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Prime Focus converts into 3D

Prime Focus has developed a 2D to 3D conversion software package called View-D as well as expanding its digital asset management offering, writes Adrian Pennington.

Prime Focus has developed a 2D to 3D conversion software package called View-D as well as expanding its digital asset management offering, writes Adrian Pennington.

View-D was developed at Prime Focus Software, formerly Frantic Films Software and part of the Canadian VFX firm which has already developed and commercialised Krakatoa, its high-volume particle renderer, and Deadline, a render queue management tool.

“Our approach allows the possibility of interactive creative sessions with our stereographers, similar to a DI session,” Chris Bond, president and senior visual effects supervisor of Prime Focus VFX said. “Filmmakers can now shoot a movie with a single camera on film, without having to be locked into digital cameras and potentially complicated stereoscopic camera rigs. View-D allows conversions to fit into the post production schedule by critically shortening the length of time they take.”

“UK broadcasters are telling us that 3D channels are part of their business strategy for the coming year,” added Simon Briggs, MD of Prime Focus London.

Prime Focus has also earmarked asset management as a significant growth area. It is announcing CLEAR, a web-based media asset and workflow management platform for sharing and managing content across the company’s 17 sites and its partners, as well as to third party broadcasters and media owners.

“CLEAR is one of the first hosted DAMs for moving images,” claimed Ramki Sankaranarayanan, president and CEO of Prime Focus. “It enables the management of assets from ingest to rough cut edit and conform, review and approval and archive. It can handle transcodes to any format and organise distribution to global destinations or publish to multichannel, online or mobile.

“We don’t believe in central high resolution data storage that most other DAM platforms are built on. CLEAR’s architecture is based on distributed storage. If a customer wants high res footage – they get it.”

The browser-based platform centres on Prime Focus’ file-based engine and incorporates Aspera’s fasp transport and delivery software for security, speed and management of file transfers. Front Porch Digital’s DIVArchive provides distributed video storage and the archiving of clients’ media content located at three locations, two in Mumbai, and one in Los Angeles. CLEAR is being made available on a subscription basis.

One existing user is the BCCI (Board of Control in Cricket India) where CLEAR is managing 17,500 hours of digitized and catalogued archive. Clips can be made accessible via an online portal on a ball by ball basis for sale, highlights compilation or syndication.

Also launched is CLEAR Live, a video-on-demand package and creation service which can deliver custom VoD packages from live feeds in less than three minutes to new media platforms – including web, mobile, IPTV and catch-up TV.

Additionally, all of the company’s post businesses including nine facilities in India, the four Frantic Films and Post Logic outposts in North America and the four sites in London, including Blue, are to be grouped under the Prime Focus banner.

“Our company and the industry has evolved since Prime Focus embarked on international acquisitions in 2007,” explained Briggs. “We are moving away from localised cultures and localised ways of doing business. Prime Focus is not just about end to end post. We want to be perceived as a 21st Century entertainment services company providing a multitude of services out of the traditional post model.”