Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Early Glimpse at First Light

When CineForm developed the first RAW video compression (yes ages before those other guys,) we developed a related feature called Active Metadata. You see the problem with RAW imaging is the more RAW it is, the more boring it looks, frustrating to constantly explain to you film's investors, "yes it is supposed to look flat, with low contrast and green." Active Metadata came to rescue, allowing the cinematographer to specify how the image should be development upon decode, while preserving the internal flat, low contrast image for the most flexibility in downstream finishing. Users of the SI-2K have been loving this feature for years, as the camera had a lite version Iridas SpeedGrade OnSet built in for cool color development controls, but at less than 1% of the whole market, and Active Metadata support was RAW sources only, this feature wasn't getting the attention it deserved.

While back we added Active Metadata support for 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 CineForm encodes, but still many CineForm users didn't take advantage as the the controls where limited within Prospect 4K, as they were always intended to be replaced by a standalone tool -- First Light. First Light is only weeks away, arriving in time for NAB -- coincidence? The press release went out today so you will all visit us at NAB, but it only talks about the renderless color workflow, which is only scratching the surface for what First Light will be doing in the future, some of it future abilities will even be shown at NAB.

First Light will be available for all version 4.x users of Prospect HD/4K, Neo HD/4k on Mac and PC platforms. Version 4.x will start shipping before NAB.