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Thousands of members of Creative COW were at the 2011 NAB Show, and we are pleased to bring you some of their reports. In this entry, Debra Kaufman swoons over Blackmagic Design's slew of technology and news from NAB, including the release of UltraStudio 3D with Thunderbolt Technology, a new range of ATEM Production Switchers, ATEM Television Studio, and DaVinci Resolve upgrades.
NAB 2011 was a banner year for Blackmagic Design
, with a slew of new technology and dramatic news. How about a free--you heard me, free--version of DaVinci Resolve? But more on that later.
Let's talk first about UltraStudio 3D, a portable capture/playback device based on Thunderbolt technology that comes from a collaboration between Intel and Apple. As the name suggests, UltraStudio 3D offers full resolution dual stream 3D support as well as 12-bit hardware architecture, dual link 3 Gb/s SDI, support for up to 1080p60 in SDI and component analog and HDMI 1.4a connections, as well as full SD, HD and 2K support. Thunderbolt technology
is what allows Blackmagic Design to integrate Dual Link 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI 1.4a and analog component/s-video/composite, as well as balanced analog and AES/EBU digital audio capture and playback. UltraStudio 3D also supports Final Cut Studio
, Adobe's Premiere Pro
, Photoshop, and After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and more, includes free developer SDK and free Media Express capture and playback software. At $995, that's a lot of bang for the buck. Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty notes that UltraStudio 3D enables users to "get advanced 3D, 4:4:4 and 2K capture and playback, combined with conventional SD and HD at a price everyone can afford."
BMD also unveiled a new range of ATEM Production Switchers, starting at $2,495 and go up to $14,995 depending on the configuration. The company announced that ATEM Production Switchers will now be sold independent of the control panel, which means customers can start at a lower cost by using the chassis and a software control panel for Mac or PC. If the customer needs a hardware-based control panel, then the ATEM Broadcast Panels can be purchased separately. Both models of ATEM switcher--the 1 M/E and 2 M/E versions--include the ATEM Software Control Panel for free as well as 4 upstream keyers, each with independent chroma, shaped and linear keying in the transition block, as well as 2 downstream keyers, stinger effects, graphic wipe and independent fade to black. The built-in DVE can be used for DVE transitions or key repositioning.
ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel Front
ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher Back
Also new is what Blackmagic Design calls "the first production switcher for the Internet age." The ATEM Television Studio is a live production switcher that combines a professional switcher with a broadcast-quality H.264 encoder for live multi-camera production and broadcast encoding for the Internet. ATEM Television Studio, which is priced at $995, includes 6 video inputs with both broadcast SDI and consumer HDMI inputs for cameras and computers. It is a 1-rack unit chassis with software-based control panel for Mac OS X or Windows and is also compatible with the ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel. For recording the H.264 video, ATEM Television Studio includes Blackmagic Design Media Express software for Mac OS X and Windows. The switcher also includes multiple HDMI connections so users can avail themselves of HDMI cameras; each video input features an automatic frame re-synchronizer so computers can be plugged in and genlock cameras aren't necessary.
ATEM Television Studio Software Interface
BMD made two announcements with regard to DaVinci Resolve. First, the company announced version 8, which will be available to all DaVinci Resolve users for free.
DaVinci Resolve Software
New features--many of which were developed in response to customer feedback-- include multi-layer timeline support with editing, and XML import and export with Apple Final Cut Pro, which means the grades are preserved even when the FCP edit is changed. Mac users will also be pleased by the addition of OpenCL processing to allow DaVinci Resolve's use on Apple iMac and MacBook Pro computers. BMD developed processing tools have been added for real time noise reduction, curve grading, advanced multi point stabilization as well as automatic stereoscopic 3D image alignment. DaVinci Resolve 8 also supports the Avid
Artist Color control panel and also offers ALE export to re-link graded DNxHD files back into Avid editors. Version 8 also offers a new CUDA noise reducer, which is especially handy for noisy footage from digital cameras shooting in low-light conditions. DaVinci Resolve 8, which will be available in June starting at $995, includes an intelligent new multi-point advanced stabilizer, which fixes unstable shots and an automatic image alignment tool for stereoscopic 3D work.
DaVinci Resolve System
Last, BMD also announced DaVinci Resolve Lite, a "reduced feature version of DaVinci Resolve that includes many powerful color correction features in a downloadable software package available free of charge." Resolve Light is based on the upcoming DaVinci Resolve 8, and will run on the latest model iMac, 17inch MacBook Pro and Mac Pro computers. Although Lite includes the same quality processing of the full DaVinci Resolve, it limits projects to SD and HD resolutions, only two color correction nodes, a single processing GPU and a single RED rocket card. That means, if you are interested in stereoscopic 3D features, noise reduction, power mastering, remote grading and sharing projects with an external database server, get thee to a full DaVinci Resolve. What do you expect for free? As it turns out, quite a bit from Blackmagic Design. Get grading.
“I am thrilled to be joining the COW team,” said Debra Kaufman, newly named Associate Editor of Creative COW Magazine. “In an era in which so much coverage has shrunk to 300-word sound bites, I'm delighted to be able to cover the dramatic changes in our industry in depth. Additionally, I look forward to reaching a huge number of engaged readers working in production and post, in the U.S. and internationally. Publisher Ronald Lindeboom and Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson early on understood the importance of a web presence, and have created an astonishingly large audience both online and in print.”
Look forward to more great stories from Debra in Creative COW Magazine, and online here at CreativeCOW.net.