Gradient Interactive Sandbox Wins HPA Post Award

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Fri, 09/14/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The HPA announced today that the organization’s distinguished HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production will be awarded to Gradient Interactive for their pre-visualization product Sandbox. The Creativity and Innovation Award recognizes companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in post-production whether in creative storytelling and/or technical innovation. Gradient was chosen from a large and varied field of entrants who provided presentations to a blue ribbon judging panel and will be on hand to accept the award during the HPA Awards gala on November 1 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles CA. Leon Silverman president of the HPA said “The Innovation and Creativity Award was created to honor those people or organizations that are pushing the envelope in post production forward. It was terrific to see the number of entrants and the response to this Award. I applaud the Blue Ribbon panel's decision to recognize Gradient's continued outstanding and innovative contributions. Gradient Interactive developed the software application Sandbox to offer near real time translation of on-set data into understandable production data ultimately creating a democratized workflow tool that allows users to Pre-visualize sequences. Gradient Interactive’s Sandbox is a mobile real-time previs system which enables users to scout virtual locations record camera moves and render simple animations from an iPad or Android tablet. Offering a great advantage to most of the key departments in production Sandbox supports the project from start to finish. A director can plan many of his shots without ever seeing location while the Camera department can plan placement lenses lighting and practice moves. The Production Design/Art Department can create storyboards place props and plan set extensions while the Visual Effects team can start creating those set extensions. For the Special Effects department Sandbox can help plan stunts and manage safety parameters. Gradient Interactive's Olcun Tan said “We are so proud to be recognized by our peers the organization and by the Committee.  The HPA and in particular the C&I award is extremely meaningful to us it represents what we strive for in all of our work and in particular the last three years of development of Sandbox. Thank you so much for this honor.”   ,3546
Marquise Sells Ocean Telecine Controllers in France and Russia,2012-09-15, Marquise Technologies has announced the installation of Ocean Telecine controllers at Eclair Laboratoires and Arane Gulliver in France as well as one at Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive in Moscow. Eclair Laboratoires the largest Film Lab in France chose Ocean to pilot their Spirit Classic telecine. The decision was based on very specific criteria: integration in a demanding environment versatility smooth learning curve and reliability. Even though most of the works intended for Ocean are dailies HD transfers and simple archive transfers Eclair chose to add the Secondary Color Correction option of Ocean in order to be able to make real-time on-line intensive grading sessions from tapes when the need arises. Arane Gulliver one of the few labs in the world able to work with 70 mm film stock designated Ocean not only as a dailies transfer workhorse but also as a quality control and color analyzer solution for their film prints. In Moscow at the Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive Ocean is used to pilot a Millennium HD telecine in order to transfer to tapes several parts of film documentaries. These three new client installations illustrate very well the versatility of Ocean as a universal telecine controller not only in terms of telecine support variety ranging from DFT Spirit to Cintel Ursa but also in workflows diversity: film or commercial dailies archives transfers or color analysis a whole world of possibilities that Ocean can embrace effectively easily and in real time said Laurence Stoll CEO of Marquise Technologies. Ocean is available in two different versions: Light Ocean for the remote control of the telecine parameters and Ocean adding digital color corrections and data transfer capabilities. ,3549
New Video She’s So Mean Offers 360-Degree View,2012-09-15, Los Angeles-based TIC360 a division of The Integration Company recently completed a 360-degree video for She’s So Mean the new single from Matchbox Twenty’s upcoming Emblem/Atlantic Records album North. The video places the viewer in the center of a large room while the four members of the band perform around them on all sides. Viewers can control the direction of the camera by dragging the video left right up or down resulting in a captivating interactive experience. A JVC GY-HMQ10 4K compact handheld camera equipped with a GoPano Plus lens attachment was used to shoot the video. TIC360 founder Tim Conway said the company had used the GoPano Plus with a different camera for earlier promotional shoots with the band but had been dissatisfied with the results. For the music video shoot TIC360 chose the GY-HMQ10 which has four times the resolution of HD cameras. “It worked great ” Conway said. “I was very very impressed by it. By using the zoom tool on the LCD screen I was able to zoom into areas of the set and manually refine my adjustments to make sure the image was sharp. It’s got all the manual tools any professional videographer would want but its automatic functions work as well as any camera I’ve ever used.” GoPano's 360-degree video technology was originally designed for the military and aviation industry however the company has expanded its footprint making 360-degree video available in the consumer space with products like the GoPano plus and GoPano micro. GoPano Plus uses a patented specially curved mirror which gathers light from all directions and reflects it into the lens of the camera. The “donut-shaped” video then shows everything in a 360-degree ring around the unit. On a computer or mobile device the image is processed using patented software into an interactive scene where the view is controlled by the viewer. TIC360 used GoPano’s proprietary VideoWarp Director Mac-based software to import the 4K video from JVC’s Clip Manager software then created a single 360-degree Apple ProRes file for editing in Final Cut Pro. “JVC’s 4K camcorder provides so much additional resolution that the final product offers much higher quality and resolution than something shot using an HD camera ” said Amey Kanade product manager for GoPano. “Ours is one of the few technologies today that really needs those extra pixels. The end result is much clearer and more natural when you shoot with the GY-HMQ10.” According to Kanade the interactive nature of 360-degree videos encourages multiple viewings. “You want to see it at least two or three times ” he explained “exploring new visuals every time you view it. You can also share these immersive 360-degree videos with your friends on Facebook and Twitter thus sharing an experience that’s almost as good as being there.” Conway has been shooting 360-degree videos with a variety of cameras and technologies since 2007 and said his company is working to develop broadcast-quality 360-degree videos for future markets including networks high-end online media and live streaming. “The best result I have had so far has been with the JVC 4K camera ” he added “and it’s what I plan to use going forward.” ,3550
MTI Film Enters into Joint Venture in China to Restore Films,2012-09-15, Hollywood post house and software developer MTI Film has entered into a joint venture in China focused on film restoration. MTI Film China is located in a newly opened Animation Park in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin. The Chinese facility will operate under the direction of Jason Wong a professor of animation in the Department of Visual Arts of Tianjin University’s School of Computer Software. The facility features a complete 4K-restoration workflow based on MTI Film’s Correct DRS technology. The first project for MTI China will be a restoration of the 1958 Glenn Ford Western Cowboy. The Chinese facility will operate in tandem with MTI Film’s facility in Hollywood. First-line restoration and pre-processing will be done in Hollywood while subsequent tasks will be performed in China.  Final quality control will occur in Hollywood. “We believe this will result in a more efficient workflow that will help us to retain more restoration work and jobs in the United States ” said MTI Film CEO Larry Chernoff. “We expect the operation to grow and allow us not only to service more American clients but also to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing Chinese film market.” Chernoff noted that the Chinese Government has begun an aggressive program to restore classic Chinese films. He estimates that more than 100 films per year are undergoing restoration in China. A number of Chinese producers including Beijing Film Academy and Xian Film Group employ MTI Film’s Correct DRS technology to perform film restoration. MTI Film China currently has a staff of ten restoration artists all of whom have undergone training from MTI Film USA. The company expects that staff to grow to 30 by the end of the year. Tianjin University plans to begin offering classes in film restoration this fall. ,3551
Red Giant Releases Trapcode Suite 12,2012-09-15, Red Giant has released Trapcode Suite 12 a VFX package for high quality broadcast design and 3D motion graphics. With this release Trapcode Suite adds Adobe Creative Suite 6 updates; bonus Guru Presets for Shine and Particular; and Trapcode Mir the new product from Trapcode creator Peder Norrby. Trapcode Mir creates mesh objects made of polygons shaped by fractal noise and textured and illuminated in a 3D environment. Because it is built on the OpenGL standard Trapcode Mir allows instant previews and faster design workflows. Trapcode Mir is my first GPU plug-in and I'm amazed at the speed provided by OpenGL rendering said Norrby. I'm excited to see what the talented and creative Trapcode artists around the world come up with using this new tool. We think filmmakers and effects artists will be especially excited about Trapcode Suite 12 with Peder's newest creation Mir added Andrew Little president and co-founder of Red Giant. Peder not only listens to his customers he's inspired by them. He created Mir in response to artists' craving for more elegant creative tools combined with speed and efficiency. Mir is a fast-rendering mesh generator that quickly creates organic 3D designs for motion graphics and special effects including abstract landscapes nebula-like structures and flowing geometric patterns. Mir is packed with 3D features that shape the mesh like geometry controls for shaping the polygons fractal noise for displacement shading and texture for depth and integration with After Effects lights. Mir renders and responds very fast because it's built on OpenGL performance so designers can do their creative work quickly even in high-impact HD projects. ,3552
New Study Considers 3D on All Screen Sizes,2012-09-15, A new study from Research and Markets covers the technologies involved in stereoscopic 3D systems such as components that constitute a workable 3D system recent advances in the technologies involved various traditional and new applications and global markets for these technologies and applications. While the big screen generates the big numbers (3D movies in the US grossed over $10 billion in 2011 in a somewhat depressed year for cinema) with just 11 000 screens worldwide the little screen showed 3D on over 23 million screens in 2011. By little screen the study means TV handhelds and mobile game players. Applications range from the entertainment to simulation visualization and medical interfaces. There are seven types of display decoder technologies that deliver 3D on at least 13 platforms making the combination a potential 91 examples. But not every platform can use every decoder and therefore the study has determined that there are 29 practical combinations. While stereovision has primarily been associated with 3D movies and games its use is much more far-reaching. Increasingly Stereovision or S3D is used for live concerts and sports events in theaters and streamed to tablets and TVs uploaded to YouTube and other video sharing sites and for stereo photos shown on PCs digital picture frames and mobile phones.   S3D is also used in scientific and engineering applications such as display of automobiles during the design phase in medical study and surgical practice for molecular study and astronomical visualization to mention just a few uses outside the realm of entertainment.   JPR sees new opportunities coming with the advent of S3D sensors and displays on mobile devices. The addition of depth information provided by S3D enhances the quality and the quantity of information coming into the device and Augmented Reality applications will become even more compelling and powerful.   S3D is a component not an industry. Like color sound motion sensing it is a feature that augments content and makes it richer but if the content isn't good in the first place S3D is not going to help. The industry is well past the stage of novelty and it's time to start exploring the potential of S3D.   Click here for more information:    ,3553
Market Study Considers New Rules for Digital Media Growth,2012-09-15, The first phases of digital cinema and HDTV have matured. Companies are now assessing what to do next for growth and are making their moves now. A new report from Research and Markets looks at five elements of the digital entertainment experience in the theater and the home. It summarizes the current situation and rules that the industries have followed so far. The report then goes on to list 14 new rules that point to how the industry may be moving into the next phase.   The transition from the analog world of entertainment to a digital media world was based on old rules. That is digital media solutions have been focused on substituting digital for analog. It is like when TV was first available - old radio shows were moved to TV. It wasn't until TV got a bit more established that TV became its own medium.   Now that the entertainment world is comfortable with the transition to digital media people are now asking why some of the old rules are there. A simple example is the old rule that movies should be shot at 24 frames per second an old rule from the 1920s. The Hobbit is the first tent pole movie shot in 48 fps. It is helping to set a new rule that movies don't have to adhere to 24fps. But the new rule is a bit more complicated than just saying 48fps is coming; there is a paradigm shift that is now possible to think about that provides a better experience without having to incur the costs the Hobbit absorbed. Whenever a company seeks growth a good place to look is where there is change. These new rules mean change for companies involved in digital cinema television consumer electronics storage and networking. Click here for more information:    ,3554
SMPTE Announces Presentations for Fall 2012 Conference,2012-09-15, The Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers has detailed a full range of paper presentations at the SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition that will focus on digital cinematography and post-production including those highlighting the development of a 70mm camera and optics research and development in color-management and camera metadata capture and technology for easier post-production collaboration. As the premier event for motion-imaging industry the annual SMPTE conference enables technical and high-level business professionals to hear from and engage with academic engineering executive and standards thought leaders across the broadcast cinema and IT industries. SMPTE 2012 announced scheduled presentations from the BBC Belden Cisco Dolby Laboratories Ericsson Fujifilm Harmonic Harris HBO IBM Microsoft NHK Nvidia Motorola Mobility Qualcomm Snell Skywalker Sound Sony Electronics Sony Pictures Entertainment Technicolor and Verizon. Also participating will be leading vision-science researchers from around the world – as well as representatives from the European Broadcasting Union and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. SMPTE 2012 will highlight a number of key advances across digital cinema and post production including separate papers on new high-performance optics for 70mm digital cinematography and the development of 70mm 25-megapixel digital cinematography camera with an integrated flash recorder; new efforts to expand the color palette and gamut available to creative professionals; and the creation of a virtual system to capture the increasingly large and complex arrays of metadata by principal cameras. Conference attendees will also hear a paper presentation that provides an early look into experiments using a low-latency high-quality approach to image transmissions designed to help directors producers editors and other post-production professionals collaborate without having to be in the same room. SMPTE 2012 will take place October 23-25 in Hollywood. A special pre-conference symposium – High Frame Rates for Digital Cinema – will take place on October 22. Registration and program information are available at ,3556
Sony Pictures Television Acquires Majority Stake in Left Bank Pictures,2012-09-15, Sony Pictures Television has taken a majority stake in British production company Left Bank Pictures signaling a significant move into scripted production in the UK. Under this new agreement Sony will also distribute future Left Bank Pictures television content both finished programming and formats and will have a first look distribution option on feature films produced by the company. Since its inception Left Bank Pictures’ success in the international marketplace has been matched by recognition at awards ceremonies from BAFTA and RTS to the Golden Globes and Emmys. Left Bank Pictures is one of the UK’s leading producers of scripted television programs and has developed international co productions with partners such as HBO and Mediaset. Its track record of successes includes Wallander (BBC) Mad Dogs (Sky) Strike Back (Sky/HBO Cinemax) Cardinal Burns (E4) and DCI Banks (ITV) which have received critical acclaim and ratings success all over the world. Announcing the deal Sony Pictures Television’s president of international production Andrea Wong said “I’m very excited to welcome Left Bank Pictures to our global production family.  Powered by the outstanding creative talent of Andy Marigo and their team Left Bank is justifiably admired in the UK and internationally making it the perfect complement to our diverse UK portfolio.” Andy Harries and Marigo Kehoe will continue to lead Left Bank Pictures from its existing London office and Harries will now report into Wong. Andy Harries said This is a brilliant opportunity for Left Bank and we are thrilled by the new partnership with SPT. I am a huge admirer of Andrea Wong and her energy and enthusiasm for our work is incredibly encouraging. This marks the start of a new phase of ambitious quality drama from us for the international market place. Marigo Kehoe added “Andrea Wong has a clear vision of Sony Pictures Television’s future as a content provider in the global marketplace and has an impressive take on both the business and creative sides of the business. We are excited by the potential of this new partnership.” The company’s film arm is behind independent titles such as the Aung San Suu Kyi biopic The Lady (with Europacorp) the acclaimed adaptation of David Peace’s The Damned United (Columbia Pictures) and All In Good Time (Studio Canal) – based on Ayub Khan Din’s hit National Theatre production. Left Bank Pictures was founded in 2007 by Harries CEO and Kehoe managing director following the success of their time at Granada and ITV Studios which produced Prime Suspect Cold Feet The Royle Family and the Academy Award winning film The Queen. Left Bank Pictures is Sony Pictures Television’s fourth UK production venture joining Gogglebox Entertainment Victory Television and Silver River. Other markets outside the US where SPT produces scripted television locally include Germany Russia the Netherlands the Middle East and across Latin America. Globally SPT’s international production arm operates wholly owned and joint venture companies in 15 countries covering Europe Latin America Asia and the Middle East.   ,3557
Christie Confirms Major Deal with Ster-Kinekor Theatres,2012-09-15,Christie Digital Systems Canada has announced that Ster-Kinekor Theatres has confirmed a major deal as it undertakes full conversion of its cinema estate to digital. This will be the first time that the brand's Solaria Solaria One and Solaria One+ and its IMB and 4K resolution have all featured in the same deployment. The South African group currently has Christie Series 2 cinema projectors operating but this will grow considerably to 180 Christie Series 2 projectors along with 198 Solaria One and Solaria One+ projectors which will be available from the end of 2012. These come complete with lens custom-designed Xenon lamp Christie integrated media block and easy-to-operate screen management software. The new deployment will also include 4K DLP Cinema projectors for use at selected cinemas in Johannesburg Pretoria Durban and Cape Town. The theatre group began the conversion process in 2008 turning its first five screening rooms into 3D digital with the help of the brand's 2K projectors. Because of this success it set a target to become 100 percent DCI-compliant by mid-2013 and formed a partnership with Arts Alliance Media to expedite this. Ster-Kinekor Theatres CEO Fiaz Mahomed says that the upgrade is a critical step in helping the company grow the business and take film viewing to the next level: Christie is crucial to this development and its close relationship with Arts Alliance and overall bid was compelling. The digital conversion will ensure a heightened viewing experience and is critical in meeting the very real demand from our valued audiences in seeing the best film content at its best. Mahomed also believes that the solution offers many competitive advantages. The superior optics and high brightness are ideal for 3D applications and the projectors also provide low cost of ownership he said. As for the 4K platform the high frame rate and 4096 x 2160 resolution moves the whole experience a step further. Dale Miller vice president Christie EMEA said With the recent opening of a local office in Johannesburg led by territory manager Phil Lord the company is perfectly placed to offer a high level of technical support. Richard Nye cinema sales director Christie EMEA says We are delighted that the largest exhibitor in South Africa has decided to move forward with a full digital deployment and that the company has been selected as the trusted partner in this groundbreaking agreement. The client always puts the customer experience at the top of its priorities by being prepared to push the technological envelope and this makes the cultural fit with the company a tight one. ,3558
Xpand 3D Named Official Sponsor of Kino Expo 2012,2012-09-15, Xpand 3D was named an official sponsor of Kino Expo 2012 the international cinema industry convention held in St. Petersburg Russia. It marks the third consecutive year that Xpand 3D is sponsoring Kino Expo. In addition Xpand’s local partner NevaFilm will provide IR systems for the multiple 3D screenings at Kino Expo which will employ 800 Xpand Infinity active 3D glasses.

 Established in 1999 Kino Expo is the world’s third largest international exhibition of cinema equipment with a focus on the markets of Russia and neighboring CIS (former USSR) countries including Ukraine Kazakhstan Belarus Lithuania Latvia Estonia Armenia Moldova Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries. At Kino Expo the local offices of major studios Russian and international independent distribution and production companies present their upcoming films and product reels directly to local exhibitors.

 “Xpand 3D offers more than the best 3D experience in the world; we enable filmmakers to truly realize their artistic visions while providing viewers the ability to see 3D as it is meant to be seen ” said Maria Costeira CEO of Xpand 3D. “At Kino Expo 2012 where some of the world’s most talented artists intersect with the heart of the Russian/CIS film community Xpand 3D is the only option.” “As one of the most prestigious cinema conventions in the world it is imperative that Kino Expo offers cutting-edge cinema technology for its screenings ” said Dmitri Kazuto of Kino Expo. “With the Xpand Infinity glasses we know our guests are enjoying that unmatched level of quality.”
 “Xpand offers the highest-quality cinema 3D in the world and Kino Expo is one of the highest-profile opportunities to showcase this world-class quality ” said Katerina Agapova of NevaFilm. “We are thrilled to once again be able to provide Xpand 3D cinema systems for Kino Expo.”
Trade Digital Cinema Partners with Kode on Gangway,2012-09-15, In order to ensure that its mobile lab system Gangway meet’s the industry’s content security standard Trade Digital Cinema has partnered with Kode whose framework is based entirely on Motion Picture Association of America standard for content security. Trade Digital Cinema located in Hollywood California specializes in digital media management for motion picture television and advertising industries. Their on- and near-set services include media and metadata management data processing and archiving audio syncing and color management and selects delivery. These services in addition to Gangway are key contributors to new workflows being adopted across the industry. Harry Boileau CEO of Trade Digital Cinema said When introducing Gangway our mobile lab solution it was critical that the security policies and handling procedures associated with this new technology platform were in alignment with those security protocols established by the MPAA and validated by a recognized industry expert like Kode. Compliance with MPAA best practices and achieving a select vendor rating from Kode is an important step for Trade Digital. We are committed to protecting our clients' content and want to provide our customers the confidence that our security practices follow the industry's recognized standards.” The MPAA has long been a champion for content security managing site security inspections for its member studios. Collectively they have developed the MPAA best practices for content security which has become known as the industry standard. Heidi Kujawa CEO of Kode Compliance says the industry standard should be one where the MPAA best practices for content security is the bottom line. “There are other companies out there touting their own content security standard but there is only one governing authority of how content should be protected and that is the MPAA and its member studios ” she said.