News for January 2005

Academy award nominations 2005…

77th Academy AwardsThe 2005 AMPAS award nominees have been announced.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
The Aviator (2004) – Robert Richardson
Shi mian mai fu (2004) – Xiaoding Zhao
The Passion of the Christ (2004) –Caleb Deschanel
The Phantom of the Opera (2004) – John Mathieson
Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) –Bruno Delbonnel

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Posted: January 27th, 2005
Categories: News
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Anatomy of a digital image…

The concept of the digital image has been around since the early days of computing. Back in the 1960s, getting a computer to display even a small picture took incredible resources. Nowadays, we are so overwhelmed with digital images that we barely notice them. From pictures on websites, photos from digital cameras to interfaces on mobile phones, digital imaging helps us to interact more intuitively with technology, as well as providing perfect copies of pictures that can be transmitted across the world almost instantly, or saved onto disks for future use.

A typical digital image

But how exactly do these images work? How are they put together, and what are the different types?

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Posted: January 22nd, 2005
Categories: Articles
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Lustre 2.5…

Product: Lustre Digital Grading System
Version: 2.5 (beta)*
Manufacturer: Autodesk Media & Entertinment(formerly Discreet)
Price: Low-mid six figures (various configurations offered)
Performance & stability: n/a*
Features: 8/10
Expected return on investment: 7/10
Support: n/a*
Longevity: 10/10
Flexibility: 7/10

Pros: Incorporates conforming, dust-busting and some effects alongside a very powerful and extensive colour-correction engine
Cons: Some careless omissions in the feature-set, too expensive to buy on speculation, suffers from being too integrated
Bottom line: The best commercial digital intermediate solution available, and it’s only going to get better

LustreLustre 2.5

*This review is based on demonstrations, evaluation of documented features and interviews with the developers rather than first-hand experience, so no data is available for reliability or performance.

Discreet has long been known in the post-production industry for creating high-end turn-key systems, such as its Inferno and Flame products for effects work, as well as for its online editing tools, Smoke and Fire.  More recently, it has targeted the desktop market, with its Combustion and 3DS MAX lines.  Discreet seems now to have its sights actively locked onto the whole digital intermediate pipeline, with its new Lustre product taking the helm.

lustre_productI say new, but this product is evolving quite rapidly.  At the time of writing, version 2.5 is available to buy, and version 1.0, released in 2003, was in turn based upon the grading system developed by Colorfront, which was itself used to grade the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Over the course of Lustre’s development, a number of improvements have been made, but the most recent incarnation of the product brings the most interesting advancements, most likely because this time around Discreet have incorporated feedback from colourists and other users of the software. Rather than go through the new features and improvements, I’ll assume that you’re unfamiliar with the product line, and examine it as a whole. In fact version 2.5 has probably sold more new copies than upgrades to existing licenses, reflecting the move in the industry away from turn-key systems such as Thomson’s Specter.

Lustre is designed to run on any Linux or Windows-based PC, but obviously the higher the host machine’s spec, the greater the performance, allowing real-time playback of film at 2k resolution with the right configuration.  The interface is reminiscent of Discreet’s other systems, such as Inferno, so operators with that sort of background will probably feel most comfortable with it.  There are separate sections for editing (conforming), image manipulation (resizing and repositioning, as well as a dustbuster), colour grading, effects, and output.  In fact, Lustre is equipped to handle almost all of the processes in a typical digital intermediate pipeline.

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Posted: January 20th, 2005
Categories: Uncategorized
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Incredible film nomination…

The Pixar digitally animated film “The Incredibles” has been nominated for the “Best Picture” award by The Producers Guild of America.
The Incredibles
More information:
Producers Guild of America Awards 2005
The Incredibles Movie Official Website

Posted: January 6th, 2005
Categories: News
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Map|Zone Free released…

Allegorithmic have announced a free version of their Map|Zone procedural effects software for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator products.

The program is free of charges fully-useable in production, has no limitations, and includes:
-A brand new and very user-friendly graphical interface
400+ preset effects: textures, patterns, maps, masks, VFX and "Non Photorealistic Rendering" effects!
-A new "History Panel" avoiding any accidental work wasting
– A preset-sharing process allowing the community of users to participate to and complete the library
New functionalities and preset parameters

Find MaP Zone FREE for download here:

Posted: January 6th, 2005
Categories: News
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