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MacEdition Pro News : January 11, 2003: Quiet on the set: and, action!

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It’s no secret the Mac has been one of the bigger players in the video editing field and this year’s MacWorld showed evidence that manufacturers who make gear for this market are embracing OS X as they craft their wares to take advantage of the Unix goodness inside the OS.

There were more than a handful of vendors popping out of the woodwork with new wares for the platform and hopefully for the production facilities everywhere.

Light this baby up

Aurora Video Systems released a new driver package to bring their Igniter over to OS X. The new drivers fold into either Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier and have been updated for QuickTime 6 compatibility.

“Built exclusively for Mac users, our Mac OS X-compatible Igniter products provide a radically new environment for added functionality while retaining the flexibility, performance, and support our customers depend on,” said Darryl Hock, CEO of Aurora Video Systems. “Our Igniter cards are rigorously developed to take advantage of Mac OS X’s advanced capabilities for the most feature-packed and affordable video capture and editing cards around.”

The new Igniter 5 drivers allow the user to run the system in 32-bit mode and with their choice of external video out while running at 24 fps in OS X without compromising system performance. The drivers can be picked up at Aurora’s download page.

The next wave

Pinnacle Systems moved their CineWave 3 family over to OS X and have picked up Final Cut 3 certification from Apple in the process. The video company also updated its Knoll Light Factory software to run on Jaguar.

The new CineWave software driver and package set features a new interface, increased system performance and 20 new real-time effects.

Improvements to the CineWave codec provide improved quality and flexibility that enable editors to make specific gamma and chroma control choices based on the needs of their project, rather than defaulting to the application’s setting. CineWave 3 also provides new CineSuperSync audio capability, the result of a collaborative development effort between Pinnacle and Apple that delivers true audio/video sync when used with Final Cut 3.0.4. CineWave now also delivers 24p standard definition support with simultaneous 29.97 FPS external video monitoring. Users can take advantage of Pinnacle’s new 10 bit SDI Pro Digital Plus breakout box with support for up to four channels of AES/EBU, dual SDI outputs and monitoring of analog composite video and RCA unbalanced audio.

CineWave 3 is currently shipping and current owners can upgrade for free by hitting Pinnacle’s support page. The company also released a new digital video breakout box which comes with a US$1,995 retail sticker.

More sneaky-peeks

Anybody wandering around on the East Mezzanine of the Moscone Center might have seen Anark Corp.’s meeting room where they previewed an upcoming release of Anark Studio, a multimedia authoring environment which promises to seamlessly integrate 3D, video, still images and audio on the fly.

Featuring a newly optimized workflow and familiar timeline, Anark Studio features a flexible workspace, drag-and-drop JavaScript-based behaviors, and compositing and 3D features found only in high-end compositing and rendering systems typically costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the introduction of Anark Studio, multimedia artists and developers no longer need to sacrifice visual quality for bandwidth and authoring tool limits and can create unparalleled corporate presentations, learning applications, product demonstrations and entertainment for CD-ROM, kiosks, screensavers and the Web via the free Anark Web Client for Windows and Macintosh computers.

Anark will be issuing a beta of Anark Studio in mid-January. Multimedia developers interested in signing up can send an email to beta@anark.com.

More than just a peek-a-boo

Kaydara Inc.released FBX for QuickTime, a real-time 3D viewing software that allows the user to see and interact with 3D renderings from any major 3d package in QuickTime.

“Until today, there has been no easy way to visualize and interact with 3D content,” said Michael Besner, president of Kaydara. “Producers and artists seeking to validate 3D content have been forced to purchase software to view or render their 3D files. Our goal with FBX for QuickTime is to expand our 3D technology to make a real-time 3D pipeline available to all digital artists.”

FBX for QuickTime works with both Windows and Macintosh of Apple’s renowned video software and gives users the ability to combine 3D renderings with any QuickTime supported format.

FBX can be obtained from Apple’s stressed out servers. The Kaydara component also got a work out in Apple’s QuickTime pavilion.

Load ’em up an’ move ’em out

ATTO Technologies is doing its best to remove that beachball from your screen as you move large files back and forth to your server.

The company launched a new dual-gigabit port network card which uses fibre channel to achieve transfer rates of up to 800 MB/sec. ATTO lays claim to being the first company to bring a dual channel FC-AL card to Mac OS X.

With the volume of digital data growing at exponential proportions, Apple Xserve and G4 users face the challenge of achieving fast and scalable storage connectivity. Using an ATTO ExpressPCI FC 3320 dual channel host adapter with two 2-Gigabit channels, Mac users will now be able to double the number of devices that can be connected to the Mac while using only one PCI slot. Because the two channels are completely independent, lightening-fast data throughput speeds of up to 800 MB/sec. in full-duplex mode will now be achievable on the Xserve. The ATTO ExpressPCI FC 3320 adapter also auto-negotiates Fibre Channel speeds, which means that one channel can be used for 2-Gigabit peripherals and the other for slower 1-Gigabit devices with zero degradation on the faster 2-Gigabit devices.

ATTO also reworked their ExpressRAID software for Mac OS X by folding its ExpressStripe software into a single product. The new version now gives the user the ability to mirror striped arrays of drives to provide better data backup with sacrificing speed in the process. The RAID software works with SCSI, FireWire, Fibre Channel and ATA drives.

Faster traffic needs better management

Video editing houses looking to manage all that data zipping around in their networks might want to check out Rorke Data which is showing off ImageSAN OSX, a file management software specifically designed for Mac OS X.

The software aims to optimize traffic within the network while allowing editors to work collaboratively on the same file. The software features the ability to set client-level permissions and assign storage space to individual work stations while adding storage and clients on the fly to the network. And, all that data management does not require a specialized network administrator to accomplish the task, Rorke says.

“ImageSAN OSX harnesses the power of Apple’s OS X platform,” said Bob Herzan, Vice President of Sales for Rorke Data’s Video & Broadcast Division. “It is simple to use and straight forward to install. Our software design approach centers on Mac users that are creative professionals on the one hand, and very much part of a serious business environment on the other.

Joe Rorke, Rorke Data’s VP of Marketing, noted that as a subsidiary of storage industry leader Bell Microproducts, Rorke is in a unique position working with key data storage OEMs such as Seagate, Brocade, ATTO and Storagetek to provide complete SAN solutions for the entertainment and content markets. “ImageSAN OSX is in alignment with our supplier’s goals to grow revenues in the storage hungry vertical markets like Broadcast and Digital Video. ImageSAN-OSX gives our storage partners unique leverage to gain market share in these Apple dominated sectors.”

Rorke Data taking orders for ImageSAN through its dealer network and partnering with ATTO Technologies and AJA Video at MacWorld to demonstrate the interoperability of ImageSAN with ATTO’s fibre channel network cards and AJA’s OS X compatible video capture boards. An evaluation copy of ImageSAN can be downloaded from the ImageSAN product site.

Itchin’ for a FireFight

Maxtor Corporation weighed in with its vision of the future at MacWorld by showing a prototype of its forthcoming FireWireB hardware.

Their showcase product is a new “FireWire 800” drive which is built around one of Maxtor’s new 200GB hard drives, which sports a 7,200 RPM mechanism and an 8MB cache for speedy data transfers.

“The FireWire 800 concept technology design by Maxtor exemplifies our commitment to the Mac community to continue to introduce next generation drives, with innovative technologies for today’s consumers,” stated Mike Cordano, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Maxtor. “This Maxtor design concept, incorporating the FireWire 800 interface, signifies the growth and progression of the industry as well as the increasing demands for speed and performance in the marketplace.”

In addition to the the prototype, Maxtor is also showing a new addition to their Personal Storage 5000 line which features a one-touch button to suck up all the data off your hard drive and drop it on the 200GB worth of platters inside the FirewireA box.

The 5000DV model has the same mechanism as the prototype, is bundled with Dantz’s Retrospect Remote, has interfaces for both FirewireA and USB 2.0 and spots a US$399.95 price tag.

A quick little follow up

Hot on the heels of Apple’s X11 implementation for OS X, comes a little note from the people at OpenOSX which says all their products – including the recently released FilmGimp – beam like happy little children in the new environment.

OpenOSX also announced their OpenOffice product has moved to a final beta stage and has made the new offering available at their download page.

While Apple’s X11 implementation is still a beta, and fairly fresh, this keyboard slappin’ monkey has been hearing the geekier rats in the bottom of our Byzantine burrow happily chirping the following phrase:

One OS to rule them all
with Google to find them
the tools you need to bind them all
and Aqua to blind them.

I don’t know exactly what that means, but I get the feeling somebody’s establishing a serious amount of geek cred in open source circles. Well done guys, you rocked the house with that one!

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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