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The Pixel Farm Announces PFPlay 2.0

Disk Based DI Review, Approval And QA (July 27, 2005)

The Pixel Farm, a company focused on innovation in the field of high-end digital post-production, is pleased to announce the launch of PFPlay 2.0 at Siggraph 2005.

PFPlay 2.0 is set to become a key tool in the DI workspace, providing a cross platform, resolution independent disc based play back system for pre output QA, directorial review and approval and complete project preview.

The release of PFPlay 2.0 is a major upgrade to this already powerful application and includes a comprehensive new suite of networked project and media management tools, client login, batch processing, higher bit depth internal handling as well as new view and manipulation options. PFPlay is by far the most flexible and powerful solution for every stage of film preview, review and approval and the first system to offer a truly multi-platform collaborative working environment. Unlike other solutions PFPlay 2.0 always maintains performance when operations such as 3D LUTS are applied and never drops frames.

Key Features
- Project manager
- Cross platform batch processing
- Full clip history/versioning
- Smart Cache
- Completely new media handling tools
- Sequence Browser
- Direct reading and writing of clips from Shake
- Quality Assurance tools
- True 64-bit application
- Direct 10bit DPX file playback support
- DPX workflow using header information

Project Manager
The new project manager is the workflow hub, providing a simple way to manage workflow in a multi project environment. Projects can be remotely managed using the new web based front end, allowing clips to be added to vaults from anywhere within a facility. PFPlay, thus effectively becomes a network device, with all the loading and deleting of data accomplished via a web browser or direct from applications. This allows PFPlay to be shared throughout the facility with no impact on network infrastructure, maintaining true platform independence. Users can load or remove clips from the system while sitting at their desk, allowing multiple clips to be loaded at the same time and no longer have to waste time waiting for the system to finish loading a clip or a playing back a set of clips before they reload and get back to work.

Client Confidentiality
Only staff or users assigned to a project can commit clips or view a project maintaining confidentiality within a multi project environment and also safeguarding projects from deletion or modification by unauthorized users. This is a great benefit in screening facilities as clients can effectively have their own ‘area’ on the system.

Cross Platform Batch Processing
The addition of cross platform batch processing for clip import means large numbers of clips can be processed at any given time with no effect on over all system performance. Whilst direct DPX playback is available additional features within PFPlay can be utilized when using the raw file format. Batch processing means that from a users point of view there is no performance hit when using native files. Clips can now also be rendered directly to vaults from applications such as Apple’s Shake, streamlining the review and approval process.

Full Clip History/Versioning.
Clip and sequence history tools provide a means to manage multiple versions of clips and sequences within projects, these can quickly be compared using View Switching. It is now possible to view different versions of clips and sequences very quickly allowing much faster review and approval. New clip template tools handle both under and over sized footage providing much more flexibility with display devices. Clips can now be imported and scaled to size or imported at their original size and scaled using hardware rendering.

Smart Cache
PFPlay 2.0 includes a new caching technology that caches clips once and then allows the cache to be reused any number of times. For example once a clip has been cached it can be reused any number of times in any number of sequences without the need to reload into memory.

Completely New Media Handling Tools
New media bins can mimic server location hierarchy providing a much more flexible and convenient storage solution. Projects can effectively be copied from one location to another and will maintain file and directory structures. Drag and drop from the native OS file browser can be used to add files to batch lists for import. Clips can also by examined using Quick view from an external file location.

Sequence Browser
The new sequence browser provides a simple and non-destructive way to build small sequences and allow them to be viewed in context with transitions.

Quality Assurance Tools
Missing media management has been improved in version 2.0 making PFPlay an ideal QA solution for use prior to running out film or other media. Missing or ‘Bad’ frames are quickly identified in the timeline and can be individually replaced. This means you will no longer have to trash a can of film just because of a couple of bad or missing frames.

Full Cross Platform Support and 64-bit Implementation.
The only film review system fully optimised and available on all platforms, including Windows and 64-bit Linux. By supporting higher resolutions and higher bit depths, PFPlay 2.0 will be the de-facto tool for review and approval on any platform.

Direct DPX File Format Support
The real-time DPX option lets PFPlay directly playback SMPTE DPX files when connected to a LAN or SAN. This feature eliminates the need to move large amounts of image data to and from local storage and is recommended for use when connected to a high-speed Fibre Channel Storage Area Network. DPX workflow is further enhanced with full support for reading data from DPX header files.

As companion to PFPlay 2.0 The Pixel Farm are also launching PFClip, a resolution independent RAM based desktop playback solution. PFClip allows artists to quickly view clips in context on the desktop using the same robust and highly optimised playback engine built into PFPlay. This low cost solution is supported on all platforms, with full cross platform floating licensing available.

Availability and Pricing.
PFPlay V2 will be available in August for $4999. Users will be able to upgrade from version 1.0 of PFPlay for $999.

About The Pixel Farm
The Pixel Farm was formed in 2002 to provide innovative solutions for digital compositing. Based in the UK, with a very strong focus on research and development, The Pixel Farm work with customers on key projects to ensure PF products match the needs of the production environment.

By utilising its industry experience and working with some of the best researchers and developers in the world, The Pixel Farm ensures it is always one step ahead of the competition. The Pixel Farm looks to integrate best of breed technologies into a focused collaborative environment.

For more information on The Pixel Farm and its products contact: [email protected]


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Related Keywords:The Pixel Farm, PFPlay, PFPlay 2.0, DI, media management, 3D LUTS, Smart Cache, DPX, Apple’s Shake, Versioning, PFClip,

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