LAS VEGAS — Post’s dedicated team of editors, writers, contributors and industry pros recently hit the ground running at this year’s 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, in search of the most innovative and coolest new products, solutions and technologies manufacturers had to offer the post community. We are proud to announce our 2019 Post Picks, as well as our list of Honorable Mentions.
POST PICK WINNERS
AVID MEDIA COMPOSER 2019
Avid (www.avid.com) announced an all-new version of its flagship video editing system, Media Composer, completely redesigned and reimagined for “today’s and tomorrow’s generation of media makers.” Unveiled at Avid Connect 2019, the company’s gathering of media and entertainment users during the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas, the all-new Media Composer 2019 was in the spotlight at the company’s booth througout NAB.
The intent with Media Composer 2019 is for aspiring and professional editors, freelancers and journalists to be inspired to work more creatively by taking advantage of a new user experience, a next-generation Avid media engine with distributed processing, finishing and delivering capabilities, a customizable role-based user interface for large teams, and more.
“After receiving input from hundreds of editors and teams across the media industry, and knowing where the industry is headed, we reimagined Media Composer, the product that created the nonlinear video editing category and remains the gold standard,” says Jeff Rosica, CEO and president at Avid. “Media Composer 2019 is both evolutionary and revolutionary. It maintains what longtime users know and love while giving them more of what they need today —and what they will need tomorrow.”
With Media Composer 2019, an editor can go from first cut to delivery without ever leaving the application. Whether they are a professional editor, freelancer or someone just starting out, Media Composer 2019 was designed to inspire creative storytelling.
The four main areas of focus are:
A new user experience featuring a paneled interface that reduces clutter, reimagines bins to find media faster, and offers task-based workspaces showing only what the user wants and needs to see.
A next-generation Avid Media engine that puts more power at a user’s fingertips with features, such as native OP1A, support for more video and audio streams, Live Timeline and background rendering, and a distributed processing add-on option to shorten turnaround times and speed up post production.
New finishing and delivery workflows that allow users to create and deliver higher-quality content with editing, effects, color, audio and finishing tools without leaving Media Composer. Whether working in 8K, 16K or HDR, Media Composer’s new built-in 32-bit full float color pipeline can handle it. Additionally, Avid has been working with OTT content providers to help establish future industry standards.
A customizable toolset was built for large production teams. The new Media Composer | Enterprise provides administrative control to customize the interface for any role in the organization, whether the user is a craft editor, assistant, logger or journalist. It also offers unparalleled security to lock down content, reducing the chances of unauthorized leaks of sensitive media.
In addition, the Media Composer family adds Media Composer | Enterprise for post production, broadcast, media education and other larger production teams. Media Composer | Enterprise is a role-specific video editing and finishing solution. Large production teams now have the ability to customize the interface and tailor workspaces for different job roles, providing end users access only to the tools and functions they need. This capability gives teams better focus so they can complete jobs faster and with fewer mistakes. Media Composer | Enterprise also integrates with Editorial Management 2019 to deliver collaborative workflow innovation for post production and enables creative teams to stay in sync.
Avid also announced Media Composer | Distributed Processing, an add-on option that shortens turnaround times and accelerates post production by sharing the media processing load. Tasks that previously took hours can now be done in minutes, strengthening post facilities’ competitive edge while delivering high-quality programming. Media Composer | Distributed Processing also offloads complex processing tasks when working in today’s emerging high resolution and HDR media-rich worlds.
Media Composer 2019 will be available in late spring for all of its models: Media Composer | First, Media Composer, Media Composer | Ultimate and Media Composer | Enterprise.
BLACKMAGIC DESIGN DAVINCI RESOLVE 16 & EDITOR KEYBOARD
Blackmagic Design (www.blackmagicdesign.com) introduced Version 16 of DaVinci Resolve at NAB 2019. The software, which is now in public beta, features more than 100 improvements, along with the new cut page feature. Cut page is an alternate edit page that offers a streamlined interface and new tools designed to help users work faster than before.
The cut page lets editors import, edit, trim, add transitions, titles, automatically match color and mix audio. Since the regular edit page is still available, users can switch between edit and cut pages to change editing style in the middle of a job. The cut page employs familiar concepts, such as source tape mode and an A/B trim tool - two modern features that are rooted in the past. The idea of the cut page is to remove things customers don’t need and provide professional tools that help users work more quickly.
With source tape, users no longer have to waste time hunting through bins to find the clip they need. They can simply click on the source tape button and all of the clips in their bin appear in the viewer as a single, long video. This makes it easy to scrub through all of the shots, find the parts they want, and quickly edit them to the timeline. The cut page features dual timelines so customers no longer need to zoom in or out. The upper timeline shows the entire program while the lower timeline shows the current work area.
Blackmagic Design also showed off a prototype of the DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard, a keyboard for Resolve that is designed to dramatically improve the speed of editing because it allows the user to work with both hands. The keyboard will be available in August for $995 and will feature an all-metal design with a tiered profile that allows editors to easily find their way around. The key switches are the same type used by eSports keyboards, and each key is certified for over a million operations.
The integrated search dial allows very precise transport and trimming control. Plus, the keys caps, hand rest and key switches are all available as spare parts so the keyboard can be refreshed and repaired over time.
AUTODESK FLAME 2020
Autodesk (www.autodesk.com) announced Flame 2020, the latest release of the Flame family of integrated visual effects (VFX), color grading, look development and finishing system for artists, during the 2019 NAB Show in a demo suite at the Renaissance Hotel. A new machine learning-powered feature set along with a host of new capabilities bring Flame artists significant creative flexibility and performance boosts.
Advancements in computer vision, photogrammetry and machine learning have made it possible to extract motion vectors, Z depth and 3D normals based on software analysis of digital stills or image sequences. The Flame 2020 release adds built-in machine learning analysis algorithms to isolate and modify common objects in moving footage, dramatically accelerating VFX and compositing workflows.
“Machine learning has enormous potential for content creators, particularly in the areas of compositing and image manipulation where AI can be used to track and isolate objects in a scene to pull rough mattes quickly,” says Steve McNeill, director Flame family products, Autodesk, media and entertainment. “Flame has a reputation as the de facto finishing system of choice in the deadline driven world of professional production, and this latest 2020 release significantly extends creative flexibility and performance for our artists.”
Flame 2020 features include a host of creative tools, such as the Z Depth Map Generator, which enables Z depth map extraction analysis using machine learning for live action scene depth reclamation. This allows artists doing color grading or look development to quickly analyze a shot and apply effects accurately based on distance from camera.
There’s a Human Face Normal Map Generator, which recognizes that all human faces have common recognizable features (relative distance between eyes, nose, location of mouth). Machine learning algorithms can be trained to find these patterns. This tool can be used to simplify accurate color adjustment, relighting and digital cosmetic/beauty retouching.
With the Refraction feature, a 3D object can now refract, distorting background objects based on its surface material characteristics. To achieve convincing transparency through glass, ice, windshields and more, the index of refraction can be set to an accurate approximation of real-world material light refraction.
Flame 2020 also focuses on productivty. For instance, with the Automatic Background Reactor mode, triggered immediately after modifying a shot, sends jobs to process. Accelerated, automated background rendering allows Flame artists to keep projects moving using GPU and system capacity to its fullest. This feature is available on Linux only, and can function on a single GPU.
There’s also licensing support with Flame 2020. With Single User License Ofering, Linux customers can now opt for monthly, yearly and three-year single user licensing options. Customers with an existing Mac-only single user license can transfer their license to run Flame on Linux.
Flame, Flare, Flame Assist and Lustre 2020 were available on April 16, at no additional cost to customers with a current Flame Family 2019 subscription. For details and pricing, visit the Autodesk Website.
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD UPDATES
Adobe (adobe.com) announced performance updates and new innovations for the video and audio tools that make up its Creative Cloud package. Attendees at this year’s NAB Show got a closer look at the newly-available features and a chance to hear from industry experts at the Adobe booth, as well as more than 100 partner booths.
Available now, new features include Content-Aware Fill for video, powered by Adobe Sensei, the company's artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, along with new capabilities for titles and graphics, crafting animations, refining audio mixing, and organizing and preparing project media. There are hundreds of performance improvements, including faster Mask Tracking for effects and color workflows, dual GPU optimization and improved hardware acceleration for HEVC and H.264 formats in Premiere Pro. In After Effects, enhancements include GPU-accelerated effects, such as Change Color and Roughen Edges.
“Video consumption is exploding across broadcast, film, streaming services and digital marketing, resulting in a spike in content creation demands,” says Steven Warner, vice president of digital video and audio, Adobe. “Through optimized performance and intelligent new features powered by Adobe Sensei, Creative Cloud helps video professionals eliminate the most tedious production tasks so they can focus on storytelling and executing on their creative vision.”
Content-Aware Fill in After Effects (formerly Project Cloak) for video is powered by Adobe Sensei and automates the process of removing visual elements, like boom mics, signs, logos and even people from footage.
Users can now organize and storyboard their media in the Freeform Project panel in Premiere Pro. Assets canbe arranged visually and saved as layouts for shot selects, production tasks, brainstorming story ideas, and assembly edits.
Rulers and Guides let users work with familiar Adobe design tools inside Premiere Pro, making it easier to align titling, animate effects, and ensure consistency across deliverables.
Punch and Roll in Audition is a new feature that provides efficient production workflows in both Waveform and Multitrack for longform recording, including voiceovers and audiobooks.
Livestream performances can now be enhanced where audiences engage with characters in realtime, with on-the-fly costume changes, impromptu dance moves, and signature gestures and poses.
Powered by Adobe Sensei, Auto Ducking (in Audition and Premiere Pro) now allows for dynamic adjustments to ambient sounds against spoken dialog. Keyframed adjustments can be manually fine-tuned to retain creative control over a mix.
Adobe Stock now offers an extensive collection of 10 million professional-quality, curated, royalty-free HD and 4K video footage and motion graphics templates from leading agencies and independent editors to use for editorial content, establishing shots or filling gaps in a project.
And Premiere Rush, introduced late last year, offers an efficient mobile-to-desktop workflow integrated with Premiere Pro for on-the-go editing and video assembly.
AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS HDR|IMAGE ANALYZER V1.1 UPDATE
Introduced in Amsterdam during the 2018 IBC show, and making it’s NAB debut, is the new HDR Image Analyzer from AJA Video Systems (www.aja.com), an HDR monitoring and analysis appliance powered by Colorfront developed software.
The HDR Image Analyzer supports the monitoring and analysis of 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD, HDR and WCG content for broadcast and OTT entertainment across production, post production, quality control (QC) and mastering.
At the 2019 NAB Show, AJA announced free HDR Image Analyzer v1.1 firmware that helps HDR production professionals deliver more engaging content with deeper color and greater luminosity with several new feature enhancements. It includes a new web UI that simplifies remote configuration and control from multiple machines, with updates over Ethernet offering the ability to download logs and screenshots. New Remote Desktop support provides facility-friendly control from desktops, laptops and tablets on any operating system. The update also adds new HDR monitoring and analysis tools plus other enhancements.
HDR Image Analyzer feature highlights include: support for display referred SDR (Rec.709), HDR ST2084/PQ and HLG analysis; support for scene referred ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, RED and Sony camera color spaces; display and color processing look up table (LUT) support; automatic color space conversion based on the Colorfront Engine; CIE graph, vectorscope, waveform and histogram support; nit levels and phase metering; advanced out of gamut and out of brightness detection with error intolerance; data analyzer with pixel picker; up to 4K/UltraHD 60p over 4x 3G-SDI inputs and more.
“Production professionals are embracing 4K HDR and WCG at a breakneck pace to bring audiences more compelling viewing experiences, making quality control a central focus. We’re excited to bring them HDR Image Analyzer, which will improve quality control with a cost efficient and proven Colorfront toolset for monitoring and analyzing HDR productions, all in real time,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems.
It will be available soon as a free update.
TVLOGIC F-7H MK2 FIELD MONITOR
TVLogic (www.tvlogicusa.com) rolled out several new field monitors — including the company’s super bright F-7H MK2, an upgraded version of its popular F-7H 7-inch model (featuring 3,600 nits maximum luminance) field monitor.
According to TVLogic, its F-7H mk2 is the brightest 7-inch field monitor available with HDR Emulation (PQ / HLG / Slog3). The unit features a full HD resolution 1920x1080 IPS LCD screen that offers maximum luminance of 3,600 nits allowing the operator to capture sharp images even in bright sunlight. The F-7H mk2’s upgraded features include new pre-set touch acrylic keys on the front bezel for faster and easier setups. The unit is equipped with enhanced sharpness and a new peaking boost function for focus pullers.
FACILIS HUB SHARED STORAGE LINE
Facilis (www.facilis.com) introduced its new HUB Shared Storage line developed specifically for demanding media production workflows. Built as an entirely new platform, Facilis HUB represents the evolution of the Facilis shared file system with the block-level virtualization and multi-connectivity performance required in shared creative environments.
“HUB Shared Storage is an all-new product, based on our popular HUB Server that launched in 2017,” explains Jim McKenna, VP sales and marketing at Facilis. “It’s the answer to our customers’ requests for a more compact server chassis, lower-cost hybrid (SSD and HDD) options, and integrated cloud and LTO archive features. We deliver all of this with new, more powerful hardware; new drive capacity options and a new look to both the system and software interface.”
Facilis’ shared storage network allows both block-mode Fibre Channel and Ethernet connectivity simultaneously. It also offers the ability to connect through either method with the same permissions, user accounts, and desktop appearance. This simplifies user access, connection resiliency and network permissions.
Object Cloud is an integrated disk-caching system for cloud and LTO backup and archive that includes up to 100TB of cloud storage for one low yearly cost. A native Facilis virtual volume can display cloud, tape and spinning disk data in the same directory structure, on the client desktop.
Every Facilis HUB Shared Storage server comes with unlimited seats of the Facilis FastTracker asset tracking application. The Object Cloud software and storage package is available for most Facilis servers running Version 7.2 or higher.
PIXIT MEDIA PIXSTOR 5 STORAGE SOFTWARE
Pixit Media (www.pixitmedia.com) demonstrated PixStor 5, the latest version of its scale-out intelligent storage platform, in a complete end-to-end Any-K production environment at NAB 2019.
PixStor 5 provides guaranteed performance for all types of workflow and simplifies storage, security, management and artist-anywhere collaboration — with a seamless automated user-experience from workstation to the Cloud. With new secure container services aligned to audit-compliant standards, powerful AI-enabled Search and automated deployment to Cloud market-places, PixStor 5 is an ideal solution for media organizations looking to streamline demanding Any-K media workflows and save both time and money.
Visitors to the Pixit Media booth saw PixStor 5 in action at the heart of a complete end-to-end Any-K collaborative yet secure production environment, delivering efficiencies from ingest, processing, staging, production to archive. Featured technologies in the workflow included NetApp E-Series storage arrays, Mellanox 100Gb ethernet networking and a Tier-0 Excelero NVMesh. Also showcased in the PixStor 5 workflow was Digital Vision’s Nucoda 4K creative colour grading and finishing platform, now certified by the Netflix Post Technology Alliance (PTA).
Within the PixStor 5 demo, Pixit Media showed an audit-compliant workflow with true multi-tenancy on a single PixStor 5 storage fabric, aligned to strict TPN-accredited standards, enabling speedy deployment of secured data environments without crippling productivity; fully-automated deployment of PixStor into cloud market-places enabling cloud-first workflows for global collaboration and hybrid workflows for burst render. Launching first on Google Cloud Platform, with AWS and Azure to follow; data ingested from multiple locations including secure DMZ containers and the Cloud, with full media discovery followed by data stub creation on PixStor, rigorously scanned and delivered into the project workflow; and an enhanced search that’s fast, easy and accurate across the entire single namespace using the latest machine learning and AI – connected directly to the desktop for unparalleled visibility and access. A game-changer for all users in collaborative workflows.
The demonstration also showed off guaranteed performance features with Excelero NVMesh which accelerates uncompressed Any-K—blazingly-fast uncompressed 8K simultaneous playback powered by Excelero NVMesh and Inel Ooptane with near zero overhead and on the user or target server. It also focused on Nucoda 4K color grading from PixStor 5. Certified by the Netflix Post Technology Alliance (PTA), Digital Vision's Nucoda is a fully-featured ACES color grading and finishing solution, featuring 4K HDR grading and real-time EXR file format support direct from PixStor 5.
NCAM REALITY 2019.1 SOFTWARE RELEASE
Ncam Technologies (www.ncam-tech.com), developer of real-time augmented reality technology for the media and entertainment industries, revealed the latest version of its camera tracking solution, Ncam Reality 2019.1, at the 2019 NAB Show.
The major new release includes more than 80 new features as well as significant system optimization for improved performance and enhanced capabilities. Ncam has added support for the Extreme Camera Bar, an additional camera bar that enables users to track environments that are subject to dynamic lighting changes. This new bar is particularly useful for productions using practical effects, explosions, moving lights and fast-lighting changes.
Lens profiling and calibration of the original Ncam Reality camera bar has also been refined to improve tracking quality and speed up the setup process. The number of supported video capture cards has also increased with the addition of support for Blackmagic Design’s DecLink SDI 4K video card supplementing the existing support for AJA Corvid 44 and Kona
4 video cards.
“This new release offers smart and efficient solutions to many of the common challenges faced by AR users, as well as providing a raft of new features that will greatly enhance AR projects, whether for VFX pre-visualisation, real-time VFX, virtual production or live, real-time broadcast graphics,” says Nic Hatch, CEO, Ncam.
LUMA TOUCH LUMAFUSION 2.0, FRAME IO PARTNERSHIP
Luma Touch (www.luma-touch.com) was at NAB with a preview of new version of its video editing application for iOS. The company showed LumaFusion 2.0, which has expanded its range of professional features, yet is priced at just $19.99.
The upcoming version of LumaFusion has a redesigned user interface with new track headers for locking, hiding and muting all tracks. It also provides a timeline overview that allows users to jump to any edit with a single touch. The app also sees a track increase from six to 12 (six video/audio tracks and six additional audio tracks). Users can now view their workspace on an external display, giving them more room for their timeline and library.
At NAB, the company also announced an integration partnership with Frame.io (www.frame.io), a leading collaborative review and approval platform. LumaFusion editors can now collaborate with Frame.io media without leaving the LumaFusion timeline. Users no longer have to exit the LumaFusion timeline to review and respond to comments, mark in and out points in video sequences and share additional ideas with disparate teams and clients. All Frame.io media appears in the LumaFusion library, and without the need to download media to an iOS device. As a result, editors can now edit together a scene, add comments and send it back to Frame.io while only downloading the media needed directly to the device.
The Frame.io integration will be available in LumaFusion 2.0, which is planned for release later this spring. It will be a free feature add-on for new and existing customers who have Frame.io accounts.
BLUEFISH KRONOS K8 CARD
Bluefish444 (bluefish444.com) showed the Kronos K8 multi-channel 4K I/O card at NAB 2019, which it will deliver Q2 of 2019. The K8 supports eight independent channels for 2K/HD/SD and multi-channel 4K, high dynamic range and high frame-rate workflows, with eight 3G-capable HD-BNC connectors, four bypass relays, four internal keyers, and the same 12-bit processing that drives all of its I/O cards. Optional auxiliary connections can be added to the K8, providing lots of flexibility for working with digital and analog audio, linear time code and RS-422 I/O.
The Kronos K8 is designed for post production, broadcast graphics, live production, live events, IMF/DCP quality assurance for SDR and HDR, multi-channel display, archive and restoration, and virtual or augmented reality workflows. At NAB, Bluefish444 was showing the K8 outputting to two 4K SDI monitors from Marquise Mist, effectively allowing for color grading of both SDR and HDR in 4K 60p simultaneously from a single card in a single workstation.
Over the coming months the Kronos range is expected to see further adoption of third-party applications already supported by the Epoch range, including software from Avid, Adobe, Marquise Technologies, Vizrt, Brainstorm and Medialooks. The K8 will come bundled free with IngeStore software for multi-channel capture and the Bluefish444 SDK for developers wanting to integrate with Kronos. The forthcoming Bluefish444 software, IngeStream, will also be bundled with K8 for multi-channel streaming to SMPTE 2022/2110, RTP and NewTek NDIR protocols.
ARRAIY DEEPTRACK AI-POWERED TRACKING SOLUTION
Computer vision technology companyr Arraiy (https://www.arraiy.com/) launched DeepTrack, a machine learning solution that provides real-time tracking for broadcast, news and sports productions. DeepTrack is the first application to launch in Arraiy’s DeepStudio suite of AI-based tools for real-time virtual production pipelines.
DeepTrack is powered by Arraiy’s proprietary machine learning engine and performs real-time camera and rigid object tracking using a vast library of data sets and AI. Targeted for broadcast applications, including news, sports and television studio productions, DeepTrack delivers real-time tracking data from live camera signals to simplify virtual production workflows. DeepTrack was on display for the first time at the 2019 NAB Show, where attendees were able to see Arraiy’s real-time technology demonstrated with the Future Group’s Pixotope virtual production system.
“Machine learning presents remarkable opportunities for content creators. Digital production workflows in particular are bogged down by several painstaking processes that can largely be automated through deep learning and AI,” says Gary Bradski, CSO. “Now that our self-improving AI-based technology has matured and is ready to productize, we’re excited to publicly launch and scale the company for future growth.”
ATTO TECHNOLOGY THUNDERLINK NS 3252 THUNDERBOLT 3 TO 25GB ETHERNET ADAPTERS
ATTO Technology, Inc. (www.atto.com) introduced its ATTO ThunderLink NS 3252 Thunderbolt 3 to 25Gb Ethernet adapters. Providing a flexible and scalable connectivity for today’s high-bandwidth content creation environments, ThunderLink 25GbE adapters offer driver support for Windows 10 and macOS. It’s a single connectivity solution for users with heterogeneous operating system environments.
The in-booth demonstrations this year included the new ATTO ThunderLink NS 3252 Thunderbolt 3 to 25Gb Ethernet adapter, an 8K editing workflow featuring ATTO Celerity 32Gb Fibre Channel HBAs and ATTO FastFrame 40Gb NICs with ThunderLink powering Avid NEXIS connectivity.
“The new products we’re showing at NAB this year are the result of ATTO serving the Media & Entertainment market for over three decades and the insight that experience has given us. These products are purpose-made for the industry and should be on the radar of every production house,” says Tom Kolniak, senior director of marketing at ATTO.