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GRAPHICS & ANIMATION

Avid has introduced a new version of its graphics authoring software, Avid 4Designer, featuring new graphical tools but maintaining the familiar, existing customer workflow of 3Designer. 4Designer incorporates a lot of the features users have been asking for. Among the new enhancements in 4Designer are New Line Charts. Martin Appleton, Avid’s senior principal product manager graphic design and technology, explains that in the past they had been using a third party plug-in to create line and area charts but his time they decided to do it themselves. “Artists can easily create data representation through a line chart through a set of assets,” he explained. “They automatically label X and Y axes, add shading, and extend this to make it easier in animation. The next version will include bar charts, and you can expect a preview at NAB 2017.” Other features of 4Designer that graphic artists will appreciate include Easy Handling of Exports and Splines that includes a new cross-section editor that supports cutouts from splines and imports SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files containing these elements. There are also New Geometry Modifiers that let you, for example, take a tube and twist the corners in real time. “We’ve added 13 different real time modifiers that would have previously needed to be done externally in a third party app, all accomplished on the GPU.” There is also Support for 3D Maps from WorldMapper which now lets you import 3D terrain data. Appleton next lists a feature called Added Realism which gives scene elements a smoother look with a new per-pixel lighting capability. “In the past we were lighting per vertex, which meant you were in a low geometry object you could see the lighting catching the edges of each polygon where they intersect. The result could be somewhat rough. So we introduced a technique where we light each pixel on the surface which results in a much more realistic look to the scene with very little additional overhead.’’ 4Designer is fully backwards compatible with content that was created in 3Designer.
Blackmagic Design has announced a new 12.5.4 update for its DaVinci Resolve professional editing and color correction software. Taking advantage of the new features of Apple’s new MacBook Pro Touch Bar, and providing additional Rec. 2100 and 2020 support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflows, the DaVinci Resolve 12.5.4 update is available now for both DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio customers, and can be downloaded free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website. “We are excited to add support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar as this will help to speed up workflows for both editors and colorists,” Bob Caniglia, senior key accounts manager at Blackmagic Design told The Broadcast Bridge. “We are especially excited to offer different functionality on each of the four pages of Resolve (Media Edit, Color, Deliver) with the Touch Bar. For example, the Touch Bar displays context sensitive tools the moment you need them based on the task you’re doing.” Users familiar with DaVinci Resolve will appreciate that on the media page you can now quickly add clips to a bin, switch between views, display clip attributes, and display metadata with a on the Touch Bar. While you’re editing, the Touch Bar is context sensitive so you can change between trim modes, navigate the timeline and perform different types of edits without ever having to use the mouse or pull down menus. On the color page, the Touch Bar lets you adjust primary sliders and color wheels, change parameters like mid tone detail, toggle viewer modes and even use multi touch gestures to adjust multiple color parameters at the same time. For Blackmagic Design customers who use Grass Valley codecs, they’ve added support for Grass Valley HQ and HQX codecs, which are popular in many countries like Japan and Korea. And, they’ve also developed improved support for CR2 files from the Canon 5D Mark IV, which gives users the ability to work with RAW CR2 photographs from the Canon 5D Mark IV. “Our goal with the Resolve 12.5.4 update has been to find the proper balance between GPU processing and CPU processing to get the best performance despite which platform you are using the software on,” Caniglia finished up. “With this release, and the future ones we have planned, DaVinci Resolve will continue to optimize our software to take advantage of the best computing hardware available for both editing and color grading.
PlayBox Technology announces major enhancements to its server-based Neo and SaaS-based CloudAir broadcast playout solutions. They include extra features and an extended range of interface capabilities. "With over 30 per cent of the global market for channel branding and broadcast playout systems, we and our systems integration partners are experiencing ongoing success on the proven basis of listening to our customers and delivering what they need," comments PlayBox Technology president Don Ash. "Levels of demand are proving excellent in America, Asia, Australasia and Europe. Our strategy is to offer broadcasters the greatest possible choice in the way they work. Neo gives station managers the ability to own and operate a complete on-site playout system. CloudAir is a different approach, allowing a remotely located playout service to be controlled via a secure internet connection. A third option is a hybrid of Neo plus CloudAir. The hybrid approach, which is becoming increasingly popular, offers the traditional security associated with a locally operated and locally maintained installation plus the fast expandability and flexible funding of a remote system." "The purpose of the Neo series enhancements is to ensure that the core AirBox Neo server and the wide range of supporting Neo modules maintain their momentum as the most versatile, efficient and reliable content branding, scheduling and playout system currently available," adds PlayBox Technology CEO Pavlin Rahnev. "They include new control features, expanded file handling capabilities, greater input and output connectivity and Microsoft Windows 10 compatibility. The enhancements have all been implemented within the informative and intuitive graphic interface which is familiar to operators around the world." AirBox Neo supports UHD, HD and SD playout from a single server. It is designed for 24/7 unattended operation and can also be operated manually, including the ability to handle live-to-air throughput. New additions include streaming input compatibility with HTTP(S), UDP, RTMP, MMS(H) and YouTube plus streaming output support for UDP, RTSP and ATSC. The TitleBox Neo on-air graphics and character generator gains the ability to accept and export database and spreadsheet content in the CSV (comma-separated values) format. Also added are support for the NewTek Tricaster NDI protocol and an API plugin for Blackmagic DeckLink audio/video capture and playback cards Enhancements to the CaptureBox Neo multichannel ingest server include a new streaming input compatible with HTTPS, HTTP, UDP, RTMP, MMS, MMSH and YouTube. CaptureBox Neo also now supports the HEVC file format and direct ingest from Sony's XAVC 4K recording format. Multi Backup Manager is designed for backing up multiple playout channels simultaneously. It gains a GPI alarm plugin and router control for the Grass Valley NV9000. ProductionAirBox Neo is a media manipulation and delivery system with the near-zero latency demanded for broadcast news, sports and live production. New features include enhanced playlist performance, faster-than-ever operational response, enhanced audio quality, audio media trimming, XKeys control compatibility, NDI protocol compatibility (including Play on PGM tally on and Cue Next on PGM Tally off), plus support for 4K 50p, 59.94p and 60p. SafeBox Neo replicates remote content to local playout server folders for safe transmission. It is now enhanced to handle multiple instances, subtitle copying and additional media file copying. The PlayBox Technology CloudAir cloud-based software-as-a-service is enhanced with a new transcoder capable of handling multiple file containers and formats including MPEG PS/TS, MXF, QT, AVI, MP4, GXF, MPG2, H.264, ProRes, DNX HD and MJPEG. Also new are an enhanced graphics editor template preparation interface, improved playlist editing, advanced playlist export to electronic programme guides and automated linking of stored assets. AirBox Neo and CloudAir in their newly enhanced forms will be demonstrated on the PlayBox Technology stand (L14) at Broadcast Video Expo 2017 in London, Tuesday February 28 to Thursday March 2.
Snell Advanced Media (SAM) today announced that IMG Norway has selected its LiveTouch system to produce replay and highlights packages for its live horse racing coverage. The system is used to create instant content for its live studio show which broadcasts races from selected tracks in Norway, Sweden, Denmark France, and various other international races, as well as to produce replay and highlights packages for its pre-recorded magazine show. IMG Norway worked closely with Mediability, SAM’s reseller partner for Norway, Sweden and Denmark during the system design, implementation and training stages of the project. The system, built around two LiveTouch high speed production servers, provides users open access to all recording feeds, highlights and playlists made throughout the facility. This enables instant collaboration between replay and edit during live broadcasts. IMG Norway also selected SAM’s desktop editing solutions and Go! HTML browser/editor to allow its users to view all content from any of their media libraries remotely, from either a desktop or tablet web browser.
The new audio mode provides greater flexibility in audio control and an improved UI features a larger preview window. Viz Story, the browser-based (HTML5) editing tool that allows the journalists to quickly create compelling video stories, has been updated with version 1.1. New features include audio control tools, additional graphics packages, and UI improvements. A new audio mode is included in Viz Story 1.1 that provides controls for rubberbanding and fading for audio on video files and audio only files. Audio rubberbanding allows the operator to adjust the volume using audio keyframes in the timeline. This is ideal when using music beds with voiceovers or ambient sounds that need to be brought up or down through the course of the video. New graphics packages Additional graphics packages have been bundled with the Viz Story 1.1 release. These provide greater design flexibility for adding Visuals on Video narratives (Text on Video, Graphics on Video and Images on Video) with several new styles that automatically adapt to different resolutions and aspect ratios. Viz Story integrates with graphics created in Viz Artist, Vizrt’s real-time 3D design tool, allowing designers to create custom graphics packages using their own branding. The provided graphics package offer a quick starting point for using Viz Story immediately and as a guide for designers wishing to build custom packages. Additional new features
 The user interface has been improved to support smaller resolution screens. This includes a larger preview window.
 A video can now be dragged directly to the overlay video track