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Header image for article Phantom Flex4K Workflow Solutions

Phantom Flex4K Workflow Solutions

The Phantom Flex4K camera has been out in the world since the beginning of this year and workflow support for the files created by the camera has been steadily increasing. Some significant transfer speed records are being achieved and breakthroughs in workflow support from 3rd party companies are now being implemented.

Here's an update on some of the supporting technologies:

Glue Tools

The two applications from Glue Tools - Séance for file transfer and Phantom Cine Tool Kit for transcode and color - have been built from the ground up to run on a Mac. The unique and proprietary Phantom .CINE file has been supported by Glue Tools from the beginning, but now with the new Mac Pro, transfer speed records are being broken. On a recent commercial shooting with the Flex4K in the South Pacific, the Mac Pro/Séance transfer station completed a 2 TB CineMag in about 1 hour. This is double the speed of a MacBook Pro and is two times real time playback. With this kind of transfer speed, the proverbial mountain of 4K data is flattened and the number of CineMags required can potentially be reduced.

Once the files are transferred from the CineMag, there are now many choices for working with the .CINE files. The Phantom Cine Toolkit from GlueTools performs playback, debayer, conversion, white balancing and color correction functions. A software license for both Séance and Phantom Cine Toolkit is included with every new Phantom Flex4K.

"This bundle reflects improvements based upon our user's feedback, stressing simplicity, speed and color accuracy," said Bob Monaghan, founder of Glue Tools. "We feel that the software should just get out of the way, so that DITs can efficiently get their job done."

Baselight

One of the leading color grading platforms used in high-end finishing facilities is Baselight. "I've done quite a bit of work on Phantom camera support in Baselight," Phil Barret of Filmlight reports. "Baselight now uses the Vision Research reference code for pixel repair and for color processing, and the results are a good match for the reference decodes for all the sample files." The latest Baselight release (version 4.4.6806) includes Flex4K decode among other features.

Digital Vision

There are various levels of color grading product from Digital Vision including Nucoda Look, the entry-level grading solution and Nucoda, the premium solution. As of early June, both levels of Nucoda are supporting Flex4K files in release 2014.1 R1. There is also an optional package called DVO Camera, which includes a feature called DVO-Flicker for removing luminance variation and chroma breathing from one frame to another. Nigel Hadley, head of Product Management at Digital Vision, tells us, "We have particularly found that the Flicker tool is very useful on high-speed shots." 

DVS CLIPSTER

CLIPSTER® enables you to perform all the steps in a DI workflow including online editing of film data, conversion to various output formats and color correction. The system can handle any level of resolution -- SD, HD, 2K and 4K -- and the majority of the DI workstation's features are processed in real time.

"There is support for Flex4K files on a Gen5 system running version 5.9.1.1," according to Dan Germaine, head of pre-sales at Rohde and Schwarz, the parent company of CLIPSTER. Recent tests have confirmed color fidelity during the de-code. Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a multi-track editor and a powerful color corrector, and many in the industry are eagerly awaiting the release of Resolve 11. Resolve is scalable and resolution independent, and is used in projects ranging from the most modest to high-budget Hollywood feature.

Peter Chamberlain is Product Manager of Resolve and told us, "With Phantom support, we will be in good shape for release." As for timing, Peter says, "We have committed to shipping v11 in June, so at the end of this month, we will have it out in the wild!"

Below is a Resolve screen shot with the Raw controls for Phantom coming in v11.

Colorfront

With high-resolution, on-set, digital processing systems for feature film and television, Colorfront has taken color science from the laboratory environment to the set and near-set. The software developer has won Technical Academy and Emmy awards in the process.

One of the founders of Colorfront, Aron Jaszberenyi, told us recently, "Colorfront On-Set and Express Dailies both support Phantom Flex 4K Raw format." This support is part of the current release.  

Each of these companies have committed to Phantom Flex4K compatibility. With workflow support from these various leaders in the industry, the Phantom Flex4K can fit seamlessly into any project. If you have any questions regarding compatibility or any of this technology, let us know in the comments and we will put you in touch with the appropriate contact at one of these companies.

Moe Shore
Guest Contributor

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