Media 100 Inc., a leading provider of advanced media systems, will release the "Visual Effects" release--new version 3.0 software for 844/X in January 2004. The largest software expansion of 844/X since its inception in 2002, Version 3.0 advances 844/X with many new realtime, multi-stream capabilities:
- Advanced keying
- 3D digital video effects (DVEs)
- Shadow and glow effects
- XML-based metadata interchange
- New performance optimizations for editing longer-form, layer-intensive projects
The company recruited more than 30 844/X beta sites - the largest number to date - to test Version 3.0 and ensure both high performance and reliability.
"For the past year we have interacted daily with 844/X users around the world," said Rick Keilty, vp of product marketing at Media 100. "Version 3.0 is a direct result of their inspiration and input. This release takes advantage of the realtime in-stream effects and compositing speed, as well as the 10-bit image quality intrinsic to the GenesisEngine and our 844/X software architecture. The new keyer, for example, rivals any high-end keyer. Our multi-stream 3D DVEs add to the long list of effects we can handle, concurrently, in realtime, for incredible creative flexibility compositing layers.
"Version 3 exploits the parallel image processing pipelines of the GenesisEngine. Using numerous video/key streams simultaneously, we've been able to add complex yet lightning-fast multi-stream effects that creative users love and can't get elsewhere, such as glow and shadow effects."
Advanced 10-Bit Keying
844/X version 3.0 features a newly engineered 10-bit (1 billion colors) keyer that incorporates advanced spill suppression and matte-based key operations, such as erode and blur, allowing users to design sophisticated keys with the same precision as dedicated compositing systems.
The advanced keyer is powered by the multiple parallel image processing pipelines of the GenesisEngine. To create an advanced key and perform spill suppression, 844/X version 3.0 performs basic keying functions with one stream, while a second stream is used to generate an additional key to remove or color correct spill colors from the image without changing the output key.
The new version 3.0 keyer equips users with expanded keying controls, including R, G, B, luma, threshold, softness and transparency. Also new to version 3.0, chroma key controls add key color, tolerance, hue offset, softness and key thresholds. New spill suppression controls include hue offset, tolerance and YCbCr trim controls.
With XBLUR, the power of the new version 3.0 keyer increases further. The advanced keyer provides matte blur and matte erode functions to provide smooth edge gradients and further minimize the effects of spill on an image for exceptionally high quality keys, all generated in real time.
844/X version 3.0 provides all-new 3D DVE processing for 844/X configurations with XBLUR. The powerful 3D effects expansion exploits the multiple PEPs (Programmable Effects Processors) onboard XBLUR to process 3D DVEs on up to eight streams simultaneously (four video/key pairs) in support of recursively processing unlimited visual effects layers without onerous host-based rendering.
The version 3.0 3D DVE processing builds on the prior geometrics capability of 844/X to include:
- Realtime adjustment of X and Y anchor point, position and scale;
- Realtime X, Y and Z rotation with perspective control;
- Realtime X and Y skew parameter;
- Sub-pixel cropping for superior edge definition.
XBLUR Integrated Filters
With version 3.0, XBLUR adds support for rapid creation of complex effects such as glows and shadows that are otherwise very slow to create and render (and re-render to edit).
These new visual effects capabilities are powered by the PEPs onboard XBLUR that also process real-time, multi-stream 80-pixel Gaussian blurs. They include drop shadows, inner shadows, DVE shadows, inner glows, outer glows, and channel glows. User controls for each effect provide content designers direct control over parameters including shadow color, strength, opacity, softness, offset, blur, geometrics and background/glow color.
Interoperability - XML Metadata Support
The "Visual Effects" release also provides new XML-based metadata interchange support, giving editors an XML description of the editing, transition, effects and compositing components of a timeline (program). New in version 3.0 is support for the import of XML metadata from existing Media 100 i and iFinish systems, giving thousands of dual-stream editors fast, easy access to 844/X for finishing.
Media 100 plans to use XML-based metadata interchange support as a platform for future 844/X releases; the goal is to give users a higher degree of metadata interchange with third-party content design solutions. Also, this new format support provides a basis for working with other metadata formats such as AAF.
New Workflow Features
As with previous 844/X releases, version 3.0 contains dozens of user-driven workflow features, enhancements and performance tunings. Some notable ones include:
- Color change filter--select pixels from a video image and adjust hue, saturation, RGB gain and contrast of both selected and unselected pixels;
- Direct manipulation--grab and manipulate the position, anchor point, and scale of a video image directly within the viewer window; view the image position in context with other layers; zoom and pan the viewer window to precisely place content in relation to other layers;
- Video and matte layer effects independence--apply digital video effects to video and/or matte layers completely independently;
- Add randomness--new creative effects parameter that can be applied to any or all 844/X effects;
- Long-form, high-layer-count projects--improved file indexing, Intelligent Layering Architecture (ILA--software) tuning, and better memory management accelerate up to 60-fold timeline manipulation and open/save performance on horizontally large (editing) and/or vertically large (compositing) video projects;
- Workspace presets--user-definable views and presets for specific workspace/timeline views, including the size and screen location of user interface windows.
844/X is available worldwide with prices starting at $9,995 for 844/X software and hardware. Complete 844/X system configurations start at around $20,000 and are available exclusively through authorized 844/X value-added resellers. For more information, or to obtain a comprehensive list of authorized resellers, please call (800) 773-1770 or visit www.media100.com
Media 100 develops award-winning advanced media systems for content design, enabling creative professionals to design highly evocative effects-intensive work on a personal computer. Creative artists and content design teams around the world use Media 100's Emmy Award-winning solutions. The company is headquartered in Marlboro, Massachusetts.