Post Magazine

February 2016

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FIELD TESTED 42 POST FEBRUARY 2016 stone's throw away from the Williamsburg Bridge, WorleyWorks' Brooklyn, NY-based facili- ty boasts some of the most powerful and advanced broadcast post production technology available. The team here at WorleyWorks harnesses this power to offer unrivalled efficiency and an expan- sive creative toolset to ensure customers' projects are cut, colored and delivered to the highest possible standard. Servicing the film and TV markets in New York City and beyond, our team of creatives are dedicated to providing support at all stages of a production. We supply equipment for production, workflow design, as well as edit suites for editorial and complete digital inter- mediate services. Whether it's HD, 2K, 4K, 6K, 8K+ resolution, 16-bit half floating point, high frame rate, ACES, Stereo 3D, or all of the above, WorleyWorks offers a full range of services from acquisition through to creation of the final DCP. THE CHALLENGE At WorleyWorks, we specialize in color/ finishing for indie films. We are filmmaker centric, often teaming up with directors at an early stage in production to design workflows, create LUTs and provide sup- port to ensure the final image is stunning. We finish a fair amount of feature- length documentaries, which can be rife with potential pitfalls. Low-quality source, mixed frame rates and extensive archival source, combined with a 2K/4K delivery can create a range of challenges. The need at WorleyWorks is for a robust and versatile format and frame rate conversion platform capable of creating uniformity in content output with stun- ning image quality. FINDING A SOLUTION Having worked for some time in the UK for a broadcast post house, I've had ex- tensive experience with SAM's Alchemist Ph.C-HD hardware-based motion-com- pensated standards converters. I'm well versed in Alchemist and have used it with great success.At WorleyWorks, rath- er than relying on the Alchemist Ph.C-HD, we installed SAM's new software-based Alchemist XF. Alchemist XF builds on the success of Alchemist Ph.C–HD. Developed as an entirely software-based solution, Alchemist XF is a format and frame-rate converter designed specifi- cally for the file-based domain. It delivers more quality, frame-rate wizardry and power than the Alchemist Ph.C–HD, in a cost-effective software package. In particular, Alchemist XF achieves enhanced motion estimation through multi-scale candidate vector generation, gradient-based refinement and vector assignment. In addition, Alchemist XF features new smooth picture building capabilities and proprietary Adaptive Cadence Technology. Collectively, these enhancements enable low frame rate conversion, superior performance, 4K conversion and improved throughput. With Alchemist XF, work stays in-house, saving time and money. Previously, this kind of work would be farmed out to a facility that had in- vested in Alchemist Ph.C–HD, taking significant time and financial resources out of a project. But now the software business model works well for facilities such as WorleyWorks. It enables us to achieve the same results in-house, using a highly-flexible and cost-effective li- censing system, which has been devel- oped by SAM to provide access to all of Alchemist's most advanced features for the widest range of facility types and operating budgets. It is highly scalable; it can be deployed from a single node through to a cluster of nodes within a data center. Alchemist XF supports format and frame-rate conversion from SD up to 4K for a wide variety of file formats, including Apple ProRes 422. Alchemist XF software uses a floating license model. Licenses can be activated against a nominated network license server rather than the hardware respon- sible for image processing. The primary benefit of this model is many nodes can access a central pool of licenses for "on demand" usage. SAM's advanced algorithms ensure stunning pictures, however complex the source, shortening turnaround times and enhancing client satisfaction. Alchemist XF overcomes the conversion of mixed cadence media using Adaptive Cadence Technology, resulting in smooth motion with maximum resolution, even with discontinuous 2:3 cadences. THE RESULTS We're a niche business with a low output and a high level of attention to detail. Whilst the Alchemist system is super fast, speed wasn't a key issue for us. Quality was. I have tested various solutions for standards conversion and many are very good. However, Alchemist produces superior conversions at low temporal rates, which as a post house in the cinema world, is crucial. For Worley- Works, our investment in Alchemist is all about confidence. We know we have a pipeline for the various issues filmmak- ers come to us with. Alchemist allows us to be able to provide a superior solution to problems many other post houses can't solve. Our confidence in Alchemist allows us to bid on projects, knowing that the results we will provide can exceed the expectations of our clients. BY JACK REYNOLDS HEAD OF POST PRODUCTION WORLEYWORKS BROOKLYN, NY WWW.WORLEYWORKS.COM ALCHEMIST XF SUPPORTS CREATIVE POST AT WORLEYWORKS SAM'S SOFTWARE- BASED ALCHEMIST XF HANDLES FRAME-RATE & FORMAT CONVERSION UP TO 4K A

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