Grass Valley Director of Product Planning, Desktop Editing Solution, Alex Kataoka
has given a boost to its customers engaged in stereoscopic 3D filmmaking by adding a comprehensive 3D toolset for its EDIUS nonlinear editing software. The company has also added 3D support for editing peripherals to create a complete S3D post production pipeline. The STORM 3G and STORM 3G Elite editing platforms now enjoy complete stereoscopic 3D I/O via the EDIUS timeline, through a single 3G SDI source and/or dual 3G SDI signals.
"We've been communicating with camera manufacturers such as Panasonic
, that introduced us to their clients who were testing 3D cameras," says Grass Valley Director of Product Planning, Desktop Editing Solution, Alex Kataoka. "We'd also been talking to many customers like production facilities and independent videographers, all of whom were producing 3D content. We even heard about wedding videographers creating 3D content."
With the goal of creating stereoscopic 3D toolsets for the EDIUS, Grass Valley had several challenges. "Working in stereoscopic 3D is handling two streams of video at the same time," says Kataoka. "If you're editing, you need multiple layers also, so it's at least twice as difficult technically to handle. Obviously, EDIUS' strong suit is to handle the clips in real time and quickly edit to get the final edit out. We needed to keep those advantages and also support 3D clips."
The newly unveiled 3D toolset includes easy clip pairing for synching left eye/right eye clips; 2D-to-3D conversion capability and numerous tools on the editing timeline to enable the editor to make the adjustments necessary with 3D editing such as automatic convergence adjustment and 3D preview monitoring. Real-time color correction, keyer, transitions and multicam editing - all 2D features - are also supported in the S3D toolset.
Grass Valley EDIUS interface. Please click on image above for larger view.
STORM 3G Elite. Please click on image above for larger view.
In the process of building the 3D toolset, Grass Valley discovered another key characteristic that would be required of the new system. "We found out that all the different 3D cameras all had different types of files," says Kataoka. "We had to be able to support all the different file formats and be able to mix and marry them in real-time." As a result, the 3D toolset includes native support for 3D video clips captured with the most popular 3D cameras.
Grass Valley also included tight integration with its K2 media servers. Via a software upgrade, every K2 Summit production client and K2 Solo HD/SD server can now be used as a 3D production server for 3D recording or replay. With its K2 ChannelFlex technology (a software application within Grass Valley's AppCenter Elite software suite), all K2 Summit and K2 Solo servers can be expanded from being able to handle four SD/HD video streams to up to eight streams. As a result, in addition to use as a 3D production server, the K2 media servers can also be employed as a 2X or 3X super slo-mo recording device or as a server for recording from two to six simultaneous camera angles with at least one channel for playback.
"While K2 is capturing video data, EDIUS can connect and edit while the data is being captured," explains Kataoka. "Now it's the same for 3D footage. All the processing and codec handling done on the software side is one of our strengths. So it just required an update on the software engine to support these new features."
Grass Valley will make the new S3D software tools available in early December as a 30-day preview, downloaded from its website. "It's a 30-day trial version that anyone can download and use," says Kataoka. Users will be able to try out the new S3D tools on a trial basis until Grass Valley releases a product version - expected to accompany a new version release - in mid-2012. By then, we'll know more about how the product's beta testers have been using the new 3D software.
Grass Valley has come up with an effective way to empower EDIUS' 3D toolset, by way of its integration with K2 media servers. Adding that toolset is most likely an easy decision for EDIUS customers. If the producing wedding videos in 3D becomes a real trend - and there's no reason why it won't be - 3D editing tools will quickly become necessary tools.
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