology Center. “Modern technologies and techniques can create much more natural and realistic 3-D than most people had experienced in years past, so we have an interest in helping the industry as a whole seize this opportunity to give audiences really great 3-D experiences.  People must reliably and consistently be able to enjoy what is presented in 3-D for it to gain acceptance in the long term.”

“Making 3-D is easy, but making good 3-D is hard,” adds Buzz Hays (pictured), senior vice president of the Sony 3D Technology Center. “I’ve had the pleasure of making 3-D movies with Hollywood’s true pioneers over the last five years, and I am excited to dedicate my time fully to sharing what we’ve learned as this medium makes its way toward primetime.”

contact info:  
www.sony.net
Kodak Releases Film Calculator App

Kodak has released the Kodak Film Calculator and Glossary application as a free download from the iTunes App Store. The tool determines the running time for any length of film in any format and how much film is needed for a specific duration, making complex mathematical calculations quickly and conveniently.

“This is the first Kodak Cinema Tool to be made available as an application for mobile-device users,” says Nicole Phillips, Kodak’s director of Web marketing for the Entertainment Imaging Division. “We plan to release additional applications in the near future, with the goal of helping filmmakers bring their visions to the screen. This Film Calculator app provides quick, on-the-spot answers to questions wherever and whenever they arise. As we begin our foray into mobile tools, we look forward to offering new ways to connect our customers to information they need, effortlessly.”

Information can be entered into fields where data is known, including format, length, run time and frame rate. The app then calculates and supplies the other variables. Film length can be measured in feet or meters for all formats, including Super 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 3-perf 35mm and 65mm film. The intuitive user interface includes a “reset” button that makes recalculating data easy, and the “film format” drop-down menu allows switching and comparing formats at the touch of a finger.

The app also includes Kodak’s Glossary, which provides instant definitions for hundreds of filmmaking terms. The Glossary is designed to help filmmakers and their collaborators communicate clearly and accurately.

contact info:  
www.kodak.com/go/motion
ZipCalc App From ZipCam

ZipCam Systems has released the ZipCalc DP freeware planning tool. Designed primarily for cinematographers and key grips, ZipCalc DP provides interactive simulations and graphical plots of cable-camera flight paths, helping users determine the best flight path for cable-suspended tracking cameras such as the ZipCam.

Ben Semanoff, president of ZipCam Systems, notes, “ZipCalc enables productions to take full advantage of our cable-camera system and saves them time and money while helping them get the shots they need, even over challenging terrain and obstacles.” Users can input values for key factors that affect the cable camera’s flight path; as users adjust values, ZipCalc DP displays the flight path changes in real time.

ZipCalc DP is available for free download from the ZipCam Systems Web site.

contact info:  
www.zipcam.com
Avid Updates DS

Avid has introduced version 10.3 of its DS finishing solution, combining advanced effects, compositing and graphics capabilities with new features designed to deliver real-time finishing and accelerate the rendering process of popular file-based formats. DS is also now optimized to handle Red, 2K and ArriRaw projects, and it supports the Red Rocket Accelerator Card, which decodes .R3D files, alleviating the CPU of this process.

DS version 10.3 allows post facilities and high-end independent professionals to more effectively manage file-based project pipelines by reducing ingest and conform requirements. In particular, DS 10.3 offers native conform from Avid Media Composer for .R3D and ArriRaw files, enabling customers to instantly re-create complete timeline information — including effects, titles and colors — for real-time playback and faster rendering. Additionally, AVX2 support offers customers a simple path for total conform of visual effects generated in Media Composer and Avid Symphony editing systems. Customers can also benefit from the full creative effects toolset at any stage of the editorial process with a new AVX2 plug-in interface, making it possible to use Boris FX and Sapphire effects in DS from any offline Avid project.

DS version 10.3 can be downloaded now from Avid’s download center. 

contact info:  
www.avid.com
The Foundry Upgrades Nuke, Allies with GenArts

Visual-effects software developer The Foundry has released the Nuke 6.0 and NukeX 6.0 composting engines, designed to meet the latest creative and workflow needs.

Nuke 6.0 incorporates a completely new shape rotoscope and paint toolset based on a rewritten core curve library and new RotoPaint node. This release introduces a flexible, non-destructive layer-based hierarchy integrated with Nuke’s animation and tracking capabilities and supporting per-object attributes such as blending modes and motion blur. As an additional benefit, The Foundry’s Keylight keyer is included as a standard feature with Nuke 6.0.

NukeX 6.0 extends the range of tools usually found in the compositing environment, adding an integrated 3-D camera tracker, automated and manual lens-distortion tools, FurnaceCore (The Foundry’s re-engineered set of Furnace plug-ins) and a DepthGenerator plug-in. Both Nuke and NukeX are fully script compatible, with Nuke capable of viewing and rendering nodes created using the extended NukeX toolset. Offering visual-effects users two different Nuke products enables facilities of all sizes to implement a Nuke solution to fit a range of artist and customer needs.

Additionally, The Foundry and GenArts Inc. have entered into a broad strategic alliance. Under the terms of the agreement, GenArts will acquire The Foundry’s Tinder and Tinderbox plug-ins business, and the two companies will enter into an arrangement to collaborate closely to expand the capabilities of the Nuke platform. This strategic alliance allows the development teams from The Foundry and GenArts to work closely together to fully maximize the functionality of their future products, opening the door to more effective delivery of new technology as the host platform and plug-in development can be more synchronized.

contact info:  
www.thefoundry.co.uk
www.genarts.com
Phyx Plugs Into Color

Noise Industries, developer of visual-effects tools for the post and broadcast markets, has announced that development partner Phyx Inc. has released Phyx Color for the FxFactory platform. Phyx Color is a collection of professional color processors designed to work inside Adobe After Effects CS3/CS4, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion and Apple Final Cut Express applications.

Phyx Color includes five color-processor plug-ins, providing artists with the ability to efficiently add diffusion, sample color, control saturation and process a color shift/tint. Bleach Bypass simulates the “skip-bleach” or “ENR” process, reducing saturation and latitude. Glow Dark diffuses darker areas of CG imagery to make renders look more realistic; it can also be used to remove the edginess from digital video. Selective Saturation precisely samples a color and controls its saturation. Shift/Suppress processes a color shift/tint by selecting the target color, enabling users to isolate and suppress any color in an image. Techni2Strip simulates the vintage Technicolor two-strip process.

“The Phyx Color plug-in presents artists with a very unique collection of color processors, while its extensive support for multiple host applications reaches out to a broad range of artists, allowing them to take advantage of its vast capabilities and create really exceptional images,” says Justin Bendo, president and CEO of Phyx Inc. “We’d like to thank Noise Industries and their innovative FxFactory for helping us create yet another powerful plug-in.”

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.phyxware.com
www.noiseindustries.com
Digital Vision, CineForm Support SI-2K

Digital Vision has announced a partnership with CineForm as a key element of Digital Vision’s Nucoda 2009.1 release. The new software includes native support for the CineForm RAW format used by Silicon Imaging’s SI-2K camera.

“Following a popular industry trend and feedback from our customers, we have introduced native support for SI-2K material,” says Bruno Munger, product manager for Digital Vision. “This is a highly attractive proposition for filmmakers who were impressed with the success of the camera’s use on the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.”

David Taylor, CEO and co-founder of CineForm, adds, “CineForm RAW has earned the reputation in the industry as the compressed raw format of choice for pristine image quality. Extending CineForm RAW to the Digital Vision workflow is a natural fit that will result in significant value-add for Digital Vision’s customers. Our two companies share the same commitment to extremely high image quality throughout the workflow, from camera to postproduction to finished product.”

Online Online Exclusive
contact info:  
www.cineform.com
www.digitalvision.se