Friday, December 14, 2018

Toolbox

  • Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
Blackmagic unveils DaVinci Resolve 15.2
DaVinci Resolve 15.2
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has made available DaVinci Resolve 15.2, a major update to its editing, color correction, VFX and professional audio post software. DaVinci Resolve 15.2 includes over 30 new features that simplify and streamline everyday tasks for editors, colorists and sound engineers.
  
The editing timeline in DaVinci Resolve 15.2 draws at a higher frame rate which makes editing and trimming feel faster, more responsive and more fluid than ever. In addition, new animations have been added so clips slide in and out of position, making it easier to see exactly how different edits affect other clips in the timeline.
  
Visual dup detection lets customers see when the same clip has been used more than once. In addition, clips displayed in the bin now display usage indicators for the current active timeline. White vertical lines highlight the currently marked portion of a clip, while red horizontal lines show which frames are used. The timeline can also be cleaned up by flattening down unused clips, and timecode entry has been simplified throughout the application.
  
DaVinci Resolve 15.2 also adds features that make pancake editing, which is the editing of clips between multiple timelines, much easier and faster. Timelines or compound clips can now be loaded into the source viewer and edited into the current timeline in their decomposed state. Most importantly, editors can tap the X key to instantly mark a clip in the source timeline and edit that clip directly into the active program timeline.

The inspector, on-screen controls and metadata viewer on the Edit page now automatically update to show the relevant information for the highest visible clip under the playhead. That means customers no longer have to manually select a clip to change a parameter. Keyboard customization has been completely redesigned in DaVinci Resolve 15.2. The new visual interface lets editors quickly see which keys are in use and assign shortcuts. The included keyboard sets emulate other popular editing applications, making it easier for editors switching to DaVinci Resolve. Keyboard sets can be shared between systems and shortcuts can now be assigned to different pages and user interface panels within the application. Shortcuts can even be assigned to commands in contextual pop-up menus. New highlights make it easier to see which portion of the interface is active so customers know which keyboard shortcuts they can use.

  • Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018
RED rolls out DSMC2 DRAGON-X
RED's DSMC2 DRAGON-X

RED Digital Cinema’s DSMC2® DRAGON-X™ 5K S35 camera is now readily available. And soon to be in the marketplace are RED’s DSMC2 Production Module and DSMC2 Production Kit, which are slated for rollout in early 2019.
  
The DSMC2 DRAGON-X camera uses the DRAGON sensor technology found in many RED legacy cameras with an evolved sensor board to enable RED’s enhanced image processing pipeline (IPP2) in camera.
  
In addition to IPP2, the DRAGON-X provides 16.5 stops of dynamic range, 5K resolution up to 96 fps in full format, and 120 fps at 5K 2.4:1. Consistent with the rest of RED’s DSMC2 lineup, DRAGON-X offers 300 MB/s data transfer speeds and simultaneous recording of REDCODE® RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR.
  
The new DSMC2 DRAGON-X is priced at $14,950 and is available as a fully-configured kit priced at $19,950.  The kit includes: a 480GB RED Mini-Mag; Canon lens mount; RED DSMC2 Touch LCD 4.7” monitor; RED DSMC2 outrigger handle; RED V-Lock I/O expander; two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger; G-Technology ev Series RED Mini-Mag Reader; Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens; and a Nanuk heavy-duty camera case.
  
Meanwhile the DSMC2 Production Module is designed for professional shooting configurations; this accessory mounts directly to the DSMC2 camera body and incorporates an industry standard V-Lock mount with integrated battery mount and P-Tap for 12V accessories. The module delivers a comprehensive array of video, XLR audio, power, and communication connections, including support for 3-pin 24V accessories. It has a smaller form factor and is more lightweight than RED’s REDVOLT Expander with a battery module.
 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018
Film Academy's Scientific and Technical Award Honorees Unveiled; DP Curtis Clark To Receive John A. Bonner Award
Curtis Clark, ASC at awards ceremony in February 2013. (Credit: A.M.P.A.S.)
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 27 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

In addition, cinematographer Curtis Clark will receive the John A. Bonner Award (a medallion) for his extraordinary service to the motion picture industry.

“Each year, the Academy forms a diverse committee made up of nearly 60 experts on the technology of filmmaking tasked with examining the tools that artists use to create films,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “This year, the committee is recognizing nine technologies from around the world.  These extraordinary contributions to the science of filmmaking have elevated our art form to incredible new heights.”

Unlike other Academy Awards to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2018.  Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (ACADEMY CERTIFICATES)

--To Eric Dachs, Erik Bielefeldt, Craig Wood and Paul McReynolds for the design and development of the PIX System’s novel security mechanism for distributing media.
PIX System’s robust approach to secure media access has enabled wide adoption of their remotely collaborative dailies-review system by the motion picture industry.

--To Per-Anders Edwards for the initial design and development of the MoGraph toolset in Cinema 4D for motion graphics.
MoGraph provides a fast, non-destructive and intuitive workflow for motion designers to create animated 3D graphics, as used for title design and fictional user interfaces in motion pictures.

--To Paul Miller for the software design, principal engineering and continued innovation, and to Marco Paolini for the efficient, artist-friendly workflow design of the Silhouette rotoscope and paint system.
Silhouette provides a comprehensive solution for painting, rotoscoping and image manipulation of high-resolution image sequences. Its fast, scalable and extensible architecture has resulted in wide adoption in motion picture post-production.

--To Paul Debevec, Tim Hawkins and Wan-Chun Ma for the invention of the Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination facial appearance capture method, and to Xueming Yu for the design and engineering of the Light Stage X capture system.
Polarized Spherical Gradient Illumination was a breakthrough in facial capture technology allowing shape and reflectance capture of an actor’s face with sub-millimeter detail, enabling the faithful recreation of hero character faces. The Light Stage X structure was the foundation for all subsequent innovation and has been the keystone of the method’s evolution into a production system.

--To Thabo Beeler, Derek Bradley, Bernd Bickel and Markus Gross for the conception, design and engineering of the Medusa Performance Capture System.
Medusa captures exceptionally dense animated meshes without markers or makeup, pushing the boundaries of visual fidelity and productivity for character facial performances in motion pictures.

--To Charles Loop for his influential research on the fundamental scientific properties of subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives.
Loop’s 1987 master’s thesis, “Smooth Subdivision Surfaces Based on Triangles,” together with his subsequent research and publications, extended the theory of subdivision surfaces and inspired further development of methods that transformed the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.

SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING AWARDS (ACADEMY PLAQUES)

--To David Simons, Daniel Wilk, James Acquavella, Michael Natkin and David Cotter for the design and development of the Adobe After Effects software for motion graphics.
After Effects’ pioneering use of consumer hardware to host an application that is extensible, efficient and artist-focused has made it the preeminent motion graphics tool in film production, allowing motion designers to create complex animated elements for title design, screen graphics and fictional user interfaces.

--To Thomas Knoll and John Knoll for the original architecture, design and development, and to Mark Hamburg for his continued development and engineering of Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshop’s efficient, extensible architecture, innovative virtual-memory design and powerful layering system introduced a new level of user interactivity, which led to its adoption as the preferred artistic tool for digital painting and image manipulation across the motion picture industry.

--To Ed Catmull for the original concept, and to Tony DeRose and Jos Stam for their pioneering advancement of the underlying science of subdivision surfaces as 3D geometric modeling primitives.
Their creation of essential geometric operations and sustained research on the fundamental mathematics of subdivision surfaces helped transform the way digital artists represent 3D geometry throughout the motion picture industry.

JOHN A. BONNER AWARD (Medallion)

--Curtis Clark Presented to an individual in recognition of extraordinary service to the motion picture industry.

The 91st Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

  • Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
GoPro to move production out of China over tariff concerns
This Nov. 11, 2015 file photo shows the GoPro HERO4 Session action camera in Decatur, Ga. Action-camera maker GoPro says it will move production of U.S.-bound cameras out of China by the summer over tariff-related concerns. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris, File)
SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) -- 

Action-camera maker GoPro says it will move production of U.S.-bound cameras out of China by the summer over tariff-related concerns.

Companies have been voicing concerns over a looming trade war between China and the U.S. as both countries have been threatening tariffs against one another.

GoPro did not say Monday where production was moving or how much the move would cost.

The San Mateo, California-based company did say that it owns its own manufacturing equipment, so it will only be changing the physical location of where production will take place. Production of international-bound cameras will remain in China.

GoPro shares slipped nearly 2 percent to $4.88 in morning trading.

  • Friday, Dec. 7, 2018
Phil Ventre, Ben Dair join AR developer Ncam 
Ben Dair
LONDON -- 

Ncam Technologies, a developer of real-time augmented reality technology for the media and entertainment industries, has added Phil Ventre as VP, sports and broadcast, and Ben Dair as head of product management.

Ventre’s industry experience spans across sales, marketing, business development, partner and channel management, and project management, working for such entities as Apple, Avid, Ross Video and most recently AE Graphics. In his new role at Ncam, Ventre will lead the global business development and sales function for the sports, e-sports and broadcast sectors, working closely with CEO Nic Hatch to build on the company’s solid foundations and grow further in these key vertical markets.

Dair has vast experience in product management within the media and entertainment industries, having worked with companies including Quantel, Avid, Autodesk, Technicolor and most recently SAM as director of product management. At Ncam, Dair will lead the product management and cross-functional team to develop and deliver powerful real-time capture, tracking and processing solutions for live broadcast AR graphics and pre/post-visualization for film and TV productions. 

  • Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
Peter Crithary named president of ARRI Rental US Camera
Peter Crithary
Carly Barber assumes presidency of ARRI Rental US Lighting; Jeff Pentek joins as VP
SECAUCUS, NJ -- 

ARRI Rental, a provider of camera, lighting and grip equipment, has put new top management in place for North America. Peter Crithary has been appointed president of ARRI Rental US Camera; Carly Barber will be taking on the role of president of ARRI Rental US Lighting, with Jeff Pentek joining as VP.

Over the past 13 years Crithary has had a number of roles at Sony Electronics, including market development and customer outreach for cinema technologies. He began his career as a cameraman in Australia and continued in the US, working in motion pictures, television, and postproduction before joining Sony. Based out of the Secaucus office, Crithary will be responsible for overseeing camera rental operations in North America, helping to develop new business opportunities, and building strong relationships within the creative community. He will also promote ARRI Rental’s proprietary technologies, which include the exclusive ALEXA 65 large-format camera system and ARRI Rental’s evolving program of in-house lens development. 

Barber and Pentek are lighting industry veterans with more than 30 years of experience: while Barber managed Hollywood Rental as VP operations and president for 15 years, Pentek worked in a rental company and as a member of
Local 728 in Los Angeles before both founded Illumination Dynamics in 2001. 

Barber commented: “I have been connected to ARRI Rental for years and am excited to be working as part of a very talented team to continue to drive the success of the lighting business in the Northeast.” Both Barber and Pentek will remain in their positions at Illumination Dynamics, a wholly owned subsidiary of ARRI Rental--Barber as CEO and Pentek as COO.

Newly promoted VP of lighting and transportation operations John Van der Linden will be overseeing all ARRI Rental lighting operations, while SVP Rental Hardwrick Johnson will continue to drive sales and participate in overseeing operations.

Furthermore, ARRI Rental is adding Billy Hines to the lighting team. In his position as marketing and productions relations manager he will be responsible for developing opportunities and building relationships with crew and production clients, while bringing his considerable knowledge and experience to enhance lighting operations. “Working for almost 30 years as a lighting technician on many feature and television projects Billy will bring an extremely valuable perspective to our team,” said Barber. Hines’ film and television credits include Spider-Man, The Interpreter, Bridge of Spies and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
Army wants Microsoft's HoloLens headsets for battlefield
In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo people use Microsoft Hololens to get an impression of Mercedes accessories on the stand of Mercedes-Benz during the first media day of the International Frankfurt Motor Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany. Federal contract records show the U.S. Army has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply its HoloLens headsets to soldiers. The head-mounted displays use augmented reality, which means viewers can see virtual imagery superimposed over the real-world scenery in front of them. Microsoft says the technology will provide troops with better information to make decisions. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- 

Virtual- and augmented-reality headsets haven't had much traction in the consumer market, but they're finding a place on the battlefield.

The U.S. Army said Thursday that it has awarded Microsoft a $480 million contract to supply its HoloLens headsets to soldiers.

The head-mounted displays use augmented reality, which means viewers can see virtual imagery superimposed over the real-world scenery in front of them. Microsoft says the technology will provide troops with better information to make decisions.

The Redmond, Washington, company says the new work extends its longstanding relationship with the Department of Defense.

Military bidding documents say the technology will be used for both training and fighting, bringing more situational awareness to troops to help them become more lethal and mobile.

  • Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
Women in Consumer Technology to honor 6 Legacy Award recipients at CES 2019
Bridget Karlin, global chief technology officer and VP of IBM’s global technology services business
LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- 

Women in Consumer Technology, an organization that promotes the advancement of women in the consumer technology industry, has announced the six recipients of its 2019 Legacy Awards. The awards honor exceptional women who are transforming the consumer technology industry through leadership in the retail, sales and marketing, integration, publishing, and trade association segments. They will be recognized during the Women in Consumer Technology’s annual networking reception on Jan. 8, 2019, during CES.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we started our proud CES tradition of recognizing truly inspirational women in the consumer technology industry,” said Carol Campbell, founder of Women in Consumer Technology. “Year after year we’ve seen continued growth from women across all industry sectors, and a corresponding uptick in the number of impressive nominations we receive for the Legacy Awards. This year was the most difficult yet to select six recipients from such a talented pool, so congratulations to the class of 2019 for this hard-earned honor.”

Here’s the Women in Consumer Technology 2019 Class of Legacy Award honorees:

--Melissa Andresko, communications director and spokesperson at Lutron Electronics. In her role, Andresko oversees the strategic creation and implementation of Lutron’s residential North American public relations activities, including celebrity and industry relations. As Lutron’s spokesperson, Andresko frequently appears on national and local television programs as a smart home expert and advocate and speaks frequently at conferences aimed at the real estate and consumer markets. In October of 2018, Andresko was named One of the Most Powerful Women in Consumer Technology by Dealerscope magazine.

--Alexandra Harding, director of vendor management, business & consumer solutions (BCS) at Ingram Micro. With over 28 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry, Harding brings her strong retail foundation, market insight, and key business relationships to her role, in which she oversees the strategic development of relationships among CTS’s hundreds of tier-one manufacturing partners. Harding’s forward thinking allows her to lead an expert team in identifying new trends and emerging vendors — and in developing creative, profitable solutions to capitalize on the opportunities in this dynamic technology space. She was recognized by Dealerscope as a Powerful Woman in Consumer Technology in 2016.

--Bridget Karlin, global chief technology officer and VP of IBM’s global technology services business. She is responsible for driving the corporate transformation by developing and delivering the IBM Services Platform with Watson. Karlin also leads innovation across the entire services delivery life cycle to facilitate the adoption of hybrid, multi-cloud, composable services and IT as a Service. She currently serves on the executive board of directors of CTA/CES (Consumer Technology Association) and on the advisory board of Zynstra, a U.K.-based hybrid cloud software company. Karlin is a recipient of the 2016 Industrial IoT 5G Innovators award, the Malcolm Baldrige Software Quality award, and the BellSouth Technology Innovator award, and she listed in the top Fast 50 Tech CEOs.

--Tiffany M. Moore, senior vice president of political and industry affairs for the CTA. Promoted to the newly created position in April 2018, Moore now holds an expanded role that includes overseeing CTA’s U.S. Jobs, and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. In addition, she leads the association’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill on issues including communications and technology policy, patent litigation reform, strategic immigration reform, and international trade. She also oversees CTA’s political action committee, CTAPAC. Moore’s career in Washington, D.C., spans 20 years, and she has served in a variety of roles including stints as a senior advisor to Congress, corporate government relations executive, political appointee at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and strategic consultant to tech and telecom companies and trade associations.

--Woman to Watch: Jennifer LaBollita, director of sales and marketing at InnerSpace Electronics Inc. Ambitious, passionate, and a team leader, LaBollita has been a part of the consumer electronics industry since 2012. With a core background in sales and marketing, she was a key player in the growth and development of Autonomic Controls Inc., bringing a unique skill set across all facets of the organization that contributed to its acquisition in 2016. A strategic leader focused on building cross-functional teams — and rallying for one mission: to succeed — she has transitioned into her current role at InnerSpace Electronics.

--Carol Campbell Inspiration Award: April Feller, chairman of the board for BGZ brands. Originally a small-screen protector website business started by Feller and her husband in 2002, BGZ brands is now the powerhouse parent company to three distinct brands of elevated value and quality — BodyGuardz, Lander, and Moxyo. BGZ brands is featured repeatedly as one of the fastest growing companies in publications including the Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000, and it has earned many “Top Workplace” awards. In 2015, Feller and her husband created The Relief Haven Foundation, which fosters and promotes self-reliance through targeted assistance.

The annual Women in Consumer Technology networking reception will be held during CES 2019 on Jan. 8 from 7-9 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
Foundry launches Katana 3.1
LONDON -- 

Creative software developer Foundry has announced the latest updates to its flagship look development and lighting tool, Katana.

Continuing the rapid innovation and progress of the tool, Katana 3.1 incorporates a range of exciting updates that will enable artists to achieve even more complex and creative results faster. This latest update brings advancements that further enable studios to remain competitive in an industry with challenging schedules and ambitious client goals. Features continue to place artists and users at the core with valuable time-saving results that enable production to be achieved at scale.

The ongoing developments cement Katana’s position as the premier look development and lighting solution for visual effects (VFX) and animation studios of all sizes.

Key features of this release include:

  • Performance improvements: Katana 3.1 launches with rapidly improved 3D scene processing performance, drastically reducing time to first pixel for multi-threaded renderer plug-ins. Due to improvements in Katana’s Alembic library, multi-threading rendering plug-ins can be up to 5x faster than with Katana 3.0, which was already up to 10x faster than Katana 2.6. This will create an even more powerful pipeline.
  • Integrated powerful rendering with 3DelightNSI: Katana 3.1 incorporates the next generation of the 3DelightNSI rendering plug-in which has added a host of improvements, including incredible volume rendering speeds and quality. The latest update also brings fast multiple scattering support as well as a new 3Delight Principled shader. Live rendering via 3DelightNSI in Katana remains stunningly interactive and artist-friendly.
  • Hydra-powered viewer tab: Foundry has introduced a number of upgrades to increase the efficiency and usability of the viewport launched in Katana 3.0. Common tasks are now accessible by hotkeys and facesets support shader assignment. It is now more powerful and the new UX touches make it even easier for artists to use. 
  • VFX Reference Platform 2017 support: This version now uses Qt5 UI library and OpenSubDiv 3.1 to bring Katana into full compliance with the VFXRP 2017 standard. Now all studios have access to all key media and entertainment products which use the same set of code libraries. This will make working with Katana in a pipeline even easier.

The launch of Katana 3.1 coincides with the product’s seventh anniversary, taking place throughout November. During this time Foundry has made Katana the industry standard, providing studios with the scalability needed to meet the needs of today’s most demanding CG-rendering projects.

  • Monday, Nov. 26, 2018
Apple to tutor women in tech in bid to diversify industry
In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, Calif. Apple is opening a new training camp designed to address the technology industry's scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Apple is launching a new program designed to address the technology industry's scarcity of women in executive and computer programming jobs.

Under the initiative announced Monday, female entrepreneurs and programmers will attend two-week tutorial sessions at the company's Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The camps will be held every three months beginning in January. For each round, Apple will accept up to 20 app makers founded or led by a woman. The app maker must have at least one female programmer in its ranks to qualify. Apple will cover travel expenses for up to three workers from each accepted company.

Like other major tech companies, Apple has been trying to lessen its dependence on men in high-paying programming jobs. Women filled just 23 percent of Apple's technology jobs in 2017, according to the company's latest breakdown . That's only a slight improvement from 20 percent in 2014, despite the company's pledge to diversify its workforce.

The idea behind the new camp is to keep women interested and immersed in the field, said Esther Hare, Apple's senior director of world developer marketing.

Apple's training camp is "a great step forward," said Lorrain Hariton, CEO of Catalyst, a group that fights for equal rights for women workers. "There a lot of talented women in technology. Hopefully, this helps set a tone for the entire industry."

But it's not clear how much of a dent Apple's new program will make. Google also offers training for girls and women pursuing careers in technology, but its program hasn't done much to diversify the workforce so far. Women were hired for nearly 25 percent of Google's technology jobs in 2017, up from nearly 21 percent in 2014, according to the company.

Apple and other technology companies maintain that one of the main reasons so many men are on their payrolls is that women traditionally haven't specialized in the mathematical and science curriculum needed to program.

But industry critics have accused the technology companies of discriminating against women through a male-dominated hierarchy that has ruled the industry for decades.

Apple isn't saying how much it is spending on the initiative, though beyond travel expenses, the company will be relying on its current employees to lead the sessions.

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