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Fast-forward to creative results with FilmLight at IBC2019

New Blackboard Classic control panel on show, as well as workflow improvements for VFX, dailies, broadcast and more.

At this year’s IBC, FilmLight (Amsterdam, 13-17 September, stand #7.A45) is demonstrating new colour management tools and products designed to improve efficiency and flexibility for a wide range of workflows.

With colour grading an increasing feature across all content streams – from daytime TV to long-form drama series to feature films and beyond – client demand for premium quality grows, while timescales and budgets shrink. But with questions remaining about the long-term impact of many new technologies on the industry – such as HDR – streamlined and efficient workflows remain the most pressing requirement for facilities.

That is why FilmLight has focused development on building in flexibility and speed, and allowing more time to be devoted to creativity.

Leading the way is the new Blackboard Classic control panel. Blackboard Classic is designed within the same ergonomic profile as the popular Blackboard 1, with the addition of large high-resolution displays, a larger tablet and extendable connectivity. The Blackboard Classic sits between FilmLight’s soft-key Slate and Blackboard 2 panels, allowing Baselight artists to use a full-sized panel within budget constraints.

Blackboard Classic

FLUX Store, FilmLight’s fast and highly cost-effective media-targeted storage solution, is gathering momentum across Europe with improvements including indexing for both Baselight and third-party storage, and FLIT (FilmLight Image Transfer), which uses the full network wire speed over 10/40/100GbE network links (or pair of links) to accelerate media copy operations. Recent installations have taken place at Panoptimo in Munich and Mikros in Belgium, with more in the pipeline as companies seek to take advantage of FilmLight’s expertise and understanding of what is needed to efficiently handle content in post.

IBC2019 also sees demonstrations of the forthcoming powerful FilmLight API, the new programming interface to the Baselight colour grading platform and Daylight, FilmLight’s dailies management and transcoding system. The FilmLight API is designed to automate common but time-consuming tasks, such as VFX transcoding and retrieving/setting metadata.

VFX and final grading can coexist more harmoniously with Baselight’s enhanced integration with NUKE, Flame and more. Input versioning – either via filenames or making use of the Open Clip XML format – means that a scene can be updated with new versions of shots, providing massive time savings in quick-turnaround VFX jobs where new versions are constantly arriving.

Autodesk Flame now supports FilmLight colour spaces and T-CAM – FilmLight’s well-respected colour appearance model – natively, with the same functionality available for OCIO (OpenColorIO) compatible applications coming soon. T-CAM has itself been enhanced, including better shadow details, more saturated shadows and pale skin tones, and less noise in underexposed images.

Improvements have also been made to editorial workflows for Avid and FCP. Avid integration allows minor edit changes made in Baselight – for example, when detecting cuts in a scene exported from Avid – to be round-tripped back via AAF, while the FCP X XML format is now supported within Baselight.

Other improvements to the grading experience, on show at IBC2019, include Baselight’s enhanced timeline with collapsing stacks and multiple tracks, improved keyers, trackers and grading tools, native production of IMF packages for Netflix, and the new Lens Correction feature, which can be used to both correct and apply radial lens distortion.

Baselight timeline enhancements

Visitors to IBC can experience FilmLight’s complete colour pipeline – including Baselight ONE and TWO, Baselight Editions for Avid, NUKE and Flame, and Daylight – on stand #7.A45.

FilmLight is also hosting the free two-day event, Colour On Stage, on 14-15 September in Room D201 within the Elicium Centre close to the show floor.

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