IBC show floor express

Blackmagic Design
Resolve Coming to Windows

It’s a bit of time away, with a scheduled release in Q1 of 2012, but Blackmagic announced that they will be porting Resolve to Windows. This makes a lot of sense for several reasons. First, the higher end NVIDIA QuadroFX cards such as the 5000 and 6000 series are nonexistent on OS X systems — and they are wickedly faster than the entry level 4000 that is available for Mac. Windows also allows support for up to 16 GPUs via external enclosures. Finally, hedging bets against the woefully out of date Apple Mac Pro desktop systems is probably a good idea — though we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a desktop refresh from Apple within in the next six months.

Resolve 8.1

Resolve 8.1 was being shown off at IBC — and it’s another release that’s strong on improvements. There really seems to be a drive to have timely software updates with key features being ACES color space support, compatibility for Avid AAF and round trip with Avid Media Composer™, FCP 7 clip size and position support, and more. The release is expected to ship by the end of September.

On the hardware side of things, one cool new change is support for the Apple Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15” with 1680×1050 display as well as the new UltraStudio 3D for Thunderbolt technology based computers. Support for UltraStudio 3D allows video monitoring and deck I/O from the latest iMac and MacBook Pro computers that support Thunderbolt technology. Supporting the 15″ MBP means that the output UI supports scaling, as previously it only supported higher resolution displayed.

Resolve 8.1 now includes ACES color space support (read more about ACES in our recent Art of Digital Color article). There is also improved support for Avid AAF import/export for round-trip editing to Resolve and back to Avid Media Composer. This new AAF support includes effects such as dip to color, edge and center wipe with border, clock and venetian blind wipe and also cross, oval and diamond iris wipe, overlay composite and more. Also includes support for Avid sizing with (PTZR) pan, tilt, zoom and rotate. Additional support is included for Final Cut Pro 7 round trip with clip by clip selectable import of image sizing data now possible. Import sizing and position data for all or selected clips is also available.

Intensity Extreme

Intensity Extreme is a new Thunderbolt video capture and playback product with HDMI and analog video for only €209. It’s based on and quite similar to our Intensity Pro, however in an attractive machined aluminum design with a Thunderbolt connection.

Intensity Extreme combines the high quality of HDMI capture and playback with the wide compatibility of analog component, NTSC, PAL and S-Video and analog audio capture and playback in a compact size that’s completely powered from the Thunderbolt connection on the computer. It’s expected to be available in Q4 this year.


Tangent Devices

There was a nice buzz on the show floor about the new Tangent Element panels. These are four lower cost modular panels which, in the product line, sit above the Wave and below the CP200 panels. Effectively, they’ve brought the build quality of the CP200 line down to a lower price point that people can more easily afford.

The enclosures are all metal construction, housed in aluminum. They have newly designed track ball modules with rings and bearings which feel much more solid and “professional” than the Wave track balls. Displays on the panels are white OLED readouts. Due to the metal construction, panels in general are less portable, but this is made up for with the much better build quality.

  • element-Tk: Trackerball
  • element-Mf: Multifunction
  • element-Kb: Knob
  • element-Bt: Button
element-Bt & element-Kb
element-Tk & element-Mf

It also allows users to mix and match panels to suit their needs — so maybe you just want some track balls…..or those plus knobs. Spend what you want to build your system. It also provides flexibilty for layout so that your entire desk doesn’t need to be taken up by a big panel at all times. Cost for all four panels is yet to be officially set, but they expect it to be in the range of $3,000USD – $3,500USD. They expect to be shipping the panels before the end of year.


The AJA IoXT Thunderbolt

On-set video capture devices seem to be an ideal fit for Apple and Intel’s new Thunderbolt technology introduced earlier this year. The new AJA Io XT will be the first product from the company that utilizes this tech.The device has two thunderbolt ports, which will allow loop through to disk arrays and displays.

In addition to capture and playback, the Io XT can do Up/Down/Cross conversion via its 10-bit hardware. Designed for today’s workflows, Io XT provides compatibility with the most popular NLE programs, the newest codecs, video formats, stereoscopic 3D workflows, and more.

Key features include:
•    Two 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs
•    Single link SDI 4:2:2 support, single and dual-link SDI 4:4:4 support
•    HDMI input and output (including support for 3D)
•    Analog HD/SD component and composite output, 10-bit
•    Video Up, Down, and Cross conversion (hardware-based, 10-bit)
•    8-channel embedded SDI audio I/O
•    Reference In/LTC In, LTC Out/RS-422 control

AJA also announced DNxHD support in capture devices such as the Io– including MXF wrappers for going straight to edit. The software update will be free for owners of their products.


Sonnet is also starting to roll out Thunderbolt products — with storage and expansion being obvious strong use cases for the tech. This is good news for on-set, as the company was showing off a RED Rocket card housed in their Echo Express PCIe 2.0 Expansion Chassis. In a presentation at IBC, Ted Shilowitz showed this in use with footage shot in 5k on Epic, playing from a Thunderbolt disk array connected to a MacBook Pro and projected in 2K.

Available in two sizes, the standard Echo Express supports one half-length, double-width, x16 (x4 mode), PCIe 2.0 card, while the XL model supports one full-length card; both models have fans to cool the cards. The standard model includes a built-in 75W power supply, while the XL model includes an integrated 150W power supply with a supplemental 75W PCIe power connector. Two Thunderbolt ports on the unit support daisy chaining of up to six devices to a single port on the host computer. Both products are expected to be available in the fall, with pricing TBD.

The company was also showing the Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter, which adds an ExpressCard/34 2.0 slot to any computer to which it’s connected, enabling you to use a wide variety of ExpressCard/34 cards. Among other cards, the adapter supports Sonnet CompactFlash and SDXC readers; FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, select eSATA adapters as well as the AJA® io Express. It’s expected to ship in October, with a suggested retail price of $149.00USD.

Finally, we got our first look at the RackMac™ mini Xserver Rackmount 1U System. As the name implies, this system mounts a Mac mini inside a specially designed 1U enclosure, which also contains one PCIe 2.0 x4 slot, a 75W power supply plus a Thunderbolt daisy-chain port.

This system enables users to connect one half-length PCIe 2.0 adapter card to the Mac mini via a Thunderbolt cable, while allowing the connection of additional Thunderbolt peripherals to the daisy-chain Thunderbolt port. The enclosure also delivers strategic airflow cooling to the computer, provides a front panel power button and USB port and can automatically power on/off the PCIe Expansion Slot in unison with the Mac mini. It’s effectively a machine room replacement for much of the functionality of an Xserve. Pricing is still to be determined, with shipping expected to start in November.



Atomos, makers of the  Samurai portable field recorder, announced that they will be supporting the Avid DNxHD codec in their recorders by the end of the year. Currently shipping with Apple ProRes support, the feature will be available by the end of the year and will cost €99, 89GBP or $149 USD for any Samurai user.

They also introduced a couple of battery powered mini converters, called “Connect. Connecting HD-SDI to HDMI (Connect S2H) or HD-SDI to HDMI (Connect H2S), they can remove pulldown (reverse-telecine) and include an inbuilt test pattern and audio tone generation.

These units are incredibly small — we had no idea how compact they were when looking at the fliers and press materials. What is also interesting about them is that they have a built-in two hour battery, as well as a slot for a full-up battery (utilizing standard NP batteries). One side of the Connect has a slot where you can attach an NP battery — and the other side is actually an NP connections. This way, you can actually thje Connect to the back of either their Samurai or Ninja recorders (or maybe even a camera) and they’ll power the devices. With the built in battery, you can even swap batteries off the back on the fly without losing power.

The Pixel Farm

The Pixel Farm launched of PFMill, a new collaborative workgroup product that enables restoration facilities to scale the size of their operations according to their workload, and introduces new pricing and rental structures. PFMill utilises the same core technology as it’s enterprise stablemate, PFSilo and enables up to ten restoration artists to simultaneously work on restoration projects using special versions of The Pixel Farm’s renowned clean-up and remastering software, PFClean.

PFMill is a single software product, with a simple producer interface, which provides a single point for project updates, administration and resource management. It runs on one workstation, which hosts all support hardware and services. Artists effectively log into PFMill from any computer on the facility network and run a PFMill-only, modified version of PFClean (which don’t have ingest/layoff) as a lightweight client on their machine. This lightweight client provides full PFClean functionality, but differs from the standalone PFClean in that it only operates with PFMill, and all image I/O operations are executed in PFMill’s producer GUI. In software-only form, PFMill supports OSX and Windows variants of OS.

PFMill starts at a base price of £35,000 and includes three clients, a producer seat plus all associated infrastructure products, and can be expanded to a total of 10 clients as required. Each additional seat is £6,000 — which is half the price of PFClean. They are also introducing a rental model where clients can be licensed at a cost of £1,000 per month. This type of flexibility is really quite appealing, as it allows facilities to quickly and easily ramp up on short term projects as needed without a huge initial investment. The rental model is an interesting trend in the industry, with Adobe introducing this ability earlier this year with CS 5.5

It’s a been several months since the release of the newly revamped PFTrack 2011, totally rebuilt on the new architecture shared with PFMatchIt. The takeup of renewals/maintenance upgrading to the new version has been really strong for the company. According to Simon Brett, Operations Director for The Pixel Farm, close to 70% of their entire PFTrack user base is now on support and has upgraded to the new version. The company is a bit unique in that they don’t charge extra fees for upgrading if a customer has skipped a version and it seems as though the new version has been met with enthusiasm from the user base. Having their customers on maintenance is quite important moving forward, as it helps to pay for continuing development costs in a predictable way. And for the end user, it provides a bit of an incentive for the company to release frequent updates and improvements to the product.


Meduza was showing a preview of the Meduza MK1, the first deliverable version of the Meduza Camera. This camera was shown in prototype form at NAB and now features a more robust and accurate mechanical system that is designed to allow for changeable inter-axial adjustments from between 38mm to 110mm without the use of a mirror rig (with an accuracy of a 1/2 micron). Matt Whelan, one of the developers, spoke to us at length about the sensor, the lenses and the future plans – that interview can be heard as part of an upcoming The RC Podcast.

The lenses are being specially built as matched pairs, designed specifically for the camera. They are designed to deliver super high precision, not only in the glass, but also in the motorized focus and iris controls specifically developed to meet the challenges of precision needed both for 3D and for 4K cinematography. These lenses are not only uniquely optically matched and sold in pairs, but each lens has been constructed to fit into a compact 38mm wide mechanical barrel to allow for very close inter-axial positioning that is critical to S3D.

Meduza MK1
There are 16 different lenses designed for Meduza


Eyeon announced the release of Generation AM this week at IBC. For details see the press release here on fxguide. We’re scheduled for an interview with the folks from Eyeon on Monday, so we’ll have more details in an article or on fxguidetv later this week.


The Foundry

The Foundry booth drew steady crowds with presentations on both software as well as customer presentations. Hiero was the big news here, with the largest crowds watching booth demos on their new conform and vfx workflow tool. Check out our exclusive sneak preview of the product in fxguidetv #119. We mentioned in that ep that we’d have some details about pricing, but The Foundry still haven’t given a public indication of pricing for the product. It’s understandable that they’re using the show to suss out customer thoughts and expectations…



Autodesk was showing off their upcoming extension releases of flame and smoke. We had an exclusive look at this last month, in an fxguidetv episode recorded in Montreal with Philippe Soerio. Check it out for an overview of the new features coming out later this year.