The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

November 2008
A-cam Goes Digital
Ikonoskop has introduced the A-cam DII, a digital motion-picture camera offering professional image quality with high-resolution images.
Cartoni Unveils 3 Supports
Cartoni has introduced three new camera supports: the Delta Rosso, the SpinHead and the E-Rem 15 remote-control head.
LibertyPak Develops Batteries for Red
LibertyPak has developed high-density battery packs and belts for use with the Red One camera system. 
Birns and Sawyer Adds Matteboxes
Birns and Sawyer has added two matteboxes to its inventory, the MB-130 and the MB-105.
Chrosziel Introduces Colibri Remote Dimmer
Chrosziel has introduced the Colibri remote-dimmer set for lighting professionals. 
FilmLight, Aaton Team for Recorder
FilmLight and Aaton have formed a strategic partnership to market the new AatonK 2K/4K digital film recorder. 
Da Vinci Boosts Resolve
Da Vinci Systems has added the R-4K and R-3D to the Resolve R-series family of digital enhancement suites.
Filmtools Provides MSDS
Filmtools, the expendable-supply store located in Burbank, Calif., has made all Material Safety Data Sheets corresponding to products sold in the store available as free, downloadable PDF files.
S.two Partners with Arri
S.two Corp., known for its range of uncompressed field recording products and workflow solutions, has announced an agreement with Arri under which Arri Sales companies around the globe will be able to sell S.two products to accompany film-style digital cameras.
Digital Vision Shipping Twister
Digital Vision, which is celebrating 20 years of providing grading, mastering and finishing systems for film and television postproduction, is now shipping the Twister motion-compensated standards-conversion software. 
Autodesk Freshens Lustre
Autodesk, Inc., has unveiled the Autodesk Lustre 2009 digital color-grading system and Autodesk Incinerator 2009, the real-time system accelerator for Lustre.
Vicon Unveils MX T-Series
Vicon has unveiled the MX T-Series of motion-capture cameras. The T-Series includes the T160 (16 megapixels), T40 (4 megapixels) and T20 (2 megapixels). 
House of Moves Builds Soundstage
Los Angeles facility House of Moves (HOM), a motion-capture service bureau and division of Vicon, has completed the construction of a soundproof motion-capture stage capable of full-body and facial capture as well as final audio recording.
Aguru Launches Dome 2
Following the success of Aguru Dome 1, a motion-capture solution for the measurement of faces, hands and other objects, Aguru Images has launched the Aguru Dome 2. 
Pinnacle Opens MovieBox
Pinnacle Systems, the consumer division of Avid Technology, has announced the latest releases of Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Plus and Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate, enhanced with full versions of Pinnacle Studio version 12 video-editing software. 
Deluxe Acquires Atlab
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. has acquired The Atlab Group in Australia. 
New Panasonic Tape Series
Exclusively for the U.S. market, Panasonic Broadcast has introduced the AMQ-Series Advanced Master Quality tape for professional, master-quality HDV, DV and DVCam recording, and the PQUS-Series Professional Quality Pro DV tape for professional MiniDV recording.

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A-cam Goes Digital

Ikonoskop has introduced the A-cam DII, a digital motion-picture camera offering professional image quality with high-resolution images.

Offering 12-bit color depth and a Super 16mm-sized 1920x1080 CCD sensor, the DII captures uncompressed images in RAW format and is compatible with Super 16mm lenses. The camera records to an 80GB memory cartridge developed by Ikonoskop and capable of recording at 240MB per second.

The camera’s milled-aluminum body measures 8.7"x3.6"x3.3" and weighs less than 3.3 pounds (including the memory cartridge and battery). The camera is capable of recording variable frame rates from 1-60 fps, and outputs include monitor and HDMI for video and USB 2.0 for data.

contact info:
 

 
www.ikonoskop.com
Cartoni Unveils 3 Supports

Cartoni has introduced three new camera supports: the Delta Rosso, the SpinHead and the E-Rem 15 remote-control head.

Styled especially for the Red One camera, the Delta Rosso fluid head supports camera configurations from 15.5-40 pounds and interfaces with all 100mm-diameter tripods and supports. Weighing 7.7 pounds, the Delta Rosso offers a tilt range of +/- 90 degrees with continuous counterbalance and drag, the settings for which are indicated on electronic displays.

In the tradition of Cartoni’s Lambda Nodal Head, the SpinHead is an innovative support head for any film or video camera weighing up to 40 pounds. It can be mounted on tripods or dollies or underslung from a crane or jib arm, and boasts 360-degree pan and tilt ranges assisted by Cartoni’s continuous fluid drag units. These fluid drags are hollow in the center to accommodate cables and plugs.

Designed in partnership with Mo-Sys, the E-Rem 15 remote-control head can support cameras weighing up to 33 pounds. With 360-degree pan and tilt ranges, the head can be operated with a joystick or handwheel set, and a variety of shotbox options enable different configurations.

contact info:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
www.cartoni.com
LibertyPak Develops Batteries for Red

LibertyPak has developed high-density battery packs and belts for use with the Red One camera system. The batteries offer three hours of run time (265 watt hours, 18.4 amp hours at 14.4 volts), weigh 9 pounds and can be completely recharged in 30 minutes or less.

The batteries incorporate LibertyPak’s FCC (fast charge chemistry) cells with proprietary nano-phosphate technology. These lithium-ion cells provide higher output potential (100 times the rated capacity), longer cycle life (over 1,000 cycles) and a charge-regeneration capacity of four times the rated amperage.

LibertyPak FCC cells are also available for 24-volt camera systems.

contact info:  
www.libertypak.com
Birns and Sawyer Adds Matteboxes

Birns and Sawyer has added two matteboxes to its inventory, the MB-130 and the MB-105.

Designed to hold two fully rotatable filter trays, the MB-130 can accommodate the field of view of even the widest video lenses. The mattebox comes standard with two combo filter trays that can hold 4"x5.65" or 4"x4" filters. Another filter tray that is included can hold a 138mm round filter in the rear filter stage. The MB-130 can be supported by 15mm mini rods, 15mm or 19mm studio rods, or it can attach directly to the lens. A standard top flag is also included, and side flags are optional.

The MB-105 is a lightweight, clip-on mattebox. The unique design holds up to two 4"x5.65" Tiffen filters without using filter trays.

Both matteboxes are available for purchase from Birns and Sawyer. The MB-130 sells for $2,395, and the MB-105 sells for $695.

contact info:  
www.birnsandsawyer.com
Chrosziel Introduces Colibri Remote Dimmer

Chrosziel has introduced the Colibri remote-dimmer set for lighting professionals. The Colibri transmitter sends the control signal from a DMX lighting console to the Colibri receiver, which can connect to tungsten lights up to 75 watts as well as Litepanels LED fixtures. The Colibri also features an 8-pin socket, allowing the dimmer to control LED units from other manufacturers.

The receiver unit also features a built-in dimmer that can operate in lieu of DMX control, allowing manual dimming through a potentiometer on either the transmitter or receiver end. If the transmitter receives no DMX signal, it switches to manual operation, signified by an illuminated blue LED on the potentiometer. In turn, if the transmitter is switched off, the receiver’s potentiometer goes active (again signified by an illuminated blue LED).

The DMX channel selector is situated under a protective cover on the Colibri’s transmitter, which uses the same radio module as Chrosziel’s Aladin remote lens control. Consequently, the Colibri’s receiver/dimmer can also be operated by the Aladin remote control.

contact info:  
www.chrosziel.com
FilmLight, Aaton Team for Recorder

FilmLight and Aaton have formed a strategic partnership to market the new AatonK 2K/4K digital film recorder. Under the terms of the agreement, FilmLight will handle sales, marketing, service and support for the AatonK, while Aaton will manufacture the system. The partnership will also allow FilmLight to bundle the AatonK with the Northlight scanner and Baselight color-grading system to offer an end-to-end 4K workflow.

The AatonK utilizes a revolutionary diffraction-limited, telecentric lens-and-sensor system to increase recording speed and resolution. The system employs no moving parts during frame exposure, and the 16K CCD reflex analyzer provides automatic self-calibration, eliminating the need for frequent wedge shoot-outs and densitometer sessions while ensuring consistency from job to job and machine to machine. Additionally, the system supports output to negative, intermediate, print, color reversal and black-and-white film stocks.

Aaton has designed the system to avoid some of the service issues that plague other film recorders. “The AatonK has no moving imaging parts, no lasers or CRT that require periodic replacement,” says Mike Grieve, FilmLight’s director of sales. “That results in lower support and operating costs for the life of the machine.”

contact info:  
www.aaton.com
www.filmlight.ltd.uk
Da Vinci Boosts Resolve

Da Vinci Systems has added the R-4K and R-3D to the Resolve R-series family of digital enhancement suites.

The R-4K offers users a fully interactive, real-time color-correcting and DI-finishing system built to handle the demands of the 4K environment. It enables sufficient storage, bandwidth, throughput and processing power for real-time interactivity and rendering. Similarly, the R-3D features an expanded, advanced toolset that automates and simplifies the copying of grades required for working in 3-D, making 3-D grading truly interactive.

Based on da Vinci’s CORE (CUDA Optimized Resolve Engine), the entire Resolve R-series accomplishes real-time throughput of nonlinear images in film, television and commercial applications. With the introduction of CORE, da Vinci has leveraged the power and efficiency of GPUs not merely for graphics display, but also for processing power, thus surmounting the complex, computation-intensive challenges inherent in color finishing.

In addition to the R-4K and R-3D, da Vinci has introduced the R-100, a feature-packed suite that is fully scalable and upgradeable. The company has also announced plans for the entire Resolve family to support RedCode RAW as a native format for color grading and finishing.

contact info:  
www.davsys.com
Filmtools Provides MSDS

Filmtools, the expendable-supply store located in Burbank, Calif., has made all Material Safety Data Sheets corresponding to products sold in the store available as free, downloadable PDF files.

contact info:  
www.filmtools.com
S.two Partners with Arri

S.two Corp., known for its range of uncompressed field recording products and workflow solutions, has announced an agreement with Arri under which Arri Sales companies around the globe will be able to sell S.two products to accompany film-style digital cameras.

The companies’ close collaboration on uncompressed workflows has yielded significant advancements over the past 12 months, bolstering Arri’s flexibility in providing adaptable products for differing production requirements and budgets. Last year’s IBC witnessed increased integration between the Arri D-20 and S.two’s DFR2 and Take2 recorders. This year, S.two earned the ArriRaw T-Link Certification; this proprietary, uncompressed, raw data link sends raw 3K resolution Bayer-pattern data directly from the Arri D-21 to an attached Digital Film Recorder (DFR). S.two DFRs receive this signal and provide real-time de-Bayering for viewing and playback.
contact info:  
www.stwo-corp.com
Digital Vision Shipping Twister

Digital Vision, which is celebrating 20 years of providing grading, mastering and finishing systems for film and television postproduction, is now shipping the Twister motion-compensated standards-conversion software. 

Twister converts media from any format, frame rate and resolution to any other, enabling post facilities, broadcasters and studios to convert between 50Hz and 59.94, create progressive frames from interlaced video, improve the quality of up-conversion from SD and HD, and automatically remove 3:2 cadence from video streams even when mixed with 2:2 and broken cadence. All processing is motion-compensated so the media created is virtually artifact free. Additionally, Twister enables settings to be changed on a scene-by-scene basis, and it can be incorporated either up- or downstream of the mastering and finishing tools.

Twister is a multi-threaded application that takes advantage of multi-core workstations. When used in conjunction with Turbine, Digital Vision’s high-performance render accelerator, facilities can assign as many Intel CPU cores as necessary to a project, enabling real-time 4K capabilities and allowing users to run multiple 2K or HD tasks in faster-than-real time.

“With the sheer range of formats and resolutions that broadcasters and facilities need to deal with during both ingest and delivery, standards conversion is not the straightforward process it used to be,” notes Simon Cuff, Digital Vision’s president and COO. “Users need the flexibility to work with non-standard file sizes, resolutions higher than HD — such as 2K and 4K — and work with various frame rates in a single timeline. Twister brings the flexibility users need to create and deliver high-quality masters for multiple deliverables quickly.”

Additionally, Digital Vision has announced that its Film Master color-grading system now supports footage captured with the Red One. Users can work with native RedCode RAW files, improving the workflows of features, broadcast programs and commercials shot with the Red One.

contact info:  
Autodesk Freshens Lustre

Autodesk, Inc., has unveiled the Autodesk Lustre 2009 digital color-grading system and Autodesk Incinerator 2009, the real-time system accelerator for Lustre.

Running on a new high-performance platform, Lustre 2009 offers numerous features that improve the color-grading workflow, including stereoscopic grading; intuitive project management; integrated audio input, output and playback; multi-layer timeline shot prioritization; timeline A/C mode sorting; customizable sensitivity settings for the Autodesk Control Surface; and enhanced interoperability with Autodesk’s Flame, Inferno, Flint and Smoke visual-effects and finishing systems.

Autodesk Incinerator 2009 offers the same creative toolset as Lustre; its enhanced performance is made possible through parallel-processing technology. Based on the latest server and networking technology, Incinerator 2009 enables real-time color grading for the most demanding digital intermediates.

contact info:  
www.autodesk.com
Vicon Unveils MX T-Series

Vicon has unveiled the MX T-Series of motion-capture cameras. The T-Series includes the T160 (16 megapixels), T40 (4 megapixels) and T20 (2 megapixels). The T160 represents a four-times increase in resolution over existing professional motion-capture solutions; the boost is made possible by Vicon’s proprietary Avalon sensor.

Backward-compatible with the Vicon MX and MX F-Series cameras, the T-Series cameras boast a completely reworked exterior styling, with the 18mm Vicon lens a standard fit. Additionally, the system now supports remote focus and aperture setting with Canon-mount lenses, allowing a single operator to adjust focus and aperture settings remotely via Vicon’s Blade software.

2-D tracking-point processing is now done in-camera, making the reconstruction of 3-D data faster and more accurate while freeing up processing power on the PC, and Gigabit Ethernet connections allow the MX T-Series to transfer data at 1,000MB per second in preview mode. With the 16-megapixel resolution of the T160, smaller markers can be used, allowing more markers to be placed closer together for accurately capturing details such as hands and faces.

“The MX T-Series represents the biggest leap in technology to date for our new-release motion-capture systems,” says Robin Pengelly, senior vice president of Vicon’s Entertainment Division. “Along with the new streamlined camera design and Gigabit Ethernet connections, this system is blazing fast. More speed means our customers get an improved preview mode … making the system easier to set up and operate.”

contact info:  
www.vicon.com
House of Moves Builds Soundstage

Los Angeles facility House of Moves (HOM), a motion-capture service bureau and division of Vicon, has completed the construction of a soundproof motion-capture stage capable of full-body and facial capture as well as final audio recording.

The new soundstage measures 30'x50', with a rig that can contract down to 30'x30' for more detailed performance-capture requirements. Capable of supporting up to 20 performers at once, the stage can be outfitted with up to 270 Vicon motion-capture cameras. The stage is fully enclosed, with all supporting CPUs housed in a soundproof, glass-encased room, so clean dialogue can be recorded without any interfering background noise. (HOM also maintains a 40'x70' main stage, and the company can manage clients working on both stages simultaneously with or without first-unit crews shooting alongside the motion-capture cameras.)

“We have effectively mimicked the procedures of the traditional live-action set and tied them into the virtual environment,” says Scott Gagain, HOM’s executive producer. “We can replicate almost anything that can happen on a live-action stage, from the physical performance of the actors to the positioning of virtual cameras in real time.

“Game and film clients alike can benefit from tackling both audio and performance recording simultaneously in one take, saving a lot of their production budget, especially when working with A-list sports and Hollywood talent,” he continues. “The stage is not only incredibly functional, but it also caters to the needs of directors and producers with a plush ‘mission control’ raised-platform alcove for overseeing everything happening on stage in the most comfortable and effective way possible.”

HOM, located at 5419 McConnell Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90066, has also expanded its staff with a team of 16 animators. 

contact info:  
www.moves.com
Aguru Launches Dome 2

Following the success of Aguru Dome 1, a motion-capture solution for the measurement of faces, hands and other objects, Aguru Images has launched the Aguru Dome 2. 

The Aguru Dome is based on the Light Stage technology originally developed by Paul Debevec and his group at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, who worked closely with Aguru engineers to bring a number of additional workflow improvements to this latest commercial release. For instance, the Aguru Dome 2 offers a considerable improvement in shape-measurement resolution, and it automatically derives a host of additional detailed information from a performer or scanned object — including diffuse, specular, and RGB diffuse-normal and specular-normal maps — for more accurate digital depictions.

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the Dome technology, which offers unprecedented precision and an enabling solution to a very hard but very common problem in visual effects and game development: creating accurate digital doubles,” explains Craig Miller, Aguru Images’ founder and CTO. “We packaged the Dome 2 with several improvements in both software and hardware design and focused diligently on our customers’ requirements.”

Additionally, Aguru Images has developed a strategic partnership with XYZ-RGB, a developer of 3-D scanning solutions. The two companies have complementary technologies and plan to jointly produce a unified 3-D capture solution for the entertainment market.

contact info:  
www.aguruimages.com
www.xyzrgb.com
Pinnacle Opens MovieBox

Pinnacle Systems, the consumer division of Avid Technology, has announced the latest releases of Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Plus and Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate, enhanced with full versions of Pinnacle Studio version 12 video-editing software. 

The combination of Pinnacle Studio version 12 software and the MovieBox plug-and-play USB 2.0 video-capture device gives consumers an end-to-end solution for capturing, editing or publishing videos in a variety of popular formats. The software/hardware combination also works seamlessly to preserve the quality of the video from the original source through the final output.

Designed for Microsoft Windows XP and Vista systems, MovieBox allows video enthusiasts to capture video from any analog or digital source, such as a Hi8 camcorder, VCR, TV, set-top box or HDV camcorder. With AVCHD support, users can also capture video from the latest AVCHD camcorders and edit the content in its native format. MovieBox also supports various HD cameras manufactured by JVC, Canon, Panasonic, Sanyo and Sony.

Version 12 of Pinnacle Studio allows users to enjoy Pinnacle Montage, a theme-based editing feature that enables them to work with up to 18 video tracks. Other features include complete HD workflow, more editing control, one-click uploading to the Web and playback on portable devices. Additionally, Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate comes bundled with Boris Graffiti for innovative title and graphic animation, Magic Bullet Looks for film looks, and ProDad VitaScene for sophisticated effects and transitions.

With expanded format support, users can now import photos into Photoshop’s native PSD format as well as the GIF format. New export options are also available for MP3, Flash Video, WAV and 3GP files, or for uploading files directly to YouTube with a single click.

Pinnacle Studio’s built-in disc-burning capabilities allow users to create DVD, HD-DVD and AVCHD discs on standard DVD media. Users can also natively author and burn Blu-ray format (BD-MV) discs with full motion menus on standard DVDs to play on Blu-ray players.

Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Plus and MovieBox Ultimate are available now for $119.99 and $149.99, respectively. 

contact info:  
www.pinnaclesys.com
Deluxe Acquires Atlab

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. has acquired The Atlab Group in Australia. 

Atlab has had its roots in the Australian film industry for 80 years, providing processing, printing and postproduction services for feature films, television and commercials. Atlab also offers a broad range of creative services including digital postproduction, digital intermediates (with an on-site EFilm facility in Sydney) and a new sound-mixing facility; the 400-channel mixing stage is fully integrated into Atlab’s film laboratory and EFilm’s Sydney location, allowing filmmakers to manage all of their post needs under one roof.

“Over the last few years we’ve developed a strong alliance with Atlab, and [we] look forward to the continued working relationship with them,” says Cyril Drabinsky, CEO and president of Deluxe. “This next step will strengthen our ability to service the film and postproduction needs of our clients in the southern hemisphere.” The Atlab facilities will be re-branded Deluxe Sydney, Deluxe Melbourne and Deluxe Auckland with the management team remaining in place.

contact info:  
www.bydeluxe.com
New Panasonic Tape Series

Exclusively for the U.S. market, Panasonic Broadcast has introduced the AMQ-Series Advanced Master Quality tape for professional, master-quality HDV, DV and DVCam recording, and the PQUS-Series Professional Quality Pro DV tape for professional MiniDV recording.

The AMQ tape series features Panasonic’s next generation Super Advanced Metal Evaporation (S-AME) technology with four times the magnetic density of the previous tape generation. Advancements in Panasonic’s proprietary Dry-Type lubricant and robust Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) film development dramatically boost the tape’s durability for high-speed shuttling, still-frame, and professional editing. A surface treatment process extends VTR head life and reduces head clogging and dropouts.

The PQUS series utilizes an Advanced Metal Evaporation (AME) technology, providing a high signal output, consistent durability and optimal tape-to-head contact. Both AMQ and PQUS tapes are designed with a rugged AVS resin shell construction, which prevents warping and cassette-housing damage while providing impact-resistant durability. The anti-static cassette lid repels dust and contaminants that can cause dropouts.

AMQ cassettes are packaged in a rugged, side-locking hard case to increase tape protection and prevent against accidental opening; the case’s non-slip, ribbed finish and special grooves allow for safe stacking and carrying. PQUS cassettes come with a durable, two-way opening case made from a soft resin that will not break if dropped; the two-way lid construction enables users to easily extract the tape with one hand.

contact info:  
www.panasonic.com/broadcast