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Digital Production Buzz — Sept. 1, 2011

Building digital blockbusters, coping with a bad boss, making money internationally, and music in the cloud!

GUESTS: Michael Cioni, Jessica Sitomer, Rick Clarkson, and Bruce Nazarian. All this, plus Pick Our Brains, on this week’s show!

This week’s episode of the world’s only interactive talk radio program covering Digital Production, Post-Production and Distribution is filled with information and entertainment designed for the independent filmmaker or industry professional.

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Join host Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Hortonas they talk with:

Michael Cioni, CEO, Light Iron Digital

Starting first with Plaster City Digital Post, and now at Light Iron Digital, where he is the CEO, Michael Cioni has served as a Digital Intermediate Supervisor on more than 200 feature films – including Pirates of the Caribbean 4, The Amazing Spiderman, The Social Network, Total Recall, and, not to be missed, the Muppet Movie! We’ve heard about digital intermediates for a while now, but what do they do and how do we work with them? Even more inportant, can we use them on films with less than hundred million dollar budgets? (Hint: The answer is YES!). Tune in and learn more.

Jessica Sitomer, CEO, The Greenlight Coach

Getting a job is a wonderful feeling, until you walk in and discover you have a TERRIBLE boss! Now what? Good jobs are hard to find. Does this mean you are trapped in a life of angst and anguish? We invited our favorite job coach – Jessica Sitomer, CEO of – to join us this week to explain the steps you can take to get yourself out of a bad situation. There IS hope — and Jessica has some great ideas you can put to work immediately!

Rick Clarkson, VP, Product Management, Signiant

Rick Clarkson, VP of Product Management for Signiant, is responsible for driving development of Signiant’s products in the Media and Entertainment industry. Recently, they published a white paper on “The New Economics of International Content Distribution.” Because this paper looks at file-based, digital content, and since many filmmakers look to make money overseas, we wanted to talk with Rick about what they discovered; and how we can apply it to our own projects.

Bruce Nazarian, The Digital Guy

Music is moving to “The Cloud” — and we are still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or not. So, we invited Buzz regular, Bruce Nazarian, The Digital Guy himself, to join us to explain what ll this Cloud business is, and whether we should care or not. Even more important, is there a way for us to make, or save, money with this?

Pick Our Brains

This is your chance to get your technical and creative questions answered. You can contact us three different ways:

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

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Digital Film Tools' Rays Sheds Light on Film and Video Footage

Digital Film Tools, developer of visual effects software, has announced that their visual effects plug-in, Rays, has been updated to support popular video and film hosts. New supported hosts include Adobe After Effects CS5 and up, Premiere Pro CS5 and up, Apple Final Cut Pro 6, 7, and X, Motion 5, and Avid Symphony, Media Composer, Newscutter, and Xpress Pro. Shedding new light on film and video footage, Rays allows users to easily create realistic light ray effects with stunning image quality. Known as volumetric lighting in computer graphics, or crepuscular rays in atmospheric optics, this dramatic effect adds polish and style. By creating shafts of light streaming through clouds, rays filtering through a forest canopy, beams of light on a foggy night, or rays shooting out from text, Rays adds a striking and dramatic quality to any image.

Rays Feature Highlights:

  • Set the ray length and brightness
  • Control ray direction with an on-screen control
  • Customize the color of the rays using a color picker
  • Threshold control to specify where the rays will be visible
  • Randomize the rays

Click for more information about Digital Film Tools’ Rays.

Digital Anarchy Releases 3D Invigorator 5.0 for Photoshop

Digital Anarchy has released 3D Invigorator 5.0 and to celebrate it’s on sale through Sept. 15th and owners who purchased version 4.x are eligible for a free upgrade.

Co-developed with Zaxwerks Inc, this popular 3D design tool lets artists create sophisticated 3D objects, logos, illustrations and text in only minutes. The new 3D Invigorator 5.0 offers time-saving features like the new Object Editor vector tools, as well as updated Photoshop CS5/5.1 and 64-bit compatibility.

The most valuable new feature is 3D Invigorator’s ability to fully edit and create vector shapes and text in its Object Editor. Using imported Illustrator files or designing objects from scratch, it is now possible to create sophisticated 3D designs using the new built-in Pen tool and the familiar automatic 3D extrusion. Once a 3D object is created, new Material Editor and Texture Mapping options give faster rendering and better looking 3D models. Additional new features like customized Lighting effects, GradientWerks for color choices, and Font Browser previews give you a professional and streamlined 3D creation process.

Exciting new features of 3D Invigorator 5.0 include:

  • Object Editor/Creation: A full vector editing/drawing program within Invigorator lets you easily create or edit shapes with familiar drawing tools.
  • Import Illustrator Files: Illustrator support is greatly improved with direct editing of simple or complex Illustrator files in the Object Editor.
  • Material Editor: Combine multiple textures using new Material Editor options, including Blend Modes, Texture Maps and the new Procedural Textures.
  • Procedural Textures: Create textures directly within Invigorator by layering noise types to create sophisticated, fast rendering, resolution-independent textures.
  • Texture Mapping: Create more realistic looking designs by mapping textures onto your 3D object in a variety of ways, including full object wrap-around.
  • Material Presets: Get easy design solutions with over 100 different Material presets like gold, chrome, glass, lacquer and puffy surfaces.
  • GradientWerks: Zaxwerk’s new tool for creating gradients gives you a mind-boggling variety of colors to build 3D materials and styles.
  • Custom Lighting: Lights can be aimed in any 3D direction for creative flexibility, letting you design effects like art deco, mood lighting, rim lights, high keys or color washes.
  • Improved Font Support: Postscript, TrueType, and OpenType fonts are now supported, and all fonts can be viewed with the WYSIWYG Font Browser and edited in the Object Editor.
  • 64-Bit Support: Now fully compatible with Photoshop CS5/5.1 and 64-bit Mac and Windows operating systems. Hooray!
  • Workflow Improvements: New workspace options and tabbed panels give a streamlined and customizable environment.
  • The filters work in Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.1. 3D Invigorator supports Macintosh OS 10.5.8 and higher, and runs natively on Intel Macs in 64-bit. The product supports Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Click for more information on 3D Invigorator 5.0.

farmerswife Media Collaboration at IBC 2011

farmerswife, a leading provider of scheduling and facility management software for the media industry has announced the launch of farmerswife play at the IBC show in Amsterdam, September 9-13.

Expanding on its established technology, farmerswife has now added Media Collaboration to its integrated Scheduling & Facility Management workflow.

farmerswife play is designed to help simplify the creative workflow by enabling post production companies to provide a service to their advertising and production clients for Media Storage, Management, Encoding, Review & Collaboration. A client can now login into a central web portal and review their media that is stored at ANY of their post production partners. The significant benefit of this is that the media never leaves the post house but instead is streamed on the fly to the portal when demanded by the client.

Click for more information about farmerswife play at IBC 2011.

Blackmagic Design Now Shipping UltraStudio 3D With Thunderbolt Technology

Blackmagic Design has announced the world’s first video product with Thunderbolt technology. UltraStudio 3D, which allows portable capture and playback with full resolution dual stream 3D support, 10 bit hardware architecture, dual link 3 Gb/s SDI, support for up to 1080p60 in SDI and component analog and HDMI 1.4a connections, as well as full SD, HD and 2K support, is now shipping.

UltraStudio 3D is a compact and portable solution that uses the new Thunderbolt interface for dual link 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI 1.4a and analog component/s-video/composite, as well as balanced analog and AES/EBU digital audio capture and playback. UltraStudio 3D is perfect for 3D workflows as it features interleaved, side by side, frame packed and dual stream capture and playback.

Dual stream 3D allows customers to use the UltraStudio 3D dual link SDI connections to capture and play back two streams, one for the left eye and one for the right eye. The two streams are recorded into two separate media files. Dual stream 3D is higher quality because each eye is full resolution video, but dual stream is less compatible with current editing software. To solve this problem, Blackmagic Design’s Media Express 3 has been upgraded to handle both interleaved and dual stream 3D for capture and playback of 3D media for a complete 3D solution.

With SDI, HDMI and analog video capture and playback, combined with balanced analog and AES/EBU digital audio, UltraStudio 3D lets customers connect to all decks, cameras and monitors. UltraStudio 3D instantly switches between SD, HD and 2K, so is the ideal solution for all post production and broadcast users when working on design, editing, paint and effects tasks.

UltraStudio 3D is also based on a new internal hardware design with support for 10 bit SDI video and full support for video rates up to 1080p60 via SDI, HDMI and analog component. Thunderbolt technology easily handles this quality, and allows high end post production quality and features in a portable design.

UltraStudio 3D Key Features:

  • Thunderbolt technology at 10 Gb/s data rate.
  • 3G SDI (3 Gb/s SDI) in and out, supports SD, HD up to 1080p60 and 2K.
  • SDI inputs include full SDI re-clocking for capture from poor quality SDI sources.
  • HDMI 1.4a in and out, supports SD and HD formats up to 1080p60 and frame packing 3D.
  • Hardware based 10 bit Up, Down and Cross-Conversion.
  • Component analog in and out.
  • Component analog switches to s-video and composite.
  • 2 channel balanced analog audio in and out.
  • 2 channel AES/EBU unbalanced audio in and out.
  • Genlock/tri-sync input.
  • Sony compatible RS-422 deck control.
  • Supports uncompressed 8 and 10 bit and compressed video capture and playback.
  • Capture/playback of side by side, line by line, top and bottom and frame packing 3D via HDMI.
  • Capture/playback of side by side, line by line, top and bottom and dual stream 3D via SDI.
  • Includes hardware SD and HD keying.
  • Compatible with Mac OS X computers with a Thunderbolt port.
  • Supports Final Cut Studio, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and more.
  • Includes free developer SDK.
  • Includes free Media Express 3 capture and playback software.

Click for more information about Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D.

Facilis Technology Announces Support for Mac OS X Lion

Facilis Technology, a leader in advanced shared storage solutions for post-production and content creation, has announced that it has qualified its TerraBlock line of shared storage solutions, versions 5.0 and above, for Mac OS X Lion.

TerraBlock, Facilis’ high-capacity, shared storage system, supports Fibre channel and Ethernet, volume and file-level control, and multiple platforms. It outperforms the competition and provides a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than that of traditional SAN infrastructure.

While Facilis TerraBlock, versions 5.0 and above, are qualified for OS X Lion, not all third party creative applications that may be running on TerraBlock support the release. Facilis advises users to contact application providers to verify support before upgrading.

Click for more information about Facilis Technology’s Support for Mac OS X Lion.

Vitec Group Introduces Sachtler Telescopic TT 75/2 CF Lightweight Tripod

Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, introduces a new lightweight 2-stage carbon fiber tripod ideally suited for HDV and video enabled DSLR cameras. The TT 75/2 CF features a 75mm bowl and 3-section single carbon fiber tubes.

This fully-professional support offers Sachtler’s hallmark stability and easy setup. Varying leg angles can be quickly deployed and adjusted. The tripod comes with Sachtler’s distinctive red footpads with retractable spikes.

The Sachtler TT 75/2 CF offers a wide height range, from as low as 10.6″ (27 cm) up to a maximum height of 67.3″ (171 cm). With a weight of just 5.1 pounds (2.3 kg), the compact TT 75/2 CF is the ideal lightweight companion for today’s on-the-move shooters. The new telescopic tripod is available in a system along with a Sachtler FSB 4, Cine DSLR, FSB 6, or FSB 8 fluid head, plus the convenient DV 75 L padded carrier.

The TT 75/2 CF Lightweight Tripod is available in the United States only.

Click for more information about the Sachtler Telescopic Tripod TT 75/2 CF.

ToolsOnAir Improves Broadcasts For Argentina's América TV

América TV is one of Argentina’s three biggest television channels. Currently broadcasting from the Palermo neighborhood in Buenos Aires, América TV’s programming includes news broadcasts, comedy, sports and talk shows.

To allow for greater flexibility in their news broadcasts and live shows, América TV recently chose Digital Tree for integrating ToolsOnAir‘s just:Broadcast Suite. Technical Director Santiago Guimerans and his team did intensive research prior to selecting ToolsOnAir, and explains that ToolsOnAir’s Broadcast Suite enables greater flexibility with their existing news room system and will better accommodate future broadcast requirements. “In addition to its open architecture, ToolsOnAir’s software has reduced the maintenance costs of internal technical support, and enables us to use off-the-shelf hardware from Apple and AJA,” says Guimerans.

Guimerans points out that the challenges the station faces are far more easily addressed with ToolsOnAir’s flexible software-based solution than with the currently available black box systems.

With just:live, designed to incorporate on-air videos and real-time graphics into live news broadcasts, América TV delivers their daily news shows in connection with the ENPS News Room system which transfers the news broadcast to the just:live playout. América TV also uses ToolsOnAir just:in for recording their daily shows and re-broadcasting them over the just:play Master Control.

América TV is so impressed by the performance of the ToolsOnAir solutions that they’ve begun implementing ToolsOnAir in their regional studios throughout Argentina, such as SetOne, where they ingest and also playout some of the shows produced in their facilities.

Click for more information about ToolsOnAir.

Carl Zeiss to Present Its Complete Range of Lenses at IBC 2011

Carl Zeiss will display a selection of its extensive cine product line at the IBC Show 2011 in Amsterdam, running the gamut from lenses for cine to HDSLR and HD video cameras. Located in hall 11, booth D75, visitors to the Carl Zeiss booth will also have an opportunity to test the Compact Prime CP.2 and Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 lenses on different cameras.

Particularly well suited to meet this trend are the Compact Prime CP.2 lenses, available in nine fixed focal lengths (from 18 mm to 100 mm) and which will take center stage at the Carl Zeiss booth. Equipped with an interchangeable mount system for the common mounts PL, EF, F, MFT and E, the Compact Prime CP.2 lenses are compatible with almost all HDSLR and cine cameras. Since their introduction in 2010, these lenses have been well received by filmmakers for their robust construction, precise lens gearing for standard follow-focus systems, long 300° focus rotations and uniform barrel dimensions.

For those just entering the HD video segment, the ZEISS SLR lenses are an attractive alternative. The lenses are available individually, or as a set of five with a custom-made transport case for easy transport. The set of five contains the following lenses with F (ZF.2) or EF bayonet (ZE): Distagon T* 2,8/21, Distagon T* 2/28, Distagon T* 2/35, Planar T* 1,4/50 and Planar T* 1,4/85. With this lens set, Carl Zeiss is responding to the strong increase in demand from the HD video segment for lenses with precise manual focus. In total, there are ten SLR fixed focal lengths available, ranging from 18 mm to 100 mm. Moreover, thanks to their high mechanical and optics quality, they are perfectly suited for both still photo and HD video applications.

Click for more information about Carl Zeiss at IBC 2011.

Boris FX and Nexidia Unveil “Soundbite” Dialogue Search for Apple Final Cut Pro

Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated VFX and workflow technology for video and film, has announced that it will partner with Nexidia, the leading provider of audio analysis and dialogue search technology for the media and entertainment industries, to launch Boris Soundbite, a fast and accurate tool to locate footage by finding any word or phrase spoken in multimedia files.

Nexidia’s patented dialogue search technology, which has already received accolades from DV Magazine, Post Magazine, Creative COW, and others, quickly and accurately finds any word or phrase spoken in recorded media. With the new Boris Soundbite, video editors, producers, and journalists will be able to instantly play all occurrences of a spoken phrase in their media, then insert the perfect take into their Final Cut Pro project, organize clips around keywords, and even find replacement words for problematic audio.

Key features of Boris Soundbite include:

  • Combine multiple phrases and standard Final Cut Pro metadata terms to search hundreds of hours of media in just seconds.
  • Preview results in the Soundbite player. Soundbite will search and play virtually any media file supported in QuickTime.
  • One click places selected clips into a Final Cut Pro project, including markers for each dialogue match and in/out points set in the Soundbite player.
  • Multiple languages and dialects are supported, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Dutch.

Boris Soundbite incorporates several features previously unavailable to Final Cut Pro users, such as:

  • Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) Support: Soundbite supports Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.
  • Streamlined User Interface: Soundbite presents users with a modernized user interface that facilitates fast, efficient operation from a single window.
  • Network Volume Support: Soundbite can access content stored on network drives that are mounted to the machine – including any drive or volume mounted on a desktop and connected via Ethernet in a LAN environment.
  • New Languages: In addition to English and Latin American Spanish, Soundbite is available for European French, German, Castilian Spanish, Italian, and Dutch.
  • Track Selection: To further increase accuracy, users can select which audio channels to search.


Boris Soundbite will be available in September 2011 through the Boris FX worldwide reseller channel and direct from the Boris FX website.

A full-functioning 14-day trial version will be available for free download from the Boris FX website. Boris Soundbite supports Final Cut Pro v7 and v6.0.2. All Soundbite users will be eligible for a free update to a forthcoming version that supports Final Cut Pro X.

Owners of “AV3 Get for Final Cut Pro” will be eligible for a free upgrade to Soundbite.

Click for more information about Boris Soundbite.