08.18.2003 12:00 PM
Steele VFX promotes HD mastering for improved SD delivery

Six years ago, Jerry Steele, and his wife, Jo Steele, opened the doors to a new boutique video finishing facility in Santa Monica, California. The idea was to deliver a very high quality look to commercials and music video. The challenge would not be easy since Santa Monica is one of the nation’s most competitive markets for video services.



Steele VFX uses Quantel’s eQ HD editing system. The system has new V2 software that adds compositing power with unlimited layers, in-context plug-ins, process tree compositing and 3D space and camera views.

Today, Steele VFX is leading the way in promoting the new concept of HD mastering for SD content. Jerry Steele spends a significant amount of time educating clients on the benefits of finishing in high-definition and mastering to a standard definition format tape. His new tool of choice: Quantel’s eQ with Qcolor, a HD editing and nonlinear, in context, multi-resolution color correction system.

Steele stresses the advantages of Quantel’s processing capabilities and its patented Dynamic Rounding technology that brings about the clarity and workflow enhancements that HD mastering for SD delivery can offer. According to Steele, the quality of HD content down-converted to a standard definition tape is of higher quality than if you had mastered in SD.

“We work from the premise that the higher resolution you start with, the higher quality you end with,” said Steele. “When we traditionally take film, which has a huge resolution, and transfer it to a SD format we immediately end up carving out 80 percent of the resolution of the image as the result of the transfer process. With a transfer to HD using the eQ, that doesn’t happen anymore. We can maintain more of the resolution on the film at the highest possible quality, composite and edit the material at HD resolution and then dump that to a standard def tape.”

Armed with the eQ, Steele is now slowly introducing this process to his customers. He said the benefits of HD editing for his clients are staggering, ranging from being able to use the HD content for in-store advertising, movie theatre advertising, commercial and billboard advertising. “We can create all this value from just one master,” he noted. “Up until now this concept was unheard of and virtually impossible to achieve.”

Steele VFX is located at 1437 Seventh Street, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 656-7770. For information on Quantel generation Q visit: www.quantel.com.

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