Edit systems

The South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center has traditionally been the arena for post-production exhibits at the NAB Show, and this year, despite the absence of both Avid and Apple, the crowds filling the aisles were treated to an abundance of editing innovations.

Adobe Systems announced that its Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 editing software now supports Sony's XDCAM EX format in addition to Panasonic's P2 solid state recordings. It also had the new Adobe Flash Media Encoder 2.5 software that allows users to capture and stream live content in H.264 with Adobe Flash Media Server and Adobe Flash Player. Adobe also revealed details of its industry-wide open file format initiative for digital cinema files to be called CinemaDNG.

Calling them previews of 2009 versions, Autodesk demonstrated new software for all its post-production systems, including the Flame, Inferno and Flint visual effects systems and also for Autodesk Smoke, its Windows-based finishing NLE. Smoke's procedural timeline compositing workflow, Batch FX, now has a multi-input process tree, can directly input Panasonic's P2 and has new tabs to quickly access the waveform monitor and vectorscope displays.

Bringing 4K post to the desktop, CineForm's new Prospect 4K and Neo 4K can enable a 4K post-production workflow at up to 4096 × 4096 spatial resolution without resorting to proxies. CineForm also showed off beta support for the 4K Dalsa Origin and Vision Research Phantom 65 cameras.

New version 3.6 software for Film Master by Digital Vision features a revised control surface with faster response times, enhanced support for the ASC CDL, extended support for QuickTime, MXF and AAF and the ability to natively grade DNxHD, IMX50, P2 and XDCAM media.

Digital Video Systems (DVS), the first to provide real-time 4K editing, had a new version of its flagship CLIPSTER conforming system as the core of a DI workflow. In addition to being able to insert multiple EDLs into its timeline, CLIPSTER now supports all stages of DCI mastering, ranging from the Digital Source Master (DSM) to the Digital Cinema Package (DCP), all adhering to the specifications of the Digital Cinema Initiative.

The new version 4.6 software for Thomson Grass Valley's EDIUS Broadcast NLE gets enhanced functionality based on the same JPEG2000 codec used in the Infinity Digital Media Camcorder. Version 4.6 also enables multilayer editing of high-definition content even on a laptop computer, and its workflow for XDCAM has been enhanced to support Sony's new EX range of camcorders. Even better, version 4.6 is a free update for all current EDIUS Broadcast 4.x owners.

Harris brought out its new NewsForce family of edit systems optimized for deadlines in the newsroom. These include the NewsForce ES high-performance package editor, NewsForce Desktop for proxy editing on a PC, NewsForce XNG for laptops, and at the top of the line, the Velocity NX, a full-featured craft editor.

Maximum Throughput garnered a lot of interest with its MAXedit Web Edition, a subscription-based hosted online editing service that video professionals can access on demand from any location via the Web. Using editing software that resides on the home server itself, with MAXedit Web Edition editors can interact with producers or clients during the progress of a project over the Internet.

Bringing out its fifth major software release since 2005, Media 100 presented new version 12.5 of its venerable editing software. Media 100's user-friendly interface is now empowered with more 2-D/3-D compositing features, support for HDV long-GOP formats through firewire conversion into Apple's ProRes 422 codec, multichannel audio input, and integration with Abaltat Muse software for creating royalty-free soundtracks.

Quantel brought something new to the show, with stereoscopic 3-D capabilities added to all its major systems thanks to a new Quattro software offering for its eQ and iQ editors, Pablo color grading system, and Genetic Engineering DI powerhouse. Genetic Engineering's Sam data server can now virtualize media in the GenePool into TIFF as well as DPX files. The company also previewed its new Dino (which stands for distance is no object) intersite workflow technology, and the ability to ingest EDLs from Final Cut Pro directly into its systems.

New features in the Sony Vegas Pro 8.0 NLE from Sony Creative Software include new multicam capabilities, support for tapeless workflows, including AVCHD and AVC-Intra, enhanced scripting tools and a new ProType titler. Sony Creative Software also presented a technology demonstration of its upcoming Vegas Pro 8.1, completely rewritten into 64-bit code. This 64-bit code version will be a free upgrade, is backwardly compatible with 32-bit projects and will enable greater access to system memory and more efficient use of multicore processors.

L.T. Martin is a freelance writer and post-production consultant.