Quantel’s Genetic Engineering sequences 6K DNA1 April 2014
NAB news: Quantel is unveiling Genetic Engineering 2, a significant 6K upgrade to its shared workspace for the Pablo Rio high-quality colour and finishing system. GE2 will deliver guaranteed realtime for all clients, total scheduling flexibility so that users can instantly switch jobs between suites, and support for 6K 16-bit production on multiple clients.
The demand for 6K “is coming from Hollywood,” especially with the use of the Red cameras using the latest Dragon sensor, said Quantel marketing director, Steve Owen (pictured).
“We have a customer [LightIron in LA] doing a 6K DI project [a movie shot on Red Dragon] now and they wanted to do it on Genetic Engineering, to do realtime post in two suites with no waiting.”
The original Genetic Engineering transformed the efficiency of many post houses; and Quantel claims that GE2 will do the same and a whole lot more. The main driver behind the upgrade “is to do better. Even if we are going to deliver in 4K, we have more flexibility in post.”
GE2 users can easily move jobs between suites at a moment’s notice, allowing them to take on short notice jobs, and can teamwork across multiple suites instantly for jobs with tight deadlines. Users can also instantly lay off time-consuming jobs to Pablo PA (or other systems), increasing productivity. GE never moves or copies media to the client, making it fast and efficient.
The main problem, however, is the huge data rate, as 16-bit 6K is about three times the data of 4K, and each client pulls about 2750MB per second off the drives. Compared to HD, which is less than 120MBps, it is almost 25 times the data rate.
The most important facet is being able to guarantee playback, although the system will usually use 4K outputs, so users can view it using 4K projectors or high-quality 4K monitors.
The system uses commercial off the shelf hardware to offer higher performance at lower cost. It uses Nvidia graphics processing units in Pablo Rio to do sizing and look-up tables, with quad-fibre channel output for clients, a storage appliance that runs Linux, and the latest 10,000rpm serial attached storage architecture. This can deliver at least three 6K streams, “but this is the pinnacle of the pinnacle,” he said.
There is a lot of configuration flexibility in how systems are set up, with up to 400TB workspace available. It can start with four Pablo Rio 2KOs sharing a single array for TV work. A new GenePool Gateway (the GE2 equivalent of Sam) allows Pablo PAs and third party systems to connect to the GenePool RAID-protected workspace, and can serve up a wide range of virtual files (DPX, TIFF, at different resolutions, eg 4K, 2K and HD versions, and with different LUTs added, all created on demand using GPU processing in the GenePool Gateway).
Quantel currently has three Genetic Engineering systems installed in the US and one in Japan, where it is being used for 4K 60p broadcast production.
It is also unveiling several new developments for Pablo Rio at NAB, several of which are aimed at 4K use, including Avid Conform with Effects, the ability to offline edit a 4K project on Avid and finish on Pablo Rio while retaining more of Avid’s effects; high quality Optical Flow slow motion; more flexible tracking capabilities; and support for more file formats, including XAVC export, which Owen said has become the interchange format for 4K in Japan. Some of the features are available in a software update this week and others at the end of April – the fifth software release since IBC.
Quantel is on booth #SL2109 at NAB.
By David Fox