Baselight at IBC: The Non-linear Revolution Arrives in Commercials Grading

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LONDON—At the upcoming International Broadcast Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, FilmLight will demonstrate a series of groundbreaking enhancements to Baselight, the industry’s leading non-linear colour grading system. They include Parallel GPU technology enabling Baselight8 to perform 40+ multiple layers 4K grading in real-time (without proxies or an external SAN), with up to 96TB of local storage, Baselight systems often result in SAN cost savings when compared to competitor’s ‘diskless’ solutions. “Cloud� connectivity that enables Baselight’s local storage to function as shared storage for networked workstations, RED camera support, editorial workflow with Avid® Unity and editing systems, and direct control of the Thomson Spirit telecine range. Collectively, these developments not only extend Baselight’s lead over other software-based colour grading systems, they allow it to match the performance, and in many respects outperform hardware-based colour correctors. “Commercials grading is at the same point in time now as on-line editing suites were in the early 1990s,� said FilmLight Director of Sales Mike Grieve, “we’ve reached the big non-linear changeover.� While Baselight’s improved performance and extended features will benefit all types of media production, the implications for commercial post-production are especially pronounced. Most significantly, the new Parallel GPU technology has enabled Baselight8 to surpass the performance of hardware colour correctors, eliminating an issue that has held back software systems as a platform for grading commercials. With Cloud connectivity, Baselight can now function as the centrepiece of a fully-integrated post-production workflow. It enables Baselight to directly share data with networked compositing, editing and visual effects workstations including additional Baselight systems. This effectively transforms the colour grading suite from an isolated, post-production “island� into an integrated, collaborative process, advancing creativity and workflows significantly. In addition to better performance and a collaborative, non-linear workflow, Baselight also offers post-houses a powerful and flexible toolset, providing an abundance of digital effects techniques not available with hardware colour correctors. FilmLight has also developed features for Baselight aimed specifically at commercials grading, including an intelligent auto-conform system, smart versioning, scratchpads, and changes to Blackboard, Baselight’s highly acclaimed control surface. New support for the RED camera, and the ability to directly control the Thomson Grass Valley Spirit range of telecines, furthers the system’s appeal for commercial grading. Well-established as the premier tool for feature film and television post-production, Baselight is already the industry’s dominant software colour grading system with more than 200 systems installed worldwide, nearly four times the number of its nearest competitor. As post-houses make the switch to software colour graders for their advertising work, Baselight’s lead is certain to grow. “Having ignited the non-linear revolution in feature film DI grading, Baselight is now driving the same linear to non-linear transition in commercials grading,� Grieve said. “With Baselight leading the way, non-linear grading for commercials is likely to be the next big area for growth for advertising focused facilities.� In fact, several high-end post houses in Europe and the U.S. have already made the switch to Baselight—among them is New York’s Nice Shoes, which recently purchased $3 million worth of FilmLight grading technology as part of a complete overhaul of its commercial post-production operations. FilmLight will be exhibiting at IBC at Stand 7.A11. Baselight Highlights for IBC Parallel GPU Parallel GPU technology makes Baselight8, FilmLight’s flagship system, the highest performance grading system on the market—with twice the processing speed of its nearest competitor. In addition, Baselight8’s high performance parallel disc system, has the power to deliver three streams of 4K media simultaneously. In practice, Baselight8 can play 4K media, display 4K, grade 40-plus layers of 4K and record 4K to disc, all at the same time without proxies, post rendering or an external SAN. No other grading system can make that claim. Cloud Connectivity A standard feature of all Baselight systems, the new Cloud connectivity allows Baselight’s robust local storage to function as a shared storage environment, serving multiple Baselight units or third-party workstations such as Autodesk Flame and Smoke. At IBC, FilmLight will demonstrate a Baselight grading off a SAN as well as two Baselights grading in a Cloud network. RED Support RED camera support will be added to Baselight through a software upgrade to be released shortly. This will allow Baselight to directly grade media from the increasingly popular digital cinema camera. At IBC we will show a version of Baselight grading RED R3D files. Shared Workflow with Avid Leveraging Avid’s recent release of a Linux DNxHD codec and Linux Unity client, Baselight can now share access to media stored on an Avid Unity with Avid editing systems. Access to data is accomplished without copying or moving data from Unity. Spirit Control FilmLight and Thomson will conduct a joint demonstration at the Thomson stand with a Baselight directly controlling a Spirit HD Datacine. With this new feature, Baselight can support a traditional post workflow for grading commercials, while delivering the benefits of its more powerful toolset. Baselight control for Spirit is in final testing at three post houses and can be ordered now with any Baselight system. The demonstration will be conducted at the Thomson Stand (7.F31) About FilmLight FilmLight is a manufacturer of film scanning, colour grading and colour management systems that are helping to transform film and video post production and setting new standards for quality, reliability and performance. The company’s products are in use every day by leading post production facilities around the globe as essential components in their digital intermediate, commercials and video production pipelines. Fuelled by some of the industry’s brightest minds, FilmLight is committed to delivering innovative tools that allow creative professionals to work at the forefront of the digital media revolution. Founded in 2001, FilmLight is headquartered in London, where its research, design and manufacturing operations are centred. Sales and support are conducted through regional service centres located in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sydney, Auckland and Singapore, and through qualified partners worldwide. 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