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FilmLight Announces The Baselight Blackboard

Intuitive control surface enables colourists to exploit the power of Baselight (April 13, 2005)

At NAB 2005, FilmLight Ltd., a leading provider of digital filmmaking technology, will launch the Baselight Blackboard, an optional dedicated control surface for its Baselight colour grading and finishing system. Planned for availability in July 2005, Blackboard simplifies the creation of complex grading and effects by providing one-touch access to frequently used functions and has the flexibility to be reconfigured to suit individual and job preferences.

More intuitive than using solely a pen and tablet or keyboard and mouse, the new control surface offers familiar modes of operation to colourists from all backgrounds whether telecine, lab colour timing or digital grading and increases operator efficiency with its range of input controls that instantly respond to the colourists fingertips.

Designed in-house at FilmLight, Blackboard integrates seamlessly with Baselight and capitalises on key features in the Baselight v2.2 software. In addition, when used in combination with the real-time power of the Baselight Four and Eight systems it will enable colourists to move to a flexible, feature-rich software-based system without losing the power or tactile control of a hardware based system. Users can have complete interactivity and instant control while working with any resolution material in real time. The control surface has also become an integral component in the on-going software development of Baselight with Blackboard perfectly complementing Baselight v2.2. The combination redefines the digital colour-grading suite and results in a powerful real-time toolset that enables migration to a flexible, feature-rich software colour grading solution.

Precision engineered and designed in collaboration with senior colourists, Blackboard addresses the unique challenges of film and telecine-style grading in the nonlinear environment.

Key features include:
* One touch access providing fast, direct access to all primary and secondary grade effects being applied to the currently selected shot
* Three state-of-the-art inductive three-axis trackballs each with six dedicated buttons
* Full jog shuttle transport control for fast and accurate navigation of the timeline
* Dedicated trim controls for convenient store and recall of grade options
* Dedicated keyframing controls for adding, removing, navigating and editing existing keyframes
* Additional controls for gallery grade selection and application, view configuration, and macro record/recall
* Adjustable key illumination enabling colourists to work in dark and light rooms with equal ease, and fully adjustable to suit conditions in both film and video grading environments
* Assignable macro keys and customisable hot keys
* Four integrated and fully customisable hi-res colour LCD screens where colourists are able to keep dynamic content in their eye line at all times
* Context sensitive buttons and encoders provide users with extensive control over their current grade selection. Each grade type can define its own custom interface for Blackboards LCD panels and exclusively utilise up to 12 encoders and 24 buttons
* Low profile Blackboards low profile enables a direct eye line to the projection screen
* Integrated pen and tablet
* Sleek ergonomic design radial arrangement of control keys across a cool, smooth surface ensures optimum comfort

Framestore CFC lead colourist, Adam Glasman (Enduring Love, The Jacket, Cold Mountain), is beta-testing Blackboard, and has been involved in its design from the outset. He noted, ?Its clear that Blackboard has been developed with input from colourists it has the flexibility that a lot of people feel is missing when they move from hardware systems to software graders. A pen and tablet doesnt always give you as much fine control as youd like, or allow you to work the way you are most efficient. With Blackboard, I can get to the primary and secondary controls extremely quickly, and am getting more productive the more I use it. All of the controls really make a difference on intense 12-hour sessions.

FilmLight commercial director, Peter Stothart, explained, ?Grading in a nonlinear environment introduces different challenges to the colourist, and we have developed a surface control device specifically for these conditions a faster way for Baselight users to get to the features they use most often and a more ergonomic interface with the software. FilmLight makes our best contributions to the industry when we can combine our expertise in hardware, software, and firmware to introduce new ways of working that improve efficiency without sacrificing creative flexibility.

Availability and Pricing
Blackboard debuts at NAB and is on display at the FilmLight booth SL2625. With a USMSRP of $49,129 (£26,000), Blackboard is planned for release as an option for all Baselight systems in July 2005. It will also be made available as a bundle with Baselight Four and Baselight Eight. Baselight v2.2 software with support for Blackboard is scheduled for availability in July 2005.

About FilmLight Ltd
FilmLight was established to develop an integrated digital film mastering process by providing the worlds highest quality digital film scanning, grading and colour management techniques. The FilmLight team has been pioneering digital film techniques for nearly 20 years enabling it to offer unsurpassed industry knowledge. The companys clients for its pioneering Northlight, Baselight and Truelight digital film technology include Cinesite, ILM, Éclair, Rhythm & Hues, Pacific Title, FotoKem, Framestore CFC, Matchframe and the Moving Picture Company. FilmLight has offices in London, Los Angeles and New Zealand.

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Related Keywords:FilmLight, Baselight Blackboard, Baselight, colourists, digital filmmaking, colour grading, telecine, digital grading, Adam Glasman, Peter Stothart,


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