ASWF Debuts Open Source Project and Adds New Members

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a neutral forum to develop and collaborate on open source software for images, VFX, animation and sound, debuted its first hosted project, DreamWorks Animation’s OpenVDB, an open source C++ library for volumetric representations including fluid simulations, animated volumes and environmental effects. The Foundation also added Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Imageworks, Warner Bros., Blender Foundation and the Visual Effects Society (VES) as new members. Continue reading ASWF Debuts Open Source Project and Adds New Members

The Reel Thing: Prime Focus and HBO Test 10K Scans of Film

At The Reel Thing, an annual conference at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood on “current thinking and most advanced practical examples of progress in the field of preservation, restoration and media conservation,” Prime Focus Technologies executive director of cloud media services Anthony Matt and HBO director of remastering and alternate versions Laurel Warbrick described the results of their testing of 10K scans vs. 4K scans of 35mm film. Fittingly, they titled their presentation “The Burden of 10K Dreams.” Continue reading The Reel Thing: Prime Focus and HBO Test 10K Scans of Film

The Reel Thing: Machine Learning Powers Restoration Engine

During last week’s The Reel Thing at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, Video Gorillas managing director/chief executive Jason Brahms, formerly a Sony Cloud Media Services executive, and chief technology officer Alex Zhukov described the Bigfoot “Frame Compare” solution that leverages machine learning to speed up preservation, asset management, and mastering workflows. The engine, whose development dates back to 2007, relies on a proprietary, patented technology, frequency domain descriptor (FDD). Continue reading The Reel Thing: Machine Learning Powers Restoration Engine

AMPAS, Linux Foundation Team Up for Open Source Software

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation announced this morning the launch of the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) to create an environment for developers to contribute to open source software for the motion picture and related media industries. Industry partners funding and participating in ASWF include Animal Logic, Autodesk, Blue Sky Studios, Cisco, DNEG, DreamWorks, Epic Games, Google Cloud, Intel, Walt Disney Studios, Weta Digital, with Foundry and SideFX. Continue reading AMPAS, Linux Foundation Team Up for Open Source Software

The Troop Redux: ACES Reformatting and Archiving Project

At AMIA’s The Reel Thing conference in Hollywood, film director/producer Marcus Dillistone, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences managing director Andy Maltz and Academy Film Archive director Michael Pogorzelski presented a case study of an ACES reformatting and archiving project, with Dillistone’s 1999 short film “The Troop.” The topic is the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and the film had a royal premiere at BAFTA, with film industry and military guests as well as a British princess in attendance. Continue reading The Troop Redux: ACES Reformatting and Archiving Project

Sci-Tech Awards Honor Digital Cinema Cams, Capture Systems

At the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, actors John Cho and Leslie Mann hosted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Scientific and Technical Awards, honoring the programmers, inventors and breakthroughs advancing the entertainment industry. The evening awarded 18 achievements, to 34 individual recipients and five organizations. Many of the technologies and products awarded, including an array of digital cinema cameras, represented years of R&D. AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs opened the evening’s event. Continue reading Sci-Tech Awards Honor Digital Cinema Cams, Capture Systems

Facebook Looking to Stream NFL’s Thursday Night Football

Facebook is interested in global live-streaming rights to “Thursday Night Football” as well as a selection of the National Football League’s 2016-17 games, say sources knowledgeable about the Silicon Valley company’s plans. If Facebook succeeds in obtaining those rights, it will be its first major TV content deal and would mark a departure from its video strategy thus far, which has focused on short-form for the last two years. As Facebook Live has become more of a priority, sports have shifted to the fore. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Stream NFL’s Thursday Night Football

With ABC and AMPAS, Comcast Brings Oscars Content to VOD

In a deal with ABC and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Comcast is delivering a package of 72 “Best of Oscars” moments from previous Academy Awards broadcasts via its VOD platform to X1 subscribers. The goal, for Comcast, is to drive up VOD rentals and purchases of Oscar-nominated features. For ABC, which is offering content gratis, the hope is that Comcast’s Oscars content will boost awareness and viewership of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28. Continue reading With ABC and AMPAS, Comcast Brings Oscars Content to VOD

SMPTE 2015: Preserving and Archiving for the Next 150 Years

In addition to tackling issues related to new technologies — from Ultra HD to high dynamic range and high frame rates — SMPTE also considers how to preserve film and assets of the past. In a wide-ranging morning of sessions, experts considered the factors required to view archival content on HDR projectors or HDR displays; how the Library of Congress maintains the viability of over 7 million audio-visual assets for a mandated 150 years; and how to restore the original, variable frame rates of silent films for digital projection. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Preserving and Archiving for the Next 150 Years

NAB 2015: Quantel Upgrades Pablo Rio System with 8K Support

Quantel took the stage at the NAB Show earlier this week to announce an upcoming upgrade to its Pablo Rio color grading and finishing system. The software improvement will support 8K Ultra HD. “According to Quantel, its software upgrade allows colorists to work and playback their material in real time and at resolutions up to 8K and frame rates up to 60 frame per second, allowing them to complete today’s requirements and, possibly, future requirements,” notes The Hollywood Reporter. Continue reading NAB 2015: Quantel Upgrades Pablo Rio System with 8K Support

NAB 2015: AMPAS Launches Global Standard for Color Encoding

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences used the NAB Show as the launch for the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) — a free, open, device-independent global standard for color management and image interchange that targets digital production, mastering and long-term archiving of motion pictures. The Academy also announced the support of 22 leading companies that will participate in the ACES Logo Program, which was developed to “encourage consistent, high-quality implementations of ACES concepts and technical specifications throughout the industry.” Continue reading NAB 2015: AMPAS Launches Global Standard for Color Encoding

Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

Warner Bros. exec Wendy Aylsworth has been selected by the Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation to receive the prestigious Ken Mason Award, which recognizes those who have “made outstanding long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience.” Aylsworth, SVP of Technology for Warner Bros. Technical Operations, has been instrumental in steering industry standards for Digital Cinema. She will receive the award at an April 21st ceremony during CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Continue reading Wendy Aylsworth of Warner Bros. to Receive Ken Mason Award

Oscars: While TV Viewing Declines, Social Media Scores Victory

Facebook and Twitter were used in compelling new ways during this year’s Academy Awards for advertising, live blogging and live streaming. Facebook reported an upswing of 21 million global users recording 58 million Oscar-related interactions. According to Nielsen, 13 million U.S. Twitter users watched the Oscar telecast, a 6.5 percent drop from the previous year. However, the show’s overall TV audience in the U.S. dropped by 16 percent, suggesting that the Twitter numbers can still be considered a victory for the social platform. Continue reading Oscars: While TV Viewing Declines, Social Media Scores Victory

Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

Last year’s selfie by Ellen DeGeneres during the live Oscar telecast set a new Twitter record and launched 3 million retweets. Not surprisingly, yesterday’s 87th Academy Awards had an impressive social presence, from ABC live-streaming its backstage show on Facebook to news organizations live-blogging on assorted social networks and Facebook launching its new real-time Trending Oscars experience. According to Twitter, the most tweeted-about nominees and performers included Lady Gaga, Patricia Arquette, Alejandro Iñárritu and John Legend. Continue reading Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

HPA Tech Retreat: A Look into Next Generation Cinema Tech

What Next Generation Cinema technologies and techniques mean for filmmakers was the focus of the six mini-panels that made up a single session at the HPA Tech Retreat in Indian Wells on Wednesday. Topics addressed included Extended Color Gamut; Pairing the Mathematics of Motion and Frame Rate with Artistic Vision; Laser Projection and Higher Dynamic Range; Next-Generation Cinema Technology Test Material; Beyond the Screen; and Suspending Disbelief: When and How to Use New Tools and Techniques. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: A Look into Next Generation Cinema Tech

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