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GRAPHICS & ANIMATION

Blackmagic Design today announced a worldwide training and certification program, along with certified curriculum, for DaVinci Resolve 14. Now customers can learn professional editing, color correction and Fairlight audio post production at their own pace by purchasing the Blackmagic Design series of books, including the newly available “Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 14,” or they can take training courses online or in person at certified training partners.

The “Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 14” is an official step-by-step training guide that covers basic editing, color correction and Fairlight audio in DaVinci Resolve 14. The book is designed for both new users and established professionals that are switching to DaVinci Resolve from another editing system. This greatly expanded new edition includes detailed colour correction and Fairlight audio lessons.

“The Definitive Guide to DaVinci Resolve 14” is available as a print on demand book or e-Book from Amazon.com.

Customers can buy the book and study at their own pace, take online courses or visit a classroom based training centre. Once the course has been completed, they must take and pass the online exam to receive certification.

FXHOME launches the next version of its all-in-one video editing and visual effects software, HitFilm Pro. Raising the bar on all previous releases, HitFilm Pro includes a full year’s worth of feature updates and product support, as well as new innovative tech.

It used to be difficult and time-consuming for filmmakers to create professional-level visual effects at home. Now the fastest growing video effects software in the world, HitFilm is the only video product to combine an editor, a compositor and powerful 3D capabilities with over 800 visual effects and presets.

“This is the biggest release we’ve ever had, giving our users some super-affordable and groundbreaking tech,” explained Josh Davies, HitFilm CEO. “Our users’ suggestions and enthusiasm have really helped to drive the development of the software and I can’t wait to see what they create with the new features - especially the Puppet Tool!”

HitFilm’s latest short film and Pro Masterclass ‘HALO Jump’, to be published on November 30th, recreates a scene from the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Godzilla’ (Gareth Edwards, 2014), showcasing the professional visual effects which can be achieved using HitFilm Pro. Users will be able to download project files and follow tutorials to recreate this multi-million dollar shot using just one piece of software.

The latest version of HitFilm Pro sees a focus on 360° video effects. Advanced workflow updates allow users to view their 360° video in its original state in the trimmer, alongside the adjusted version so that VFX can be added. New 360° VFX and filters including Distortion and Lightsword effects offer filmmakers powerful options for their 360° videos.

HitFilm Pro’s new Puppet Tool allows users to quickly add natural motion to raster images and vector graphics such as still images, shapes and text characters - opening up a realm of possibilities for motion graphics artists and animators. For many users, rotoscoping and masking can be a time-consuming task. HitFilm Pro now contains improved mask editing and rendering performance to make mask editing up to 100x faster and allow tasks to be completed faster, more accurately and reliably than ever before.

HitFilm Pro now includes geometry effects which can be added to text layers, allowing for professional titling and animation. Advanced Behaviour Effects have been added to this version to allow users to affect their animation in more complex ways, producing realistic timepieces or orbiting planets and comets.

Animation tools are also now accessible within the editor timeline, allowing users to animate and manipulate keyframes right from the timeline - or use HitFilm Pro’s enhanced compositor to tackle complex, 3D animations.

HitFilm Pro also contains faster overall performance and streamlined workflow. Users can preview and pre-render complex composite shots for high-quality, real-time playback and faster export times. HitFilm Pro’s GPU acceleration and a 64-bit architecture also allows for continuous optimization of your computer’s hardware as your project grows in scale.

In addition, FXHOME’s plugin product Ignite Pro has seen huge updates and now incorporates all new 360° video capabilities, brand new text functionality and the Puppet Tool into its wide variety of plugins, ready for use in a whole host of other video editing software.

The South Australian State Government announced they will provide support to the film post production and visual effects industry in South Australia, by introducing a State based Visual Effects, Digital and Post Production [PDV] rebate.

The rebate will be calculated at 10% of gross spend, which combined with the 30% Federal Post, Digital and Visual Effects [PDV] offset creates one of the largest and reliable rebates worldwide. The combination will enable film-makers to take advantage of a 40% rebate when working with South Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures [RSP] or other South Australian based PDV vendors.

“We welcome the rebate offered by the South Australian Government, and commend the Premier The Honourable, Jay Weatherill and the Minister for Investment and Trade, The Honourable Martin Hamilton-Smith, for their foresight. The rebate will help grow South Australia as a digital production hub and promote local innovation. It will underpin jobs growth in our sector, and ultimately, the biggest beneficiary will be South Australia’s economy”, says RSP’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Tony Clark.

The rebate can be used in conjunction with the Australian PDV, Location or Producer offsets, and the guidelines align with the current Australian Federal PDV offset. Guidelines will be available on the South Australian Film Corporation website from today.

Part of recent South Australian history, RSP was founded in 1995 and was named after the historic Rising Sun Hotel in Kensington, where the idea of the business was conceived. 22 years later, RSP employs over 200 staff and will significantly expand off the back of this announcement. “We’re confident that over the next year RSP will see 100 new jobs created, and more into the future”, says Clark. “We are fortunate that we’re in a position to quickly take on new work, as we have been systematically investing in our human and technical resources over the past three years”.

RSP is a long-term employer in the state; its permanent employee median service is 10 years, and is celebrating its first employee reaching a pinnacle 20 year mark this year. “People are key - without quality, consistent talent, we’re nothing” says Clark “now and into the future, they will remain our priority alongside delivering great value to our clients”.

RSP has a strategic partnership with the University of South Australia to provide accredited training to the next generation of visual effects artists, with over 80 graduates to date since its inception and plans for 100 students in the coming year. RSP’s talented team boasts an impressive collective resume; Clark was the recipient of an Academy Scientific and Technical® Award for the creation of remote collaboration tool cineSync; VFX Supervisor, Tim Crosbie, was nominated for Academy® and BAFTA® Awards for RSP’s work on X-Men: Days of Future Past; and Creative Director Tom Wood, was nominated for Academy® and BAFTA® Awards for Best Visual Effects on Mad Max: Fury Road.

XTRMX, a leading innovator in remote collaborative video editing and review solutions, announced today that they have signed an Alliance Sales Agreement with Avid®. As an Avid Alliance Partner, XTRMX has integrated its next-generation product portfolio, which includes the innovative XTRMX media engine, xView multi-user video review, and ediX remote editing, with Avid MediaCentral® and Avid Media Composer®. The groundbreaking new workflow facilitates multi-user access and native control of media assets via XTRMX. An industry first, multiple users – producers, clients, editors and assistant editors - can concurrently review and edit content within a single Avid Media Composer edit session, eliminating the time-consuming back-and-forth between users and multiple file versions.

“We’re sparking a real revolution. With XTRMX, it’s as if you are sitting in the same room with the editor. Users from different places can communicate directly to get immediate approval, and even control the system to make the actual edits directly in the timeline,” explains Harel Ram, co-founder of XTRMX. “Media Composer does not need to upload or download media or even have it rendered and, reviewers do not need the editing application on their desktop. XTRMX provides a gateway into the Avid system so the reviewer can both see and comment on material as well as edit media, whether they are in the next edit bay over or halfway around the world. It’s an immersive experience that redefines collaborative post.”

XTRMX’s innovative video review media engine xView and the ediX remote editing platform are to be certified by Avid and will be available soon through the Avid Marketplace and covered by Avid’s sales network in more than 140 countries worldwide.

XTRMX customer, Moshe Barkat, CEO ColorTime LLC, a North Hollywood-based digital media content creation, management and distribution firm, elaborates on the impact of using XTRMX as part of the workflow, “One of ColorTime’s clients is a large, geographically diverse organization of reviewers who evaluate all content for compliance to meet their internal broadcast standards. This requires all program material to be viewed and evaluated for both visual action and aural content by review staff that is scattered across North America. The review staff requires reliable playout of both image and sound on platforms ranging from Microsoft Windows variants to Apple OS X, running on desktop, laptop, and even tablet hardware.” Moshe continues, “xView by XTRMX enables ColorTime to provide program content for review staff anywhere, anytime, and on any platform... In the design phase of this project, no other product could be found that offered the combination of user convenience and reliability that xView provides.”

Ed Caracappa, Avid Sr. Director Global Alliance elaborates: “The solution offered by XTRMX delivers on the need to manipulate and review media wherever it is, simultaneously and instantly. This new paradigm is well aligned with Avid’s commitment to offer the most comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimize media. Our relationship with XTRMX will foster the development of a compelling integration with the MediaCentral Platform that will result faster time to air and significantly, simplified and shortened creative and production pipelines. Once development and certification have been completed, XTRMX’s products will be available for sale via the Avid sales network. Avid is committed to continued growth of our Alliance Partner Program and is excited to have XTRMX be a part of it.”

Improving the Bottom Line with XTRMX Technology

The XTRMX solutions disrupt any current real time collaborative technologies. It brings a new concept to a market saturated with existing solutions: screen share software, for example, is not optimized for media management, as it corrupts the image and playout in addition to slow responsiveness, making it unsuitable for true collaborative media review and editing. Instead of merely sharing a screen, XTRMX has created a distributed system that leverages the full power of all workstations involved in a collaborative session. As a result, the image quality, responsiveness and ergonomics of the platform perform as if the software is installed on each of the user’s workstations, allowing remote users to work together on their remote content simultaneously and instantly, ultimately saving them a significant amount of time and money. “This is a fundamental game-changer to the media industry. We designed XTRMX to become the backbone for any collaborative media manipulation. With the value of the worldwide media market estimated in the tens of billions of dollars (USD), and with the potential applications in other industries, we’re forecasting the earning potential of this revolution to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” states Ram. The revolutionary XTRMX framework is powered by an on-the-fly transcoding and processing engine that delivers media content on demand by streaming, without uploading or downloading the source itself. XTRMX relies on a secure and extremely low-latency protocol (less than 40 millisecond latency) developed in-house, allowing every user in a collaborative session to be in sync with other team members. Any change applied by any user is automatically reflected on all other users’ in the session.

True Immersive Collaboration for Avid Users

Integrating XTRMX with Avid enables remote multi-user review of MediaCentral assets as well as in the current sequence directly in Avid Media Composer. Each user has control via the XTRMX multi-user data sync system, creating a true real-time collaborative experience that enhances productivity among teams. The result is better content created faster and more efficiently, delivering a serious return on investment.

Crystal Vision has further improved the operation of its Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer in a live situation following significant changes to the VisionPanel universal control panel.

VisionPanel is designed to operate up to 16 Crystal Vision Indigo or Vision frames, with its physical controls making it well suited to those products that need regular adjustment, such as Safire 3.

Benefitting from Crystal Vision’s responsive technical support and five year warranty, the Safire 3 modular real-time chroma keyer is ideal for applications from weather to immersive virtual studios, with a simple intuitive workflow for setting up a key, support for resolutions from SD to 1080p and features such as lighting compensation, colour correction and video delay to help solve common real world issues.

VisionPanel’s touch screen improvements include making it more responsive, as well as increasing the size of the Home button to make it easier to press. The drop down menus on the touch screen have been replaced with a ‘radio group’ style control which allows faster operation - where it used to take two steps to select something, it now takes one. New navigation has also significantly quickened the workflow when moving between menus: it is no longer necessary to go via the home screen to change menus, as tabs for all the other menus within that menu group are now displayed.

VisionPanel’s knob improvements include swapping the coarse and fine adjustment for easier operation: turning the knob now defaults to the more commonly-used faster speed adjustment. VisionPanel’s hard button improvements include reassignment of the right-hand hard buttons to get immediate access to some of the most frequently-used chroma keyer menus (Key Status and Gain and Spill) as well as to provide a chroma key on/off toggle.