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Autodesk Acquires Solid Angle

SAN FRANCISCO, April 18, 2016 — Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) has acquired Solid Angle, developer of Arnold, an advanced, ray-tracing image renderer for high-quality 3D animation and visual effects creation used in film, television and advertising worldwide. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

An efficient global illumination renderer used by more than 500 studios and thousands of independent artists, Arnold has become the preferred tool among creative professionals for high-quality rendering. Arnold has been used on Academy Award-winning films such as “Ex Machina” and “The Martian” as well as Emmy Award-winning series “Game of Thrones,” among other popular features, TV shows and commercials.

“We’re constantly looking out for promising technologies that help artists boost creativity and productivity,” shared Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Efficient rendering is increasingly critical for 3D content creation and acquiring Solid Angle will allow us to help customers better tackle this computationally intensive part of the creative process. Together, we can improve rendering workflows within our products as well as accelerate the development of new rendering solutions that tap into the full potential of the cloud, helping all studios scale production.”

“Autodesk shares our passion for numerical methods and computational performance and our desire to simplify the rendering pipeline, so artists can create top quality visuals more easily,” said Solid Angle Founder Marcos Fajardo. “With Autodesk, we’ll be able to accelerate development as well as scale our marketing, sales and support operations for Arnold to better meet the needs of our growing user base. Working side-by-side, we can solve production challenges in rendering and beyond.”

As part of Autodesk, Solid Angle’s development team will continue to drive the evolution of Arnold, working in close collaboration with its user community. Arnold will remain available as a standalone renderer for both Autodesk products and third-party applications including Houdini, Katana, and Cinema 4D on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Both Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya will also continue to support other third-party renderers.

“As with other acquisitions, we are committed to supporting third-party applications with Arnold,” explains Bradshaw. “Our goal is to improve customers’ collaboration, creativity, productivity and efficiency across their entire pipeline, regardless of the tools they use.”

Arnold pricing and packaging is unchanged and Autodesk will continue to offer perpetual licenses of Arnold. Customers should continue to purchase Arnold through their usual Solid Angle channels.

Autodesk Releases Latest Versions of Creative Finishing and 3D Animation Offerings

Las Vegas, NV, NAB Conference, Stand SL3316 (April 18, 2016) — At NAB 2016, Autodesk, Inc. announced the latest versions of its flexible, subscription-based visual effects, post and 3D animation software, including Autodesk Flame Family 2017, Maya 2016 extension 2 and 3ds Max 2017. Designed to empower creatives, each release includes an array of new features and enhancements to help studios and artists manage modern workflow demands.

“We’ve been working closely with our customers to advance the user experience across our creative finishing and 3D animation solutions, and we’re pleased to roll out the latest software updates at NAB,” said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Whether navigating the virtual reality landscape or trying to meet a tight deadline, creative professionals face a mountain of challenges. The latest releases were built to help artists address them head-on, allowing for greater efficiency and creativity today and in the future.”

Autodesk Flame 2017: Unleashing the Power of Flame
The Autodesk Flame Family 2017 releases advance the art of finishing with new tools and workflows that connect color and VFX, and numerous user-requested improvements.
— Camera FX scene-based tools enable the creation of sophisticated 3D composites in Action. Powered by algorithms from the Stingray game engine, artists can use these highly interactive VFX tools for ambient occlusion, realistic reflections, and depth of field without slowing interactivity.
— Connected color workflow introduces a new level of integration between VFX and proven color grading. This new workflow brings color grading information from Autodesk Lustre directly into Flame’s node-based compositing environment and maintains a live connection so that composites can be rendered and seen in context in Lustre. This collaborative workflow allows artists to rapidly finish high-end projects by moving seamlessly between compositing, VFX and look development tools.
— Color management enhancements to Flame, Autodesk Flare and Autodesk Flame Assist allow users to quickly standardize the way a source’s colorspace is identified and processed.
— User-requested enhancements include improvements to desktop reels, conform and timeline workflow, batch, media panel and the UI.

Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2: Motion Graphics and a Whole Lot More.
Building on a strong Maya 2016 release, extension 2 adds new capabilities for creating 3D motion graphics, a new rendering workflow and tools for artists that allow them to create and animate characters faster and easier than ever.
— New motion graphics tools bring a procedural, node-based 3D design workflow directly into Maya. Combining powerful motion graphics tools with Maya’s deep creative toolset allows artists to quickly create sophisticated and unique 3D motion graphics such as futuristic UIs, expressive text, and organic animation and effects.
— Updated render management makes segmenting your scenes into render layers easier and faster, giving artists more control.
— Character creation workflows
with a new quick rig tool and shape authoring enhancements that allow artists to create, rig and animate characters faster. Additional updates include: improvements to symmetry and poly modeling, UV editing, animation performance, rigging, the Bifrost workflow and XGen; a content browser; deep adaptive fluid simulation and high-accuracy viscosity in Bifrost; and XGen hair cards.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2017: Focused on Creativity and Efficiency
Freeing up more time for creativity, 3ds Max 2017 offers artists a fresh new look as well as modeling, animation and rendering enhancements, including:
— A new UI with support for high DPI displays expands the array of monitors and laptops users may run the software on while correctly applying Windows display scaling.
— Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART) a fast, physically-based renderer, enables the creation of photoreal imagery and videos.
— 3ds Max asset library, available via the Autodesk Exchange App Store, offers quick access to model libraries; simply search assets and drag and drop them into a scene.
— Additional updates include fast form hard surfaces; UV mapping, object tool and animation productivity enhancements; a scene converter for moving from one renderer to another or to real-time engines; and tighter pipeline integration via an improved Python/.NET toolset.

Availability
Autodesk Flame Family 2017, 3ds Max 2017 and Maya 2016 extension 2 are available starting today.

Trace taps Arkena for its new OTT service

TV Connect London April 25th, 2016: Arkena, one of Europe’s leading provider in media services, and Cleeng, expert in video monetization, today announced that they have been selected to deliver an end-to-end OTT platform for TRACE, the international multicultural TV network.
 
To offer its fans and communities their favorite unlimited on-demand content, TRACE is launching
TRACE Play, a new SVOD service. TRACE audiences will be able to watch a broad range of original and curated content related to urban and black culture on any screen via web and mobile apps on iOS and Android.
 
To support TRACE in its multiscreen development strategy, Arkena is providing the complete end-to-end platform covering the content management, back-office and delivery for both live and on-demand content.

Arkena live head-end services will streamline live content preparation and distribution from around 10 live channels, increasing security thanks to multi-DRM management. The OTT platform will be powered by Arkena OTT Service Manager (OSM), the company’s open and cloud-based video distribution solution. OSM is a future proof solution boasting a vast array of turnkey components including content, metadata, offers and device management. The on-demand workflow based on Harmony, Arkena content management system, will process more than 4 000 hours of content.

Arkena is partnering with Cleeng, the leading video e-commerce platform for global brands including IMG, Elisa/Fanseat, Cirque du Soleil, Cox, Setanta, Dailymotion, for payment and subscribers management and Dotscreen, one of Europe’s leading multiscreen agency for advanced video apps, for user interfaces and front-end applications.
 
“Scalability is a key factor for our operations, especially as we plan to extend our OTT SVOD offering while addressing alternate business models such as IPTV,” says Olivier Laouchez, CEO at TRACE. “Arkena OTT solutions have proved to be easily and cost-effectively scalable to enable new channels, devices and customers on a single and reliable platform. We are confident that Arkena longstanding expertise and outstanding service quality will help us meet our new challenge head on”.
 
"OTT is an important part of TRACE interactive television strategy and we are proud that our advanced platform was selected to help TRACE open up a world of live and on-demand content to its existing and new subscribers," said Aymeric de Cardes, CEO at Arkena.

Arkena will be demonstrating its end-to-end cloud based OTT platform at TV Connect Booth 46, from April 26th to 28th 2016 in London.

Tedial Version Factory Named IABM Game Changer Winner 2016

Malaga, Spain – April 25, 2016 –  Tedial, the leading independent MAM solutions specialist, has announced that its Version Factory, the world’s first true media factory, has won the IABM Game Changer Awards 2016 in the System Automation & Control category. This is the second year running that Tedial has won the Game Changer award picking up the prize in 2015 for its Tedial Evolution™ platform. Version Factory was identified by the initial judging panel as one of the leading products or services to be exhibited at NAB Show 2016, one of only three entries to be shortlisted in its category.  The results were announced and the award presented to Tedial at an IABM Awards Reception on Tuesday, April 19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

 

Tedial Version Factory, the world’s first true media factory workflow was officially launched at NAB 2016, and is the culmination of 15 years of innovations and creative application of industry standards. Version Factory is a single efficient and cost effective workflow that supports millions of file input to output configurations and can be managed from a single operator screen. Designed to interface to content management/rights management/traffic/work order systems for automated operations, the Version Factory stacks chosen media engines (transcoders, quality control, DRM, CDN, etc.), employs SMPTE standardized designs for future proof “N-input to N-output” operations and provides the maximum flexibility and scalability for OTT/VOD Platforms, Network Operations and media companies focused on managing their Brand across all distribution formats.

 

“We’re honored to have been recognized in the System Automation & Control category of the prestigious Game Changer Awards for the second year running,” says Jay Batista, Tedial general manager, US operations. “15 years of technology leadership have led to the Version Factory, and we are grateful to the IABM for recognizing its potential as a real breakthrough solution.”

The nine category winners including Tedial will be automatically submitted as candidates for IABM’s prestigious Peter Wayne Award, with the winner announced at the IABM Annual International Business Conference and Awards in December 2016.

 

Liberty Global selects Piksel to help deliver enhanced user experience for TV customers

NEW YORK, NY, April 25, 2016Piksel, a global leader in building successful online video businesses, today announces a new partnership with Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable company.

Piksel has been selected to deliver core metadata aggregation and enrichment solutions across Liberty Global’s broadcast and OTT TV services through the new Piksel Fuse™ product. The partnership will deliver improved content discovery services to millions of Liberty Global’s TV customers throughout Europe and Latin America.

Olivier Philippe, Liberty’s VP CTO Development, comments: “Our customers’ needs are core to our approach, and we’re always looking at ways in which to improve their experience of our products. The investment we’re making in this new partnership means that our TV customers will be able to enjoy even better search and recommendation services, enhancing their overall viewing experience.”

Fabrice Hamaide, President, Piksel, adds: “We have an excellent and long standing relationship with Liberty Global stretching back to 2010. We work with them in a professional and managed services capacity and this latest product implementation of Fuse Metadata, based on the Piksel Palette™, further cements our position as a trusted, long-term partner and expert in next-generation online video solutions.”

Piksel Fuse will enrich and consolidate metadata across Liberty Global’s broadcast and OTT services. This will further improve search, discovery and recommendation services for Liberty Global’s TV customers, with the aim too of improving customer loyalty.

 

NBC OLYMPICS SELECTS TEKTRONIX AS ITS AUDIO AND VIDEO TEST EQUIPMENT PROVIDER FOR ITS PRODUCTION OF 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES IN RIO

BEAVERTON, OR. – April 13, 2016 – NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Tektronix to provide audio and video test and quality monitoring equipment for its production of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 – August 21. The announcement was made today by Terry Adams, Vice President, IBC Engineering, NBC Olympics and Charlie Dunn, general manager, Video Product Line, Tektronix.

The complexity of producing coverage of the Olympic Games requires test and monitoring solutions with the highest level of performance, and reliability in order to ensure high-quality content is being delivered to viewers. To this end, NBC Olympics will use Tektronix WFM7200, WVR7200, WFM5200, and WVR5200 Waveform Monitors and Rasterizers, SPG8000A Master Sync and Master Clock Reference Generators, and Sentry Video Quality Monitors to support its coverage of the Rio Games. The equipment will be used to monitor and test the quality of video and audio content used in NBC Olympics’ production, post production, transmission and distribution workflows of NBC facilities for the Games. For UHD applications, NBC will use the WFM8300 Waveform Monitor which supports numerous UHD formats and ITU-R BT.2020 wide color gamut (WCG).

 “We’re thrilled that NBC has selected Tektronix as its premier test and quality monitoring solutions provider for its coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games,” Dunn said. “Events like the Olympics where every second counts require the best test and measurement equipment available to optimize and maintain the quality of content and continuity of service. Using advanced video monitoring and measurement solutions from Tektronix, NBC Olympics can be confident that it will be delivering the highest quality of experience possible to its viewers.”

 “NBC has been utilizing Tektronix products for its coverage of the last eight Olympic Games,” said Adams.  “While that’s most always been focused on sync generation and waveform monitoring, and a large part still is, the need for Transport Stream monitoring has grown exponentially in the past several Games. We will be utilizing 12 of the Sentry units located across the country to monitor the hundreds of live production and distribution streams generated in Rio.  Tektronix has incorporated many new features based on requirements we identified during our coverage of the London and Rio Games. With the help of Tektronix, we look forward to another successful NBC Olympics presentation of the Games.”

The Tektronix waveform monitors and rasterizers will be used by NBC Olympics to monitor the full spectrum of video and audio formats. The models selected by NBC feature extensive display versatility and usability, along with full-featured audio monitoring capabilities, including audio loudness monitoring, and high-performance eye and jitter physical layer measurements. The instruments will be used for quality monitoring and compliance checking during content distribution and broadcast transmission and for quality control in content production and post-production. The units will also be used for equipment qualification and troubleshooting during installation and maintenance of the facilities at the Games.

The Tektronix SPG8000A Master Sync and Master Clock Reference Generators will be used by NBC Olympics to ensure stable and reliable timing and synchronization source to be available for mobile, studio, post production, and broadcast operations at the Games. The instruments provide multiple video and audio reference signals and 3G/HD-SDI  test patterns for video equipment verification, facility link testing and display calibration. The SPG8000A units are also equipped with IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) support which offers solutions for system timing over IP for a gradual transition to hybrid SDI-based and IP-based infrastructure.

The Sentry Video Quality Monitors will be used by NBC Olympics to provide real-time Quality of Experience monitoring of its coverage of the Games, and to ensure the quality of the video transport back to the United States.

A division of the NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history.

Ross Video and Scale Logic are excited to announce XPression Support

(April 14, 2016) Bloomington, MN. Scale Logic and Ross Video:

 

Scale Logic, Inc.’s storage solutions now support Ross Video’s XPression Clips production server, providing customers with access to powerful content creation tools. Scale Logic qualified a number of products to work with the XPression server, including the Scale Logic Genesis NX server class NAS, Genesis Unlimited shared SAN appliance, and Scale-Out NAS Gateway, allowing users to tailor their storage for the particular application and performance requirements.

 

XPression is Ross Video’s premier line of real-time graphics systems, virtual reality rendering engines, production servers, and comprehensive workflow tools. There is almost no limit to the graphics tasks that XPression solutions can handle. With multiple hardware platforms, software applications, and workflow tools, along with connectivity to many other products, XPression fits into almost any environment imaginable. XPression delivers complete solutions that are comprised of multiple components for a range of applications including: news, elections, sports, entertainment, branding, touchscreen, social media, virtual sets, and augmented reality.

 

Scale Logic was inspired by their consultative approach to workflow management to test XPression integration with not one, but three different products. Scale Logic certified the Genesis NX, a server-class NAS, the Genesis Unlimited, a shared SAN appliance, and Scale-Out NAS Gateway for use with XPression, which will allow end users to tailor their storage to fit their needs without sacrificing performance.

 

"As we continue to diversify XPression solutions, finding high quality storage partners is an important step to meet the needs of media organizations requiring real-time graphics," said Brian Olson, Director of Marketing Product Management for XPression at Ross Video. "Scale Logic’s storage systems and tools are a natural extension to production workflows by offering the necessary flexibility and performance for fast access and high availability with media assets."

 

This newly certified storage solution provides large-scale direct-attached Gigabit Ethernet connections to XPression from Scale Logic’s Genesis line with the bandwidth and performance that offers more streamlined workflows between creative service workgroups and playout, and can scale all the way to multi-channel enterprise environments.

 

"Our lab certification of the XPression and Genesis products represented seamless integration, great reliability, and impressive performance as extension storage for the Ross solution," said Daryl Heinis, CTO at Scale Logic, "The pairing of our server class products with the XPression represents a valuable long term investment combination and offers the flexibility of choice that is our hallmark."

At NAB Show 2016 Conax showcases new cloud service platform, enhanced partner offering and E2E watermarking for enabling 4K content

NAB Show, Las Vegas, April 15th, 2016: Conax, part of the Kudelski Group  and a leader in total service protection for digital entertainment services worldwide via broadcast, broadband and connected devices, announced at NAB Show 2016, April 18th – 20th, Las Vegas, it will introduce its new Contego as a Service cloud-based content protection service. The new offering is based on the benchmark Conax Contego security platform. Hosted, monitored and maintained by Conax, the highly flexible and modular content security back-end provides operators with key benefits such as low upfront CAPEX investment, short time-to-market and easy activation of additional features as their platform grows. Further details will be available at NAB Show, Conax Stand #SU 4321.

“Outsourcing the content security to Conax will allow operators to focus on their core business; providing competitive, future-oriented consumer services, says Tom Jahr, EVP Products & Marketing. Conax’ highly modular, flexible content protection in the cloud will provide key operator business benefits such as premium scalability, easy integration of new advanced features and services, fast deployment and low investment in on-site hardware.”

“Additional Conax features at NAB Show include our partnership with middleware provider Mirada. We’ll be demonstrating the new joint offering featuring Mirada’s leading TV Everywhere platform and consumer device interface and Conax’ advanced content protection hub. Together we are enabling operators and broadcasters to launch customer offerings across a wide range of content, devices and distribution technologies.”

Showcases and demonstrations at NAB Show

  • Featuring new joint E2E multiscreen solution with middleware partner Mirada: Conax’ flexible multi-DRM back-end is now integrated with Mirada’s TV everywhere platform, combining broadcast and OTT services with premium consumer device options in one secure solution
  • Showcasing end-to-end secure 4K watermarking combining market-leading watermarking technology and world-class forensic detection services from Kudelski Security – all secured through leading Conax Contego content protection technology. The state-of-the-art solution enables operators to meet the MovieLabs Enhanced Content Protection requirements sanctioning access to high value 4K and Ultra HD content from Hollywood studios
  • Multi award-winning Conax GO Live, the entry level end-to-end solution that dramatically reduces the complexity, time-to-market and barriers for an operator launching an OTT service.
  • Conax Xtend Multiscreen, an advanced, cost-efficient, and pre-integrated solution, enabling any operator to easily add and profit from a multiscreen offering on STB and multiscreen devices.


Ultimate flexibility in Multi-DRM: Conax provides the ultimate flexibility in securing content across technologies and multiscreen devices – all based on a single unified security hub. With support for Common Encryption and MPEG DASH, Conax’ unique back-end simplifies content protection of TV everywhere services with market-leading DRM technologies (including Widevine, PlayReady, Widevine FairPlay and NAGRA PRM) without compromising usability for end users. Participants are invited to book a meeting to learn more.

Argon Design launches real-time video stitching IP

15th April 2016 – Cambridge, UK – Argon Design Ltd, a design services company specialising in digital video, is launching Argon360, a unique hardware-based real time video stitching technology, at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, 18-21 April 2016.

The prominence of 360-degree panoramic video (often termed immersive video or Cinematic VR) is increasing with users at all levels from consumer to film studio and there is now a high level of interest and support from companies such as Google and Facebook. Stitching of the video output from multiple image sensors is a crucial element in the capture of 360-degree panoramic content and doing this complex processing in real-time is essential for applications such a live streaming of sporting events or news. Real time stitching will be increasingly desirable for consumer products, where users increasingly expect live streaming capability for social media and the simplicity of a single output video file for upload to sites such as YouTube.

Using scalable hardware based technology, Argon360 offers a unique combination of high quality stitching in real time, with the additional benefits of compact form factor and low power consumption. The patent pending Argon360 technology is available as an IP core building block for incorporation into an ASIC, offering the ultimate in performance for volume produced products. It is also available for FPGA implementations, suitable for lower volume products.

Steve Barlow, CTO of Argon Design explained: Argon360 is the culmination of a series of internal research projects which started with the investigation of topics including simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) and stereo depth perception techniques. We recognised that some of the ideas we had used in those research projects could be applied to correcting parallax artefacts that can present major challenges when stitching video from multiple cameras.”

Clifford Dive, Argon’s VP of Business Development continued: “Market research indicated a number of excellent software-based stitching solutions for use in post-production, but also an unsatisfied demand for a high performance real-time solution. After considering a number of approaches, we concluded that a hardware-based design would have the performance and scalability required to address a broad range of market needs for panoramic video, from live broadcast to consumer action cameras.”

Nevion launches new baseband to IP converter products

Oslo, Norway, 14 April 2016Nevion, award-winning provider of virtual media production infrastructure, today announced the launch of a series of baseband to IP converters in the Flashlink product family, as part of an updated strategy for the company’s baseband broadcast infrastructure offering. The strategy is focused on assisting broadcast organizations making the smooth, incremental transition from baseband to IP.

 

IP technology is making rapid in-roads in the live production landscape and in recent months, Nevion has seen the number of projects involving IP grow dramatically. The company has completed its best first quarter ever, with IP-related sales showing a multi-double digit year-on-year sales growth. Furthermore, Nevion estimates that the tipping point for shifting from centralized baseband modular routing to IP distributed routing is approximately 30% of ports going IP, meaning the momentum is firmly there.

 

“We have invested heavily in bringing IP technology to the market, but baseband is not dead, far from it. There is a lot of baseband equipment out there that won’t be replaced anytime soon,” explains Geir Bryn-Jensen, CEO of Nevion. “We at Nevion want to concentrate on what we believe is the key future growth area in baseband, which is connecting the remaining baseband equipment together and to the growing IP core network.”

 

Nevion’s updated baseband strategy will focus on three main areas:

 

·         Compact hybrid intelligent routers, such as Nevion’s VikinX Sublime X2, to route signals around baseband islands

·         Fiber transport technology like the Flashlink product family, which is able to carry not only baseband and but also IP payloads between studios and in outside broadcast

·         Products capable of bridging the baseband and IP world, such as those Flashlink cards announced today

At NAB, Nevion will be showcasing new Flashlink cards that provide signal conversion from baseband to IP, with CWDM and DWDM interfaces. The 3G-IP-MUX-8 is a VSF TR-04 compliant video-over-IP converter, with 8 direction-configurable ports and PTP compliant synch over IP. The AES-IP-MUX and ADA-IP-MUX are AES 67 and TR-04 compliant digital-audio-over-IP and analog/digital-audio-over-IP respectively. These new products enable baseband equipment to be connected to an IP core network, as part of an incremental migration to an all IP infrastructure.

The product launches form part of Nevion’s overarching theme at NAB to demonstrate the value of interoperability, the use of open standards and how the company’s portfolio of solutions can be used in the transition to IP. At Nevion’s booth — SU5510 in the upper South Hall — the products from the Flashlink and VikinX families will be shown interacting with an IP core network featuring third-party COTS (commercial off the shelf) switches.