Production Slate

By Rhea, Marji | American Cinematographer, March 1994 | Go to article overview

Production Slate


Rhea, Marji, American Cinematographer


Trends Favor New Technology

Telezign, Pixar Unite

Telezign Computer Animation/ Design, a division of National Video Center, has formed a strategic relationship with Pixar for new product development. As a Pixar planning site, Telezign will receive advance copies of new technology and products and integrate them into its animation production environment; Telezign will then give feedback on features that will enhance the capabilities of the software for broadcast and commercial design. At Pixar's invitation, Telezign has also joined the new Pixar Design Network, in which advertising, magazine, product, and interactive media designers use Pixar products to create design solutions.

Telezign's Emmy Award-winning designers will integrate Pixar's Academy Award-winning RenderMan technology into graphic design projects, and develop unique uses for RenderMan in animations.

For information: Alyse Dickman, (212) 564-8888.

New Digital Division

Steadi Systems Inc. has announced the formation of its new Digital Technology Division, offering sales, training and rental for desktop production and nonlinear film editing systems and desktop video systems.

In conjunction with this new division, Steadi Systems' corporate headquarters also features a Digital Technology Center to display and demonstrate this new equipment. The company's goal is to provide clients with a full spectrum of products that will take them from film transfers to dailies to an offline master cut. In the area of offline editing and desktop postproduction, Steadi Systems has expanded its product line to include the Lightworks Editor and Avid's Film Composer. The company also has added an extensive line of hardware and software for desktop video, desktop preproduction and pre-visualization, postproduction and video production graphics.

Steadi Systems is currently an authorized Macintosh dealer. In addition to offering the Macintosh Quadra 950/ 800840AV, its available product line includes the Hewlett-Packard ScanJet IIc, Sony Mavigraph Color Printer, Apple LaserWriter Pro 630, Optima Tape Backup Systems and JVC CD-ROM Burner. It also offers an extensive line of monitors, including Mitsubishi Diamond Scan 20-inch, NEC, Apple, Radium 20-inch Intellicolor, and SuperMac 20-inch High-Res Color.

For information: Steadi Systems Incorporated, 1014 N. Highland, LA, CA 90038, (213) 461-6868. New York: (212) 974-7666. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: 02.438.1541.

Editing Service

Laser-Pacific's new online editing service for television, SuperComputer Assembly, delivers digital show masters at less cost than conventional online analog composite editing. It is not limited to any particular tape format, and is fully compatible with any digital component and high-resolution HDTV standards.

The service also permits greater scheduling flexibility, allowing producers to gain as much as a full day on their postproduction schedules. The service is already in use on such prime-time series as Birdland, Phenom, Matlock, Mad About You, Babylon 5, Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place, as well as a number of television movies.

The Supercomputer Assembly system's proprietary software fuels an IBM PVS computer and two massive hard disk storage arrays. Based on information provided by the offline editing systems, the audio and video needed for the final master is digitally captured from videotape machines onto the disk arrays at high speed. Once on the disk arrays, the finished program is output to a videotape machine in real time.

In developing the Supercomputer Assembly process, Laser-Pacific took the concepts of parallel computer processing and digital nonlinear editing and melded them into a unique application. The system allows for mass simultaneous digital capture, resulting in an acceleration of the assembly process. A typical one-hour episodic television show, which takes from eight to twelve hours to assemble in a conventional online suite, can be completed in two to three hours using the Supercomputer Assembly. …

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