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Discreet Announces fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 Editing/Finishing Systems (22/9/2004)

New Workflow and Collaboration Functionality Forge the Way for Seamless Data-Centric Workflow

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), today announced new versions of its powerful non-linear editing and finishing systems, fire(R) 6.5 and smoke(R) 6.5. Discreet's editing systems play a pivotal leadership role in digital intermediate (DI) workflows for 2K film, high-definition television (HDTV) and standard-definition (SD) projects. Discreet's smoke system has been used to edit/finish broadcast projects such as The 76th Annual Academy Awards(R) and Clio-award winning TV spots like Budweiser's "Superbowl", while the fire system has been used on The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Angels in America and other Emmy-nominated episodics.

Debuting at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam from Sept. 10-14, 2004, the new versions of Discreet's fire and smoke systems deliver workflow improvements that simplify file-sharing and enhance compatibility with file formats such as Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) PSD, as well as off-load rendering to background processing systems for improved performance and interactivity. Key among the workflow improvements in the fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 systems are the new open access file features, which allow Discreet systems to integrate with other workstations and share media stored on both third-party disk arrays and Discreet's new stone(R) shared storage area network (SAN) solution developed with Discreet partners SGI and DataDirect Networks. (announced separately)

"We expect a significant benefit to our workflow and productivity from Discreet's smoke 6.5 system," said Andy Milkis, senior smoke artist for Broadway Video one of New York's leading post facilities and a smoke 6.5 system beta test site. "We can do more for the client in less time. With the smoke 6.5 system, sharing media on our SAN/NAS is extremely effective, and with Discreet's burn(R) solution we're able not only to render effects more quickly using background processing, but we can continue editing at the same time."

The fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 systems also allow users to import multi-layered Adobe Photoshop PSD files directly into Discreet's Digital Video Effects environment (DVE) for tighter integration between graphic design and online editing. burn, Discreet's Linux-based network processing solution, is supported on the new fire and smoke systems, allowing facilities to leverage a large pool of CPU power to render complex visual effects; thereby freeing up creative workstations from time-consuming processing tasks.

"Discreet has consistently led the way to industry innovation. The new versions of fire and smoke will provide high-performance collaboration, leveraging one of the most advanced non-compressed real-time HD shared storage solutions in the industry through stone shared," said Bill Roberts, director of product management for Discreet. "We are delivering on the promise of high-performance, data-centric workflows today, so that our customers' investments can continue to reap benefits for years to come."

The fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 systems also include support for 3D Look-Up-Tables (LUTs) for advanced color management systems from Kodak (Kodak Display Manager), ARRI and Imagica. 3D LUTs are used to enable the accurate display of digital images enabling a viewer to visualize how the images will appear once they are printed onto specific film stocks and projected on a screen. This feature is also supported in Discreet's lustre(R), inferno(R) and flame(R) systems, and enables more accurate, calibrated DI pipelines.

Other enhancements in Discreet's fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 systems include: the ability to conform EDLs from data sources such as DPX files; new GMask features such as motion blur, freehand shapes, and curve simplification to give artists more freedom to define shapes; and improvements to the Channel Editor, Viewer, Colour Warper(TM) and the Archive module.

IBM Linux and SGI IRIX Platforms for Greater Choice

The fire 6.5 system will be available for the SGI(R) Onyx(R) 2 and Onyx 3 visual workstations. The smoke 6.5 system will be available on the SGI Octane MXE, Octane 2 and Tezro(TM) visual workstations, while the smoke 6.5 SD system will be available on the IBM(R) Intellistation(R) Zpro 6221 Linux workstation.

Pricing and Availability

Discreet plans to release the fire 6.5 and smoke 6.5 systems in the Fall of 2004. This version will be available at no extra charge to all owners of fire 6 and smoke 6 systems with a valid Discreet support contract on the date of release.

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