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Red Giant Software at NAB

Three new products and acceleration By Ko Maruyama
Red Giant Software from San Francisco, California held a press conference on April 19 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to announce its three new products.  More importantly, Red Giant Software presented with press conference partners, Sony Vegas/DVD, nVidia and Green Parrot Pictures to give some interesting looks at the capabilities of their new offerings and explain the technology behind the next generation of Red Giant tools.

During the press conference at NAB, Red Giant Software, the San Francisco-based company who offers several different software tools, including Magic Bullet Suite, Primatte Keyer
, Composite Wizard, Image Lounge, eLin, Knoll Light Factory, Film Fix and FinalTouch HD, announced three new products: Primatte Keyer 3.0, Key Correct Pro 1.0 and Knoll's Light Factory 3.0.

Primatte Keyer 3.0 which is offered exclusively from Red Giant Software is touted as the most advanced and complete chroma keying software available.  Primatte is a Hollywood standard tool, and is used in several broadcast and film projects.  The new capabilities of Primatte Keyer 3.0 include better keying from very low quality footage, DV and HDV source material.  The new version also color corrects the resulting image and corrects the "tattered" edges of the keyed image.  Similar to Red Giant's Composite Wizard plugin which contains "Light Wrap", Primatte Keyer 3.0 will also allow for control over the light spill from other layers in the composite.

Key Correct Pro 1.0, which ships this summer is really a compilation of 17 different plugins which allow the compositor to modify alpha channels, color correct layers of the composite and make very smo
oth keys from edges.  At $395 (US) for the the set of 17 plugins for both 8-bit and 16-bit projects, this will no doubt prove to be a favorite utility for After Effects compositors.

The most interesting part of the press conference was the announcement of John Knoll's new Light Factory 3.0.  While Knoll's lens flares have been around for years, in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe's After Effects applications,  the promise of 30 new flare presets was surprising.  Although it is very easy to customize and save any of the parameters within the Knoll Light Factory plugin, the ability to choose from a wider array of preset was a welcomed bit of news.  The new presets were only the tip of the iceberg.

For several years, nVidia has boasted their superior computing power and faster technology delivery schedule.  Last year, nVidia introduced me to the processing potential of GPUs.  During their Gelato release party, I spoke with a tech from nVidia who talked up the new muscle by expla
ining processor theories and measurable component speeds. It was interesting, but I got lost in the numbers and tech-talk.

This year, nVidia's Professional Solutions General Manager Jeff Brown put it into much more digestible terms: GPU calculations are faster than CPU's.  Due, in part to the magnificent architecture in the cards' chip video processing happens at a much more rapid rate.


Brown went on to explain Moore's Law and describe Kirk's Law, which is Moore's law cubed, offering that nVidia's GPU power will outpace CPU evolution and delivery to market for next generation hardware. 

After looking at power harnessed by nVidia's SLI configuration, I wonder if cubing Moore's law goes far enough. The dual card's performance is amazing.  As a Mac user, I could only stand in

awe and hope that a port to the Apple OS will follow shortly.

Red Giant Software's Knoll package will now take advantage of this GPU technology, allowing in some cases, for users to edit and preview the flares in real time during the composite.

Sean Safreed and Vice President of Marketing for Sony Media Software Dave Chaimson gave
demonstrations of the streamlined Red Giant Software plugins as they worked in Sony Vegas 6.  While I'm a complete stranger to the operation of Vegas 6 / DVD and the family of Sony editorial (they're PC only), the performance on the demonstration machine (an Alienware laptop), even in a 16-bit project, was blazingly fast.  If you want to know more about Vegas, check out the DMN messageboard hosted by Douglas Spotted Eagle.

I will be interested to see how the ATI and nVidia cards stack up with Apple's Core Image implementation.

Guest speaker from Green Parrot Pictures and professor at Trinity College, Dr. Anil Kokaram from Dublin, Ireland talked about another Red Giant product, Film Fix, and showed some of the work completed with the tool.

Film Fix uses restoration processing drawn from the GPP library to stabilize, de-noise and correct errors from poorly shot or old footage.  Film Fix is a plugin which runs within After Effects 6.x (Mac & PC).  A version for Digital Fusion is expected to follow soon.

Kokaram has posted several results of his tests on the research portion of the Sigmedia website <>.

Some of the interesting future products featured by Red Giant Software were found down on the show floor at the Red Giant Software booth.   The plugin that is most appealing to me is Magic Bullet from Stu Maschwitz and The Orphanage.  Of course Magic Bullet Suite 2.0 offers more looks.  And news for us Mac users; the new plugin will render up to 5 times faster on a G5 than on a G4.  Magic Bullet also allows for all users to take advantage of HD footage.  No longer will there be a separate HD plugin.

If you didn't get a product demo at NAB, you can get a copy of the demo products that Red Giant Software offers by finding them online at

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:Red Giant Software, nVidia, Sony Vegas 6, GPU, Knoll Light Factory 3, Primatte Keyer 3, Key Correct Pro


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