SMPTE Spotlights New Web Service, 3D and File-Based Workflows

The Exhibits portion of the SMPTE Tech Conference & Expo were opened by a Tuesday afternoon ribbon cutting ceremony, with organization president Ken Fuller wielding the giant scissors. He’s seen here with (R-L) John Luft, SMPTE Conference VP, Patricia Keighley, local arrangements chair and Paul Heart, editorial VP.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers has launched a new online service for its membership. The new service, called SMPTE365 was announced at the organization’s annual meeting in Hollywood this week.

“The formal launch of SMPTE 365, [is] an on-line professional networking community of practice,” said Ken Fuller, SMPTE president. “It’s a very important member benefit and provides many benefits for new student members.”

SMPTE 365 is designed to make it easier for organization members to network, share knowledge, generate new ideas and showcase projects or research efforts. It was soft-launched earlier this year at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, but had to wait for the Hollywood conference for its formal rollout, which came complete with a Tuesday morning ceremonial ribbon cutting. Fuller said that the service would be an especially useful tool for SMPTE student members, which he recognized as vital for the continued growth and viability of the organization.

“It [SMPTE 365] allows an exchange of e-mail and [student ’s] getting help with homework from technology leaders,” he said.

Fuller noted the recent establishment of the first SMPTE student chapter at an Australian university, and remarked on the importance of student chapters and the efforts by SMPTE to encourage such groups.

“This is our future…the future of the Society,” Fuller said. “This is how we can protect and nurture our future.”

Fuller also recognized eight members of the SMPTE’s only high school student chapter, who had traveled from Mashpee, Mass to attend the conference.

The three-day event, hosted this year by the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, focused on a number of technological advances for broadcasters, content producers and postproduction houses, and included presentations on 3D, file-based workflows, digital audio broadcast issues, 3 Gbps infrastructures, display technologies, asset management.

Following the introductory ceremony, held at the near-by Mann Theatre, the conference got into full swing with a presentation on the current state of 3D cinema by Rob Engle, senior stereographer and digital effects supervisor, at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

“2009 is the year of 3D,” Engle said. “By my count there have been 13 films released. “We’re getting to the point that if we didn’t increase the number of 3D theatres, films couldn’t play more than two weeks before being pushed out. The convergence of two areas—digital content creation and digital projection and exhibition--have made for this superior viewing experience.”

As part of his presentation Engle screened scenes from a current Disney 3D release, “G Force,” which features both computer animation and live action.

While the conference officially began on Oct. 27, SMPTE offered a special six-hour seminar on advanced media workflows for early arrivers. This Monday event featured a number of industry notables and was followed with a special demonstration of content ingest, editing, QC and archiving by representatives from Adobe, AmberFin, Ascent Media, Avid, Cinergy, IBM, Metaglue, Omneon,RadiantGrid, Rhozet, San Solutions and Signiant.

Other conference events included a Wednesday evening reception and screening of the digitally restored 1948 Technicolor production of “The Red Shoes” at the Warner Bros. studio lot, and a Thursday evening honors and awards ceremony.