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Now Shipping from NAB

By Ron Seifried

Every April, thousands of industry professionals converge on the Las Vegas Convention Center in anticipation of what new products and technologies will be announced. After the initial waves of excitement die down, the inevitable question for every manufacturer rep is, "when will it ship?" Then disappointment sets in as the answer is almost always "later this year." Well, "later this year" has arrived! Here is a recap of Post Production products announced at NAB 2007 that is just now becoming available.

Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse

Front and Rear view of the Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse

First up is the Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse, an external A/D converter and I/O breakout box that is fully compatible with Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.  Featuring most connections including SDI, HDMI, component and XLR AES/EDU audio, the Eclipse can instantly switch between SD, HD, and 2K. SDI data rates are now twice that of HD-SDI with the new 3Gb/s SDI connections, so now you can get 4:4:4 HD video through a single BNC connector as well as get 2k  (2048 x 1556) SDI resolution in 8, 10, or 12 bit. The other major advantage is that the Multibridge Eclipse connects to your computer via PCI Express (cable and card included) for a faster-response editing system.

Aja ioHD

The new and portable Aja ioHD

Meanwhile, AJA introduced the ioHD, a portable capture device co-developed with Apple for use with Final Cut Studio 2. The ProRes 422 codec is built into the hardware, making it feasible to edit 10-bit HD video in the field on a MacBook Pro. A new codec, ProRes 422, gives you HD-quality video at SD file sizes with 4:2:2 chroma sampling. With the compressed file sizes, ProRes 422 is easier on the processor, eliminating the need for RAID drives and making it an ideal solution for field editing. The ioHD has all the inputs and outputs you would expect from such a high-end device. These include BNC for component and composite video, S-Video, XLR for balanced audio, RCA for unbalanced audio, HDMI for digital audio and video, and RS-422 for deck control. It connects to the host computer via FireWire-800. The ioHD is shipping in early September. Check the B&H website for availability.

Aja also announced a 3.0 update to their XENA line of boards. The free download includes support for Windows Vista (32 bit) and Adobe Production Premium CS3 as well as several bug fixes. The download is available now on Aja's website.

NewTek SpeedEDIT 1.2

NewTek SpeedEDIT 1.2

NewTek announced a 1.2 update to SpeedEDIT, a resolution-independent real-time editor. New features include support for WMVHD, VC1, and Windows Media 11, DVCPro HD, expanded DVD writing, and much more. The free download for current SpeedEDIT customers is now available.

Boris FX updated Continum Complete to version 5.0 with packages available for After Effects, Avid Xpress, and the new FxPlug, designed for Apple's new FxPlug plug-in architecture. Continuum Complete is a collection of native filters and transitions for editing and compositing, and the new 5.0 includes Universal binary support for Mac's and Adobe CS3, over 180 filters, new pan and scan controls, motion tracking, and accelerated Open GL effects.

Boris Blue 2.0

Boris Blue 2.0's realtime particle engine

Boris FX also announced Boris Blue 2.0, an upgrade to their real-time motion graphics application. The big news for Blue 2.0 is support for Avid Windows XP systems, including realtime particle engine and the ability to create effects using 3D models in the Avid timeline, streamlining workflow and eliminating the need to import or export elements. Another great new feature that speeds up the creation process is the ability to simultaneously create and display with different perspectives of a 3D scene. And by combining the ability to have the camera remain focused on a particular object throughout the animation process makes it like having a little camera operator right there in the interface.

Pro Import AE 4.0

Pro Import AE 4.0 includes support for Adobe CS3

With a new improved interface, Automatic Duck previewed Pro Import AE 4.0, an important plug-in for those who want to convert a sequence from Avid, Final Cut Pro, or Motion into After Effects. All media, clips and effects are now supported with Adobe's latest CS3 and Mac Intel units, including Particle and Replicator layers with better support for HDV, DVCProHD and XDCAM.

The Duck also announced a new partnership with Red Giant Software to bridge the color correction workflow between After Effects and Final Cut Pro, so now FCP editors can use Automatic Duck's timeline translation tools to export all color correction settings with Red Giant's Magic Bullet Colorista into After Effects.

In animation upgrades, Newtek upped their 9.2 announcement by releasing Lightwave 3D 9.3 at Siggraph. New features include rendering with photorealistic motion blurs, faster and higher quality shaders, various performance upgrades, and vastly improved software developer's kit. Available free to all registered owners of Lightwave v9.

For any new product announcements, patience is a virtue when it comes to actual delivery date. In the world of software development, trade show announcements sometimes see a developer's writing code on the show floor, updating software between demos, making immediate availability impossible. After months of beta testing and user feedback, the final release becomes a more solid and reliable product for actual productions.

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