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Discreet Announces lustre 2.5 Digital Colour Grading SystemInnovations define new era of leadership in digital intermediate market (August 04, 2004)
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. today announced its lustre 2.5 system, designed to further advance digital film grading and provide new benchmarks in quality and performance. Installed in 19 film studios and post-production facilities around the world, lustre is the leading colour grading system in the rapidly growing Digital Intermediate (DI) marketplace. An April 2004 survey by Film & Video magazine indicates that 39 percent of post-production houses in the United States identified DI as being the 'most significant technical opportunity for business in 2004' - making market conditions ripe for Discreet's lustre system.
DI, the latest revolution in film technology, is a process that converts film to high-resolution digital files and then back to film, thereby providing greater control over colour manipulation and visual effects. Upcoming feature films that used Discreet's lustre system include The Polar Express (starring Tom Hanks), The Phantom of the Opera (starring Minnie Driver), and National Treasure (starring Nicolas Cage and Harvey Keitel). The lustre system has also been used on blockbuster feature films Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and X2: X-Men United.
"Today DI is a complex, malleable process requiring fast, efficient workflows, significant levels of specialization, and above all, powerful creative tools. Without the ability to be creative, the DI process is compromised," explained Martin Vann, vice president of sales and marketing for Discreet. "Discreet is the market leader in DI solutions because we offer unequalled creativity that extends to all parts of the digital pipeline."
Companies that have purchased Discreet's lustre system include: Pixar Animation Studios (Emeryville, CA), Pacific Title & Art Studio (Los Angeles, CA), Sony Pictures Imageworks (Los Angeles, CA), Technicolor Creative Services Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA), Asylum (Los Angeles, CA), Pixel Farm (Minneapolis, MN), Hybride Technologies (Canada), Universal Production Partners (Czech Republic), Oktobor (New Zealand), Prime Focus Limited (India), and Éclair Laboratoires (France).
lustre 2.5 is part of Discreet's powerful array of integrated DI and digital film solutions, which include inferno and flame visual effects systems, fire and smoke non-linear editing systems, 3ds max animation software, combustion paint and compositing software, and high-performance infrastructure solutions.
lustre 2.5 is capable of grading to the most exacting technical standards, both present and future, and exceeds the 12-bit 4K format proposed by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI). Selected to grade the ASC Standardized Evaluation Materials (StEM), the lustre 2.5 system, in combination with Eastman Kodak Company's Kodak Display Manager, was able to accurately match the digital scans to the optical showprint projection.
Discreet's lustre system was developed in conjunction with Colorfront, a Budapest-based software development company. "lustre 2.5 provides the flexibility required for emerging 4K workflows and new standards such as those proposed by the DCI," said Mark Jaszberenyi, CEO of Colorfront. "4K DI is a reality today and 16-bit or higher formats are already widespread, especially where visual effects are involved. The lustre system provides the freedom to work at resolutions and bit-depths beyond 10-bit 2K without compromising quality."
lustre 2.5 features a 32-bit per component processing engine capable of both 4K (4096x3112 pixels) and real-time 2K (2048x1556 pixels) colour grading of 10-bit and 16-bit film scans. Designed to maintain the highest standards in image quality, lustre's 32-bit processing capability provides the increased headroom required to avoid image degradation due to the clipping or dynamic rounding (dithering) of colour values that can occur when processing at lower bit-depths.
Said Tommy Hooper, colourist at post house Asylum, "The rapid rate at which Discreet is innovating on the lustre system is impressive. lustre 2.5's ability to handle film scans at any resolution - including 4K - is a major breakthrough. Combined with the new 32-bit engine, we're able to deliver the best image quality and colour grading faster than ever before. Since purchasing lustre, we've already used it to grade Phantom of the Opera and National Treasure. It has served a variety of purposes, from matching clips to maintaining continuity of shots across a sequence. With lustre's superb ability to reference film output, we can get the job done in record time."
lustre 2.5 also features a range of new tools designed to expand the creative possibilities of DI, such as the unique GMask shape system that provides colourists with better control over how the digital image can be graded and re-lit for advanced look design.
Other new features in lustre 2.5 include:
- Luminance (L-S) curves for selective saturation adjustments based on different luminance ranges.
- Inside-outside grading to simultaneously apply two different grades (one inside, one outside) to a selective shape.
- An enhanced vector shape system including a new shape hierarchy with per-shape Axes and global adjustment tools for faster, more efficient shape animation; multiple shapes per selective channel; the ability to convert primitive shapes to freeform.
- New soft brush and other enhancements to dust-busting.
- Customised infrastructure components provide direct access to the Discreet stone file-system from lustre via TCP/IP networks. This allows lustre to share media residing on stone disk arrays directly with inferno, flame, flint, fire, smoke and backdraft.
- Edit linking: Link the lustre timeline to an inferno, flame, flint, fire, smoke or backdraft softclip. Changes by these systems to the softclip will automatically be updated in lustre.
- browsed: high-performance file transfer software for optimised data exchange between the lustre systems and background render nodes.
For detailed information on lustre 2.5, including a complete list of new features and range of scalable options, please visit our website at www.discreet.com/lustre.
Pricing and Availability
Discreet's lustre 2.5 system is in beta and is expected to ship in September 2004. For more information on configurations and pricing, please contact Discreet sales at 800-869-3504.
Colorfront is the industry-leading developer of high performance color grading systems for digital film and video. Colorfront has been driving innovation in digital intermediate technology since 1998 and is the established market leader in digital intermediate technology for both 2K and 4K. Colorfront's technology now forms the foundation of the Discreet award-winning lustre system. Colorfront is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. For additional information on the company and technology that underlies the Discreet lustre system please visit www.colorfront.com.
Discreet empowers media professionals to realise the visual experience and transform their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Discreet's award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, colour grading and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive, and design visualisation. Discreet is based in Montréal, Québec and is a division of Autodesk, Inc, the world's leading design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company. Product and corporate information: www.discreet.com.
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