Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Toolbox

  • Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019
Goodbye console? Google launches game-streaming platform
This image provided by Google shows the controller for a video-game streaming platform called Stadia, positioning itself to take on the traditional video-game business. The platform will store a game-playing session in the cloud and lets players jump across devices operating on Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks. (Google via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Google on Tuesday unveiled a video-game streaming platform called Stadia, positioning itself to take on the traditional video-game business.

The platform will store a game-playing session in the cloud and lets players jump across devices operating on Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks.

Google didn't say how much its new service will cost, whether it will offer subscriptions or other options, or what games will be available at launch —all key elements to the success of a new video-game platform. It said only that Stadia will be available in late 2019.

Google made the announcement at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Some industry watchers were expecting a streaming console, but Google's platform centers squarely on the company's cloud infrastructure.

"The new generation of gaming is not a box," said Google Vice President Phil Harrison. "The data center is your platform."

Much like movies and music, the traditional video-game industry has been shifting from physical hardware and games to digital downloads and streaming. Video-game streaming typically requires a strong connection and more computing power than simply streaming video, since there is real-time interaction between player and game. Google says it is leveraging its data centers to power the system.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google said playing video games will be as simple as pressing a "Play Now" button, with nothing to download or install. An optional dedicated Stadia controller will be available. The WiFi-enabled controller has a button that lets players launch a microphone and use Google Assistant to ask questions about the games being played. Another button lets users share gameplay directly to Google's video streaming service, YouTube.

Harrison said he expects all gaming will eventually take place outside consoles, in cloud-powered streaming platforms similar to what Google announced. But not right away.

"It won't replace traditional games devices overnight," he said in an interview after the announcement. "And we wouldn't be here if not for the existing traditional platforms."

CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler said Google's approach that ties YouTube sharing and video-game playing is unique.

"It is not necessarily at this point the easiest thing for people to livestream their games and now you can do it with the push of a button," he said. "What they've done with Stadia is to connect and unify both the gaming platform and the streaming platform which obviously is new."

The company said Stadia will be available in late 2019 in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and parts of Europe. Google showed demos of "Assassin's Creed Odyssey" and "Doom Eternal." More information about games and pricing is due this summer.

The U.S. video game industry raked in revenue of $43.4 billion in 2018, up 18 percent from 2017, according to research firm NPD Group.

BTIG Managing Director Brandon Ross said Stadia will be a positive for game publishers "assuming that it works and works at scale, which is a big assumption."

That's because the platform could bring in players not willing to spend the money upfront for a gaming PC or a console.

"What they're presenting is a feasible way to play videogames in the cloud, and utilizing the cloud so you can play anytime, anyplace and anywhere," he said. "There's no friction, including the friction of upfront hardware costs."

Ross added that Google's platform could set up a distribution battle between Microsoft, which owns the Xbox, Sony, which owns the PlayStation, Google and perhaps Amazon, which reportedly is working on its own video-game service, as they race to lock down distribution of the most in-demand games.

To that end, Google launched Stadia Games and Entertainment which will develop Stadia-exclusive games.

"The differentiator for any of the distributors on a console or in the cloud is going to be available content," he said.

Harrison said Google will rely on outside publishers and game developers to provide many of the games available on the platform. But having its own inside studio will also allow the company to fully test and make use of new features.

"We can be the advance party, so to speak, and we can be testing out the latest technology," he said. "Once we've proven it we can help bring that up to speed on the platform even more quickly with our third-party partners."

Harrison acknowledged Google faces stiff competition from longtime rivals Microsoft, Sony and others. Google has been working on Stadia for more than four years, he said, and has been working with game developers through Android and Play Store for longer.

The others have more than a decade of experience. But Google believes it brings something new.

"We are not a historical console or PC platform," he said. "We are built specifically for this new generation."

AP technology writer Rachel Lerman in San Francisco contributed to this story.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2019
RED RANGER camera system becomes available
RED RANGER
IRVINE, Calif. -- 

RED Digital Cinema announced the availability of its new RED RANGER™ all-in-one camera system designed to meet the needs of high-end productions at select RED authorized rental houses.

RANGER includes the benefits of RED’s cinematic full frame 8K sensor, Monstro, in a camera system that includes three SDI outputs (two mirrored and one independent) allowing two different looks to be output simultaneously; wide-input voltage (11.5V to 32V); 24V and 12V power outs (two of each); one 12V P-Tap port; integrated 5-pin XLR stereo audio input (Line/Mic/+48V Selectable); as well as genlock, timecode, USB and control.

Ideal for studio configurations, RANGER is capable of handling heavy-duty power sources and boasts a larger fan for quieter and more efficient temperature management. The system is currently shipping in a Gold Mount configuration, with a V-Lock option available next month.

“There have been a lot of changes over the years in the rental business and we hope this offers our authorized rental houses something unique,” said Jarred Land, president of RED Digital Cinema. “We’re in this to make the best products possible and to enable all our customers to succeed in their own way. RANGER is what the Rental Houses asked for--I’m excited to see the results.”

RANGER captures 8K REDCODE RAW up to 60 fps full format, as well as Apple ProRes or AVID DNxHR formats at 4K up to 30fps and 2K up to 120 fps. It can simultaneously record REDCODE RAW plus Apple ProRes or AVID DNxHD or DNxHR at up to 300 MB/s write speeds. To enable a robust end-to-end color management and post workflow, RED’s enhanced image processing pipeline (IPP2) is also included in the system.

RANGER ships complete, including:

  • Production Top Handle
  • PL Mount with supporting shims
  • Two 15mm LWS rod brackets
  • RED Pro Touch 7.0” LCD with 9” ARM and LCD/EVF cable
  • LCD/EVF Adaptor A and LCD/EVF Adaptor D
  • 24V AC power adaptor with 3-pin 24V XLR power cable
  • And Compatible Hex and Torx tools
  • Friday, Mar. 15, 2019
Jury rules Apple owes Qualcomm $31M for patent infringement
In this Jan. 3, 2019, file photo the Apple logo is displayed at the Apple store in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A jury announced the verdict Friday, March 15, that Apple should pay $31 million in damages for infringing on patents for technology owned by mobile chip maker Qualcomm that helps iPhones quickly connect to the internet and extend their battery life. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- 

A jury has decided Apple should pay $31 million in damages for infringing on patents for technology owned by mobile chip maker Qualcomm that helps iPhones quickly connect to the internet and extend their battery life.

The verdict Friday in a San Diego federal court follows a two-week trial that pitted two former allies that have become bitter adversaries. The trial is a fragment of a legal battle involving Apple and Qualcomm, which are sparing over who invented some of the technology used for key features in smartphones and other mobile devices.

The stakes will be much larger in another federal trial next month that will determine whether Apple should be required to pay Qualcomm for licensing other technology used in iPhones.

Apple had been paying the licensing fees until it stopped in 2017 and filed a lawsuit alleging that Qualcomm was abusing his dominance of the mobile chip market to gouge smartphone makers for technology that it hadn't even invented. That trial is scheduled to start April 15.

In the trial that just concluded, the jury unanimously agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents. The damages date back to July 6, 2017, when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit, and covers technology used in the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

San Diego-based Qualcomm hailed the verdict as a validation of its technology's importance to iPhones. "The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly," said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel.

Apple expressed disappointment with the decision. "Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in US federal court, and around the world," the Cupertino, California, company said.

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm is also part of an antitrust lawsuit that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed in 2017. In that case, the FTC alleges that Qualcomm had been abusing its market power in mobile chips for years. The trial concluded in San Jose, California, earlier this year, but the judge still hasn't ruled.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019
Shotgun boosts game studios’ creative pipelines with new integrations for Jira and After Effects
LOS ANGELES -- 

Shotgun will be at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco (March 18-22) to announce two new integrations: Jira Bridge and Adobe After Effects.

The new Jira Bridge takes Shotgun farther on its mission to connect game development art and engineering workflows to foster better collaboration, communication and faster iteration.

Meanwhile, Shotgun’s After Effects integration will join its suite of supported creative tools that help artists stay focused in their environments of choice. Shotgun gives artists the freedom to do what they do best: make incredible art.

These new additions follow the recent announcements of Unreal Engine and Unity integrations (with Unity’s coming soon). Together, these uniquely place Shotgun in enabling game development studios to move new ideas forward much faster in an increasingly dynamic, content-driven market by bridging the creative and engineering sides of the studio. Both Jira Bridge and the new After Effects integration will be available from March 18, with Jira Bridge in public beta.

Shotgun will showcase its Jira, After Effects, Unreal Engine and Unity integrations at GDC in San Francisco through a Developer Day​ session at Moscone Center, in room 3020, West Hall, on March 19th at 1:20pm. 

“More than ever before, games studios are driven to quickly drop new assets and builds that keep players engaged,” said Don Parker, VP & GM, Shotgun Software, Autodesk. “Shotgun is giving studios the connected agility they need to move faster. We’re really excited about the new Jira and After Effects integrations providing yet more ways for the asset side of a game development studio to stay connected to, and in sync with, the engineering side of the house.”

Epic Games runs in-house asset creation with Shotgun. “At any given time, there are up to 40 people using Shotgun as a management tool from a production standpoint and anywhere from 400-500 or more active users who receive tasks from Shotgun,” said Brian Brecht, art manager, Epic Games. “When we construct assets, they go through a series of pipeline steps that are all scheduled, tracked and assigned via Shotgun. All in-house reviews are handled through RV or the embedded Shotgun tools via the web UI as well. There is no way we could handle the overall volume we produce without the production tracking tools that Shotgun brings to the table.”

Teams of all sizes, from small-to-mid sized up to leading AAA games studios are benefitting from running their asset production pipelines in Shotgun, including Electronic Arts, Bungie, Epic Games, Ubisoft, Blizzard, Sony Computer Entertainment, Rockstar, Treyarch, Square Enix, and many more.

Jira Bridge – in public beta March 18
Having your studio’s data split between two tracking applications can create workflow bottlenecks and inefficiencies, causing confusion between teams. The new Jira Bridge for Shotgun overcomes these challenges by allowing two-way synchronization of data between Shotgun and Jira, while simplifying the creation of custom mappings when they’re needed. The new Jira framework automates the tedious aspects of synchronization, and lets  artists and engineers keep using the tracking tools they prefer.

After Effects Integration - available March 18
The After Effects (AE) integration for Shotgun is the latest in our series for creative tools, joining Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop, among many others, in helping artists stay in creative flow, removing the need for context switching and letting creative teams make better decisions, in fewer steps. These powerful tools makes it easy for artists to load assets in a visual browser, see project and task information in-app and publish out of AE in one click, without worrying about filenames or version numbers. Repetitive processes can be automated, taking the hassle out of things like standardizing render formats and submitting them for review. Like our other integrations, Shotgun customers can access and contribute to the integration via GitHub.

Unreal Engine Integration – available now
Artists can submit in-engine work for review faster than ever, and right inside Unreal, using the Shotgun panel, loader, and publisher. Tasks in Shotgun are linked to Unreal Engine assets, making production tracking and review much easier for artists and supervisors – and without losing much-needed context. The integration is even more powerful and customizable with Epic Games’ addition of the Extended Python API to the Unreal Engine in 4.21.

Unity integration – coming soon
Unity is planning to release its Shotgun integration this spring. The collaboration between Unity and Autodesk will boost productivity and empower artists to focus on creative work with new tools for viewing tasks and feedback directly within Unity. Control the Unity Editor with Python, load assets, publish playblasts, and track resulting analytics through Shotgun within the Unity Editor.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019
Timeline TV adopts remote production workflow for Women's Super League based on URSA Broadcast
Timeline deploys the URSA Broadcast camera to cover the Football Association's (FA) Women's Super League
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has announced that broadcast services specialist Timeline TV has implemented a bespoke remote production solution to produce coverage of the Football Association’s (FA) Women’s Super League (WSL), built around the Blackmagic 3G-SDI Shield for Arduino and URSA Broadcast.

In order to meet the WSL’s requirements for live match coverage in the 2018/2019 season, its first as a full time professional league, the Timeline team needed to rethink how they’d approach a four multicamera OB, that could be deployed at any ground in the country while still delivering the level of quality expected by production partner, Whisper Films.

Timeline’s managing director, Dan McDonnell, explains that the URSA Broadcast was the ideal camera choice. “We pride ourselves on delivering broadcast quality output for our creative partners, and the URSA Broadcast, when paired with our B4 lenses, delivers excellent images, both on and off the pitch.”

When it came to controlling the URSA Broadcast, Timeline’s IP engineering team had to get creative. “Remote camera racking was essential and required a new approach to data transmission all while keeping the on site operation as simple as possible,” said McDonnell. “There was nothing else on the market that would afford us the flexibility, quality or control unless we deployed a full OB.”

The IP transmission solution resides in a backpack. It integrates a transmitter and the camera control interface systems needed for acquisition and live transmission back to the companies Ealing Studios’ headquarters, where each weekend’s coverage is produced.

“Essentially, we’ve eliminated the requirement for a full, static router, which normally is in place for a camera control unit to feed through. As well as the high resolution camera signals, an additional low res feed is sent carrying all the necessary camera settings,” according to McDonnell. “Working over IP channels provides reliable and consistent remote signal feeds from wherever we are around the country, and this, combined with Blackmagic’s open protocol has given us the flexibility to devise a high quality remote production solution that meets broadcasters’ strict standards for live sports coverage.”

Timeline will continue to provide all Women’s Super League footage with the remote solution, but its efficiency and technical capabilities could be easily transferred to other sporting leagues, tournaments and touring events.

“The ability to control an entire multicamera system via IP means that we can produce comprehensive coverage of high profile events from anywhere in the world, without having to send a huge amount of staff or equipment out to the venues,” McDonnell concluded. ”Once the operators are on site, it’s simply a matter of switching on the receivers and the cameras, and we’re ready to go. That balance of speed, flexibility and quality has only been possible at this price point thanks to Blackmagic Design.”

  • Friday, Mar. 8, 2019
IAB Europe hires Patrick Verdon as technical director
Patrick Verdon
BRUSSELS -- 

IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the online advertising ecosystem, has appointed Patrick Verdon as technical director, a newly created role for the organization as it continues its mission to enable digital advertising to support media plurality and Europe’s digital economy, to shape the regulatory environment and to help companies process user data legally with the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF).

Verdon brings more than two decades of senior technical experience to his role as the first technical director for IAB Europe. In his new role, one of his principal tasks is supporting the TCF technical updates that will provide a more complete accommodation of the “legitimate interests” legal basis for data processing. Plans are also in place for a new set of signals that allow Consent Management Providers (CMPs) to offer users the “right to object” to processing on the basis of a “legitimate interest” and new granular controls for publishers about the data processing purposes permitted by them on a per vendor basis. Most recently, thanks to Verdon’s guidance, IAB Europe recently announced the development of a new CMP validation tool for the TCF.

IAB Europe, with collaboration across the industry, released the open-source Transparency and Consent Framework in April 2018. It’s the only GDPR consent solution that has been built by the industry, for the industry, creating a true industry-standard approach. This framework is helping publishers, technology vendors and marketers speak in the same language when it comes to obtaining user consent for data processing after GDPR. Version 2 of the framework is due to be released later this year in association with IAB Tech Lab.

Verdon brings a strong track-record of working in the Internet and mobile spaces and has held CTO roles in several successful start-ups. Most recently, he co-founded Databoxer, a CMP for websites. On joining IAB Europe Verdon said “My role will be focused on driving both product development and technical implementation across the Transparency and Consent Framework. I am coming back to my roots to ensure that the policy governance of the Framework takes good account of technology considerations, so we release a robust and commercially friendly updated version for all global stakeholders”. 

Verdon will also be the team lead for IAB Europe’s new Technical Committee, which will convene for the first time in May 2019, bringing together technology and business-side experts from IAB Europe member companies to ensure technical vetting of solutions the Association is driving to help the industry address challenges and leverage opportunities.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019
Blackmagic Design rolls out URSA Mini Pro G2 camera
The URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has rolled out URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2, a second generation URSA Mini Pro camera featuring fully redesigned electronics and a new Super 35mm 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range that combine to support high frame rate shooting at up to 300 frames per second. In addition, URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 supports Blackmagic RAW and features a new USB-C expansion port for direct recording to external disks.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is available now for $5,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

The new URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is a dramatic advancement over the original model as it now features entirely new electronics for higher speed processing. Also included is a new Super 35mm 4.6K image sensor that captures up to 4608 x 2592 pixels with 15 stops of latitude at up to 3200 ISO. This allows customers to record full sensor 4.6K images at up to 120 frames per second, windowed 4K DCI at up 150 frames per second, and windowed 1080 HD at an amazing 300 frames per second. That makes URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 ideal for capturing stylized fast action documentary work, nature photography, sports and more.

In addition, URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 can capture Blackmagic RAW images in both film and extended video modes, making it perfect for high end feature films, television shows, commercials, and indie films as well as broadcast news, studio and even live multi camera production.

Blackmagic RAW is a revolutionary, next generation codec that gives customers visually lossless images, extensive metadata support and highly optimized GPU and CPU accelerated processing. Blackmagic RAW combines the quality and workflow advantages of traditional RAW formats with the speed and ease of use of standard video codecs. With Blackmagic RAW, customers can choose compression levels up to 12:1 and still get stunning images that can be used for feature films, documentaries and broadcast programming. Blackmagic RAW settings such as 12:1 are important to allow customers to get the highest frame rates from the camera, and this means only Blackmagic RAW can allow high frame rates while retaining enough quality for professional results.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 also uses Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science for superior imaging that results in extremely accurate skin tones and gorgeous, lifelike colors that rival those of cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars more. Blackmagic RAW images are encoded using a custom non-linear 12-bit space designed to provide the maximum amount of color data and dynamic range. These formats can be recorded onto CFast or SD cards, as well as direct to flash disks using the new USB-C expansion port.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is designed to be extremely tough and fully featured. It includes everything customers need in a compact handheld magnesium alloy body that’s durable and light enough to use anywhere. There’s an external high visibility backlit LCD status display for viewing critical shooting information, a foldout touch screen for reviewing shots without needing an extra on-set monitor, professional connections such as 12G-SDI, XLR audio, built in high quality stereo microphones and more. Plus, every single control on the camera is redundant, including the power, so if anything should go wrong in the field, the camera can still be used.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 features neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation for quickly reducing the amount of light that enters the camera. The 2, 4 and 6 stop filters are specifically designed to match the colorimetry of the camera and provide additional latitude, even under harsh lighting conditions. That means customers can use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. The IR filters evenly compensate for both far red and infrared wave lengths to eliminate IR contamination. The ND filters are true optical filters with a precision mechanism that quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned.

The broadcast camera design of URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 puts powerful external control buttons, switches, knobs and dials on the outside of the camera, giving customers direct access to the most important camera settings. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember so cinematographers can operate the camera without having to look at the buttons, hunt through menus, or take their eye off of the action. URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 also features a high visibility status screen that displays important information such as timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels. The status display features a backlight and is designed to be clearly visible in both dimly lit studios and outside in direct sunlight.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 comes standard with an interchangeable EF lens mount for working high quality photographic lenses. If the camera is being used on a high end film or commercial shoot that calls for large cinematic lenses, simply remove the EF mount and replace it with the optional PL mount. There’s even a B4 broadcast lens mount for working with broadcast HD lenses. URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 also includes a standard 12 pin Hirose lens control connector.

Featuring both dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders and dual SD UHS-II card recorders, customers can choose the media that works best for their projects. C-Fast cards are ideal for full resolution Blackmagic RAW 12 bit recording, while UHS-II SD cards are inexpensive and commonly available, making them perfect for recording Blackmagic RAW 8:1 or 12:1 for Ultra HD and regular HD files. With dual slots for each media type, the camera never has to stop recording because when the first card is full, it automatically continues onto the next card. Full cards can be swapped for empty ones, all without stopping the camera.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 also includes a new and innovative high speed USB-C expansion port for adding accessories such as an SSD for external recording. That means customers can now record for even longer durations without stopping. Plus, they can record directly onto the same external disks they will use for editing and color correction.

URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 includes the full DaVinci Resolve Studio software, giving customers a complete post production solution. This powerful software combines professional nonlinear video editing with the world’s most advanced color corrector for importing, editing, color correcting, finishing and delivering projects shot on URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2. DaVinci Resolve Studio works natively with Blackmagic RAW files from the camera, so customers can take them directly into post production without having to convert or change them. Every single bit of quality is preserved because it is a true lossless workflow. Using DaVinci Resolve Studio is the fastest and highest quality way to work with Blackmagic RAW files from URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2.

“The original URSA Mini Pro has been an extremely successful and very popular camera,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is exciting because it gives customers second generation electronics and an even higher performance image sensor so they can shoot at extremely high frame rates for crystal clear slow motion images. URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is powerful enough to be used on high end feature films and television shows, versatile enough to be used for broadcast news and live multi camera event production, and affordable enough for indie filmmakers and even students! It’s like getting 3 cameras in one!”

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 Key Features
·       

  • Digital film camera with 15 stops of dynamic range.
  • Super 35mm 4.6K sensor with Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science.
  • Supports project frame rates up to 60 fps and off-speed slow motion recording up to 120 fps in 4.6K, 150 fps in 4K DCI and 300 fps in HD Blackmagic RAW.
  • Interchangeable lens mount with EF mount included as standard. Optional PL, B4 and F lens mounts available separately.
  • High quality 2, 4 and 6 stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation designed to specifically match the colorimetry and color science of Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2.
  • Fully redundant controls including external controls which allow direct access to the most important camera settings such as external power switch, ND filter wheel, ISO, shutter, white balance, record button, audio gain controls, lens and transport control, high frame rate button and more.
  • Built in dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
  • High speed USB-C expansion port for recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk.
  • Lightweight and durable magnesium alloy body.
  • LCD status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels.
  • Support for Blackmagic RAW files in Constant Bitrate 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1 or Constant Quality Q0 and Q5 as well as ProRes 4444 XQ, ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 Proxy recording at 4.6K, 4K, Ultra HD and HD resolutions.
  • Supports recording of up to 300 frames per second in HD, 150 frames per second in 4K DCI, and 120 frames per second at full frame 4.6K.
  • Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
  • Built in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.
  • 4 inch foldout touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
  • Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Accessories
The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is compatible with the full range of URSA Mini accessories available from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide:

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro PL, B4 and F lens mounts each sold separately.
  • Additional Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro EF lens mounts also sold separately.
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit features built in rosettes, rail mounts, viewfinder mount, integrated tripod quick lock release and top handle.
  • Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is a high resolution viewfinder that includes a full HD OLED display and true glass optics for perfect focus.
  • Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder featuring 7” screen, variable tension mounting points, grab handles, external controls and more.
  • URSA VLock Battery Plate provides a VLock compatible plate for attaching third party batteries.
  • Monday, Mar. 4, 2019
Avid, FotoKem renew multi-year enterprise agreement
Jeff Rosica, Avid CEO and president
BURLINGTON, Mass. -- 

FotoKem has renewed its multi-year enterprise agreement with Avid. Covering Avid video and audio products as well as customer support, the agreement ensures FotoKem will continue to optimize efficiencies from its Avid-based video and audio postproduction workflows.

FotoKem is an independently-owned, full-service postproduction facility serving the worldwide creative community. Since 1963, the company has been a trusted resource for every corner of the entertainment market, providing comprehensive postproduction expertise, high-end solutions and innovative technologies. FotoKem’s workflows include Avid NEXIS®, the media industry’s first software-defined storage platform; Avid Interplay® production management solution; Media Composer® nonlinear editing systems; Pro Tools® digital audio workstations and Pro Tools | S6 modular control surface; and the Avid Artist™ I/O family.

“Our continued enterprise agreement with Avid helps FotoKem keep our focus on bridging the gap between technology and creativity so that, in turn, we can ensure that our customers can focus on delivering their best creative work,” said Jon Mauldin, VP of Technology Non-linear, FotoKem.   

“Avid is very proud of our long-standing relationship with our esteemed customer FotoKem,” said Jeff Rosica, Avid CEO and president. “We’re very pleased to help them to continue to achieve greater cost efficiency and predictability in their operations, while innovating with the latest Avid tools and solutions on behalf of their customers across film and television.”

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
Cooke Optics sets its NAB lineup
Cooke's 50mm anamorphic lens
LEICESTER, UK -- 

Cooke Optics will present some never-before-seen lenses from its S7/i, Panchro/i Classic and Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus ranges on Stand C6333 at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas from April 8-11. The award-winning lens manufacturer will also showcase new developments for /i3, the latest version of its /i Technology metadata system that provides detailed lens data to VFX and post-production teams.

The new Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus range has been designed to meet the growing appetite for large format production, while offering the popular anamorphic characteristics including flare and oval bokeh. The 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm focal lengths are in production, scheduled to start shipping in limited quantities from April 2019, and will be available for demonstration on Stand C6333. The additional lenses in the full range--32mm, 135mm and 180mm as well as a surprise or two--should be shipping by the end of the year. This range is also available with Cooke’s SF ‘Special Flair’ coating, which enables an exaggerated flare that gives yet more choice to cinematographers.

The complete set of Panchro/i Classic lenses is also scheduled to start shipping by NAB 2019, including the recently announced 65mm Macro lens--a 2-1 Macro--which also covers full frame, and the 21mm, 27mm, 135mm and 152mm designed to cover the S/35 image area. Visitors to Stand C6333 will see these lenses for the first time outside Europe.

In addition, the 18mm, 27mm and 180mm lenses from the S7/i full frame spherical range will be featured on the Cooke stand and will be going into production over the coming months.

“The manufacturing team in our Leicester factory continues to work flat out to round out these nascent lens ranges, which are all made entirely by hand,” said Les Zellan, chairman, Cooke Optics. “With nine lens ranges in the Cooke family, we have certainly set ourselves a challenge to meet the ever increasing demand, but we are proud to offer cinematographers such a wide choice of looks that help them tell their stories.”

Cooke will also present /i3 (/i Cubed), the latest version of its /i Technology metadata system that provides detailed lens data to VFX and post-production teams. /i3 firmware now provides distortion mapping - not just a theoretical measurement of spherical lenses of a particular focal length, but of the specific lens in use. Sony is currently working to integrate /i3 into the Sony Venice large format camera.

Cooke lenses will also be present at a number of camera manufacturer and reseller stands at the show.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019
8K Association formed, provides info, resources

The 8K Association (8KA) has been formed, setting among its goals:

  • Promoting 8K TVs and 8K Content to consumers and professionals
  • Helping educate consumers and professionals about the 8K ecosystem
  • Helping secure 8K native content for members
  • Encouraging service providers (especially OTT) to develop 8K offerings
  • Facilitating communication within 8K ecosystem to help with commercialization
  • Developing initial technical requirements for 8K input signals
  • Developing initial 8K TV categories and minimum specifications for image quality

Principal members of the 8K Association include panel supplier AU Optronics (AUO) along with consumer electronics companies Hisense, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics and TCL Electronics. Panel supplier Samsung Display is also in the process of joining the 8KA. 

8KA has prepared info and resources for industry education, including an initial frequently asked questions document. 8KA expects to soon publish more documents to allow additional companies to consider joining the organization.

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Erik Anderson
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