by Rich Feldman
Director of Technology
Troika Design Group
Troika is an award-winning design company known for memorable visual brand identities, strategic design and creative production for major clients in media and entertainment, including ABC, Fox, The CW, ESPN SportsCenter, NBC Sunday Night Football and the NFL Network, among many others.
WIDE RANGE OF PROJECTS
Though best known for strategic branding and motion graphics design work, Troika maintains full-scale production capabilities for servicing clients with everything from pre-visualization animatics to live action production, editorial work and more. For the past five years, all of our in-house editing has been done using Apple's Final Cut Pro. We have AJA Kona cards installed on a total of 11 video/animation workstations used by our designers and artists. These workstations are all connected to a centralized machine room via fiber to a 15 TB Apple XSERVE server running XSAN.
Rich Feldman We use Kona cards on our video/animation workstations in order to capture and lay off HD video to our machine room gear. This provides our artists, editors and animators with the flexibility to sit down at any one of the workstations throughout the facility and get their work done.
A majority of our work is in broadcast design, and involves the editing of short animated or live action clips. However we also work on larger scale network redesigns for clients such as ABC. We'll shoot live action, design graphics, build animations, composite elements and edit final clips, often for transmission in both high- and standard-definition video.
Our ABC project pipeline incorporated the Kona 3 card at many stages.
We used the Kona 3 to capture and preview material utilizing its built-in DVCPRO HD accelerator. We were able to work quickly with the footage and create rough composites to preview prior to embarking upon lengthy renders.
VERSATILITY CAME IN HANDY
When we moved into the final finishing stages on the ABC project, the Kona 3 became very useful as we retransferred edited selections from HDCAM SR recordings into Autodesk's Flame. We were able to capture true 4:4:4 RGB, thus preserving the quality of the green screen for use in cutting mattes. After all the composites were completed, we used the Mac with Final Cut Pro to create the final HD Masters. The Kona control panel proved its value as well when we needed to simultaneously preview SD center-cut extractions and didn't have to re-render our files.
Overall, we choose to work with Kona cards because of the flexibility and reliability that they offer. We have NTSC monitors connected to all of our workstations, and it's essential that our artists have high quality video monitoring available while they're working on projects. The Kona cards are great for that too—and so much more.
Rich Feldman has been director of technology at Troika Design Group for the past four and a half years. Before joining Troika, Feldman worked with design house V12 and spent several years as a recording engineer. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact AJA Video Systems Inc. at 530-274-2048 or visit www.aja.com.