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Codex Digital Offers Full Support for ARRI Alexa Studio

COW Library : ARRI : Debra Kaufman : Codex Digital Offers Full Support for ARRI Alexa Studio
CreativeCOW presents Codex Digital Offers Full Support for ARRI Alexa Studio -- ARRI Feature


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There's a lot going on at Codex Digital. Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC is using the company's latest technology on the set of Skyfall and Bojan Bozelli, ASC is doing the same on The Lone Ranger.

That's because both cinematographers are pairing the new ARRI Alexa Studio camera, with its 4:3 sensor and optical viewfinder, with the Codex Onboard Recorder. Codex ARRIRAW Plus and the Codex Onboard recorders can record up to 48 frames per second of ARRIRAW from the Alexa Studio in 4:3, using Codex' new high speed Data Packs. In 16:9 mode, it is possible to record up to 60 frames per second using regular Codex data packs, as is currently done with the Alexa and Alexa Plus.

Codex Digital Vice President of Market Development Sarah Priestnall

Codex Digital Vice President of Market Development Sarah Priestnall.

"Given our close relationship with ARRI, it was natural for us to do this," says Codex Digital Vice President, Market Development Sarah Priestnall, who notes that the combination is also being used on director Lasse Hallstrom's upcoming The Hypnotist. "Plus our customers were demanding it as they were being asked to support Alexa Studio/Codex/ARRIRAW workflows."

ARRI's Alexa -- and now Alexa Studio -- have been on a roll since the camera debuted, capturing a majority of the primetime TV market as well as many feature films. Codex Digital recorders have always worked in tandem with the ARRI Alexa, and Priestnall says the changes made to support the new Alexa Studio were minimal.

"Our current Onboard and ARRIRAW recorder was able to support the Alexa Studio with only minor software changes," she says. "Although we had already supported high frame rate recording (up to 60fps) with the Alexa and Alexa Plus, the challenge was to support high frame recording with Alexa Studio, given the higher resolution and file size with the 4:3 sensor (rather than the 16:9 with the Alexa and Alexa Plus). Fortunately, we were able to accelerate development of a new Codex data pack that can support up to 48 fps with the Alexa Studio..

In making these adjustments, Codex Digital worked closely with ARRI as in past years. "We always work closely with ARRI as they bring out new upgrades to the Alexa and this was no different," she says. "We got access to a camera for testing and we were able to support the Alexa Studio as soon as it began to ship.

Existing Codex Digital users will get a free upgrade, but customers will need to buy new Data Packs for high-frame rate recording with the Alexa Studio, says Priestnall. Codex Digital also just released a new build for the Codex Transfer Station for Mac OS X. The build is required when using Codex equipment employed in tandem with the ARRI Alexa Studio camera. Priestnall notes that upgrading is not recommended for productions in progress.


Top row: Click on individual images to zoom. The Codex Vault is a modular on-set solution for backup, review, and dailies production that supports digital cinema cameras made by RED, ARRI, Sony and other leading manufacturers. Bottom row: The current Onboard and ARRIRAW recorder is now able to support the Alexa Studio with minor software changes.


Codex Digital is also readying for a major announcement at NAB 2012: the Codex Vault.

The Codex Vault is a modular on-set solution for backup, review, and dailies production that supports digital cinema cameras made by RED, ARRI, Sony and other leading manufacturers. As a standalone solution, it requires no external drives or processing, has its own internal processor and works with Codex 1TB Transfer Drives for automatic back up of camera original data. The Vault can accommodate a workflow from production to editorial, VFX, post house and other providers. "It all depends on each production's workflow," Priestnall says. "For example, you could use the Vault to archive your camera original files -- ARRIRAW ARRI files for example, make DPX files for a VFX house and make Avid DNxHD media for editorial. The DPX files and the DNxHD files would be transported to the VFX house and editorial on Codex Transfer Drives. Or if the Vault was located in editorial, it could be connected to an Avid on the same network."

The idea behind the Vault is to streamline the entire workflow process. Features include support for RED drives, CF and SxS cards as well as for Codex Data Packs. The Vault enables high-speed secure data transfers and acts as a data management and metadata server. Users can review dailies directly from the Vault, which also enables iPad dailies. "The Vault is designed to simplify on-set and near-set workflows and provide commonality in workflows between different cameras," she explains. "The first version will support both Codex Digital and SxS workflows of the ARRI Alexa and we expect to support the Sony F65 soon afterwards."

Codex Digital and ARRI Alexa have been a good match thus far, and the company's support of ARRI's new Alexa Studio is a natural match that many filmmakers will choose to use.

The introduction of the Vault is intriguing. The crux of any production is efficiencies in the workflow, and Codex Digital is the latest company to give it a crack. No doubt more will be revealed at NAB 2012. Stay tuned to read more about it.








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