Apple Pro Video Event at Key Code Media 3/16/10

Posted By Michael Kammes on March 18, 2010 12:00 am | Permalink
Key Code Media, a leading Pro Apple VAR in Burbank, CA, recently showcased Apple’s Pro Video tools. Inside their new facility and customized demonstration room, Key Code had specialized stations for various Apple technology.

After partaking in some free alcoholic beverages and finger food, a revolving door of 150-plus guests got to sit in on demos of the new Smoke 2010 for Mac OS X, demonstrated by Key Code Media’s director of technology, David Sconyers. Autodesk’s Smoke — which was until recently well over $100,000 for software and hardware — is now available for a fraction of that, starting at $14,999, or upwards of $50,000 for a fully loaded system.  Smoke — an industry standard finishing solution — was recently released to function on the new Nehalem based Mac Pros. This breakthrough now allows smaller boutiques and editorial facilities to dip their toes into the finishing pool. Sconyers dazzled the audience with the ability to read project files from various editing systems, showcasing the easier road from editorial to finishing.

A few short feet away, Apple’s Steve McCracken showcased Final Cut Server, Apple’s answer for Digital Asset Management (DAM). Tied to the latest version of their enterprise SAN solution – XSAN — and utilizing Promise Storage, users were able to see Final Cut Server's proxy editing and check in / check out technology.  This enables remote editors to edit Final Cut Pro projects off site using low res versions of the original media. Once the remote edit is finished, the project can be returned via the internet and re-linked to the high-rez media automatically. Coupled with versioning and an exhaustive searchable database, finding that rogue file will no longer be a headache.

Next, guests were invited to view Final Cut Studio doing Stereoscopic — yes, 3D in FCP!  Utilizing Cineform’s Neo3D plug-in, an AJA Kona 3 card, and a 3D capable monitor (in this case, a 46-inch JVC), editors can now perform what was until recently only possible by Avid and high end finishing systems: edit and view 3D. Neo3D accomplishes this by wrapping both the left eye and right eye high resolution media files in their better than HDCAM SR codec — Cineform — which appears to FCP as one file. The Kona 3 can then decode the signal on output, and a user can view the footage on an external monitor in a myriad of various Stereoscopic formats — all the way up to 2K. Add in a Tangent Wave panel, and via Cineform’s active metadata, an editor can adjust convergence and color on the images in realtime with no rendering.

The fourth and last station featured the latest and greatest in Avid audio’s (Digidesign) flagship product: Pro Tools. It was flying faders a go-go with a D-Control and the latest version of Pro Tools — V.8.0.3, which runs under OS 10.6. Paired with Video Satellite, editors and mixers can now work against HD picture without taxing their Pro Tools computer AND have the ability to use the Video Satellite as an Avid workstation.

Key Code Media was supported by the vendor presence of Promise Storage, AJA, and Telestream.