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ASSIMILATE Launches First All-Real-Time 2k DI Workflow Solution at IBC (24/9/2004)

Cost-Effective 2k Digital Pipeline System Broadens Market for High-Quality Film Production

ASSIMILATE, Inc. today launched its debut product SCRATCH, the first, integrated, real-time, 2k digital intermediate (DI) workflow solution. Running on high-performance commodity workstations, SCRATCH is a powerful software foundation whose open-architecture, modular feature sets, and image processing tools combine to deliver a streamlined end-to-end DI pipeline solution that will empower creative professionals working on visually complex, full resolution, high-quality, long and short-form film productions.

SCRATCH's core features include simultaneous, real-time, multi-resolution review/playback, assemble/edit, conform, primary color grading, scratch audio, visual effects (significantly enhanced with over 150 optional plug-ins), and final mastering to film. SCRATCH is already being used by first customers managing the full DI 2k workflow of more than seven feature films.

"Our vision has a specific focus: Empower creative professionals with a simplified, integrated, and completely real-time 2k DI pipeline," said Jeff Edson, chief executive officer (CEO) of ASSIMILATE. "We've worked closely with customers since 2003 to develop an all-new baseline of technology that will propel this marketplace forward. We'll continue to grow our DI product line to deliver quality and price-performance value with new and enhanced feature sets. Today, SCRATCH already handles resolutions that far exceed the capabilities of film scanners today."

Edson added, "We're offering a significant value proposition to enable the continued success of our customers - powerhouse post-production capability that fits a broad spectrum of budgets. Mainstream filmmakers and large post-production facilities readily gain the benefits of a cost-effective and consistent DI workflow. With SCRACTH, the barrier to entry for high-quality film production is now eliminated for independent filmmakers and small boutique production houses."

Optimize Your Workflow

Unique to this industry, all SCRATCH components, including its software development kit (SDK), are built from the ground up on open-architecture standards. Based on The Foundry's OpenFX API - with ASSIMILATE extensions specifically developed for the DI process -- the SDK gives users access to every aspect of the product, from the user interface to data structures. Users are able to integrate or extend their real-time DI workflows with their own value-added technology, plug-ins, existing post-production tools, and other software. SCRATCH supports 1D, 3D and customer-developed LUTs (Look-Up-Tables), running in real time. SCRATCH supporting partners include BOXX Technologies, NVIDIA, AMD, IBM, The Foundry, and SpeedSix.

Productivity Value for First Customers

Nacho Mazzini, vice president of sales for ASSIMILATE, stated, "We're supporting our customers with truly r-evolutionary DI tools that will boost their productivity and revenues. Our commitment to providing advanced DI products and support matches the high level of enthusiasm and satisfaction we are seeing from our customers."

Chilefilms' Carlos Roca, senior digital compositor & film recording specialist, said, "In the DI market, time is money. The ability to efficiently manage and manipulate images, and the associated digits and data, has never been more important in the successful delivery of movies. SCRATCH enables us to increase productivity, with improved flexibility and creative control at vital stages of the DI process."

"SCRATCH looks like one of the best investments we've ever made," said Javier Leal, managing director of New Art Digital in Mexico City. "Because the software runs on commercial PC workstations, the return-on-investment will be a great advantage to our business. The SCRATCH software will enable us to keep at the cutting-edge of hardware technology developments without the big cost penalties we incur for performance increases with other computer platforms."

Now in Use on Film Productions

SCRATCH is currently being used in the post production of more than seven feature films to date. These projects include: Machuca (directed by Andrˇs Wood), the most successful blockbuster in Chilean motion picture history, post produced by Chilefilms, and; Cero y van Cuatro, post produced by New Art Digital in Mexico City. Kodak, Chilefilms, New Art, and Hectic Electric/AVP are among the current beta users.

Price and Availability

Available within 30 days, an integrated SCRATCH DI software solution lists at $35,000 (U.S. dollars) and includes SCRATCH's core features: Simultaneous real-time multi-resolution review/playback, assemble/edit, conform, primary color grading, scratch audio, visual effects, and final mastering to film. A typical system with SCRATCH fully configured with 1.4 terabytes of high-speed disk storage and a high-resolution monitor lists at under $55,000 (U.S. dollars).

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