Avid Technology has addressed customer requests for native support of the Sony XDCAM format, a groundbreaking 3-D stereoscopic workflow and the "death of the dongle," with the release of Avid Media Composer (v3.5), Symphony (v 3.5) and NewsCutter (v 7.5) software. In addition to an innovative new architecture designed to make these Avid solutions more open, the latest version of the software delivers a variety of new features that enable customers to take advantage of:
-- More streamlined and efficient HD audio and video workflows-- A number of offline editorial effects enhancements like Keyframeable Color Correction and a new Fluid Stabilizer feature-- CPU/GPU acceleration of visual effects-- Improved interoperability with Digidesign Pro Tools
This new release of Media Composer will greatly improve the speed and efficiency of our workflow here at Discovery," said Mark Miller, Producer/Director at Discovery Channel Canada's West Coast office. Miller favors the seamless XDCAM HD capabilities and Keyframeable Color Correction in the new release. "By having the ability to natively ingest in the field, my producers, directors, and editors can start working with the media right away, and not waste time traveling back to the office to get a cut completed. Also, the Keyframeable Color Correction features are invaluable. We've been able to save a lot of time and money in the production process by being able to make color changes on the fly in run-and-gun situations where lighting can change and affect color over the course of a single shot. Previously, that could only be fixed in the online color correction."
Editor Michael Tronick and Assistant Editor Aaron Brock have worked on a number of 3D films including the newly released JONAS BROTHERS: THE 3D CONCERT EXPERIENCE, and are excited about the possibilities of Avid's stereoscopic capabilities. "It would be so useful to see how the 2-D material I am cutting would translate to 3-D and be able to show that to the director on the spot, while making changes on the fly. Avid has created the most innovative 3-D workflow I've seen," Tronick said.
Brock estimates that the benefits of using Media Composer 3D capabilities for offline editorial will save thousands of dollars. "If we could use this new feature, it would save the studio an unbelievable amount of money. Instead of having the online system running for five months straight, we could just conform complete reels for full screenings like on a normal feature. It would be much more efficient than doing conforms on a daily basis."
What's New in Avid Media Composer and Symphony Software?
-- Native XDCAM support: Offers complete end-to-end native support for the popular Sony XDCAM HD formats, at all bandwidths. Customers may now playback and edit directly from the disc, render, mixdown, export sequences and clips with eight audio tracks, and writeback with sequence timecode.
-- Stereoscopic 3D editing: Delivers full support of stereoscopic workflows, which enables customers to acquire, edit and display stereoscopic 3-D material. Content can be displayed with stereo monitoring capabilities in both the composer window and full screen playback -- eliminating the need for costly conforms previously required to screen 3-D material.
-- AMA, or Avid Media Access Architecture: Customers can automatically link clips from a third-party volume (Panasonic P2 or Sony XDCAM HD/EX) devices into an Avid editing bin, without having to transcode or store the media on their system.
-- Elimination of Dongle with new Software Activation and Licensing: Eliminates the need for a dongle key to activate new purchases and upgrades of Avid software. All new software sales and single seat upgrades will be licensed by a system activation key.
-- Keyframeable Color Correction: Provides customers with the ability to make most color adjustments using advanced keyframes in the offline editorial process -- saving time and money associated with online color correction costs when using the Avid Total Conform.
-- Fluid Stabilizer: Equips customers with a new 2D tracking engine designed to track and remove camera motion, when used in combination with the Avid SteadyGlide feature.
-- General FX enhancements: Offers improvements such as the ability to copy Keyframes at position as well as enhanced 3D Warp, Quality and CPU/GPU performance to quickly render and process FX.
-- Improved Pro Tools integration: Integrates Media Composer 3.5 with Pro Tools 8 through the Video Satellite feature, which allows control of a Media Composer system from Pro Tools for full resolution, synchronized video playback for audio. Now, customers can install both Media Composer and Pro Tools software on the same system.
-- Enhanced Audio Capabilities: Delivers a wide range of new audio capabilities that provide customers with more control over audio clips and sequences.
Avid Media Composer and Symphony (v 3.5) and NewsCutter (v 7.5) software are available now through Avid resellers and on Avid's Web store.