Post production is getting more complex. The routine tasks of editing, visual effects and graphics, and colour grading are becoming more sophisticated. Even soap operas are carefully graded, and many programmes now have rich visual effects.
On top of that, there are new formats. While a programme may be broadcast in HD, it will often be shot in 4K, and an Ultra HD version may be created for the archive. Even higher resolutions are on the near horizon, with NHK committed to live 8K Super Hi-Vision coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Along with greater resolution, we are also seeing an extended colour gamut through the use of high dynamic range: 10 or more bits per colour rather than eight. Some are also experimenting with higher frame rates: Ang Lee’s latest movie was shot at 120 frames a second, for example. This results in a challenge: more people, and therefore more software applications, need to access the content, but at the same time that content is taking up much more storage space.
In the past, the practice was to move the content to the operator, meaning that post houses had to invest in powerful, capacious networking to move material from one workstation to another. With a greater emphasis on collaborative workflows and more time pressure than ever, we now need to consider moving the operator to the content and seamlessly merging the physical and virtual worlds.
The solution is to provide each operator with access to the processors running the appropriate software and loaded with the right project. Once that part of the work is complete, the operator moves to the next project. Using Adder’s IP-based high performance KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switching technology, the operator can instantly switch between processors, real or virtual. Because the Adder solution routes KVM over an IP network, there are no restrictions in the set-up or future changes, with perfect screen graphics, instant switching and no lag in the user/computer interface actions.
The IP network means the system can support enough clients and access points for even the largest post house. Both PC and Mac systems can be connected – Adder is unique in providing good Apple video format handling – so an editor can switch between editing platforms at will. The system provides huge operational efficiencies, with maximum utilisation of suites and staff and minimal loss of time waiting for files to be moved across the network.