HP, Ascent Media to Digitize Sony’s Library

Hewlett Packard has announced it is working with Ascent Media Group and Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) to digitize Sony’s library of film and TV assets. The project will move the studio’s content management and distribution from analog to a tapeless digital environment.

“At SPE, the ability to deliver our content in an efficient, cost-effective and secure way is critical,” says Jeff Hargleroad, senior VP of worldwide product fulfillment at Sony Pictures Ent. “This project marks a significant step towards the future of file-based digital content delivery. Ascent Media Group’s knowledge of the complexities of media asset creation and workflows combined with HP’s innovation in digital entertainment technologies makes our partnership uniquely positioned to fulfill our vision.”

The Sony library includes the blockbuster Spider-Man film series, as well as many hours of animated television programming.

wondertouch Expands Particle Products

Visual effects software developer wondertouch, maker of particleIllusion, announced significant enhancement of its product development scope. Following the recent release of particleIllusion 2.0 SE for Mac OSX, the company is completing two further releases of its flagship product. This June, wondertouch is scheduled to release its highly anticipated new particleIllusion plug-in for Adobe After Effects, affording motion graphics and visual effects professionals with easy access to the powerful particleIllusion 3.0 software engine from directly within the After Effects environment. The following month will see the release of particleIllusion 3.0 for Mac OSX.

Demonstrations of the wondertouch range of particle effects solutions are taking place each day of the NAB convention at the wondertouch booth, SL #453, located in the South Hall, Lower Level. Additional information on wondertouch can be found at

Apple Opens Final Cut Studio

Apple unveiled Final Cut Studio, a top-of-the-line HD video production suite that features Final Cut Pro 5, a major upgrade to the Emmy award-winning editing software for DV, SD, HD and film.

In addition to Final Cut Pro 5, Final Cut Studio’s toolset includes Soundtrack Pro, a new audio editing and sound design application; Motion 2, a groundbreaking real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4, the first commercially available DVD authoring software that burns high-definition DVDs to the latest HD DVD specification.

“The arrival of Final Cut Studio ushers in a new era of high-definition video production that relies on effortless integration of video, audio and effects to elevate production values,” boasts Rob Schoeben, Apple’s VP of applications marketing.’ “Final Cut Studio allows producers to edit in a broad range of HD formats, add stunning motion graphics, sculpt the perfect soundtrack and burn their projects to high-def DVDs.”

Final Cut Pro 5 is designed for professional editors working in a number of formats, including DV, SD, film, and all major HD formats, including HDV, DVCPRO HD and fully uncompressed HD. Native HDV (long GOP MPEG-2) support in Final Cut Pro 5 enables users to edit camera native HDV without generation loss. In addition, powerful new multicam tools let editors cut from up to 128 sources, with simultaneous, real-time playback of up to 16 angles at a time. A new IMX codec allows for native editing of broadcast content from Sony’s XDCAM and direct support for Panasonic’s P2 solid state media gives editors a high-speed solution for tapeless transfer of DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD video.

Final Cut Studio will be available in May through the Apple Store (, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,299. Registered users of any previous version of Final Cut Pro can upgrade for $699 and Production Suite customers can upgrade for $499. Final Cut Pro 5, Soundtrack Pro, Motion 2 and DVD Studio Pro 4 will also be sold separately. Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Studio can be found at

IRIDAS Takes New Product Line-up to NAB

Munich, Germany-based uncompressed playback and metadata-based color correction tech manufacturer IRIDAS is taking an impressive line of new products to the NAB confab in Vegas (April 18-21). The new IRIDAS items include FrameCycler Digital Daily System (DDS) 3.5, FrameCycler Professional 3.5, SpeedGrade DI, and SpeedGrade On Set.

The SpeedGrade products represent both ends of the world’s first unbroken color pipeline from filming through postproduction and finishing. FrameCycler is billed as the first 2K playback technology to run on the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.

While all IRIDAS products operate as stand-alone applications, they are designed to work within a pipeline, alongside other applications.

FrameCycler Professional 3.5 will be demonstrated with Shake integration on Mac OS X systems at the Apple booth. Both new FrameCycler 3.5 products are able to playback calibrated, color corrected sequences from SpeedGrade on any nVidia FX graphics card-equipped workstation.

“IRIDAS products leverage the latest capabilities in nVidia Quadro graphics hardware, putting pixel shader technology to excellent use in film and video postproduction work,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of professional products at nVidia. “SpeedGrade and the new FrameCycler products open up a whole new world of possibilities in color correction on full-rez digital intermediates.”

IRIDAS products will be at several exhibits at NAB 2005: Apple will present FrameCycler Professional 3.5 at their booth and FrameCycler DDS 3.5 in their demo suites; IRIDAS will present a fully equipped demo pod at the nVidia booth along with a demo suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. IRIDAS partners, including DVC, Ciprico, Arri, Kinetta, and others, will also feature IRIDAS technology at the show.

The NAB 2005 exhibition runs from April 18 – 21, 2005 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. You can visit IRIDAS at Booth SL5501 (nVidia exhibit) or call (818) 951-8927 to make an appointment at the IRIDAS suite. Visit for more information.