Archive for July, 2012

Ventuz Technology Continues to Build Momentum in the Broadcast Market

Ventuz Technology, provider of high-end interactive graphics software technologies for advanced 2D/3D real-time broadcast graphic and innovative interactive in-studio applications continues to build momentum worldwide for its software solutions.

Used throughout the broadcast, live presentation and digital signage markets, the Ventuz software suite is considered one of the most innovative solutions available today. It specifically addresses the challenges creative agencies are facing in keeping up with the technological and presentation needs of customers as well as helping broadcasters produce, manage and deliver high-end 2D / 3D on-air and in-studio graphics efficiently and economically. Regardless of the application, the openness of the Ventuz software allows for a variety of external control capabilities, such as multi-touch functionality enabling communication with any input device connected to a standard Windows PC.

Its easy to use authoring and animation environment offers an open framework of building blocks, which means users not only have a complete toolset for creating compelling content, but it also supports seamless integration with 3rd party applications. The unsurpassed flexibility of the Ventuz 3D engine provides unique possibilities to utilize designs for both broadcast on-air graphics and interactive in-studio applications.

The growing customer-base of Ventuz Technology speaks to the increasing awareness of this state-of-the-art software suite:

Broadcasters using Ventuz software for Television Programs:
• FOX USA: Next Generation FoxBox
Ventuz software drives all live sporting event clock and score graphics for Fox Sports Net (FSN) nationwide broadcasting of all major sports leagues and events.

• Who wants to be a Millionaire?
The British company Cat&Mouse, service provider for game show graphics and control, has used Ventuz for virtually all of their productions. Among their shows are renowned formats, such as Who wants to be a Millionaire, Power of 10, and Million Pound Drop.

• Political Programs
Ventuz software powered a touchscreen for the interactive TV presentation of graphs and analysis charts of coverage of several election broadcasts by WDR in Germany.

• Broadcast Sports
Swedish TV network Kanal 75 switched over to Ventuz software as its 3D graphics engine and character generator for live horse racing coverage in its off-track betting centers.

• TTR World Snowboard Tour:
Rayd and E.I.M. Solutions created a full sports on-air graphics and live-display solution with Ventuz software for the Ticket To Ride World Snowboard Tour.

Ventuz provides a powerful environment for the creation of 3D graphics regardless of how complex the on-air or presentation graphics requirements are. Its intuitive toolset offers real productivity & operational enhancements, a vast number of 2D and 3D design and text effects, as well as real-time 3D rendering. Ventuz is a versatile solution for creating rich and engaging content and designs efficiently and without being limited by the technology.

About Ventuz Technology:
Ventuz Technology offers hardware-agnostic, resolution-independent 2D/3D real-time software and technology for graphics design, authoring, and control of non-linear animation and interactive 2D/3D presentations, 3D rendering, as well as video wall and multi-display presentations.

Ventuz Broadcast:
Ventuz Technology’s Broadcast edition addresses on-air and in-studio broadcast applications, post production motion graphics and 2D/3D workflows. As a field-proven real-time graphics solutions, global broadcast stations currently utilize Ventuz for the 2D/3D authoring and graphic playback of sportscasts, second screen connected TV applications, and in-studio presentations.

Ventuz Pro:
Advertising agencies and the live events industry utilize Ventuz Professional edition for creating, staging and lighting large-scale multimedia client presentations and fully interactive product launches. Digital signage content designers use Ventuz software tools for the creation and display (including touch-screen) for POS. Regardless of the application, customers including Microsoft, Audi, Adidas, Avid, XBOX, D:SF, Skoda, and Porsche use Ventuz technology for unlimited creativity for real-time 3D design, authoring and presentation.

For more information about VENTUZ Technology’s products & services please visit: http://ventuz.com. For USA sales, please contact catrin.beck@ventuz.com.
View the Ventuz YouTube Channel for application examples: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL47C04DEBB7C43967&feature=plcp

Rock Paper Scissors Cuts Viral Hit for Pepsi MAX


Throughout the NBA Finals, Pepsi MAX drove millions of basketball fans across the world to a YouTube video profiling a breakout hoops sensation: a 70-something man known only as Uncle Drew who shows up on a New Jersey street ball court and dominates with a dazzling array of crossovers, dunks and long-range shots. The secret – which is revealed at the end of a 5:00 video created by Davie Brown Entertainment and cut by Rock Paper Scissors – is that the crusty septuagenarian is actually 20-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving in an elaborate disguise.

The video, which has earned over 14 million views on YouTube, follows Irving throughout the night. He slides into character on the car ride to the court, complaining about the lack of fundamentals in modern basketball, and then appears to reluctantly enter the game when a player on his “nephew” Kevin’s team is injured. From there, Rock Paper Scissors expertly weaves together oncourt action and crowd reaction as Uncle Drew first seems to struggle and then begins to dominate, slicing the opposing team apart with a sequence of swished shots and impossible moves.

“No one except for the nephew character and the person who faked an injury so that Uncle Drew could enter the game knew what was really going on,” noted Editor Damion Clayton. “That made for some really incredible crowd reaction shots. Kyrie played his part perfectly, making our job in the edit suite that much easier.”

Visit Rock Paper Scissors

Credits
Client: Pepsi MAX
Spot Title: “Uncle Drew”
Air Date: June 2012

Agency: Davie Brown Entertainment
Creative Director: Marc Gilbar

Production: Minus L
DP: Brian Thomas
Line Producer: Angie Revell

Editorial: RPS
Editor: Damion Clayton
EP: Carol Lynn Weaver

Audio Post: Heard City
Mixers: Philip Loeb, Evan Mangiamele

Music: Beacon Street Studios

Special Effects Makeup: Ed French
Assistant Make-up: Sue Lee
About Rock Paper Scissors
Rock Paper Scissors edits for the world’s top directors, studios, and advertisers.

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

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RPA Announces Slate of Creative New Hires


Santa Monica, Calif., July 31, 2012 – RPA, the third-largest independent advertising agency in the U.S., has hired four key creative talents. Pete Figel and Alicia Dotter join the crew as creative directors, while John Starr will fill a new associate CD/design director role, and Mark Tripp will be the agency’s newest director and senior producer, content, specializing in social campaigns.

“With success comes growth, with growth comes change, and we are changing in the best way possible with the addition of some new faces to the RPA creative pool,” said RPA EVP/CCO Joe Baratelli. “Each of these talents brings the unique combination of capability, enthusiasm and drive that we look for in every RPA employee.”

Pete Figel (CD): Most recently working as a freelancer, Figel’s reel includes work for Miller Brewing Company, Mars, NASCAR, Orbitz, AT&T and DirecTV. He also spent time working on Apple at Media Art Lab. Figel is a hockey fan who actually laces them up now and again.

Alicia Dotter (CD): Dotter joins RPA from Team One, where she was creative director on the Renaissance Hotels and Ritz-Carlton business. Prior to that, she led the iPhone team at Media Arts Lab. She coined the now-iconic phrase “There’s an app for that,” helping launch the iPad, worked on the legendary Mac and PC campaign and created countless iPod commercials.

John Starr (Associate CD/Design Director): In his former life at BLITZ, Starr worked on notable accounts Vizio, Pixar, Disney, Microsoft, Sprint, Paramount, FX, Warner Brothers, Pepsi, 2K, Netflix and Activision.

Mark Tripp (Director/Senior Producer, Content): As a director, producer and former copywriter, Tripp brings more than 20 years of advertising experience to the table. He will be a key part of the agency’s in-house social-media content production service. His reel is filled with smart, economical, award-winning social content for Intuit Small Business “Get Business Growing“, Honda’s “Million Mile Joe” and others.

Visit RPA

About RPA
RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a leading independent advertising agency. RPA builds momentum for brands by offering its clients truly integrated campaigns that resonate throughout its disciplines, which include traditional advertising, digital, and direct and event marketing. RPA’s client list includes American Honda, both the Honda and Acura brands, ampm, ARCO, Castrol, California Department of Public Health, Intuit Small Business, La-Z-Boy, Farmers Insurance Group, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Sole Society. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.com.

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

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Sky TV Chooses Blackmagic Design for Live Broadcast of 2012 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics

Fremont, CA – July 31, 2012 – Blackmagic Design today announced that Sky TV is using a number of Blackmagic Design products for their exclusive live broadcast of the 2012 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics taking place at California’s Stanford University on July 31 and August 5. Blackmagic Design’s ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher, ATEM Television Studio, Intensity Shuttle capture and playback cards, HyperDeck Shuttle field recorder and Battery Converters HDMI to SDI will be used to switch, capture and stream all of the action live for this year’s championship games.

The Gold and Platinum Division Championship games will be aired live from two separate pools in Stanford’s Avery Aquatics Center, where the USA’s national water polo team plays. Spectators will be able to see all the action streamed live on various screens and a jumbotron throughout the Stanford facility, and remote viewers can view the games as they happen via Sky TV’s online portal.

Sky TV will be filming each championship game in its entirety in HD, with each camera equipped with Blackmagic Design Battery Converters and connected to Intensity Shuttles to capture ingested video feeds. An ATEM Television Studio will be used to broadcast and stream the Gold Division games taking place in the smaller of the two pools live to the Internet. Sky TV will also use the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher to broadcast the Platinum Division games, adding time and player statistics graphics, in addition to picture in picture close ups of fast break action and live shots of the crowd’s reaction. Both ATEM switchers will be used to patch play by play commentary into the broadcast, ensuring remote viewers do not miss a second of the excitement.

Sky TV is recording both games in HD with the HyperDeck Shuttle in order to create Blu-ray and DVD discs. Derek Byrd, Sky TV’s Founder and President, shares his enthusiasm about the upcoming games: “As a 17 year water polo veteran, I could not be more excited about Sky TV’s role as the official webcasting channel for the 2012 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics. We look forward to increasing awareness of the increasingly popular sport, in a way we did not think possible before adding the Blackmagic Design products.”

Byrd continues, “The ATEM Production Switchers provide us with everything we need to create a full on sports broadcast, and the Intensity Shuttles, Battery Converters and HyperDeck Shuttle give us a rugged, compact and portable setup ideal for this type of application. With our Blackmagic workflow, we are confident that the live broadcast will go off without a hitch.”

Press Photography
Product photos of all Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/press/images.

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check www.blackmagicdesign.com.

About Sky TV
Sky TV, based in Lansing, Michigan, is a full service video broadcast and production company offering creative webcasting for all types of events. Sky TV webcasts sports, concerts, events, seminars, product demos and trainings online, delivering exciting content for viewers, and offering creative, technical production for clients looking to webcast their event. For more information, please check www.skytvnetworks.com.

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Ideal Systems Partners with XenData to Add Cost Effective Digital Video Archiving to Broadcast Solutions Portfolio

Ideal Systems to leverage XenData standards based technology to offer customers more reliable, cost effective digital video archive solutions for the Southeast Asian broadcaster market

Walnut Creek, Calif. and Singapore – July 31, 2012 – XenData, the leading provider of digital video archive solutions to the media and entertainment industry, and Ideal Systems, the leading broadcast media systems integration company in Asia, today announced their partnership to provide cost effective digital video archive solutions to broadcasters in Southeast Asia.

As part of the new partnership, Ideal Systems will be leveraging XenData’s entire range of digital video archives from multi-petabyte server solutions which archive video files to RAID and robotic LTO tape libraries, through to lower cost workstation systems that archive to LTO-5 tape drives.

Providing a network attached storage (NAS) architecture, XenData server solutions present the digital video archive as a network share, enabling archive files to be accessed over networks and seamlessly integrated into other standards-based applications and workflows. Offering broad compatibility, XenData solutions can be used simultaneously by multiple standard applications and work seamlessly with most media asset management (MAM) and automation systems including those from Aveco, Avid, Cinegy, Dalet, EVS, Harmonic, Evertz and more. The standard NAS architecture eliminates the need for extensive customization and minimizes the technical resources for integration.

The following XenData solutions are being offered through Ideal Systems:

• XenData X1500 – writes files to and restores from an LTO-5 tape drive using Windows Explorer on a Windows 7 workstation, creating self describing LTO cartridges. The X1500 manages an unlimited number of offline LTO tapes, is low cost and extremely easy to use.

• XenData SX-10 – connects to a 1 GigE network and manages a robotic LTO tape library up to 75 TB or stand-alone LTO-5 tape drives, creating a cost effective digital video archive ideal for video production and post production applications.

• XenData SX-500 Series Archive Servers – connect to a 10 GigE or 1 GigE network and manage one or more LTO tape libraries and RAID, providing a highly scalable network attached storage device where files are written to LTO tapes and disk. Offered in three standard configurations, the SX-500 runs a Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, combining leading products: HP DL380 G8 server hardware and XenData6 Server software.

In addition, XenData supports all worldwide languages for Windows file names ensuring that no matter where broadcasters are located they are able to save files to LTO in their native language.

“We partnered with XenData because it provides one of the most robust and cost effective digital video archives solutions available on the market today,” said Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO of Ideal Systems, Singapore. “With XenData, we are now able to deliver a much more cost effective digital video archive solution, which in turn will allow us to broaden our addressable market and tap into the Southeast Asian mid-market broadcaster community, a segment that has traditionally been very sensitive to cost.”

“Our product philosophy at XenData is to make solutions that are easy to use and easily integrate into media workflows, resulting in huge cost savings,” said Dr. Phil Storey, XenData co-founder and CEO. “We’re delighted to work with Ideal Systems and our collaboration will further fuel our growth across Asia.”

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About Ideal Systems Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Ideal Systems Singapore Pte. Ltd. is the South East Asia hub for Ideal Systems Group, the leading Broadcast Media Systems Integration Company in Asia. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Ideal Group operates offices in Thailand, Taiwan, India, China and Singapore. Ideal employs over 150 full-time staff throughout Asia, delivering broadcast solutions to all sectors of the media industry. To date Ideal Systems has built TV Broadcast Facilities that include many DTH Satellite Platforms and Studios. Ideal offers a wide range of services covering all aspects of media projects like Solutions Architecting, Design Engineering, and Facilities Relocation. Ideal Systems has delivered successfully to over 60 Playout Centres for SD, HD, 3D, News Rooms and OTT Systems. Ideal Systems Singapore works with South East Asia’s leading operators and has delivered recent projects into ESPN STAR SPORTS, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Astro and Globecast.

About XenData
XenData is a leading provider of digital video archiving solutions tailored specifically to serve the media and entertainment industry. XenData’s solutions range from cost-effective workstation archives to multiple petabyte server systems. They are built on industry standards and provide the high-performance and functionality required to meet today and tomorrow’s demanding digital video applications.

TV stations, global broadcasters, media service providers, video production and post-production organizations using XenData’s solutions are able to benefit from significant cost-savings, ease of integration with other standards-based systems, as well as long-term assured access to their video assets. With digital video archive servers installed in over 50 countries worldwide, XenData is trusted by some of the largest broadcasters and media companies. For more information visit: www.xendata.com.

For more information:
Jaime Tero/Angie Fife
onechocolate communications for XenData
T: 1.415.989.9803
E: xendata@onechocolatecomms.com

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Mediaproxy Illustrates the Evolution from Compliance Monitoring

Company to Preview New LogServer IP at IBC 2012


In just over a decade, broadcast logging has evolved from a narrow compliance role to a much broader range of monitoring and revenue generating capabilities for broadcasters, cable and satellite companies. At IBC, Mediaproxy will preview the company’s new LogServer IP, providing a compelling demonstration of how far logging technology has come.


“The advances we have made have turned loggers into highly diverse appliances for broadcasters, covering far more territory than their original mandate,” said Erik Otto, CEO of Mediaproxy. “LogServer IP is the next generation of logging and is ready to cater to an even wider range of applications in the broadcast chain.”


Before the transition to digital tools, broadcasters relied on VHS long-play tape recorders to log their transmissions. The process was simply a tedious requirement, providing limited value beyond regulatory compliance. On top of that, image quality was poor, and reviewing and managing tapes were time-consuming processes.


In 2001, Mediaproxy introduced LogServer, one of the first digital compliance loggers. Today, hundreds of broadcasters around the world are recording thousands of channels using Mediaproxy’s technology for a wide range of SDI and analog content. What was once legislated overhead has evolved into a sophisticated tool for monitoring and monetizing.


“Once people started using our LogServer platform they immediately saw opportunities for a range of value-added applications in their businesses,” said Otto. “They could use it to confirm that ads had run properly, validating sales to advertisers. Operations managers could respond in an instant to fault reports. It began to change their business.”


Early Advances in Digital Logging


With LogServer, media recorded from baseband sources is essentially encoded, proxy-size media. Though this met the requirements of content compliance and covered some quality assurance, it did not offer an easy way to enhance quality of service (QoS) of the actual transmission or to access the metadata available in the original transport stream (TS). The cost of storage was relatively high and it was not realistic to retain 30 to 90 or more days of native transmission-quality video and audio as required by regulators. In addition, network connections were not always fast enough for larger files sizes.


“Moore’s Law over time gave us faster hardware, larger capacity servers and storage, and faster networking infrastructure,” explained Otto. “That opened things up significantly for broadcasters.”


LogServer ASI


The LogServer ASI, introduced by Mediaproxy in 2009, represented the second generation of digital logging and recorded content directly from ASI-based transmission sources, directly accessing the MPEG transport stream. This allowed broadcasters to monitor, review and analyse native transmissions, and to store them on the same cost-effective local storage array in parallel with their proxy media. Engineers could now review native transmissions from the past few days to complete technical forensics to improve their services. QoS monitoring, whether live or offline, provided seamless review from local and remote locations.


“With the introduction of our LogServer ASI, network broadcasters, cable and satellite companies and IPTV providers could now continuously capture and monitor their actual transmissions as they go to air in parallel to their proxy compliance media,” explained Otto. “This provided customers with a path to true compliance, since baseband is not the transmission format. Also being able to perform ASI playout for sections of interest directly from the logger’s easy-to-use web interface has given engineers a powerful option to replay transmission in its original format on demand.”


Metadata


ASI logging enables simultaneous recording and streaming of up to hundreds of ASI- or IP-based channels. Metadata, such as closed captioning, subtitles, multiple language tracks, and EPG and PSIP information is available for advanced search, live detection and after-the-fact exports via extensive burn-in features.


“Anyone can record audio and video,” emphasized Otto. “The advantage of ASI and IP logging is that it opens the doors to the mining of metadata and identification of potential technical issues in the transmission domain. LogServer ASI offers accurate parsing of transport stream data such as EIT info, video and audio properties and any private descriptors of interest. These are made available for seamless and fast search via the LogPlayer web interface.”


Meeting the Evolving Needs of Broadcasters


“With the worldwide push to regulate and monitor loudness, broadcasters have another thing to track,” said Otto. “This is a great example of how a flexible platform like ours can evolve with the changing needs of broadcasters.”


The Mediaproxy LogServer and LogServer ASI are fully compliant with BS.1770, ATSC A/85 (for the FCC in the U.S. and CRTC in Canada) and European EBU P/LOUD R 128 loudness regulations.


Managing energy consumption is another concern for broadcasters around the world. “In Australia the push to regulate carbon footprint reductions is already on via the recently introduced carbon tax,” explained Otto.


Mediaproxy offers increased channel density in their server rack units, with a highly power-efficient 2RU server that provides up to 12 channels of HD/SD-SDI, analog or ASI/IP input, 12 TB of storage and its industry-leading 2RU Blade system, allowing for recording up to 48 channels of ASI logging.


“Most loggers have 4-8 channels in a single server,” said Otto. “This effectively means reduced storage, and higher energy and cooling requirements compared to our 2RU loggers. Better still, due to our reduced footprint, the initial cost is lower and the total cost of ownership is lower, especially over time. With more channels, more content, and more equipment requiring more cooling, broadcasters in locations where energy or rack space is scarce may be struggling to keep up. We’re doing our part to cater to that.”


Introducing the Mediaproxy LogServer IP


“The logical progression of the LogServer platform along the path of TS recording is to include more MPEG-specific features,” said Otto. “Alongside native MPEG logging, this includes full MPEG playback and live streaming, as well as transport stream monitoring and analysis.”


The LogServer IP, which will be unveiled at IBC 2012, offers native TS logging, MPEG streaming and playback. LogServer IP enables search, playback and analysis of both decrypted and encrypted transport streams sources. It comes with Monwall IP, the next-generation multi-viewer client, providing live MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 streaming and comprehensive TS event monitoring. The intuitive configuration and user interfaces allow for easy setup of any system. LogServer IP is also compliant with all loudness regulations.


LogServer IP ships as software-only and is also available as an appliance with either 80 TB or 120 TB of RAID protected storage. Mediaproxy offers a seamless upgrade path from either direction: owners of the LogServer or LogServer ASI can move to LogServer IP; customers with LogServer IP can add proxy logging and encoded streaming to their platform.


“It’s fantastic how much the technology has evolved, but we haven’t lost sight of the original reason for logging broadcasts,” explained Otto. “With ever growing demand for content and higher channel counts everywhere, regulatory scrutiny has increased. Our LogServer platforms will continue to have their focus on reliability and compliance while adding a lot of additional value in the process.”


The Mediaproxy LogServer IP will be available in Q4 2012. Visitors to IBC can see the new Mediaproxy technology first-hand at stand 7.J07 in Hall 7. For more information about LogServer IP and Monwall IP or to schedule a demo at IBC, contact Mediaproxy at sales@mediaproxy.com or +61 3 9549 1100.


About Mediaproxy


Mediaproxy is a global manufacturer of complete systems for the monitoring and logging of rich media to broadcasters, IPTV, cable and satellite providers around the world, allowing them to record, archive, index and re-purpose broadcast media and related information. An affiliate of XENON Technology Group (XTG), Mediaproxy has established itself as a leader in professional broadcast monitoring and compliance logging since 2001. Mediaproxy’s product line of high-performance hardware platforms and customized software for broadcasters and digital content creators includes LogServer and LogServer ASI. Mediaproxy is based in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, visit www.mediaproxy.com.

Christie’s Technology on the World Stage in London

Christie® today announced its partnership with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s (DFAIT) “Invest in Canada.” Christie has provided two striking digital displays featuring Christie® MicroTiles® and Christie Entero LED rear projection cubes at Canada Olympic House in Trafalgar Square. Operating from July 27 through August 12, in addition to being the Canadian Olympic Committee’s space for athletes, their friends and their families, Canada Olympic House hosts business leaders and government dignitaries and showcase Canada’s leading industries and businesses. Christie is among the select technology companies invited to participate.
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As a world leader of visual display technologies and solutions, with manufacturing in Canada, Christie’s partnership with DFAIT at Canada Olympic House in London includes a large lobby display of up to 37 Christie MicroTiles and four 72” diagonal Entero cubes, the world’s first LED-based ultra-high resolution projection display system, for the Business Club, site of numerous networking events throughout the month. Both displays show a video and graphical montage highlighting Canada’s leading sectors and landscapes. Float4 Interactive is providing the interactivity kit to allow multiple users to interact with the displays.
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Business leaders, government dignitaries, world-class athletes and executives from all over the world are expected to attend the various events to be presented at the facility. This includes a special Information Communications Technology (ICT) day on August 6, put on by Invest in Canada in association with the Financial Times, as well as a technology showcase organized by Invest Ottawa on behalf of the Consider Canada Alliance.
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“From award-winning games and visual effects, to digital cinema and e-commerce, to wireless and mobile applications, Canada is an important player in the global economy,” noted Kathryn Cress, vice president of Global and Corporate Marketing at Christie. “As a major contributor to Canada’s technology revolution with manufacturing facilities in the Waterloo Region, Christie is proud to bring its expertise to Canada Olympic House to help further the country’s strategic expansion upon the world’s digital stage.”
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According to the government of Canada, Canada’s digital industries are a robust and rapidly advancing sector, with 32,700 companies, more than half a million employees, annual revenues in excess of $162 billion and annual exports of $26 billion in 2010. Profiling these activities is part of the government’s economic strategy to create conditions for businesses in Canada to succeed on a global scale. At Canada Olympic House, senior policy-makers and global business leaders will inform potential investors about Canada’s ICT sector, its key areas of growth, as well as the challenges and emerging investment opportunities.
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“As a leader in the ICT sector, Canada long ago recognized the importance of fostering innovation and creating the right business environment to attract world-class companies to our shores,” said International Trade Minister Ed Fast. “With our low taxes, strong and stable economy, significant research and development incentives, and highly-educated workforce, Canada continues to be a premier destination of choice for foreign investors. Christie’s revolutionary digital cinema technology and powerful visual displays highlight how Canada’s competitive strengths and economic vision benefit a global audience and drive economic growth here at home.”

Imagineer Systems to Preview New Update to mocha v3 at SIGGRAPH 2012

 

Special Guest VFX Artists to Showcase Examples of their Work on Top Hollywood Blockbusters and Television Series in the Imagineer Systems Booth

 

 

GUILDFORD, UK (July 31, 2012) — Imagineer Systems (www.imagineersystems.com) today announced it will showcase its newest versions of mocha Pro™ and mocha AE™, at SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles next week. Imagineer also announced it will be showing a technology preview of the upcoming mocha v3.1. This release will add significant new tools for lens distorted footage, Python scripting, RED support and new features to help roto artists work more efficiently.

 

Additionally throughout the show, Imagineer Systems will also host guest artists from the visual effects industry who will be showing example of their work. Guests artists include:

 

  • David Shorey – Visual Effects Artist (Supah Ninjas, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol)
  • David Blum – Visual Effects Artist and Trainer (Charlie’s Angeles, Art Institue)
  • James Chick – lead compositor from Hive FX will show work from NBC’s Grimm.
  • Legend 3D – (Spiderman, Hugo) will discuss how mocha Pro fits into their VFX and stereo conversion process.

 

The schedule of demonstrations is available here: http://www.imagineersystems.com/company/events/imagineer-systems-at-siggraph-2012.-los-angeles-ca.

 

Since its release at NAB 2012 earlier this year, mocha AE v3 and mocha Pro v3 have quickly become popular among Hollywood’s leading post production houses and VFX artists, and have played key roles in the post production of this summer’s hit films, including Prometheus and The Amazing Spiderman.

 

Ash Beck is the owner and lead visual effects artists of Nerve Films (http://www.nervefilms.us), a full-service creative studio specializing in live-action visual effects, photography and design, spoke about mocha Pro v3 and its role on this summer’s blockbuster, The Amazing Spiderman.

 

“The Amazing Spiderman was a perfect fit for our studio,” said Ash. “I designed the New York backgrounds for several key sequences during the pre-vis stage and was hired by the production to work directly with VFX supervisor Jerome Chen, editor Alan Edward Bell, as well as the director Marc Webb. We were able to see the challenges ahead and concentrate our efforts on what tools would be the most proficient for the final composites. I have been using mocha for four years, and with the inclusion of mocha in Adobe After Effects, it just made sense for our workflow. Part of the challenge on Amazing Spiderman was that we had many plates with a shallow depth of field and only one small architectural feature, diagonal in shape and with little contrast to grab on to. We tried other trackers too, but they could not quite make out the detail, nor the continuation of action when elements went off screen during the tilts and pans. We track both forward and reverse and mocha’s Planar Tracker always gave us the results we needed.”

 

Why Hollywood Relies on mocha Version 3

Imagineer Systems has worked closely with its customers to improve its family of intelligent Planar Tracking utilities.  All mocha v3 products include important features that focus on core areas for customers: from large facilities that require advanced layer management tools for film effects and roto pipelines, to creative boutiques and artists who’ve been asking for true 3D camera support for years. Among the developments in v3 are:

 

  • New Rotoscoping Tools: Bounding Box and Join Layers designed to create and edit roto masks more efficiently;
  • New Layer Management: View, organize, color code and collapse mocha layers. Increase artists productivity;
  • Project Management: Easily merge and share projects between artists for large scale roto and vfx pipelines;
  • 3D Camera Solver: The advanced Planar Tracker now includes 3D camera tracking for After Effects and FBX formats. (FBX support only included with mocha Pro);
  • Dopesheet: New keyframe layout for adjusting timing and animation;
  • Even More Improvements: Keyboard shortcuts and interface improvements enhance the entire Planar Tracking-based workflow for tracking, roto and removal.

 

The 2012 mocha Family

mocha AE is Imagineer’s stand-alone Planar Tracking and roto utility optimized for After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion users. The advanced mask creation tools, simple user interface and copy/paste exchange with After Effects helps take the complications out of motion tracking and reduces keyframing tedium. mocha AE is available in two version: mocha AE CS6, which comes as a free bundle with every copy of Adobe CS6 and is specifically optimized for After Effects; and the mocha AE v3 standalone application, which adds support for Apple Final Cut Pro, Motion and Boris FX and is available for purchase directly from Imagineer Systems.

 

mocha Pro v3 is Imagineer’s intelligent Planar Tracking utility for post production and visual effects professionals that combines advanced roto, motion tracking, lens analysis, object removal, insert compositing, stabilization and 3D camera solve features into a single desktop application. mocha Pro integrates seamlessly with industry-popular editing, compositing, and animation applications and is the ideal post production companion software for managing challenging shots and projects.

 

mocha Pro has gained notoriety as a result of the significant impact the Planar Tracker has made in the production of the Hollywood visual effects laden films such as The Black Swan, X-Men: First Class, and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Additionally, mocha Pro has proven invaluable to customers at major post production and stereo conversion facilities around the world, and has greatly streamlined the stereo conversion pipelines on such 3D blockbuster sensations as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

 

About Legend3D

Using patented 2D-to-3D image conversion technologies, Legend3D enhances filmmakers’ storytelling by creating the industry’s highest-quality stereoscopic conversion. Legend3D has completed 3D conversions for films such as The Amazing Spider-man, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Smurfs 3D. Stereo Works  is a new business division that supports Legend3D’s conversion work by offering VFX services including repairing native stereo footage, addressing 3D camera anomalies, lens refractions and reflection issues; providing 3D rig removal, paint and roto services, and providing restoration services such as dust busting and source correction.  Stereo Works expands our ability to work with studios to support high-end VFX projects and overcome common stereo hurdles, both as a part of and in addition to 2D-to-3D conversion.

 

About Imagineer Systems 

Imagineer Systems Ltd innovates and markets next-generation visual effects solutions for film, video and broadcast post production markets.  Imagineer Systems has made its mark on such marquee Hollywood blockbuster productions as Black Swan, Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2, Shutter Island, Invictus, and the Harry Potter series. Imagineer’s desktop product line consists of mocha Pro™ – roto, planar tracking, compositing, and removal utility;  mocha™ – planar tracking and roto utility for all VFX artists; mocha AE™ – a planar tracking and roto utility designed for After Effects and Final Cut Pro users.  Imagineer Systems was founded in 2000 and its headquarters is located in Guildford, United Kingdom. For more information visit www.mocha-Pro.com

Fabric Engine Announces Creation Platform at SIGGRAPH 2012

Creation Platform is the World’s First Dedicated Platform For Building High-Performance Graphics Applications

MONTREAL, CANADA – July 31, 2012 – Fabric Engine Inc, a software company focused on high-performance 2D and 3D graphics solutions, announced today Creation Platform, a framework for building custom, high-performance graphics applications. By providing the major building blocks for tool creation, Creation Platform allows developers to spend less time building back-end architectures, and more time building critical workflows and high-performance functionality into their tools. To see an overview of what’s possible, go to http://www.fabricengine.com.

Anyone interested in trying Creation Platform can join the private beta at: http://www.fabricengine.com/products/licensing/. The Fabric Engine team will be showcasing Creation Platform at SIGGRAPH 2012 in the AMD booth (#709) and presenting twice daily in the OptiTrack booth (Booth #610).

“High-end graphics is one of the most performance hungry domains in computing, but most applications are unable to keep pace with the requirements of exciting areas like simulation and virtual production,” said Fabric Engine’s CEO, Paul Doyle. “Studios want a development environment with tools that guarantee them the performance needed to fulfill their creative requirements. Unfortunately, current solutions don’t provide that performance, and are leaving studios with little choice but to build from scratch, forcing them to invest their time and resources in something that is not their core business. Creation Platform offers an alternative – a framework that gives them the performance they need, and a set of tools that allow them to take full advantage of it.”

Creation Platform:
Creation Platform is designed to give studios an easy way to build tools that not only match, but in many cases, surpass the performance of traditional DCC tools. Key benefits include:

• Performance: Creation is built on top of the Fabric Core Execution Engine, a multi-threading engine designed to get exceptional performance out of both CPUs and GPUs.
• Modularity: Creation provides a set of building blocks that can be connected together to build a wide range of different applications.
• Extensibility: Creation’s extension system enables developers to incorporate existing code libraries into their applications. This enables Creation to incorporate things like Bullet Physics and streaming of motion capture data, as well as allowing for support of custom file types like Alembic and LIDAR.
• Accessibility: The majority of Creation applications are built using Python and Qt. For the critical performance parts of an application, Creation uses a custom Kernel Language (KL), which a simple, high-level language. If a TD or developer is comfortable with Python, they will find KL easy to pick up.

Here’s What Beta Testers are Saying:
Mike Romey, Head of Pipeline, Zoic Studios: “I believe that Fabric’s Creation Platform will change the way our facility and industry approaches custom tools development. The Creation Platform allows our developers to rapidly prototype and deploy complex tools quickly and efficiently. It simplifies the development process by wrapping leading edge technologies into easily accessible scripting libraries for python and pySide. This in turn allows us to reduce our development cycles and iterate tools quicker with more features and functionality. This improves our agility to respond to any and all production requests. The result generally is a highly sophisticated, well-groomed standalone or hosted application that is multi-threaded for speed. The Creation Platform and its developers are building a development tool that is truly a speed demon.”

Michel Murdock, Executive VP at Hybride: “We are very excited about the potential of Creation Platform and look forward to collaborating with their amazing team.”

Daniel Gregoire, Owner of Halon Entertainment: “Creation Platform represents new life for Previs as it builds a powerful foundation that doesn’t have a decade of legacy code encumbering us from doing the important work of tomorrow.”

Grant Miller, Creative Director, Ingenuity Engine : “Proprietary solutions for visual effects used to be reserved for large studios with a dedicated programming team, but with Creation Platform that level of customization and innovation has been opened up to TDs and artists. The Creation toolset lays a great foundation to build on, handling things like Alembic I/O and Bullet Physics so you can focus on the creative aspects of tool creation instead of implementing libraries.”

Albert Cheng, Previs Supervisor, The Third Floor LA/London: “Creation Platform is the graphics app development framework I’ve been waiting for. With it’s highly optimized core and native multithreading capabilities, it does most of the heavy lifting for me to ensure the fastest processing speeds, while allowing me to focus on building custom applications and tools for manipulating 3D. What makes it really great is that it interfaces through the popular Python language and QT gui framework to allow rapid development with minimal code, thus making it easily accessible to those like me working in film, animation and games.”

Creation Platform Examples:
The team at Fabric Engine has created a number of videos to showcase the power and diversity of Creation Platform. Those videos can be seen at:https://vimeo.com/groups/fabric

Creation Platform at SIGGRAPH 2012:
Creation Platform will be showcased at SIGGRAPH 2012. Specific locations include:
AMD Booth: #709
Optitrack Booth: #610

To meet with the Fabric Engine team at the show, please email sales@fabricengine.com.

How To Join the Beta:
Creation Platform is now available via private beta for anyone who wishes to try it out. To join, visit: http://www.fabricengine.com/products/licensing/

For more information about Fabric Engine, visit www.fabricengine.com or send questions via email to info@fabricengine.com.

About Fabric Engine, Inc.
Fabric Engine is a software engineering company founded in 2010 in Montreal, Canada by a group of well-known developers from Softimage and Autodesk. Known for their work on CAT and ICE, the team has a collective expertise in parallel computing, hardware optimization, software architecture, design, animation, rendering and production workflows. They are now applying their collective experience to Fabric Engine and its Creation Platform. Fabric Engine is funded by Real Ventures and is a strategic partner of AMD. For more information, visit: www.fabricengine.com.

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Canon C300 Digital Cinema Cameras Deliver First-Class Performance for “Departure Date”

In-flight movies have long been part of airline travel, but director of photography Doug Chamberlain added a new chapter to their history when he shot the movie “Departure Date” on board commercial flights using EOS C300 digital cinema cameras from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions. A 24-minute short feature written and directed by Kat Coiro, “Departure Date” was shot by Chamberlain over the course of nine days encompassing three continents, 28,000 miles, and a filming location moving at an average speed of 500 miles per hour at an altitude of 35,000 feet.

“Departure Date” tells the story of Jake (Ben Feldman), who finds and loses the love of his life (Nicky Whelan) on a Sydney to Los Angeles Virgin Australia flight, meets his depressing future (in characters played by Philip Baker Hall, Janeane Garofalo, and Luis Guzman) on a Virgin America Los Angeles to Dallas flight, and is motivated to go get the girl on a Virgin Atlantic Los Angeles to London flight. “Departure Date” premiered on June 17th at the L.A. Film Festival and will be shown on all Virgin America, Atlantic, and Australia Flights, as well as online and at select film festivals.

“Virgin has a long history of groundbreaking firsts, and shooting the first film at 35,000 feet certainly continues that tradition,” said Virgin Produced, Head of Commercial Production Huntley Ritter. “We pride ourselves on the quality of the content we deliver in any medium, and the Canon products we utilized on this production and have used in the past have always exceeded expectations. We look forward to working with Canon for years to come.”

“Virgin Produced approached director Kat Coiro, who I had collaborated with on three features, about shooting a film while flying at 35,000 feet,” Chamberlain recalled. “She told me about it, and our first instinct was that it sounds like a terrible idea. Not only was the turnaround time on this project tight, but I knew I would be in for a challenge just in terms of controlling the lighting, working in a confined space, and dealing with turbulence, limited electrical power, FAA regulations and airport security, not to mention that we would be doing all of this on working flights with real passengers. So the next day Kat had a fun idea for the script, we kicked it around and decided to take the project on.”

Chamberlain had shot one of Coiro’s previous films, “While We Were Here,” on location in Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples. He chose a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera for that film for its compact size, which enabled him to inconspicuously shoot Coiro’s small cast in restaurants, beaches, historic ruins, and other choice locations.

“‘While We Were Here’ was a different sort of film for us,” Chamberlain said. “We had just come off a 35mm feature film project and wanted to do something small, light, and fast in a beautiful location. We shot the whole thing on a shoestring budget without permits. The 5D gave us that low profile we were looking for.” Impressed by the capabilities of the 5D Mark II and encouraged by reviews praising the film’s look, Chamberlain was motivated to examine Canon’s newest digital cinema camera, the EOS C300, which became available after “While We Were Here” was completed.

A Production-Friendly Camera
“As I was looking for a camera for ‘Departure Date,’ it was interesting to discover what Canon had done with the EOS C300,” Chamberlain continued. “Indy and micro-budget filmmakers were loving the 5D. It’s small, and affordable, and it has that oversized chip that got people talking about bokeh again. But at its heart, the 5D is first and foremost a still camera. The C300, on the other hand, has all of those things that people were loving about the 5D, including compact size. In addition, however, it also has the things that independent filmmakers truly need, including proper audio inputs, improved image quality and dynamic range, real HD-SDI out, zebras, and the ability to zoom in and check your focus while shooting.”

Compact, lightweight, and designed to deliver exceptional full 1920 x 1080 HD images, the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera is the product of decades of Canon’s expertise designing advanced image sensors, lenses, and digital imaging processors. Engineered for filmmakers at all levels, the C300 features a unique Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor, revolutionary Canon DIGIC DV III image processor, for superb cinematic image quality, and a 50 Mbps 4:2:2 MPEG-2 codec for faithful capture of that imagery. The C300 employs the industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) for smooth workflow compatibility, and features such as Canon-Log that ensures capture of the full 12 T-stop exposure latitude of which the camera is capable.

Simple to operate, the camera is available in two models: the EOS C300 equipped with an EF lens mount for compatibility with Canon’s extensive line-up of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS digital SLR cameras and new EF Cinema lenses; and the EOS C300 PL with a PL lens mount for use with industry-standard PL lenses. Chamberlain used PL-mount compact prime lenses with his Canon EOS C300 camera to shoot “Departure Date.”

“The C300 is a very production-friendly camera,” Chamberlain adds, “and it was the right tool for this show.”

Welcome Aboard
“Production-friendly” also applied to the passengers and crews of the Virgin flights, Chamberlain happily discovered. Captains announced the presence of the filmmakers at the start of each flight, and cabin crews introduced the actors to passengers. According to Chamberlain, “We were the in-flight entertainment that was making more in-flight entertainment. Some passengers seemed genuinely excited by our presence and took pictures and volunteered to be extras. The cabin crews worked with us to coordinate their food-service carts around our shooting and pilots did their best to keep us out of turbulence.”

Although the onboard environment was friendly, the space-saving design of airline passenger cabins was not. “It felt like I was shooting in a tiny bathroom the whole time,” Chamberlain stated. “As soon as one person would get up to help I would sit them back down to get them out of the way. It wasn’t very conducive to shooting and so the bigger production elements that we brought had to get cut back. We had to be light and fast. Fortunately, at under four pounds, the C300 is actually quite light. It proved to be everything we wanted in terms of the extreme mobility needed to shoot in such a small space. I was able to move quickly and efficiently, and back the camera right up against the bulkhead or the window and still get my shots. I don’t think I could have done that with many other cameras.”

Working single-camera for most of the assignment, Chamberlain preferred to mount his EOS C300 on a monopod equipped with a Kenyon Labs KS-8 gyro stabilizer. “The monopod not only stabilized the pitch and roll but gave me a really small footprint to work with,” he said. “The Gyro stabilized the yaw and the whole set-up really helped me maintain a consistent look even when flying through pockets of rough air. Fortunately, other than when we flew over Iceland, there was very little turbulence on all three routes.”

Chamberlain also revealed how he handled the challenge of recording audio amid the constant whine of jet engines: “We used a very directional boom mic. I lit the actors in such a way as to give the boom its sweet spot and we made sure to cover everything in tight close-ups with the mic obnoxiously close to the actors.” Sound was recorded double-system, both by the EOS C300 and an external audio digital recorder.

EOS C300 Advantages
Airport security rules prevented Chamberlain and his lighting and sound assistants from bringing many of the basic tools they usually need, such as screwdrivers and scissors. Unable to find a lighting package that he felt perfectly suited his needs, he built his own low-profile “soft boxes” using LiteGear LED Hybrid and RGB LiteRibbons on dimmers and attached them to the ceiling with pre-cut Velcro. All of them ran on battery packs.

“I never had any issues with needing more light,” Chamberlain affirmed. “I rated the C300 camera at ISO 850 and for the most part I was shooting at f/2.8 or f/4. The C300 gave me plenty of low-light sensitivity to work with, which meant I didn’t have to run the LEDs at full power, which would have left me short on batteries at the end of the long flights.”

The Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera records to two CF (Compact Flash) cards through dual slots with a choice of serial or parallel (for backup) recording, providing up to 80 minutes of recording time on each 32GB card.

“I don’t remember ever running out of card space,” Chamberlain stressed. “My camera assistant must have changed cards at some point, but they ran long enough that I stopped thinking about it, which was great. We also brought ten batteries, which turned out to be more than we needed. The first flight lasted ten hours but we only changed the battery once.”

Creative Freedom
As “Departure Date” gradually took shape, Chamberlain continued to find that the Canon EOS C300 camera provided features and performance well-suited to his needs. Among these were the camera’s removable 4-in. 1.23 megapixel LCD monitor/control panel, which rotates 135? left/right or 270? down, and can be mounted directly on the camera body or on its removable handle unit.

“The image looked great on that little flip-up LCD monitor, it’s really a necessity to be able to reconfigure it in any direction these days,” Chamberlain said. “I tried an external aftermarket LCD monitor but discovered it was more hassle than it was worth. I liked how the Canon LCD monitor interacted with camera, and having the controls right on top in case I needed to get into anything quick made sense to me. I was able to confidently determine my exposure from the LCD monitor, and used the zebras to help me know when I was losing highlight information. It was really comfortable to work with.”

In addition to its zebra bar feature, the EOS C300 can also display a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and other displays for adjusting picture quality. Visual focusing aids on the external LCD monitor include two peaking modes, a magnified focus-assist function, and an edge-monitor focus assist.

Another feature of the Canon EOS C300 Chamberlain had special praise for was its Cinema Locked Mode, which enables Canon-Log gamma, a recording format designed to provide the utmost quality for creative post production color-grading processes.

“With the C300’s Cinema Locked Mode it was nice to be able to set it and free my mind from the technical details and still be confident that I was getting as much information as possible for the final color correction,” Chamberlain explained. “As a cinematographer, I don’t want to be bogged down on set with things that are better left for post. I like knowing that the camera is simply capturing as much information as it can about the image, leaving me to concentrate on the creative aspects of lighting, blocking, camera angles, exposure, and storytelling. That’s where your mind needs to be. We were working so fast, I didn’t have the opportunity to look at many of the dailies. With the C300, however, I never had to fret about what some stray camera setting was doing to the image. It gave me the freedom to work creatively with the director, and that kind of freedom is a lot of fun.”

About Virgin Produced
Virgin Produced serves as the film and television development, packaging and production arm of the Virgin Group. Led by co-founders, CEO Jason Felts and CCO Justin Berfield, Virgin Produced is breaking old Hollywood models by providing a collaborative environment that embraces talent so they can best create and inspire. With an equal focus on television and film, Virgin Produced in its inaugural year, gained swift traction on the film front with their multi-year first look deal with Relativity Media, claiming two back to back #1 box-office successes with LIMITLESS and IMMORTALS. Unique only to Virgin Produced, its content is cross-marketed to consumers across the brand’s transportation, mobile, health club, hotel, retail, and social media platforms. Virgin Produced plans to produce 6-8 films over the next two years with upcoming film releases including The Farrelly Bros’ MOVIE 43 and 21 & OVER.

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