Avid has announced that DS, or Digital Studio, formerly from SoftImage, and much beloved by a select group of finishing editors, is now at End of Life. They will support it with bug fixes for another year, but after that, it’s history. They are giving DS 11 customers a license to MC (but not Symphony), and are offering reduced pricing on Eyeon products, which provide powerful node-based compositing, a hallmark of DS.
With this announcement, Avid no longer offers a finishing solution with capabilities beyond HD. Smoke is probably the closest current product. Like DS, it offers a full editing toolset, as well as powerful effects and finishing capabilities.
Scott Simmons provides preliminary details on the Pro Video Coalition site along with a detailed FAQ provided by Avid’s Marianna Montague.
Categories: Media and Society
A seven-hour train ride, a 134-hour ferry ride — in real time. These are two of the most popular shows in Norway, with huge, record-breaking numbers. It seems that hyperconnected cell phone addicts want peace. But they still want their TV. Whodathunkit? Details here, from NPR’s On The Media. Wikipedia–Slow TV. Clips: Bergensbanen Train Hurtigruten Ferry.
Avid released Media Composer 7 today. The new version offers many AMA improvements and background processing functions (via a Java implementation), including long awaited background waveform generation and caching. A quick video showing off some of the new media management features is here.
New features include:
- Background audio waveforms.
- Background transcoding.
- Drag and drop AMA acquisition from the Finder.
- A new, unified, AMA link function that features automatic AMA plug-in selection.
- An output mask function that allows you to quickly add a letterbox over your sequence for viewing. (It’s not mentioned in the new feature list, but you’ll find it in the format tab of the project window. Turn it on and off by right-clicking the record monitor.)
- Cropping and resizing for media sizes above HD, something Avid calls FrameFlex, which can be added during ingest and then modified on a clip-by-clip basis in the timeline.
- Support for LUTs and CDLs.
- Alpha channel support for AMA Quicktimes, which means you can output titles and graphics from After Effects and use them without importing into MC.
- AMA media is now ‘managed’ which means that it’s more robust, and you’ll be able to access your AMA material via Avid’s Media Tool.
- A watch folder function, something Avid is calling Dynamic Media Folders, which lets you drag media to a folder and have it automatically copied or transcoded.
Avid’s list of new features is here. Note that if you plan to move bins back and forth between MC7 and previous versions, you must have the latest point release of MC 5.5, 6 or 6.5 (that is. 18.104.22.168, 6.04, 22.214.171.124 or 6.5.3). Otherwise, your 7.0 sequences won’t open in the older versions. See this tech note for details. MC downloads are here.
Categories: Media and Society
Jaron Lanier, internet & MIDI pioneer, all purpose iconoclast, and author of “You are Not a Gadget” and the recently released “Who Owns the Future” likes to turn our conventional assumptions about the web upside down. Interviewed this week by Matt Miller, he talked about how the internet as it’s currently constructed tends to suck the air out of the middle class, encouraging all of us to give away our creativity to the people with the biggest computers. Whatever you think about the inevitability of our current networking model, you’ll find things to think about in this podcast. It’s part of Miller’s new podcast, “This is Interesting.” Available from iTunes and LA public radio station KCRW.
[Update -- On June 9, the NY Times published a long editorial by Lanier on the front page of the Sunday Op-Ed.]
Categories: Media and Society, User Interface
Ars Technica posted a short video demonstrating some of the very impressive technology driving the new Kinect, which is part of the Xbox One, introduced yesterday. I was particularly impressed with the amount of 3D detail the system can process and interpret in real time. And the startling amount of ambient noise it can filter out. Check it out. It might just give you a new way of looking at the future of user interface design.
Here’s a very useful 20 min video of an MC7 demo done by Corey Tedrow and Michael Krulik at NAB. It makes many of the new features a whole lot clearer. One nice surprise — waveforms are now cached by the system, something that hasn’t been in the press releases. Click the image to play video. Thanks to TadeuszT for the link.