Highlights from IBC 2011

James Cameron hates gurus. He imagines them in white lab coats, telling people what they can’t do. On the other hand, him and Vincent Pace want your money in return for certification.

In a nutshell, Cameron Pace Group is trying to become the authority on all things 3D. Their idea is that everything from the workflow and kit used during a shoot, through to the consumer equipment used to playback 3D content will be branded with their logo, much in a similar way to THX and audio equipment. Will they be successful? Well their showreel is certainly impressive.

Adobe has acquired IRIDAS, they of the wonderful SpeedGrade software. Looks like Adobe could be dipping its toe into digital intermediate waters at last. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is now available for Windows (in addition to Mac and Linux). Filmlight’s Baselight is now available as a plugin for The Foundry’s Nuke, which is a nice idea, especially considering that their Final Cut Pro plugin may turn out to be a waste of time.

The Foundry themselves were introducing a new workflow tool, Hiero. It’s the first stand-alone conforming system I’ve seen (that wasn’t just a cut down grading system at least), and there’s a beta programme if you want to take a closer look.

One of the more interesting products (although not a new one) was Colorfront’s On-Set Dailes. It will ingest and output any format under the sun, has a gorgeous interface, and is the only digital dailies system that I know of that will do sound sync. If you are involved with dailies in any capacity, take a look at it.

There were several “alternatives to FTP” on offer, like TixelTec and FileCatalyst, boasting high-speed transfers, but conveniently neglecting to point out that the transfer speed is almost entirely limited by the lowest speed of either party (oh yes, and FTP is simple and also free to implement). On the other hand, the FileCatalyst Webmail system, which is designed to be a user-friendly front-end to file transfers, is worth a look.

Finally, anyone interested in where colour grading might be going next, should take a look at Bakery Relight. It’s a system for 3D animation rather than post-production, With more work being done in 3D, and with advancements in 2D-to-3D technology, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see tools like that in the grading suite.


Comment from Greg - 9/23/2011 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for swinging by and checking out FileCatalyst! You’re right of course about the lowest speed of the endpoint, but we’re never shy about answering questions directly on that point. I often hear our sales team and booth staff say phrases like, “What we do isn’t magic; we can’t make a link faster than what’s available.” It’s ethical and it’s also good business; if we tried to sell our solution to a company based on false premises, we’d be in a world of hurt business-wise.

I don’t want to clutter up your blog, but suffice it to say that the majority of our “acceleration” customers have at least 10Mbps on both endpoints (which is the sweet spot where performance vs. FTP starts to get crazy).

As you also mention, though, products like Webmail and Workflow are available with or without acceleration, meaning they can be a benefit even with slower endpoints, and FileCatalyst Direct has other benefits that have sometimes been more important to the client than acceleration.

Don’t mean to take this space up as a marketing or sales pitch, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned that we conduct our business with the highest possible integrity and that even when it means a lost sale, we would never try to convince a potential client that our technology can do something that it can’t.

Thanks again for stopping by!

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