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5D Colossus Digital Mastering Launched at IBC

(September 12, 2001)
5D announced 5D Colossus, a new software-based, digital grading and finishing solution. 5D is working closely with colour grading experts Colorfront to bring this new system to market. Like all 5D tools it is designed to boost productivity and workflow by putting advanced tools at the disposal of digital artists and colourists.

5D Colossus is dedicated to making the grading of multiple scenes as fast and as efficient as possible. The ultimate output from 5D Colossus is a high quality, graded digital master that can be used to prepare final film prints, in digital film projection, or for mastering to HD and SD video, DVD and the Internet. Running on powerful workstations, it offers both log and linear grading for the first time and provides cinema-quality, interactive colour-correction.

5D Colossus Workflow Pipeline:
Input for 5D Colossus can come from two main areas film material that has been digitized via a film scanner or data-capable telecine, or from digital film cameras. With 5D Colossus DPs, visual effects supervisors and directors can work on the colour correction of a complete feature film, as well as the special effects content, digitally in a digital projection theatre. 5D Colossus is calibrated to closely match final projection output and achieve comparable final quality to the classical optical/chemical film process.

5D Colossus Functionality
5D Colossus is fully resolution-independent, down to shot level, enabling the mixing of 2K and 4K clips. It is proxy-capable too, with the proxy generation done either as a pre-process or on-the-fly. The system achieves real-time, calibrated primary grading on projection-cropped 2K material and works from standard scanned Cineon or DPX files on the disk array. The internal architecture is 16-bit/channel linear or log processing, depending on the users preferred working method. The algorithms are all researched and production proven, and generate output that meets the highest quality-expectations.

Primary grading can be calibrated to match film lab printer lights, to provide continuity for DPs and lab colour timers in the digital system. Grading of complete feature films is made more efficient by a number of custom-designed features, such as reference wipes, many-split views, a Grade Bin for storing settings, groupings or ?ganging of correction for selected shots and versioning. Workgroup functionality will enable multiple systems and colourists to work on the same project in cooperation. Also, powerful colour-look creation can be done using fast and intuitive HLS and RGB curve correctors, and custom look plug-ins will be available from 5D and other manufacturers.

5D Colossus provides eight selective grading units, with selection performed by HLS colour keying and geometric garbage mattes with infinite softness. Key features such as freeform geometric shapes and 2D tracking provide colourists with tools traditionally only found in the compositing suite. Modifiers are both HLS and RGB. A separate output curve and primary is included for final tweaking before the output.

Benefits of software-based Solutions:
As 5D Colossus is software-based, it provides unprecedented levels of flexibility and customisation, allowing integration into different workflows. Custom looks, file formats, calibrations and processing can all be expanded using plug-ins to create a differentiated system that can give an edge for the studio. 5D Colossus also enables the inclusion of colour nodes for industry leading compositing tools, enabling colourists to create a consistent look on a dedicated station to be used throughout the facility.

Distributed rendering runs on Irix, Linux and Windows 2000, with integration to the current queue management system of the facility. The functionality of a dedicated control panel is also expandable and can be fine-tuned to suit operator preferences using a description language API. A further advantage of the software-based approach enables the speedy adoption of advances in open platform hardware.

Turnkey Solution:
5D Colossus is supplied as a turnkey solution, including the workstation, control surface, storage, and monitor calibrator. The configurations run on a certified system from BOXX Technologies and will come with a Sony FW900 24 monitor running at a resolution of 2048x1280 at 72 hz. Options will include faster processors, additional storage, high-speed networking, as well as connectivity to a broader range of other input and output devices. 5D Colossus can also be configured with digital projection output as an option for suitable quality projectors. 5D has worked closely with UK-based Tangent Devices to deliver a control surface that provides flexibility as well as ease of use, although the system can also be controlled with a Wacom tablet and pen if colourists prefer.

5D Colossus will ship in Q4 of 2001.

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