Archive for February, 2012

Audio Facility Ravenswork Sets Up Shop at Video Editorial House Lost Planet with Genelec Active Monitoring System

— Mixer/sound designer Robert Feist’s Ravenswork commercial audio studio found a new home at long-time collaborator Lost Planet’s video editorial facility, and Feist’s new audio suite features a Genelec 5.1 surround monitoring array —

NATICK, MA, February 29, 2012 — Commercial media advertising has been a tough business for the last decade but many lucky talents have found ways to stay on top. When Robert Feist, owner of the three-room Ravenswork commercial audio facility in Venice, California, felt the economy’s pinch in recent years, he created synergy by moving his studio and its high-end commercial work into the space of a long-time collaborator, video editorial facility Lost Planet, in Santa Monica. Together, the two companies have increased their work at the high end of commercial media with top-level talent and technology. Part of that has been the inclusion, from the moment the new audio studio opened at Lost Planet last June, of a Genelec 5.1 surround monitoring system, consisting of three Genelec 8250A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors for the L-C-R array, a pair of Genelec 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors for the left and right rear surrounds, and a Genelec 7270A Active DSP Subwoofer.

Feist says that the Genelec surround monitoring system was put to the test immediately upon the opening of the room with the first commercial worked on there, promoting GRAMMY Award®-winning vocalist Beyoncé’s exclusive distribution arrangement with retailer Target. “The commercial had very critical audio requirements – the monitoring had to be perfect, consistent and accurate, and that’s just what the Genelecs gave me,” says Feist, who also uses a pair of Genelec 1029A speakers as desktop monitors.

Since then, Feist and the Genelec speakers have applied their talents to other commercial projects for clients including Nike, Mazda, Google and Absolut Vodka, including Absolut’s award-winning “Absolut Blank” campaign that features over two dozen artists.

“The Genelecs are great speakers for monitoring and mixing,” says Feist, who uses them for both broadcast and theatrical mix versions of the commercial spots he works on. “They’re not just a purchase, they’re an investment – one which is already bringing great results for us and our clients.”

For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com/.

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Nice Shoes Promotes Lenny Mastrandrea to Head of Color


NYC-based Nice Shoes is promoting veteran colorist Lenny Mastrandrea to head of color. The 15-year Nice Shoes veteran will place an emphasis on talent development, technological advancement, efficiency, and business growth while leading the studio’s menu of advanced color offerings, including its digital dailies partnership with MTI Film, its on-set color supervision services, and its remote color grading operations.

“Lenny has been indispensable to Nice Shoes’ success,” noted Nice Shoes CEO Dominic Pandolfino. “We trust him completely to lead our many exciting color initiatives.”

Mastrandrea will lead integration of the studio’s new Control Dailies at Nice Shoes effort, a strategic relationship with MTI Film Hollywood to offer entertainment television producers a digital dailies service for episodic television shows originating in New York and finishing on either coast. As the studio integrates this service into their daily workflow, he will manage the daily operation, train a team to run the software around the clock, and establish guidelines and responsibilities for everyone involved in the process.

Control Dailies is just the latest of several ambitious efforts Nice Shoes has launched. Their on-set color supervision service gets colorists on location to ensure directors capture all the data necessary for knockout post work. The studio also teamed up with Boston-based Engine Room Edit to offer remote color grading to clients in New England.

“Nice Shoes’ emphasis on staying at the forefront of color keeps me excited to come to work every day,” noted Mastrandrea. “The opportunity to lead this company in its efforts to be where our clients need us to be, when they need us, is a real honor for me.”

Mastrandrea will also continue in his role as colorist, working with such brands as Under Armour, Wendy’s, Kohl’s, L’Oréal, Van Cleef & Arpels, Verizon, Lunesta and many others.

Visit Nice Shoes

About Nice Shoes
NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, MD Kristen Martini, CD Brian Bowman, CIO Robert Keske, Senior Producer Pat Portela, and Brand Director Justin Pandolfino.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA) trustcollective.com

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Tool’s Richardson Takes Home Third Oscar


Tool Director/DP Robert Richardson took home the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Martin Scorsese’s 3-D film Hugo at last night’s 84th annual Academy Awards. Hugo marks Richardson’s third Oscar; he received Best Cinematography awards for Scorsese’s The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Oliver Stone’s JFK. Richardson earned his other four Oscar nominations – all in the Best Cinematography category – for Inglourious Basterds, Snow Falling on Cedars, Born on the Fourth of July, and Platoon.

Photo by Getty Images

Richardson is currently wrapping production on Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Django Unchained.

Visit Tool

About Tool
Bicoastal Tool is an award-winning production company, representing top live-action directors and interactive directors for advertising projects. From funny… visually engaging… and/or interactive, Tool’s diverse roster of unique talent creates unforgettable commercial and digital content across all platforms.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA) trustcollective.com

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New PESA PRO-3GSDI-1616 Routing Switcher Offers Internal Power, Optional Pushbutton Control

Huntsville, Alabama – PESA has expanded its PESA PRO line of professional AV routers with the new PRO-3GSDI-1616 Routing Switcher. It supports all common SMPTE and ITU standard serial digital video signals, as well as embedded audio and other ancillary data required for HD-SDI and DVB/ASI broadcast sources. For digital cinema high definition video distribution requirements, it can be configured to switch SMPTE 372M dual-link HD-SDI in configurations up to 8×8.

The PRO-3GSDI-1616 supports standard data rates from 50Mbps to 3Gbps and video transports up to 1080p/60. All inputs are auto-equalized. With standard SMPTE formatted outputs, each signal is auto-sensed and re-clocked to the appropriate transport stream. Signals can be re-clocked up to 100m for 1080p/60. For non-standard formats, re-clocking circuitry can be set to bypass mode. Two independent reference inputs allow easy selection of genlock from a black burst or tri-level sync source.

Two models are available: the PRO-3GSDI-1616-C and the PRO-3GSDI-1616-PB, which includes a local pushbutton control panel. Both models feature an internal power supply and can have multiple remote control panels added via an Ethernet interface.

The PRO-3GSDI-1616’s compact 1 RU frame design features front load, hot swappable card sets, and includes space for an optional redundant power supply and controller module. It is also compatible with PESA’s Cattrax™ graphical user control interface. Cattrax is an intuitive GUI control system that supports comprehensive configuration, diagnostics, and monitoring of the PRO-3GSDI-1616 as well as the full line of PESA router frames. The software is installed on a host PC running the Windows® operating system and communicates via an Ethernet port located on each router.

Positioned at a more competitive price point, the PESA PRO line includes several new features that make it an attractive package for small to mid-size video switching environments. The PESA PRO line is ideal for SD-SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI switching applications in digital cinema, telemedicine, O&P, high-end presentation rooms, satellite imaging, military command centers, and simulation/visualization environments.

“With almost four decades of proven performance in high-quality broadcast switching products, PESA continues to innovate with cost effective products like the PRO-3GSDI-1616,” said Dan Holland, PESA vice president of product marketing. “It’s loaded with features normally found in larger router systems, but it fits perfectly in small to mid-size venues where rack space is at a premium.”

The PRO-3GSDI-1616 has an MSRP of $5,995 and is available now.

About PESA

As a leading provider of audio/video connectivity, PESA offers a wide selection of routing switchers, matrix switchers, extenders, converters, media extenders, and signal processing gear to support government, military, industrial, commercial, broadcast and mobile truck applications. PESA offers one of the widest ranges of AV products – from large scale fiber optic routing to single-point CAT-5 DVI extenders – each with the integrity and innovative high performance technology expected from PESA. Our products are available around the world from a leading team of channel partners offering local support and installation and all of our products are supported by 24/7 technical support. To learn more about our technologies and services visit www.pesa.com. PESA is located in Huntsville, Alabama with regional offices throughout the United States.

All products mentioned herein are trademarked property of their respective owners.

Press Contact

Mark J. Pescatore
Pipeline Communications
561-531-3106
mark@pipecomm.com

Company Contact

Dan Holland
VP, Product Marketing
256-726-9200
dholland@pesa.com

motion504 Maps History of Stereoscopy With 3D University Show Open

AICP Minnesota recently called on broadcast design & animation studio motion504 to create the show open for 3D UNIVERSITY, a day-long seminar gathering world-class 3D professionals under one roof. Presented by AICP MN, Minnesota Film and TV, Minnesota Women in Film & TV, and the International 3D Society, the event featured keynote speakers Buzz Hays of the Sony 3D Technology Center and 3ality Digital Systems Founder/CEO Steve Schklair, among many others.

Conceived by motion504 Creative Director Scott Wenner, the show open aptly introduces the seminar speakers and sponsors, each visually presented through the evolution of 3D gadgetry spanning the early 20th century to present day. The photo-real animated show open screened in full stereoscopic 3D at Showplace Icon Theaters to kick off the event.

The captivating sequence begins in the mid-century era of 3D imaging, observing a metal photo-viewer once used for military ground surveillance. Going further into the depths of bygone dimensions, the nostalgic journey reveals generations of 3D devices and techniques: an ornate leather-bound cartoscope; an iconic turn-of-the-century wood-crafted stereoscope; whimsical ancient peep show boxes; classic view-masters and, finally, a brilliant display of red-blue anaglyph glasses familiar to the modern era’s burgeoning 3D movie industry.

View the flat version of the “3D University Show Open”

Experience the “3D University Show Open” in stereoscopic 3D (*anaglyph red/blue glasses required)

“I wanted the show open to express the idea that stereoscopy has been around for a long time and has evolved through various gadgets, rather than make a definitive history of 3D,” explains Wenner. “The animations explore the experience of 3D-viewing through classic 3D devices. The end-result is a visual experience that’s fitting for the 3D University audience.”

Wenner researched and referenced real cartoscopes, stereoscopes, view-masters and peepshow boxes, utilizing Cinema 4D for rendering, and Photoshop for textures and painting. The photography, stereo-cards and other related imagery were pulled from actual stereoscopes and view-masters found through Wenner’s research. For the peep box scene, which theater audiences experience in 3D as if looking at the glass slides through the device’s viewing hole, Wenner made illustrations inspired by an old-time book of circus clip art. He then sampled, re-drew and cut up the images and incorporated them into the scene.

“I took some liberties here and there to make each piece work, but for the most part, all of the objects you see are actual incarnations of 3D viewing gadgets,” explains Wenner. “For the design and illustration elements, I drew inspiration from each device’s era, as well as classic 3D terminology for the fictional branding of the devices.”

The concept for the show open was heavily inspired by Wenner’s personal passion for steampunk, as well as building and collecting old gadgets.

“Given that the brief offered complete creative liberty, it was exciting for me to combine my fascination with antiques and hand-made technology with my craft as a 3D animator who specializes in making photo-real objects,” concludes Wenner.

CREDITS

Title: 3D University Show Open

Client: AICP Minnesota, on behalf of 3D University
Producer: Mike Tabor

Design & Animation Company: motion504
Creative Director: Scott Wenner
Executive Producer: Eric Mueller

Music & Sound Design: Uproar Music and Sound
Composer: Kent Militzer

Surround Mix and DCP Delivery: Splice
Surround Mixer: Kelly Pieklo
DCP Delivery: Mark Abney
Executive Producer: Steve Fait

About motion504
motion504 is a broadcast design, effects and animation studio specializing in the art of motion. Featuring the talent of senior-level creative directors, designers and animators, the company works for TV, film, music and advertising clients. With its open studio space, motion504 is built upon the idea of collaboration through communication, critique and contribution amongst its artists and clients. www.motion504.com

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Luxology Ships Parasolid-based CAD Loaders for modo 601

Luxology Ships Parasolid-based CAD Loaders for modo 601
Adds Industry Standard Support for XT, IGES and STEP Files


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — February 29, 2012 — With the release of the new CAD Loaders for the recently announced modo® 601 software, CAD designers working with XT, IGES, and STEP files will now be able to use Luxology’s powerful 3D software to create photorealistic images and animations.

CAD Loaders for modo are based on Parasolid® technology, an industry-leading geometry kernel whose data files, according to Siemens, account for over 40% of all 3D model data stored worldwide. As models are loaded into modo, the CAD surfaces can be dynamically tessellated for optimum use in modo’s modeling and rendering operations. Real-time rendering previews and dynamic editing tools in modo can then be used to turn base designs into immersive, photorealistic graphics.

“Exchange of CAD data is absolutely business-critical to our customers,” says Brad Peebler, president and co-founder, Luxology. “CAD Loaders for modo offer users a flexible set of controls for optimizing incoming CAD data that goes beyond simple file importing. This opens up a world of CAD data for designers and other 3D artists who want to tap the power of modo for concept design and advanced visualization.”

Key benefits of CAD Loaders

Industry Standard Parasolid Technology: Support for Parasolid XT, IGES and STEP files allows CAD designers and other modo users to access design and engineering files produced in leading CAD systems worldwide.

Expanded Flexibility for Surfaces: Incoming surfaces are maintained as parametric surfaces in modo which allows for alternate tessellation parameters to be applied dynamically under user control. Resulting meshes can be saved as convex polygons or a combination of quads and n-gons.

Efficiency: Many CAD files are characterized by large amounts of repeated data elements. With the Instance Handling feature of the CAD Loaders, modo users get the choice of loading instance-laden files as copies, instances, or modo replicators, which can greatly reduce memory use and boost interactivity.

“The CAD Loaders are an awesome addition to my workflow,” says Paul McCrorey, a modo user and president of McCrorey Digital. “By eliminating triangles from my imported geometry, I get quad-based results and moldable assets that are easier to use and require a lot less memory. This allows me to take my work to the next level no matter what program I start in. I love that.”

Pricing and Availability
CAD Loaders for modo are available immediately from authorized Luxology resellers and on Luxology’s website. The Advanced CAD Loader for modo 601 includes XT, IGES, and STEP file loaders priced at $695.00, while the Basic CAD Loader is a Parasolid XT standalone file loader priced at $495.00. CAD Loaders for modo are compatible with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.

About modo
modo is an innovative 3D modeling, painting and rendering software designed to accelerate the creation of world-class designs and ultra high-quality renderings. modo’s modern workflow and advanced toolset easily deliver enhanced productivity for professionals working in design visualization, conceptual modeling, package design, and graphic arts. A favorite tool among designers and artists, modo’s flexible feature set is ideal for modeling and visualization on the PC and Mac.

About Luxology
Based in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via designer-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002 by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is home to some of the top 3D engineering expertise in the industry. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo® and a gallery of images from the active modo community are available online at www.luxology.com.

About Parasolid
Parasolid® is an industry leading geometry kernel with associated APIs for translating Parasolid’s XT data format and other popular industry formats. Parasolid is the world’s leading 3D solid modeling component software, and is used as the foundation of Siemens PLM’s NX and Solid Edge products. It is used in many other 3rd party Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Product visualization, and CAD data exchange packages.

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Luxology’s modo 601 Now Available

Luxology’s modo 601 Now Available
Character Animation and Built-in Dynamics Offer Full Pipeline Solution for 3D Content Creators

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — February 29, 2012 — Luxology® LLC today announced the immediate availability of modo® 601, a landmark release of its award-winning, artist-friendly 3D content creation software. modo 601 includes character animation, built-in dynamics, volumetric rendering, and enhanced retopology modeling tools along with a host of other new capabilities. modo is now a full pipeline solution for professionals working in media and entertainment, advertising, engineering and architectural design visualization.

“modo 601 is our most significant release ever,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “With new feature and workflow enhancements, modo now offers an end-to-end production solution that is both powerful and highly usable by artists and designers.”

modo 601’s new feature and workflow improvements include:

Character Animation: modo offers a range of character animation functionality from easy-to-use posing tools to the creation of fully articulated character rigs that can be manipulated through a full-body inverse kinematics solver and a general purpose system of layered deformers.

Dynamics: Rigid and soft body dynamics, based on Version 2.79 of the Bullet Physics engine, are now a standard part of modo and provide realistic simulations of mechanical and organic motion.

Retopology Modeling: Focused tools and a new dedicated retopology modeling layout simplify the rapid creation of clean models on top of imported geometry.

Rendering and Shading: New photorealistic rendering capabilities include volumetric rendering, render booleans, hair and skin shaders, and rounded edge control for hard surface models. Cel, contour and halftone shaders offer enhanced non-photorealistic rendering opportunities.

3D Paint: The multi-purpose paint system in modo 601 is extended to paint, scale, erase and smooth vertex (weight) maps on meshes.

Rendering Workflow: The Preview Renderer can now be used for final image production as it will progressively render an image to the desired resolution at full quality. A comprehensive render pass system, plus new interactive image processing and comparison tools, speed image refinement.

Modeling: modo’s Pixar Subdivision surface modeling now includes the ability to crease individual vertices and control display resolution while rendering at full quality. Soft and lazy selection options enable rapid, yet precise isolation of model components while modeling.

“Throughout my 18 years in the 3D business, I’ve never seen a 3D software application become so powerful, so fast,” said Dan Ablan, President – AGA Digital Studios, Inc. “The additions to modo 601 are mind blowing, and the render boolean function, blobs, and new deformer tools are absolutely invaluable!”

“This is character animation done right,” said Greg Brown, beta tester and Sr. CGI Artist at Alter. “We’ve all been holding our breath for this one and it was definitely worth the wait.”

Pricing and Availability
modo 601 is available immediately for both Mac OS X and Windows at $1,195 with an upgrade price of $495. Existing modo owners can upgrade for $395 for the next two weeks. Also, for a limited time, users of Maya, 3ds Max, SoftImage, Houdini, CINEMA 4D, and LightWave 3D are offered a crossgrade to modo for just $795. modo 601 is available from Luxology and its network of authorized Luxology resellers around the globe.

To see the full list of modo 601’s new features please visit: http://www.luxology.com


About modo
modo is an innovative 3D modeling, painting, rendering, and animation software designed to accelerate the creation of world-class designs and ultra high-quality renderings. modo’s modern workflow and advanced toolset easily deliver enhanced productivity for design visualization, game development, film/broadcast, package design, and graphic arts. A favorite tool among many designers and artists, modo’s flexible toolset offers one of the fastest paths to content creation on the PC and Mac.

About Luxology
Based in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via artist-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002, by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is home to some of the top 3D engineering expertise in the industry. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo® and a gallery of images from the active modo community is available online at www.luxology.com.

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FLUID Gets a Full Check-Up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina


An insurer and hospital working to save patients money and operate efficiently? That’s crazy talk. Or at least that’s the theme of a hilarious new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina campaign featuring a comprehensive effort from FLUID that included editorial, VFX and sound design by Butter. The campaign, done in collaboration with long-time FLUID partners Capstrat and Moxie Pictures Director Tom Routson, stars flabbergasted customers who react with wild disbelief when they hear about new efforts by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to control costs.

In Mother, an elderly woman throws water in her son’s face, thinking he is sleepwalking and babbling nonsense when he details an ambitious drive to bring doctors together in the same facility. Escape features a man fleeing from the upper floor of a medical building with tied-together bed sheets because the “crazy” doctors told him he didn’t have to fill out any more paperwork. A disbelieving patient breaks into hysterics and searches madly for the hidden camera that he believes must be hiding nearby when his doctor tells him that there is one flat fee for knee replacements in Hidden Camera. And, a man tosses his wife’s computer out the window in Hacking, when he thinks she’s broken into various hospitals’ computer systems to compare the prices of shoulder surgeries.

“This is the kind of campaign we love working on,” said FLUID Senior Producer Leanne Diamond. “FLUID’s editorial strengths are on display through the performance-driven and physical nature of the spots, as well as the talent of our in-house shops. Everything from the sound design to the VFX came together beautifully.”

FLUID worked closely with Routson throughout the shoot to get an understanding of his vision, then handled rig removal, extensive retouching and tracking to enhance performance and maintain continuity. “The ultimate goal in any VFX job is to support the message and tone of the film and the vision of the filmmakers,” noted FLUID VFX Artist Wes Waldron. “Sometimes those effects are visually stunning alterations of reality that are meant to actively tell a story, and sometimes they are subtle tweaks of reality that allow the story to come through more clearly on its own. If executed properly, those effects should never to be seen at all. This job was the latter.”

FLUID’s concern for their partner’s vision extended to the edit room, in which they labored to strike the exact desired comedic tone, cutting certain outstanding scenes so as not to sacrifice the story’s continuity or effect.

“The creative collaboration with Capstrat unfolded very naturally,” explained FLUID Editor Zeke O’Donnell. “Our schedule allowed us to massage the cuts and really squeeze every ounce of humor out of the footage.”

Butter Sound Designer Fred Szymanksi focused on each spot’s punch line moment, which drew attention to the story’s protagonist, creating a need to dramatize their reaction in a hyper-real way. By building up multiple tracks of Foleys and custom effects, the studio managed to create a realistic sound environment and to dramatize the action within the threshold of believability for this climax event. They also designed a transition between the main body of the spot and the campaign tagline, fashioning a sound design element with a musical feeling to support the message without overpowering it.

“These clients are very focused and thought long and hard about every detail that went into these spots,” noted FLUID Editor Robin Burchill. “As a result, they played an active part during the offline, an enjoyable process for all given our longstanding rapport and creative similarities. I consider them all friends, which makes the interacting even easier and more fun.”

Visit FLUID
View Media

Credits
Client: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Spots Title: Hacking, Mother, Escape, and Hidden Camera
Air Date: February 7, 2012

Agency: Capstrat
Art Director: Scott Ballew
Copywriter: Adam Cohen
CD: Adam Cohen, Scott Ballew
Agency Producer: Anson Burtch

Prod Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: Tom Routson
EP: Lizzie Schwartz, Robert Fernandez
EP/Head of Commercials:
Head of Production: Roger Zorovich

Editorial: FLUID
Editor: Robin Burchill, Zeke O’Donnell
Assistant Editor: Chris Angelidakis
Producer: Leanne Diamond

Post/Effects: FLUID
Lead VFX/Inferno Artist: Wes Waldron
Designer/Animator: Zeke O’Donnell, Wes Waldron

Sound Design: Butter
Sound Designer: Fred Szymanksi

Shoot Location: Los Angeles and Inglewood, CA
About FLUID
Fluid, comprised of a team of award-winning editors, provides editorial services complemented by a family of in-house creative partners: graphics and CG from Piranha; VFX, retouching, and finish from Ride; and audio post from Mr. Bronx, and original composition and sound design from Butter. All located in their Soho loft studios, this wealth of creative and technical resources allows for a uniquely collaborative environment.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA) trustcollective.com

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Bahakel Communications Uses FOR-A MXF Clip Server to Store and Playout Video Clips for Local Newscasts

Fort Lee, N.J. – FOR-A Corporation of America, a leading manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, announces that Bahakel Communications in Charlotte, NC, is using six FOR-A MBP-100SX MXF clip servers to store and convert MXF (XDCAM compatible) files for HD-SDI video play out during live newscasts for WCCB-FOX Charlotte and WOLO-ABC Columbia.

The clip servers, which reside in the station’s News Engineering room, replaced a bank of HDCAM tape machines. FOX Charlotte’s news editors—working in nonlinear video editing suites in multiple cities—now wrap their finished news stories in MXF and transfer them as files over a high-speed data network. Once downloaded onto the clip servers, the news director organizes them using the companion touchscreen into a “rundown” of stories that playout to air during the station’s newscasts.

“The FOR-A clip servers are far more cost-effective than broadcast video servers for tapeless news playout,” said Bob Davis, Director of Engineering and Operations for Bahakel Communications, a Charlotte, NC-based communications company that owns television and radio stations primarily in the Southeastern U.S. “Tapeless local news playout, as well as the ability to exchange news stories as files with other group members, helps us streamline our workflow and maximize our production efforts and resources. Operational efficiency was a big motivating factor in our buying decision, along with reliability and great support.”

The MBP-100SX, which is a compact, 1-rack-unit MXF clip server, supports Sony’s XDCAM, XDCAM HD and XDCAM HD422 compatible MXF files. The control software displays thumbnail images on a PC monitor or touch panel that lets users confirm the content and metadata of recorded clips at a glance. It outputs MXF files as HD/SD-SDI baseband video, with up to eight channels of embedded audio.

“The MBP-100SX clip server was designed to provide a bridge between IT and MXF file-based workflows and the HD/SD-SDI baseband video world, as well as playout to air,” said Pedro Silvestre, sales director for FOR-A Corp. of America. “We’re extremely pleased that Bahakel has chosen our clip servers as an innovative, cost-effective way to streamline its tapeless news production workflow.”

About FOR-A

FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-A’s product line, call 201-944-1120 or visit our web site at www.for-a.com.

Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Light Up Madonna’s Stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Madonna may have headlined Super Bowl XLVI’s Halftime Show, but Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures made a name for themselves too, helping to light up the stage for the Material Girl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Lighting designer Al Gurdon, of UK-based Incandescent Design, utilized 204 Sharpys supplied by PRG after being impressed with their performance on FOX’s “X Factor.”

Gurdon has been recognized internationally for his TV and event lighting design. He has received many awards for his lighting over the years, including Lighting Designer of the Year from the TPI Awards, Lighting Design Awards, Royal Television Society Awards, Knight of Illumination Awards, and Australia’s Helpmann Award. He has served as lighting designer for the famed Eurovision Song Contest.

For the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. was once again the production designer, All Access Staging built the set and PRG and Full Flood provided the lighting services.

“The shape of the Halftime Show is always determined by the artist,” says Gurdon who has been lighting designer for two previous shows featuring The Black Eyed Peas and The Who. “Madonna is an entertainer, and this year there were many more staging elements to the show itself, including a lot of dancing, so there was less of a need for lighting to ‘carry’ the spectacle.” In fact, this year’s Halftime Show was one of the largest and most technically challenging ever with the largest cast, most lift effects and biggest projection and lighting rig.

Gurdon notes that since “Because of the nature of the act and the show, glamour lighting was a very important element, and my job was basically to always present her and the other performers in the best light , and simply allow the audience to see the show.”

As a result he created “a cleaner look this year” and was careful to preserve all the video projection mapping taking place on stage where Madonna was joined by M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Cee Lo Green.

“The Sharpys seem to be ideally suited to projects where power, brightness and optical efficiency is required,” says Gurdon. “I put them in rectangular pods of 20 in the air and 16 on the floor, packed very tightly together. When used in a cluster as one big moving light they could operate either as a solid beam that could really rival the big outdoor spots, yet we could suddenly split them into 20 beams, too.

Sharpy is a 189W moving head with an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages. Tipping the scales at just 16 kg, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 5,100 footcandles at 65 feet. It is also groundbreaking in the purity of its beam, which is sharply defined and free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers an interchangeable color wheel with 14 fixed colors and an interchangeable gobo wheel with 17 fixed gobos, allowing users to change the shape of the beam and create an array of spectacular mid-air effects.

Gurdon reports that the Sharpys “performed very well. They are pretty awesome for their size: extremely compact but incredibly powerful. You really get an intense effect out of them. I was very pleased.”

Mike Oz Owen was the Varilite board operator for the Halftime Show. A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “We’re proud that our Sharpys are once again the feature light in such a high profile event. Mr. Gurdon is a great friend of Clay Paky and an excellent designer and we believe the SuperBowl marks another important step in the acceptance of our products and our brand recognition in the US.”

About Clay Paky
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.

For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:
Francesco Romagnoli francesco@claypaky.it
Davide Barbetta webmaster@claypaky.it

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