This is my first IBC. I'm an editor, colorist, 3D artist and all-round nerd. Coming to IBC has been a fantasy of mine for years, and here I am.
My first day at the show has been pretty overwhelming. It's huge, and bustling. The halls are hot and stuffy, so it's no wonder so many people spend time in the large outdoor bar area. Mind you, when in Holland, drinking beer is the thing to do. Among the offerings for lunch at IBC was traditional Dutch fare: a "combo meal" of 8 fried meatballs and two bottles of beer.
The RAI is a maze of exhibition halls, divided into zones. I spent my first day wandering around, exploring, trying to get my bearings. Companies with a lot of money have large, flashy booths, usually offering refreshments. Taking Quantel's lead from NAB a couple of years back, it is now cool to have a racecar in your booth. I understand GoPro suggesting that their range of cameras perform best when mounted on a racecar... but I'm not sure how one is expected to color correct, or watch a large HD televsion, while driving one.
GoPro suggests mounting an HD camera on your F1 vehicle, and a Stereoscopic camera on your rally car.
I wandered around the Post Production and New Media section for quite a while, figuring out my first priorities for demos while I'm here. Avid is showing off MC 6.5, and Quantel has re-launched the software-only version of Pablo that they announced at NAB, now calling it "Pablo Rio" and pairing it with a new mini version of the Neo panel. And, unlike at NAB where they seemed to have rushed the announcement to keep up with the 64-bit buzz, they are actually selling and shipping it now. For those who look closely enough, Quantel are also sort-of showing a new product that is in development for 3D. It's a separate piece of software, designed to fix stereoscopy errors. It also exports depth maps. I'm keen to see where that goes, as it looks like they are working on keeping up with SGO's Mistika which already does everything Quantel are trying to develop, but for those companies who don't want to make the move to a new DI solution, Quantel might just be getting back into the competition.
The Future Zone is a section of IBC that I was very excited to explore. It's much smaller than I expected, but I suppose most of the companies that focus on creative and innovative R&D aren't making enough money for a specially designed, expansive booth with a cafe and a racecar. This section is like a toy store for me. NHK, the Japanese broadcaster with their own in-house Sci-Tech research lab, was screening sections of the London Olympics in Super Hi-Vision (8K television with 22.2 channel sound). Less serious but more fun was the throwable panoramic ball-camera, and the impressive holographic method of autostereoscopy that provides a seamless 70 viewing angles.
Of course I couldn't go past the Focal Press bookstand, so I bought myself an appropriately nerdy souvenir. I had to.
Some light reading for the flight home.
Katie Hinsen is an editor, colorist and graphics artist working at Goldcrest Post in NYC. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.