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OptiTrack Announces the S250eEthernet Camera

From creating advanced animation tools for feature films to helping golfers develop a perfect swing, OptiTrack is blazing new ground in motion capture technology across multiple markets. Today’s announcement of the S250eEthernet camera takes OptiTrack to an entirely new level as they break price-performance records for motion capture cameras. Offering exceptional speed, precision, scalability, processing and flexibility, the S250e is available at the lowest price point on the market.

The first full-feature motion capture camera for under $2,000, the S250e boasts many technological advancements including its small size, on-board image processing, software-controlled IR filter switching and some of the most advanced M12 lenses in the world. In addition, OptiTrack customers now have the ability to expand up to as many as 96 cameras in a single volume.

Benefits to the S250e motion capture camera include:

  • Speed: The S250e is capable of capturing exceptionally fast moving objects with its global shutter imager and 250 FPS capture speed.
  • Precision: Providing 832 x 832 pixels of Super VGA resolution and some of the most advanced M12 lenses in the world, the S250e can track markers down to sub-millimeter movement with repeatable accuracy.
  • Scalability: S250e systems can integrate up to 96 cameras with ease, due to the scalability, range and speed of Ethernet data transmission. Additionally, the S250e is powered over Ethernet, so only one cable is needed for each camera.
  • Processing: The S250e can send a variety of pre-processed image types to the PC, resulting in decreased bandwidth and CPU load, and more efficient motion tracking. Imaging modes include raw and MJPEG-compressed grayscale, precision grayscale, hardware object and segment.
  • Flexibility: Filter switcher technology enables the camera to be quickly and remotely modified to filter or capture visible light in addition to IR, allowing the customer to utilize the same S250e camera for both infrared motion tracking and visible spectrum scene video.
  • For more information click here.

    Music 2 Hues announces new Flagship Series CD Release

    Music 2 Hues, a supplier of production music and sound effects to the film, video, animation, and multimedia industries, has just added a new Flagship Series CD release.

    The newest Flagship CD title,”Logos & Bumpers,” is now shipping worldwide and is available on Audio CD, or can be downloaded in Mp3 and WAV file formats.

    This CD of 41 musical Logos & Bumpers is a must have for those looking for transitional style tracks. These tracks range anywhere from 5 seconds to over one minute long making them ideal for anything from broadcast to multimedia, flash and video productions.

    For more information click here.

    GenArts Delivers Sapphire 5 for Nuke and OFX Platforms

    GenArts Inc., the premier provider of specialized visual effects software for the film, television and video industries, announced today that it has released its newest version of GenArts Sapphire 5 for Nuke and OFX host platforms. Already considered the industry-standard visual effects plug-in for a variety of platforms, Sapphire 5’s benefits are now extended to Nuke users as well as those on other OFX hosts such as Fusion, Scratch, Toxik, Baselight, Film Master and Mistika. Using Sapphire 5, these artists will be able to add superb, high-quality realism to their composited shots faster than ever before, buying crucial additional time to finesse their shots.

    Historically, film compositing artists have spent hours manually refining tiny details of the shots they work on so that all evidence of comps are removed. Until recently, the time spent on these projects has not been an issue; film artists have traditionally had long lead times to build and finesse their shots, and to make sure the results are perfect. But with tighter film budgets and shorter lead times – and the unchanging emphasis on perfection — artists and the post-production facilities that employ them now face the same time and budget quandaries as their counterparts in the faster-paced commercial and broadcast industries.

    Sapphire 5 for Nuke/OFX features include:

  • A suite of more than 200 industry-standard visual effects plug-ins, including the world’s best Glow, blur, edge ray, defocus and texture tools allow artists maximum flexibility to perfect shots.
  • Full floating-point support provides the highest image quality and dynamic range possible so artists are not forced to trade quality for performance.
  • GPU acceleration offers the artist fully interactive controls (even at high definition), maximizing creativity while fine-tuning shots.
  • Full support for the OFX standard offers artists a wide range of host platform choices to maximize pipeline productivity and compatibility.
  • For more information click here.

    Digital Anarchy Releases Primatte 3.5

    The 64-bit version of Primatte is now available. It takes advantage of 64-bit to speed up processing. The user interface has been streamlined to improve workflow.

    Primatte chromakey software takes a foreground image of any resolution, shot against a single color, and replaces that color with transparent pixels. Primatte uses sophisticated algorithms to extract the background color. It also color corrects your image by removing any color spill caused by studio lights. It creates a complex mask based on color and transparency. Primatte keeps areas of detail that are typically difficult to retain, like wisps of hair, glass surface, smoke, and water. This gives you the flexibility to add in any custom background your client wants to see… after the photo shoot.

    This is just the first step in rewriting Primatte to take advantage of new technologies. 64-bit and other enhancements that will be coming out in the next few months will prove once again that Primatte is the most powerful green screen software available.

    For more information click here.

    BuZZ Show and Podcast July 22

    Barry Sandrew, Toni Pace, Jared Picune, Jess Furman, Ed Brando

    Click to listen to the show:

    This week’s episode of the world’s only interactive talk radio for Digital Production, Post Production and Distribution is filled with great information and entertainment designed for the independent filmmaker, producer or editor

    Join host Larry Jordan, and co-host Michael Horton, as they talk with:

    Barry Sandrew and Toni Pace – Founder/President, and Senior Visual Effect Producer, Legend 3D

    Barry Sandrew, founder and president of Legend 3D, is internationally recognized as a digital imaging expert and visual effects pioneer with more than 14 VFX patents and 23 years of feature film and TV accomplishments. Sandrew invented the first all-digital process for film colorization in 1986. He then evolved that process in 2001 at Legend 3D, where they convert 2D movies into 3D. Recently, his company helped in converting “Alice in Wonderland” into 3D.

    Toni Pace is the senior visual effects producer at Legend 3D and assists in tracking all the elements that make 3D possible. This week, we talk with both of them about the process of converting 2D films into 3D, the fascinating relationship between colorizing a movie and converting it to 3D, and the implications of converting older films into this new 3D format.

     
    Jared Picune, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, CalDigit Inc.

    Jared Picune, vice-president of sales and marketing for CalDigit, knows storage for the video market.  Not only was CalDigit the first to provide blazing fast external PCIe storage solutions with the HDPro, but CalDigit was also the first to bring USB 3.0 to the Mac!  We talk with him to learn more about how storage companies differentiate their products, his latest hardware release, and the impact of USB 3.0 on digital storage.

     
    Jess Furman – Singer/Songwriter/Producer


    Jess Furman is a singer/songwriter/producer who stands out from the music crowd in a big way. She is one of the 375,000 members of ASCAP, and recently was singled out for an interview on NPR about music licensing, royalties, rights, etc… We spend a lot of time on the show talking about video, this week we want to learn more about creating music, pitching songs, licensing music, and marketing your musical talents. Jess has some great opinions on all of these issues.

     
    Ed Brando – Project Manager, Whites Interactive
     
    With more than 14 years of experience in the film industry, Ed Brando, project manager for William F. White, has extensive knowledge of the equipment, as well as all aspects of the production process. Ed is a key liaison between WFW and the Vancouver film community, as well as the new media and special events industries. With his expertise in everything from lighting and grip to specialty production equipment, we wanted to talk with him about the latest trends in production gear — more mobility, smaller gear, consistently high quality. Plus, we’ll also ask him about his favorite production cameras!
     

    You can’t find people or interviews like this anywhere else! It’s another fascinating show – all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

    The Digital Production BuZZ is live 6-7 pm Pacific Time. Join the Show Live, listen to, or download an episode from the archives or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or off the website.

    Digital Anarchy Releases Update for Primatte Chromakey Plugin

    Digital Anarchy announced a 64-bit release to their award winning, best-of-breed Primatte Chromakey plugin. Primatte 3.5 adds compatibility for Adobe Photoshop CS5 and 64-bit operation on Mac, Windows and Vista systems. Primatte Chromakey is the blue/greenscreen solution for photography, bringing the power of high-end Film/TV technology to Photoshop. The version 3.5 update also provides an improved interface for easier workflow, and adds behind-the-scenes improvements like background rendering to make Primatte faster and more responsive.

    Primatte Chromakey removes a blue/green background from a still image or footage, leaving the subject against a transparent background with any color cast removed. Primatte 3.5 excels in preserving important, difficult details like wisps of hair, translucent glass and mesh fabrics. This makes it easy to convincingly place the subject on a custom background, then substitute that background as needed. Primatte’s new 64-bit speed takes advantage of Photoshop Action and Batch functionality to process large groups of images, providing photographers who shoot school, sports, or event photography with a powerful addition to their workflow.

    For more information click here.

    Vinten Launches Vector 750i and Vector 430 at IBC 2010

    Vinten, a Vitec Group brand and global leader in camera supports, is launching two new heads at IBC 2010 in direct response to user demand. The new Vector 750i delivers unsurpassed precision for virtual and augmented reality in outside broadcast and studio applications. The new Vector 430 is a compact head with a very wide payload range, meeting the needs of production companies working with multiple camera set-ups.

    Developed in collaboration with leading global customers, including Telegenic in the UK and Sportvision in the US, the Vector 750i is the first encoded pantographic head from Vinten. It incorporates a new Intelligence Module allowing semi automatic set-up, slide plate tracking and kinematic compensation, all of which ensure stable and precise placement of virtual graphics into the live environment. This innovation coupled with the feel of the Vector 750, preferred by operators around the world, has ensured that the Vector 750i is keenly anticipated by production companies working with onscreen graphics, such as those that feature heavily in high-profile sports events like the upcoming Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.

    The new Vector 430 pan and tilt head has a unique compact and lightweight design that makes it simple to rig, convenient to transport and equally well suited to studio and outside broadcast operations. Advanced engineering from Vinten has given the head a payload capacity of 22lb.(10kg) to 95 lb.(43kg), making it capable of precisely balancing any camera from a lightweight EFP system right up to a mini-box lens set-up. This simplifies the task on outside broadcasts, for example when specifying suitable support equipment; providing a single choice when two heads may have previously been required. The Vector 430 offers premium performance with all the features Vinten studio and OB users have come to expect, including infinitely adjustable perfect balance and TF fluid drag, rapid camera positioning and balance adjustment and ergonomically positioned controls that make using the Vector 430 second nature.

    For more information click here.

    AbelCineTech Releases Cinedeck Extreme

    The Cinedeck Extreme, is not only an excellent recorder, but also doubles as a full-featured on-camera monitor. The Cinedeck Extreme can input HD-SDI in 4:2:2 or 4:4:4, as well as HDMI, and record it to the wavelet-based Cineform codec. Coming soon (with a firmware upgrade) will be Avid DNxHD, as well as Uncompressed HD. That’s right – an Uncompressed 12-bit RGB HD recorder for under $12K that sits right on top of your camera. Recording media are consumer 2.5″ SSD drives designed for laptops.

    The Cinedeck’s monitor offers functions such as waveform, vectorscope, false-color exposure meter, audio meters, pixel-to-pixel zoom for focus, grid and frameline overlays, etc. All this in a package about the same size of a standard on-board LCD.

    For more information click here.

    MARVIN Unveiling New System at IBC

    MARVIN Technologies will unveil its production-ready MARVIN system during the IBC Exhibition, Sept. 10-14 in Amsterdam. MARVIN provides a simple and reliable workflow for digital cinematography. In one step, MARVIN automates the creation of backups, LTO tape masters, QuickTime proxies for offline editing and DVD dailies. As a result, MARVIN saves filmmakers, camera owners, and rental houses significant time and expense in comparison with current practices of manually copying and wrangling data.

    Camera Support: MARVIN supports the RED One camera, the Silicon Imaging SI-2K, ARRI D21/Alexa, Panasonic P2, as well as high-speed cameras such as the Vision Research Phantom and Weisscam HS-2.

    The MARVIN Workflow: Settings for a new project are entered at the start of production. MARVIN executes everything from that point on, thus establishing a simple and transparent protocol for each day of shooting. When removable media from the camera is attached to the system, MARVIN automatically creates verified copies of every shot to its own internal RAID5 storage array. MARVIN then generates multiple verified LTO copies of all of the shots from the day, along with DVD dailies and QuickTime files for offline editing.

    The director, cinematographer, DIT, or others on the production team can browse through a project and view thumbnails or video. This is useful for continuity, for example.

    After offline editorial, a companion application, MARVIN InPost assembles the shots specified in the Edit Decision List for postproduction work and finishing. MARVIN can also be used in the post facility for the same purpose, and for archival asset management.

    The MARVIN Hardware: MARVIN features a robust 4U housing with a padded case for transport and added protection. The system includes 6 or 12TB of RAID5 storage and a core i7 processor. Two built-in LTO tape drives and a DVD burner are included. Connection is via multiple CF card slots, e-Sata, Firewire 400/800 or UB, with custom ports (SxS, Fibrechannel) available on request.

    MARVIN is controlled via a simple browser GUI running on a laptop computer connected to the system via Ethernet.

    For more information click here.

    The Pixel Farm to Launch Radical New Approach to Tracking

    The Pixel Farm Ltd, developer of innovative image-processing systems for VFX, DI and restoration, will unveil a groundbreaking advance in tracking software for digital visual effects at SIGGRAPH 2010 (Booth #313). Employing a brand new architecture, the technology dramatically improves the fundamental processes involved in camera tracking, one of the most important areas of successful VFX creation, ushering in unprecedented levels of flexibility, control, accuracy and speed.

    The new, node-based flowgraph architecture, developed by the company’s renowned R&D team, is an industry-first in camera tracking and match moving software. Easy to learn and operate, it provides a logical visual overview of tracking workflows, and gives digital artists a procedural, non-linear environment in which to experiment non-destructively with different approaches to a shot to achieve the best result possible. In many cases this enables shots to be tackled, which were previously considered untrackable.

    Optimised as a 64-bit application, and running natively on OSX, Windows and Linux, the new architecture is underpinned with metadata management, fully-integrated Python scripting, workflow customisation and a host of other features, such as in-built rolling shutter correction and image-distortion tools.

    The new flowgraph workflow, unique in the camera tracking/match-moving market, provides instant familiarity for digital artists who use node-based composting and effects software, and delivers the significant advantage of enabling full control over every aspect of each individual operation.

    The use of 64-bit processing across all platforms allows digital artists to work on the highest resolution clips, providing greater accuracy with quicker turnaround times. With tightly integrated metadata management at the core of the application, any adjustments are constantly written to the project file making any data available to other parts of the application via Python scripting and macros. This capability provides for streamlined integration of The Pixel Farm technology into any post-production pipeline, along with the automation of routines and processes, and resource management for post-production supervisors and producers.

    The Pixel Farm will introduce its first offering based on this new architecture, in the form a new low-cost matchmoving application at SIGGRAPH 2010 (Booth #313). Visitors to the booth will be able to experience a number of practical demonstrations covering the benefits of the new architecture, and the considerable possibilities it provides. In addition, a technical workshop will be run twice daily illustrating how customers can customise the application using Python Scripting and macros to streamline their effects pipelines.

    Every day of the show, all visitors to the stand will be automatically entered into a free draw to win a complete tracking station – consisting of the new matchmoving application plus a state-of-the-art GPU accelerated workstation, supplied by Aeon Computing.

    For more information click here.