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Monday, 13 December 2010 19:37

New Workflows in Hi-Def and Hi-Res

Written by  Debra Kaufman
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PostCol_LocalHeroAlexaEvent-5The business and technology of postproduction are constantly evolving. Every time a new video standard is created, a new distribution platform emerges, or a manufacturer creates new technology or a piece of gear, post houses have to respond. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the advent of numerous high-definition and higher-resolution cameras.

Today’s post house not only needs the right tape decks to play back and record the output of these cameras, but it also needs a path to move the footage between offline editing, graphics, visual effects, color correction, finishing and output. In fact, many post houses now differentiate themselves for the special attention they give while creating efficient, speedy and cost-effective pipelines.

Local Hero Post is a postproduction house in Santa Monica, Calif. that uses an all-ASSIMILATE SCRATCH digital pipeline for finishing features and commercials. And camera manufacturers like ARRI and ASSIMILATE show off their latest pipeline, which features the new ALEXA camera. “We wanted to show the speed that you can work with the ALEXA and their DTE ‘Direct to Edit’ technology,” says Local Hero Lead Colorist/Founder Leandro Marini, describing how they shot footage to show off the new workflow. After shooting with the ALEXA directly to QuickTime ProRes 4444 in LogC to the onboard SxS solid-state media, they pulled the SxS out and input the data to their color system PC –– and Marini was able to begin grading within seconds.

“SCRATCH reads the files natively and we can start color correcting right away,” says Marini, who notes that other color correction systems, such as FilmLight Baselight and Autodesk Lustre, can also read files natively. But Marini is looking forward to when the entire workflow shifts to RAW files. “I think ASSIMILATE will be first out of the gate,” he says. “And RAW will let us hang on to every detail of quality.”PostCol_LocalHeroAlexaEvent-4

Keep Me Posted (KMP), a FotoKem company specializing in TV episodic and commercial finishing, added a second Digital Vision Nucoda FilmMaster and upgraded its first one with new hardware, storage and software. Both are running the 2010 software release with DVO Enhance noise and grain reduction. “Workflow for postproduction changes almost daily it seems, but, at the end of the day, our customers can’t afford a bogged-down postproduction and possible missed deliveries,” says Hawk Hamilton, KMP’s VP of sales. “We envisioned then executed a process that takes every step of the chain into account, from the first day of dailies to delivering a final product.”

These new workflows require a high degree of collaboration between manufacturers and post houses. “We worked closely with the engineering team at FotoKem and Keep Me Posted in their evaluation and eventual integration of the 2010 Nucoda FilmMasters into their end-to-end system,” says Bruno Munger, Digital Vision’s senior product manager. “It was a great opportunity to integrate storage, color and delivery throughout the facility.” And in the months to come, there will be more collaboration between vendors and post houses as they create interesting and powerful paths with new technology.

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