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Thomson Expands Grass Valley Digital Post-Production Line to Deliver Even Greater Creative Workflow Control (30/1/2005)

Key Enhancement for Grass Valley Spirit 4K, LUTher, and Bones Systems

Extending its tradition of post-production excellence, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE:TMS) today announced key enhancements to its Grass Valley(tm) brand products that will enrich its digital post-production workflows.

Highlights from today's announcement included a new color corrector for the Grass Valley Spirit 4K high-performance film scanner and DataCine(r) system; repair and stabilization products for the Grass Valley Bones(tm) open post-production framework; and additional new functions for the LUTher(tm) color space converter.

With one of the broadest lines of digital post-production technologies available, Thomson provides turnkey workflows for film makers and commercial production professionals. Today, creative leaders are looking to capitalize on those workflows to drive additional revenue. Only Thomson offers a fully integrated, resolution-independent, end-to-end digital approach that lets them choose the right production path for their projects.

"Our expansion of the Spirit 4K, Bones, and LUTher lines reflects how Thomson is attuned to the requirements that are reshaping digital post production-and our intimate understanding of the creative community and its desire to extend its digital toolsets so that it can embrace new workflows and distribution opportunities," said Marc Valentin, executive vice president of Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions.

Spirit 4K gains plug-and-play six-vector color processor

With more than 260 units installed worldwide, the Spirit line is the industry standard for high-resolution film transfers. The flagship product of this line is the Spirit 4K high-performance film scanner, which can be upgraded to a full-featured DataCine system with interfaces for standard- and high-definition (SD and HD) video and 2K or 4K data.

The enhancements to the Spirit 4K system announced today include is a six-vector color corrector option, one of the most popular options for the Spirit DataCine system. Already supported by controller manufacturers, including da Vinci and Pandora, users simply plug a board into their Spirit 4K system, enter a license key, and start taking advantage of its capabilities.

Bones framework adds repair, stabilization modules

The Grass Valley Bones platform provides a broad range of post-production tools running in a common environment on an open Linux workstation, enabling content creators to focus on creativity. It includes modules for data transfer, project management, image and resolution scaling, and pan and scan.

Thomson today announced two additions to the Bones environment: the Bones Repair and Bones Stabilizer modules. Using the same algorithms as the Grass Valley Shout restoration tool, the Bones Repair module makes restoration part of primary workflow, not a parallel activity. Bones Repair is so highly automated that it works in the background, replacing original frames with cleaned-up versions.

The Bones Stabilizer module works with any material at any resolution to eliminate the effects of minor camera movements and errors in film transport. Using it, operators define reference points in the sequence and the module automatically ensures the required level of stability from 100% for complex matting to reduced levels for artistic reasons, such as long shot whose perfect stabilization seems artificial.

LUTher systems adds 3D LUT creation software, compare and preview features

Introduced at IBC2004, the Grass Valley LUTher color space converter addresses one of the most critical issues in digital intermediate workflow: color space management. A dedicated device lets users preview and calibrate the display of a film print on HD display or digital projection system. In this way, a colorist and director can see on a monitor what audiences will see in a theatre (whether film or digital projection) or on a display while watching broadcast television or a DVD.

LUTher achieves this color space management through extremely precise (256 measuring points per cube) 3D lookup tables (LUTs) and image processing. Thomson today announced 3D LUT creation software that enables users to accurately create and calibrate a combined 3D LUT for an entire workflow. A change of workflow - from digital intermediate for theatrical release to HD for broadcast, for example - requires just the selection of a different combined free LUT in LUTher.

Other key LUTher enhancements include compare and preview features. Using the compare feature, an HD image is created as a DPX file and passed through the complete chain, compared at the end of the process, and the LUTher system infers a 3D LUT. Preview, as its name suggests, allows the before and after effects of a LUT to be previewed, to give a colorist a quick reassurance of signal integrity.

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