Lustre 2.6 announced

Autodesk today announced Lustre 2.6, along with a new “Incinerator” system accelerator.
Hopefully many of the editorial problems I encountered with the previous version have been resolved, we’ll see at NAB.

Autodesk is introducing Discreet® Lustre® 2.6 – the latest version of its industry leading digital colour correction system, and the Autodesk® IncineratorTM 1.0 system that is planned to enhance the real-time performance of future Lustre-based products. New to the market, the Incinerator system is an inline cluster of configurable processing units that connect to one or more Lustre stations, boosting system performance and interactivity during digital colour grading sessions. The Lustre 2.6 system delivers a host of new features, including additional conform and editorial capabilities.

Full press release:
14 April 2005— Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced two new products that enable users to more rapidly realise their ideas. Autodesk is introducing Discreet® Lustre® 2.6 – the latest version of its industry leading digital colour correction system, and the Autodesk® IncineratorTM 1.0 system that is planned to enhance the real-time performance of future Lustre-based products. New to the market, the Incinerator system is an inline cluster of configurable processing units that connect to one or more Lustre stations, boosting system performance and interactivity during digital colour grading sessions. The Lustre 2.6 system delivers a host of new features, including additional conform and editorial capabilities.

The Incinerator system is ideal for production and post-production environments requiring unparalleled, real-time digital colour grading and colour correction, such as in the creation of high-end advertising and feature film projects. This technology enables colourists to use multiple complex secondary colour correction layers and effects like defocus, in real-time at resolutions as high as 2K. Other computationally intensive effects, such as a bleach bypass, are significantly accelerated.

Post-production facility Shortcut (Denmark) is a beta tester for both Lustre 2.6 and Incinerator systems. “We were having a hard time finding a solution that could match our stringent requirements for sophisticated colour grading and real-time interaction. When we saw Lustre with Incinerator, we immediately knew that it was the system to fit our needs,” said Ivan Schmidt, technical director at Shortcut. “Our testing proves that the combined Lustre and Incinerator systems are far more powerful than any other solution on the market.”

Schmidt cited integration as a key advantage to using the Lustre 2.6 system: “We already have a Discreet workflow and the systems work very well together. We also have an ARRI Scanner and an ARRI Laser Recorder – both integrated effortlessly with Lustre.” Shortcut’s digital workflow includes a Discreet Inferno® visual effects system and two Discreet Flame® visual effects systems.

The Incinerator system has a highly flexible, scalable, non-proprietary architecture. Incinerator clusters can be shared between multiple Lustre systems, switched from one online Lustre system to another, used for background rendering, and configured on a node-by-node basis to divert extra processing resources to selected systems.

The Lustre system’s extensive toolset is employed in digital intermediate, commercials and film restoration workflows. The Lustre system has been used on numerous blockbuster films, including The Polar Express, The Phantom of the Opera and National Treasure. Cineric (New York) used the Lustre system to restore the 1956 classic musical Carousel. The system remedied severe dye fading in the original film and inconsistencies in overall colour. On Ford Mustang’s “The Legend Lives, Cornfield” television spot, R!OT (Santa Monica) used the Lustre system for final grading and colour matching of footage featuring the late actor Steve McQueen. Pixel Farm (Minneapolis) has also used the Lustre system on in-house spots for Best Buy, and Rapala’s “X Rap” television spot.

The Lustre system began shipping less than two years ago, and has enjoyed rapid adoption: more than 60 units have been sold to 40 clients in 15 countries. Clients include ARRI Film & TV (Germany), Éclair Laboratories (France), Weta Digital (New Zealand), Fotofilm (Spain), Pixar Animation Studios (USA), Pacific Title & Art Studio (USA), Sony Pictures Imageworks (USA) and Technicolor Creative Services Hollywood (USA).

Lustre 2.6 System Key Features
• New editorial metadata architecture and subsystem enabling powerful new conform and editorial capabilities
• XML-based cut files for more transparent cross-vendor interoperability
• Intelligent handling of EDLs
• Expanded film key code and video timecode handling
• Expanded flags system and new integrated notes to facilitate project collaboration
• Enhanced linear-mode primary colour correction
• User selectable keyer source as pre/post input primary
• Improved browser performance with fast parsing of huge clip libraries
• Autodesk Stone® Shared optimisation for increased real-time performance from centralised storage area network (SAN)

Incinerator 1.0 System Key Features
• Ultra high-speed inline clustering technology for HD, 2K and 4K digital colour grading
• Real-time 2K colour correction for combined primary and multiple complex secondary colour grading and accelerated effects
• Designed to augment the Lustre system’s highly optimised real-time CPU/GPU capabilities for even faster performance
• Cluster nodes optimised to work in parallel over a high-speed Infiniband network
• Uses standard file-systems for superior data management and workflow
• Fully modular and scalable hardware and software architecture
• Intelligent system management software
• Turnkey system requires no proprietary hardware components, providing superior workflow integration, faster processing, improved system longevity and more rapid software improvements

Pricing and Availability
The Lustre 2.6 system is anticipated to ship in summer 2005. The Incinerator 1.0 system is anticipated to ship later this year and is sold as a separate product. For further information, contact Autodesk sales at +44 (0)20 7851 8000 or visit www.discreet.com/lustre.

About Shortcut
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Shortcut is Scandinavia’s largest post-production facility and part of the oldest film studio in the world – Nordisk film, founded in 1906. With four in-house colourists, the facility has been doing Digital Intermediate work for more than five years. Shortcut also provides scanning, grading, online and offline editing, film rerecording and restoration services.

Posted: April 14th, 2005
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