IBC 2006 – Part 2

Autodesk pretty much updated their entire product line, adding a “2007″ moniker to Lustre, Toxik, Smoke, Flame, Flint and Inferno. The new versions incorporate tweaks and fixes, many of which are the result of customer feedback. There isn’t really anything significant, but suffice to say if you’ve been using any of the above, you’ll find it faster and easier to use, such as the new AAF and FCPXML support (I’m told the really glamourous stuff is coming next year). Development on the Incinerator hardware accelerator continues, but there is no comment as to whether it or something similar will be used on the Linux version of Smoke for example. Regardless, Autodesk are commited to software development rather than hardware development, as Senior Product Marketing Manager Maurice Patel puts it, “Hardware ties you down in terms of creativity”. Meanwhile, Toxik’s feature set has grown a great deal, and it almost seems a shame there is not a standalone version to go head-to-head with Shake, especially considering Shake’s uncertain (I resisted saying “Shaky”) future. Lustre 2007 has a shiny new panel, by far one of the most compact I’ve seen. Interoperability between various Autodesk products has been tightened further, particularly between Maya, MAX and MotionBuilder, but also demonstrated in the ability to submit Flattened timelines from Smoke to Lustre (and vice versa). Speaking of Maya and MAX, it seems that Autodesk are commited to developing each product separately (“like having a range of cars in a showroom”), which should keep their respective users very happy. Finally, subscriptions to the new Autodesk Developer Network are available, allowing facilities or software developers to code specifically for Autodesk products, meaning we may soon start to see some interesting 3rd-party products for Autodesk systems.

NHK’s exhibit had people queuing for several minutes to get a look at what they’ve dubbed an “Ultra HD” experience: 8k (7680×4320 pixels) video. Their demo was 14 minutes of image, CG, recorded and live video. The display comprised of two 4k projectors linked together, with a 22.2 channel surround (above and below) sound system. It was very impressive, and very video-y. At that resolution, the softness is entirely a factor of the lens used, which meant the CG sections stood out like a sore thumb. I watched it with an open jaw, and one thought: who is going to want this? The answer is probably the Imax audience. No-one wants (yet?!) to shoot films at 8k, but for documentaries and wildlife footage, this technology may be ideal.

Codex Digital
On a similar note, Codex Digital were showing off were showing off ther Codex field recorder, capable of recording anything up to uncompressed 4k data. Featuring removable “DiskPacks” (each with a capacity of 360GB or 720GB) and touchscreen interface, it looks both rugged and elegant, weighing in at around 35-45 kg. A nice twist is that it generates proxies on the fly in various formats for convenient viewing.

Posted: September 18th, 2006
Categories: News
Comment from Jack - 9/22/2006 at 10:57 am

For anyone interested in the pricing of the ADN subscription, see here for a handy price chart: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=4888765

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