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Corrado Silveri
03-06-2009, 04:54 PM
Hi guys,
a quick question.

Can someone give me a list of Pros and Cons about these two systems?
(Assuming that money is not a big problem).

I need to:
- Do serious compositing and grading (also stereoscopic).
- Work with R3D material.
- Be fast, full quality, 4k.


Imho:

Quantel Pablo 4k

Pro:
State of the art grading work
Gorgeous Stereo tools
Neo Panel

Cons:
Need to transcode R3D

Assimilate Scratch

Pro:
Full Native R3D
Speed

Cons:
Stereo workflow not so "gorgeous"...


What do you think about?

Thanks for your help, I "need" your opinion, especially if you have direct experience using these tools.

Edgar Pitts
03-06-2009, 05:11 PM
Hey Corrado. While not considering the Pablo. I am looking at the following:

Speedgrade DI - Works natively with more RAW formats than Scratch.
Scratch - Better conforming tools than Speedgrade.
Lustre - (please fill in here)

I am very interested in hearing from experienced users as well. Thanks for your time.

Edgar

M Most
03-06-2009, 05:15 PM
Hi guys,
a quick question.

Can someone give me a list of Pros and Cons about these two systems?
(Assuming that money is not a big problem).


Money is never "not a problem," especially when you're comparing two devices and one costs more than 3 times what the other one does (and that's assuming you buy every extension and multiple control panels with the Scratch system).

You say you want serious compositing power, serious grading power, and something that will do 4K in real time. That's a description of Pablo. It's not a description of Scratch. In fact, comparing these two devices is like comparing apples and chickens. If you really need what you say you want, you should probably be comparing Pablo and, say, a combination of Smoke and Lustre. You would then be looking at about the same price, and similar capabilities.

Corrado Silveri
03-06-2009, 05:17 PM
I haven't added Speedgrade and Lustre just because I haven't any experience on these tools (and actually no offer from them on my desktop.... :sarcasm: )

Just to remember my needs:

- Serious comp and grade - including STEREO
- R3D workflow
- Fast. Full quality. 4K.

Sven Seynaeve
03-06-2009, 05:22 PM
You could add IFX Piranha and Mistika aswell.

Piranha seems to be able to handle r3d and stereo, and I'm told it works fast, but I haven't seen it working yet.

Mistika seems to be a good platform but is not as common known.

This seems somewhat the hardest decision to make for a post company as there's not the perfect sollution, but nobody wants to invest in wat would turn out as the wrong system after some time...and having paid alot, while other sollutions are coming up perhaps...

Scratch and speedgrade seems affordable,
Me myself i'm very attracted to the Pablo, but I've been told this system has to be reinvent and redesigned as gpu might be the future and this system is mostly core and hardware built based on dpx...

However if it gets the job done you get it for and it does last a long time, i suppose after some research or maby some good discussions around NAB, we will see clearly what becomes the system of choice by most of us.(at least I hope so , We can make a decision which seems obvious by that time.)


On top of this I'd like to add that storage comes to my mind aswell and the ability to use something as the cineform codecs and implementation of this would be a real step forward aswell

Corrado Silveri
03-06-2009, 05:37 PM
Money is never "not a problem," especially when you're comparing two devices and one costs more than 3 times what the other one does (and that's assuming you buy every extension and multiple control panels with the Scratch system).

You say you want serious compositing power, serious grading power, and something that will do 4K in real time. That's a description of Pablo. It's not a description of Scratch. In fact, comparing these two devices is like comparing apples and chickens. If you really need what you say you want, you should probably be comparing Pablo and, say, a combination of Smoke and Lustre. You would then be looking at about the same price, and similar capabilities.

Your point is right. And you give me the first statement: the two different pricepoints are justified, in your opinion, don't you?

This is one of the answers that I'm trying to find here.

Edgar Pitts
03-06-2009, 06:09 PM
Any Lustre users? I am curious about this as a stand alone app (without Smoke or Flame). How does it compare to Scratch and Speedgrade? Thanks.

Edgar

Lucas Wilson
03-06-2009, 06:28 PM
Hello : )

I agree with Mike. If you really need serious compositing, that is not SCRATCH. What I like to say is that you can composite in SCRATCH but it is *not* a compositor. You can do multiple overlays, blend layers, mattes channels, etc, etc. But you do not have the granularity of controls nor the flexibility of, for instance, a nodal approacch, that true compositing generally demands.

But I am curious about something... why don't you think that SCRATCH's stereo tools are as good? Quantel does have the 3ality box, which does a lot of really cool stuff and SCRATCH does not have that.

But, for instance, you can do multi-channel fill/matte on Left Eye and Right Eye dynamically in SCRATCH. In Pablo, you can only do a flattened left eye and right eye layer.

Both systems do an X/Y DVE, (which I refuse to call convergence, because it isn't.) Both systems support realtime high-resolution stereo playback to projectors and to the upcoming consumer stereo monitors.

So... what makes SCRATCH much less capable?

Not trying to issue a challenge here - just want to learn. : )

Best,

Lucas

David Didato
03-06-2009, 07:45 PM
On the one hand, Quantel just announced their RED workflow with R3D support...

http://www.quantel.com/page.php?u=e68256ce263cb93869525d538398ea71

On the other hand you could buy 4 Scratch systems for the price.

Corrado Silveri
03-07-2009, 01:05 AM
Hello : )


But, for instance, you can do multi-channel fill/matte on Left Eye and Right Eye dynamically in SCRATCH. In Pablo, you can only do a flattened left eye and right eye layer.

Both systems do an X/Y DVE, (which I refuse to call convergence, because it isn't.) Both systems support realtime high-resolution stereo playback to projectors and to the upcoming consumer stereo monitors.

So... what makes SCRATCH much less capable?

Not trying to issue a challenge here - just want to learn. : )

Best,

Lucas


Hi Lucas,
I see your point.
And maybe I need to evaluate again the stereo capabilities on both systems.
As soon as monday, I will call the Italian distributor of Scratch, to arrange a complete demo
(just saw Pablo in Newbury and Scratch with one user, not fair enough... :umm: ).

So:


Pablo:

Pro
- Real compositing tools
- State of the art grading work
- Neo Panel

Cons
- Pricepoint
- Transcode of the R3d materials

Scratch:

Pro
- Pricepoint
- State of the art grading work
- Full Native R3D
- Speed

Cons
- No (or not-so) compositing tools


Stereo workflow to be verified again on Scratch.



Btw, yes, the SIP is a great box. :nerd:





On the one hand, Quantel just announced their RED workflow with R3D support...

http://www.quantel.com/page.php?u=e68256ce263cb93869525d538398ea71

On the other hand you could buy 4 Scratch systems for the price.


Yeah, I know, but let me quote the Quantel website:

The RED importer makes full use of all the CPU power available in your Quantel system and on the latest 8 core configuration delivers the following typical performance:

Import 4K as 4K 2.8 Frames/sec
Import 4K as 2K 8 Frames/sec

eric maurer
03-07-2009, 06:00 AM
I can not speak about Sscratch but we have a Pablo it is a great editor and compositing
tool that just happens to color correct as well. Doing selects for a 2x 30 spots takes
about 40 minutes to import. Then it is easily handled. We actually bring it in on EQ and Color Correct with Resolve then spit it out to Pablo for finishing. We have done it on native 4K files but eats up alot of bandwidth on the San. But Pablo would easily handle your specs.

Corrado Silveri
03-07-2009, 09:39 AM
I can not speak about Sscratch but we have a Pablo it is a great editor and compositing
tool that just happens to color correct as well. Doing selects for a 2x 30 spots takes
about 40 minutes to import. Then it is easily handled. We actually bring it in on EQ and Color Correct with Resolve then spit it out to Pablo for finishing. We have done it on native 4K files but eats up alot of bandwidth on the San. But Pablo would easily handle your specs.

Thanks Eric for your help.
I've a couple of questions, if you can help me further...

- Do you think that 5 MME's are mandatory?
- What are the ideal plugins packages?

Thanks in advance...

Corrado Silveri
03-09-2009, 01:57 AM
Anyone?

Mark L. Pederson
03-09-2009, 04:13 AM
But, for instance, you can do multi-channel fill/matte on Left Eye and Right Eye dynamically in SCRATCH. In Pablo, you can only do a flattened left eye and right eye layer.

Important to note this. You will want all the control you can get in post when working stereoscopic.

Steve Shaw
03-09-2009, 05:19 AM
Hi Corrado,

Here's my thoughts as a serious Pablo user, and having spent some time reviewing Scratch with Nacho in the UK.

First, Scratch as a very different system to Pablo, and has a lot less tools, but is very good at what it is aimed at doing.

Pablo is a full finishing system, with a lot more capabilities...

However, not all users require all the tools... but from what you have said it sounds like you will.

Technically Scratch cannot work interactively with 4K material - Pablo can.

The workflow Scratch works best with is to use proxy images, up to 2k resolution.

Please remember these proxy images are just that - they are not generated by debayering and decoding the fill 4K image data, but by 'pixel-picking' the required RGB pixels to make the sub-resolution.

If you require 4K you will have to render in non-realtime the whole project after the creative work has finished on the proxy images.

(Actually, you would heve to render the output for all deliverables regardless of final deliverable image size (2K, 1K, etc.) if you don't want to simply output the final deliverable based on the proxy images).

This is a personal point, but I am not a fan of working with the proxy images and prefer to perform an initial full decode to 4K and resize as required to the working resolution.

As the Pablo figures show this is very fast, and is a fully background task, so you can be working on another project while the autoconform and import of the next one is being completed.

The Stereo tools on Pablo are also very powerful, and as you can immediately move between single eye viewing and stereo it is very easy to see what's going on.

Actually, when compositing it is often necessary to review the eyes separately for edge detail, etc., and then in Stereo for final check on stereoscopic alignment.

As for the MMEs, if you are doing a lot of multi-layer work they are a big help, but if the majority is single layer the benefit is less.

I did the DI Drona in Mumbai all at 4K, initially with the just 2 MMEs, later increasing the number. When we were doing complex vfx shots - which we did a lot of on the Pablo - the difference was obvious. When grading, editing, painting, adding text, etc., the difference was not so obvious.

As for Plugins - you really need to chose based on your creative requirements. And there are hundreds to chose from!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.

Steve

Corrado Silveri
03-09-2009, 06:47 AM
Thanks Mark, thanks Steve.

I'm really in a crucial moment and your help is really appreciated.

To Steve: why your name are not so "new" to my hears? :)

My best,
Corrado.

Lucas Wilson
03-09-2009, 08:07 AM
... Technically Scratch cannot work interactively with 4K material - Pablo can.

Hi Steve,

Good to see you here! : )

A small correction. SCRATCH can (and does) work interactively with 4K material in the same way Pablo does - as RGB. If you are talking about R3D, then yes - SCRATCH does not work at realtime with the Full Resolution decode/debayer.

But working the same way Pablo does - transcoding R3D to RGB - SCRATCH can work interactively with 4K with the correct hardware.

Best,

Lucas
-----
ASSIMILATE, inc.
LA, CA, USA

Steve Shaw
03-09-2009, 09:31 AM
Hi Lukas,

Good to be here too!

Sorry, you are right.

I was refering to the system I saw in Soho - I know a system with fast enough storage system can play 4K, but I've never seen one in operation so can't comment, but I certainly do believe you!

As I said to Nacho in Soho, I did like what I saw, but from Corrado's comments I think he needs more of a complete finishing system than Scratch presently is.

I'm still trying to get the laptop with Nvidia card!

Steve

Ed van der Kruijssen
03-09-2009, 11:02 AM
Corrado,

Another real advantage of Quantel equipment is the advanced multilayer conform tool.
It's possible to autoconform multilayer Final Cut Pro off lines including video layers, transitions, dve effects, and text.
A huge time and money saver. We work since a couple of weeks with this new V4 option and our clients really love it!

Ed van der Kruijssen
03-09-2009, 11:18 AM
To give you an idea...hereby a visualisation of the FCP to Quantel autoconform.
So edit your job for more then 80% off line on FCP. Autoconform your R3D files- HD /SD tapes or mixed jobs to a Quantel machine. And the only thing left is some colorgrading, fine tuning and versioning. I think if you consider the whole workflow Quantel is hard to beat if it comes to speed and quality.

http://www.bbp-video.nl/downloads/quantel%20-%20fcp%20conform.jpg

Corrado Silveri
03-10-2009, 12:02 AM
Thanks guys, every single word of this thread is a big help....

Lin
03-10-2009, 04:52 AM
Hi Corrado,

please contact Patrick 'at' iridas.com for a demo of SpeedGrade. If you are looking into serious stereo work, we have a very comprehensive toolset. This includes automatic stereo conform, grading on both eyes or individual eyes, correcting for offset, rotation and temporal offsets between eyes. We also support virtually all stereo display technologies out there.

SpeedGrade 2009 supports RED files natively without transcoding. To get around the performance bottlenecks with reading REDCode, we have a feature called Dynamic Resolution, which switches to proxy resolution for playback and returns to full resolution on pause.

http://www.iridasmagazine.com/2009/02/02/iridas-betas-dynamic-resolution-feature/

SpeedGrade is not a compositor though. It does have some simple compositing features, but nothing sophisticated enough to come close to a node-based compositor. In my opinion, the best way to work is to combine it with a stand alone non-real time compositor such as The Foundry's NUKE. They have very powerful stereo plug-ins (Ocula) that compliment what SpeedGrade has to offer.

In my opinion a combination of NUKE and SpeedGrade will give you much more functionality than a Quantel system for a smaller price.

I see that you are located in Italy - IRIDAS HQ is in Munich, not so far away. We actually just sold a SpeedGrade to an Italian customer for stereo work.

Lin

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 01:04 PM
Hi there, ciao Corrado.

We use Pablo, and we tried Scratch in the past with mixed results.

1) first and foremost: ain't the sword it is the samurai. no matter which system you have it is the ability to make that hardware/software work as it best that make the difference. The operator IS the key: I was in a demo with nucoda a while ago and even if the software/hardware is decent the operator in the demo was the worst possible and fail miserably all the questions asked... We never consider to buy one of their machines. Same for Luster ( that I like a lot ) when we were at the Discreet base for a demo that was less than impressive and I know the machine can do it it is just the driver was not up to the task.

2) said that, I like the Pablo workflow. I'm able to load/conform/edit/dustbust/color/do the 3D convergence/make DCI complain files/paint/title/all the video delivery/unse and apply LUTs/make compositing up to a certain level.

3) I was testing the capability of the machine two days ago and i was able to play TWO streams of red files in stereo mode both at 4K-10bits-log: even if it is not a feature that quantel support the hardware it still able to perform that. all the other resolutions below that are handled graciously.

4) compositing it is NOT the strongest point. We felt that flame, AE, Fusion with a beefy machine can help and integrate the compositing part.

5) w/pablo I strongly suggest the 5 MRE ( render engines ): when you do not have it you do not know, when you try it you don't know how you did without it...

6) we have 60+ title done and 10 3D projects done ( some at 4K ) and clients are happy of the workflow and the speed/interactivity of the platform.

7) the system it is scalable: later on you can add platforms to your pool and share work for improved productivity.

Feel free to ask any question you like.

Walter
wvolpatto@fotokem.com

BTW, hi Steve, Hi Lucas....

w.

Lucas Wilson
03-10-2009, 02:40 PM
Hey Walter!

Glad to see you here...

For the rest of you reading this thread, Walter is being modest here, but he is the lead DI Colorist at Fotokem. He has a ton of experience as a professional, in-the-chair Colorist and has done an awful lot of titles. He is a wealth of information and experience. Anybody who wants to know what Pablo is and is not capable of couldn't ask for a better source. Except maybe for Steve, of course. ; )

Lucas

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 04:48 PM
Hey Walter!

Glad to see you here...

For the rest of you reading this thread, Walter is being modest here, but he is the lead DI Colorist at Fotokem.
Lucas

Please, as I say all the times:

I'm not a colorist, I just keep touching my balls until someone says "I like it!!!!"

M Most
03-10-2009, 05:08 PM
Hi there, ciao Corrado.

The operator IS the key: I was in a demo with nucoda a while ago and even if the software/hardware is decent the operator in the demo was the worst possible and fail miserably all the questions asked... We never consider to buy one of their machines. Same for Luster ( that I like a lot ) when we were at the Discreet base for a demo that was less than impressive and I know the machine can do it it is just the driver was not up to the task.

Walter, it's interesting that you would say this because while I somewhat agree, I can also look at it from the point of view of the manufacturer - and the fact is that the best colorists, the ones who are the most knowledgeable and capable, as well as the most talented, are nearly all working for facilities (or for themselves) - not for manufacturers. With the notable exception of Kevin Shaw and his relationship with Digital Vision, the companies don't usually employ the industry's leading colorists, primarily because they can't. One of the frustrations of being a working colorist with a rather deep understanding of the tools and a personal set of working methods is that one tends to project that level of expertise on any demo artist, expecting them to know what you know and have your understanding of the process. But the fact is that unless you are sitting in the chair every day, you just don't have that level of understanding - and if you're working for a manufacturer, you're not sitting in the chair with clients every day. When I ask for demos of color correction equipment, I try to let the demo artist show me what he or she needs to show me, then I ask specific questions and try to not intimidate them. But the truth is that I know I sometimes do intimidate them, for just the reasons I've mentioned. And whether you think about it this way or not, you and Paul can be pretty intimidating as well. So I think the expectations need to be reasonable when demos are presented, because unless a Kevin Shaw is doing the demo, the chances are pretty good that the demo artist is not at the level that you are.

Just another way of looking at it.

Michael Bach
03-10-2009, 05:10 PM
We have both Pablo 4k and Scratch.

Scratch is the go to box for getting rushes out, grading and conforming R3D. We also use it for grading 2K dpx rushes off the scanner.

Pablo is the finishing box. We import the final conform with handles and do the hero grade along with fixes, compositing and all the other tools Walter mentioned. It is fast, interactive and very reliable compared with its peers.

Depending on your specific workflow you really need to decide on which tools are the essentials and choose from there. If money is truly no object just get both! They work well together.

Michael

Corrado Silveri
03-10-2009, 05:18 PM
Please, as I say all the times:

I'm not a colorist, I just keep touching my balls until someone says "I like it!!!!"

:wink: Aaaahhh LOL!

Walter (are you Italian, in some way?) thanks to be here, your words are arrived at destination.

Lin, I will contact Patrick as soon as I can, especially if the actual deals (Pablo on one side / Scratch on the other) failed to reach a good agreement. :sarcasm:

Luki, unfortunately I wasn't able (via the Italian reseller) to organize a new Scratch demo (until next month) do you have any suggestion?

Michael: unfortunately, I have a budget limit... :unsure:

Edgar Pitts
03-10-2009, 05:57 PM
There are obviously some real DI heavyweights posting on this thread. Does anyone have some impressions of Lustre they would like to share? Many thanks.

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 06:39 PM
:wink: Aaaahhh LOL!

Walter (are you Italian, in some way?) thanks to be here, your words are arrived at destination.

Yep, born in Turin, :cold: worked in Rome for 4 years :w00t: and then moved in LA five years ago...

Where is your shop based?

to: MMOST

I've been in the Demo seat a while ago and because i did not know what the client want that demo was not the most brilliant ever.
I'm fully agree that sometimes we colorist are intimidating on a demo: the same apply to me when a new director or DoP came in my room, you never know what the expectations are going to be.
I was also doing live broadcast for tv in Italy and that it is one of the hotter seat you can sit: no errors allowed...

In relation of that demo day, I cannot tell if the guy that was driving the Nucoda box was not an expert or it was not a demo artist at all: my point it is to explain that may be the box it is fantastic and powerful but that demo did not deliver the message to my boss therefore a chance to sell a platform vanish for them. True for any platform.

My point about the operators quality it is not platform to platform, but in the same platform: we have currently 5 Pablos and 1 Iq and 8 operators between senior and junior and nobody has the same performance giving that they have the same twin configuration.
If you grab me and put me in front of a Baselight or Lustre, probably i can make something out of it but it will take days to catch up with the speed and the nuance of the box (being basically a Quantel operator).

Scratch it is a good box but we do not have an operator that can make that machine fly... so I will LIE if I say that the box is not performing i prefer to say that we do not have an operator therefore we do not use the box.

My seguent point it is slightly different: can you do 3D DI with a Mac, FCP, Shake and Color?

Yes you can. Giving enough time you can do it.

Do you want to do it? Certainly I don't...:construction:

So, it is a difficult balance between the money you toss and the performance you get in return.

Just to give you food for though, Slumdog millionaire has been done in a old quantel with Qcolor... could have done in a Nucoda or a Scratch and still be a great movie, regardless.

If you ask me which is my ideal configuration, I'm totally biased but I'll use:

-Quantel pablo ( full loaded ) for finishing
-Iq in shared configuration for load/conform/video delivery and support edit
-FCP for all the offline edit, most of the dailies and such ( note to all, Steve Shaw has a software that can make 3D LUTs for FCP to make dailies that have Film Luts burn-in.... so you can have your Qt out of the red files and give the look you want in Log form than Burn in the LUT in FCP with timecode and all the info for the edit )
-Flame for the extra Vfx that Iq/Pablo cannot handle.
-Truelight for the Video to Film print emulation - I have, I like it and even if it not the most powerful toy around it does the job... After a LUT it is generated, transfer in Pablo/Iq/FCP/Flame so anyone has the same calibrated viewing environment.
-Any good DI DLP projector ( we use NEC800 but any that can do a good job it is welcome )

And

4 great operators ( con i controcoglioni ) to put behind the consoles....

2 cents...

Walter

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 06:46 PM
There are obviously some real DI heavyweights posting on this thread. Does anyone have some impressions of Lustre they would like to share? Many thanks.

Hi there.

For what I saw and I know Lustre it is a great color corrector. No question asked.

the main problem is that it is mainly ONLY a color corrector: you need another machine to support it and shared disks and so forth...

For big facilities i see the advantage to break down the deal in compartment: edit, color, video and use dedicated platforms for each tasks.
For a smaller facilities a platform that can do more in one it is a better way to go. Clients here sometimes complain that Pablo it is not really realtimes but then love the flexibility to edit/paint/change formats/and do some compositing without leave the room: for Trailers and advertisement it is absolutely a killer.
I think that scratch or Nucoda in the right hands can be a killer as well...

For the Discreet or the Resolve you already need two platforms, two operators, things that doesn't cooperate well with that kind of flexibility.

Having the smallest amount of pen pressing to achieve the job it is part of selling your room better that your competitors and I think Quantel does a good job at it.

Walter

M Most
03-10-2009, 06:46 PM
There are obviously some real DI heavyweights posting on this thread. Does anyone have some impressions of Lustre they would like to share? Many thanks.

I'm sorry, I don't do impressions. My specialty is Post Production.

But seriously.....

All the devices mentioned here can do anything in the way of color correction that anyone could want to do. Some are strictly color devices (Lustre would be in this category), some are data management/playback/conforming systems with color capabilities (Scratch), some are full scale editing and compositing systems with color capabilities (Pablo). All are at seriously different price points. All are aimed at different audiences. What one needs depends on what one intends to do, the environment intended for its use (i.e., small room or workspace, large room, theater, client friendly or artist friendly, etc.), the person who's going to use it (i.e., colorist, generalist, VFX artist, etc.), and budget. Any attempt to directly compare them 1:1 is a futile exercise because they are very different devices.

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 06:55 PM
Any attempt to directly compare them 1:1 is a futile exercise because they are very different devices.

Agree 100%...

Corrado Silveri
03-10-2009, 07:00 PM
Yep, born in Turin, :cold: worked in Rome for 4 years :w00t: and then moved in LA five years ago...

Where is your shop based?

Walter

Genova, Liguria, parliamone...




But seriously.....
Any attempt to directly compare them 1:1 is a futile exercise because they are very different devices.

Mmost, please believe me, I have a valid reason in order to ignite this thread. And all the post (yours included) are really a big help for me - I need to understand the difference, not just "know".

Thanks again,
Corrado.

M Most
03-10-2009, 07:04 PM
-Quantel pablo ( full loaded ) for finishing
-Iq in shared configuration for load/conform/video delivery and support edit
-FCP for all the offline edit, most of the dailies and such ( note to all, Steve Shaw has a software that can make 3D LUTs for FCP to make dailies that have Film Luts burn-in.... so you can have your Qt out of the red files and give the look you want in Log form than Burn in the LUT in FCP with timecode and all the info for the edit )
-Flame for the extra Vfx that Iq/Pablo cannot handle.
-Truelight for the Video to Film print emulation - I have, I like it and even if it not the most powerful toy around it does the job... After a LUT it is generated, transfer in Pablo/Iq/FCP/Flame so anyone has the same calibrated viewing environment.
-Any good DI DLP projector ( we use NEC800 but any that can do a good job it is welcome )

And

4 great operators ( con i controcoglioni ) to put behind the consoles....

2 cents...


I'd say all of the things on that list are a lot more than 2 cents. More like 100 million cents (that's $1 million, although with all of the pieces to connect the list of equipment you gave, plus a few rooms including a theater to house it, you're probably at more like $1.5 - 2 million). And that's without the 4 great operators.

When budgets are at the level of FotoKem's, you can have all of those toys. And yes, there are certainly many efficiencies that result. And your points about 3D work and Pablo's affinity for it are certainly justified. In today's world, however, those kind of rooms are pretty tough to justify, particularly once you leave the major film centers like Los Angeles, London, New York, and possibly Vancouver and Toronto that can generate enough high end work to keep those rooms fed. And, once again, outside of those centers - as a matter of fact, outside of L.A. - 3D work is not only hard to come by, it's non-existent.

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 07:05 PM
Genova, Liguria, parliamone...


If you want an off topic talk about Italy and such...

waltervolpatto[chiocciolina]yahoo.com

w.

M Most
03-10-2009, 07:06 PM
the main problem is that it is mainly ONLY a color corrector: you need another machine to support it and shared disks and so forth...

For big facilities i see the advantage to break down the deal in compartment: edit, color, video and use dedicated platforms for each tasks.
For a smaller facilities a platform that can do more in one it is a better way to go. Clients here sometimes complain that Pablo it is not really realtimes but then love the flexibility to edit/paint/change formats/and do some compositing without leave the room: for Trailers and advertisement it is absolutely a killer.
I think that scratch or Nucoda in the right hands can be a killer as well...

For the Discreet or the Resolve you already need two platforms, two operators, things that doesn't cooperate well with that kind of flexibility.

Having the smallest amount of pen pressing to achieve the job it is part of selling your room better that your competitors and I think Quantel does a good job at it.


Agree 100%.

(and only a true Quantel person would use the term "pen pressing" :wink: )

Corrado Silveri
03-10-2009, 07:11 PM
If you want an off topic talk about Italy and such...

waltervolpatto[chiocciolina]yahoo.com

w.

email sent, going to sleep :wink: 3AM here...

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 07:11 PM
I'd say all of the things on that list are a lot more than 2 cents. More like 100 million cents (that's $1 million, although with all of the pieces to connect the list of equipment you gave, plus a few rooms including a theater to house it, you're probably at more like $1.5 - 2 million). And that's without the 4 great operators.

When budgets are at the level of FotoKem's, you can have all of those toys.

Yes and no...

We started 6 years ago with 1 Iq, minimum configuration and one big monitor. When slowly we show that we could do the job and the quality was what the client wants we add pieces:
-DI projector ( first edition )
- a second iQ
- upgrade one iQ to a pablo
- a second Pablo
- a second DI room ( previously we where rotatihg the two pablo in one room )
- a shared environment

and so on, it took 6 years to have all the equipment that we have now and we build that with the money we where getting out of the jobs we where doing.

that was my IDEAL configuration. Remember you can still do a DI with FCP and Color and I'm not suggesting that anybody should have a full 10Mil$ loaded room ready to go in one month.

w.

walter.volpatto
03-10-2009, 07:17 PM
Agree 100%.

(and only a true Quantel person would use the term "pen pressing" :wink: )

:tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

True...

Lucas Wilson
03-11-2009, 12:04 AM
But the fact is that unless you are sitting in the chair every day, you just don't have that level of understanding - and if you're working for a manufacturer, you're not sitting in the chair with clients every day. ... And whether you think about it this way or not, you and Paul can be pretty intimidating as well. ... chances are pretty good that the demo artist is not at the level that you are.


I've been in the Demo seat a while ago and because i did not know what the client want that demo was not the most brilliant ever. ... In relation of that demo day, I cannot tell if the guy that was driving the Nucoda box was not an expert or it was not a demo artist at all: my point it is to explain that may be the box it is fantastic and powerful but that demo did not deliver the message to my boss therefore a chance to sell a platform vanish for them. True for any platform.

Speaking as someone who has done demos for a long time, and also been an in-the-chair artist (though not a colorist)...

The Art of Demos by Lucas Tzu...

1) Humility. A demo jock's job is never to prove how much they know and how good they are. I've seen a lot of frustrated artists in demo roles. They are awful at it, because they are trying to prove the whole time what wonderful artists they are.

2) Knowledge. But not obsessively proving how much you know does not make up for ignorance. Going into a demo at a facility like Fotokem and showing a product to people like Walter and Paul Chapman and Bill Schultz requires extensive holistic knowledge of the post-production process.

3) Honesty. Admit clearly and openly what you do not know. If you don't know the answer, don't fake it. Trying to bullsh*t technical knowledge with a Chief Engineer or Senior Colorist at any facility will only end poorly. Similarly, don't lie about what your product does and does not do. What's worse - them finding out during the demo, or finding out after they purchase?

4) Process. The purpose of a demo is not to show all the wonderful things your product can do. It is to show enough of the product and convince enough people of its usefulness that the facility brings the product in for an in-depth evaluation. It's only during the eval process that the really in-depth button tweaking happens.

5) Friendliness. You've got to be a social and gregarious person to start with. In 90% of the demos I do, and the really good demos I see of other products, about 20% of the demo is actual button pushing on the product. The other 80% is talking and getting people to tell you what they need and why.

6) Listen. As you go through the basics of a product, people in the room will always give away what their hot buttons are. They will always ask questions about what they really want to hear about. But you have to be listening and able to pick up on those cues and steer things that direction. Otherwise, you'll charge blindly ahead and show things nobody really cares about and miss the key thing they do care about.

7) Confidence. You're not an in-the-chair Colorist. You're not a Chief Engineer. You don't work at a major facility doing big titles. So what? They don't expect you to be. And at the same time, they are not demo artists and they do not know the product and the workflow as well as you do. Be confident about what you know and what you do. In sales, the meek shall inherit nothing.

8) Acceptance. Your product is not right for everyone. Realize that, and gracefully admit when it doesn't seem like your product is the right fit. Facilities really appreciate that, and they will certainly remember what your product *does* do, and if they need it in the future, they'll be much more likely to call back if people aren't trying to ram stuff down their throat in the initial approach.

9) Nakedness. (no no... not that kind of demo... just kidding...)

Lucas

Blair S. Paulsen
03-11-2009, 03:38 AM
(big snip)

9) Nakedness. (no no... not that kind of demo... just kidding...)

Lucas

Guy loses a few pounds and suddenly he wants to streak Fotokem, geez :bleh:

walter.volpatto
03-11-2009, 08:31 AM
9) Nakedness. (no no... not that kind of demo... just kidding...)

Lucas

Not my kind... But I appreciate the effort....

For the other points you are spot on.... and a lot of those apply even when you are in the chair doing your colorist job...

w.

Steve Shaw
03-11-2009, 01:53 PM
Hi Mike (Walter, and the rest of you...)

I think your figures are a tad off there Mike.

I'm setting up a large new DI operation in Chennai, India, for a client (and will be acting as their lead colourist when set-up and until I've trained their own team well) and the kit costs are no where near as high as you quote.

And this is for a multi-station Quantel GenePool, with 2x Pablo(Neo), iQ, Max and large (very) GenePoool central storage, with two projection based grading rooms, etc...

We will be doing projects from all number sources, including film, D-21 and RED, just to name a few.

The beauty of this approach to me is that we will have major DI and post-production capability (editing, conform, paint, graphics, grading, vfx, text, end rollers, deliverables, etc.) with minimal kit and minimal operators.

There will be a network set-up to a 'workstation based' vfx environment, but that will be 'cheap' PC workstations with Combustion, and the like. When doing 'backroom' vfx, I don't want to tie-up the main online finishing suite.

Anyway, just my thoughts to add to the mix...

Oh, and I probably should say I helped set-up FotoKem DI all those years back, as Walter described, as a small-start operation. Actually, Walter worked for me then, and FotoKem 'nicked him'!

:biggrin:

Lots of background info on this, and many other DI operations I've been involved with, on the website - www.lightillusion.com


Steve

walter.volpatto
03-11-2009, 03:54 PM
Actually, Walter worked for me then, and FotoKem 'nicked him'!
:biggrin:
Steve

True.

I agree on the vfx site: if the main room it is a $$$$ dollar room and you do not want to sop that for hours to do rotoscoping: better have a smaller bay thet it is only $ expensive and go with smaller software...

w.

Lucas Wilson
03-11-2009, 05:43 PM
I'm setting up a large new DI operation in Chennai, India, for a client (and will be acting as their lead colourist when set-up and until I've trained their own team well) and the kit costs are no where near as high as you quote ...

Steve,

As anybody who works on the manufacturer side knows, there are pricelists, discount sheets... and then there are prices for India. ; )

Lucas
-----
ASSIMILATE, inc.
LA, CA, USA

Sven Seynaeve
03-11-2009, 06:43 PM
Just received a quote from what seems to be the most promissing system....


anyway, ......shocking as hell........

Edgar Pitts
03-11-2009, 07:47 PM
As anybody who works on the manufacturer side knows, there are pricelists, discount sheets... and then there are prices for India. ; )

This is something that really bothers me about this industry - the fact that very few companies have publicly listed prices. Maybe I should register a website in a foreign country and speak in an accent to get a lower quote...

markh
03-12-2009, 07:13 AM
A really nice Red project from the Lipsync team

http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27312&highlight=red+riding

Steve Shaw
03-12-2009, 12:07 PM
This is something that really bothers me about this industry - the fact that very few companies have publicly listed prices. Maybe I should register a website in a foreign country and speak in an accent to get a lower quote...

The 'figures' I quoted for the set-up I'm building with my Indian client are no different than Quantel use any where else in the world. And I should know as I've been involved in 'Quantel' based projects all over the globe - Japan, USA, South Africa, China, Asia, Canada, Europe, etc...

What other manufacturers do I can't verify.

As for book price, and the final negotiated price... I'm sure that will depend on the amount of kit you are buying.

And Lucas, I'm somewhat ashamed of you - being that you worked for Quantel and should know their pricing strategy!

And I'd probably have to say that many manufacturers actually 'up' their price for India, not reduce it.

Lucas Wilson
03-12-2009, 09:48 PM
The 'figures' I quoted for the set-up I'm building with my Indian client are no different than Quantel use any where else in the world. And I should know as I've been involved in 'Quantel' based projects all over the globe - Japan, USA, South Africa, China, Asia, Canada, Europe, etc...

What other manufacturers do I can't verify.

As for book price, and the final negotiated price... I'm sure that will depend on the amount of kit you are buying.

And Lucas, I'm somewhat ashamed of you - being that you worked for Quantel and should know their pricing strategy!

And I'd probably have to say that many manufacturers actually 'up' their price for India, not reduce it.

It was some light humor, Steve. Easy there, mate. : )

Lucas

Lucas Wilson
03-12-2009, 10:14 PM
This is something that really bothers me about this industry - the fact that very few companies have publicly listed prices. Maybe I should register a website in a foreign country and speak in an accent to get a lower quote...

Edgar,

This is not an attempt at obfuscation or dishonesty. I can't speak for anyone else, so let me explain it from the ASSIMILATE standpoint.

We have software list prices. They're fairly well known. SCRATCH-CINE is US$17.5K. Our other bundles go up from there. Our international prices are pegged to the US Dollar, so it's pretty straightforward and we don't have a very complicated product line.

We ship internationally, and usually with hardware. First, there are serious import taxes, duties, "facilitation fees," customs brokers fees, shipping fees, etc. for any electronics hardware going from the US to anywhere else in the world. Those fees are variable and raise the price of a bundle anywhere from 1% to 20% depending on the country. And they fluctuate constantly.

We work with resellers in different countries. Each reseller must sell in their own native currency and deal with the various levies and fees internally in that country - whatever their version of US Sales Tax is.

Take the real-world example of selling in Australia.

A few months ago, the Australian Dollar lost almost 40 percent of its value against the Greenback. Similar thing happened with the Korean Won. Remember, our prices are tied to the Dollar. In order to make any money, distributors of products tied to the dollar had no choice but to dramatically increase their AU$ list prices.

Adding to the fun, it is a fairly regular policy in many countries to sell at a fairly high percentage above US list price. ASSIMILATE strictly forbids this with our partners, but I know of many companies in the industry that sell in different markets at prices way above their base currency list price, because that is what their international partners believe the market will bear.

Also consider that people who make customized hardware very regularly have to deal with things like...

1) A very specialized part in the system was made by only two manufacturers worldwide. One of them just folded, and the price of that part went up by 300%.
2) Tax laws have changed in the country of origin for specific parts and they are either unavailable or have gone up in price exorbitantly.

etc, etc...

The COGS for any hardware item fluctuates on a daily basis for any low-volume manufacturer, and nailing a static list price for any length of time is difficult.

So the combination of international product origination and shipping fees, partner considerations, currency fluctuations, and cultural differences make it difficult to publish list prices for a low-volume, highly customized producct without getting into a lot of trouble with different people.

At the end of the day, with any non-commodity product, it comes down to a sales relationship, a quote, and a negotiation. If you want to buy something like a DI system, sales reps will only be too happy to get you quotes.

Lucas

Steve Shaw
03-13-2009, 09:56 AM
Sorry Lucas, I did jump down your throat a bit there!

:unsure:

Edgar Pitts
03-13-2009, 08:44 PM
Hi Lucas.

I was not directing my comments at Assimilate, as I know you have list prices on Silverado's website, but at the high-end post industry as a whole. Your comments about being dollar or euro based are certainly relevant, but it is still a slippery slope with software, upgrades and long term support pricing. It seems to me that it should not be a sensitive subject.

I am not a communist, so I understand the free market, economies of scale and companies must make a profit, but I can't help feeling like I'm visiting a used car dealership. You step on the lot, and you are sized up by a slick salesman to get top dollar. I am not comparing used cars but the process. Red, on the other hand, embraces its cost structure and it has paid back in spades.

We will be in a position (infrastructure) to demo Scratch, Speedgrade and a few others in the next few months. So, I look forward to putting your software through the paces.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.

Edgar

Lucas Wilson
03-13-2009, 11:16 PM
Hey Edgar,

I agree that it is a slippery slope - and I didn't take your comments personally. : )

It's a fine line between respecting your partners, dealing with currency fluctuations, rapidly changing COGS... and snake-oil tactics.

I have worked for companies before where I really did not respect the pricing structure, and where you have been correct. The price-list was mainly not published because the company *wanted* to keep pricing mysterious. The price was also so ridiculously high that I suspect they didn't want the public backlash.

And yes, high-end post is very much a slick sales game. Ask around and find out who people like. Sales in the high-end manufacturer space in post is a fairly small circle of people. Most of us know each other, and have in many cases worked with each other in other jobs. Most of the sales people I know at the other post manufacturers are very conscientious, and very good at what they do. They want to make money, but only if it's a good fit and everyone walks away happy. There's always the people that are in it purely for the money and don't really care who they screw in the process. Those people don't last long. The community is too small, and word travels fast.

A word of advice to eliminate as much snake-oil as possible. Start at the top and work down. Many manufacturers work with resellers and partners, and in some cases, multiple partners in the same territory. If you go to the manufacturer first, they will point you to the best partners in your area and help you through the process. Start with the VP Sales or Director Sales for your territory. Find out who they are and approach them directly, and let them steer you to the correct rep and partner. That will help you minimize the "used-carism."

Best,

Lucas

Barend Onneweer
03-14-2009, 04:00 AM
I've was very annoyed by the mystery surrounding Assimilate's pricing structure at first. To the point where I leaned towards Speedgrade - which just has list pricing on the Iridas website. But I couldn't make friends with the Speedgrade interface so I had an email conversation with Lucas explaining my needs. After a brief exchange of information he forwarded me to Nachon (VP of sales). I had a great intercontinental phone conversation with Nacho and he introduced me to the Dutch reseller and systems integrator for Assimilate (Systems4u).

Thus far Systems4u have been excellent. When I had a question about a certain graphics card for Scratch they'd quickly make a phonecall to the Scratch software designer for first-hand information. Just to illustrate the service level generally involved at this level. My system should arrive any day now :-)

Assimilate is not Adobe or Apple. They work in a niche and really want to adapt their offerings to your needs. It's not one-size-fits all.

And in all honesty, if you're asked "how much do you charge to produce a commercial?", you'd respond with "well, what exactly do you need?".

Nigel Hadley
03-24-2009, 03:29 AM
Hi guys,
a quick question.

I need to:
- Do serious compositing and grading (also stereoscopic).
- Work with R3D material.
- Be fast, full quality, 4k.



Just jumping in here - why the narrow choice of possible solutions? From your requirements above our Film Master product would fit the bill very nicely.

Will you be at NAB - we will be there demoing our latest version of software, with full Red support, Stereo, Compositing, not to mention Avid integration and Open EXR support - oh and also of course unrivalled colour correction capabilities.

During the course of the show we will have a 1 hour guest appearance each day by Ted (from Red) - why not come by for one of his sessions for an introduction to what we can do?

Regards

Nigel

Corrado Silveri
04-02-2009, 02:26 PM
Hi Nigel,
and thanks to all of you.

We have finally choose the "British" way...

I'm currently waiting the delivery of a brand new Quantel Pablo 4K, 5MME, Neo Panel.

In the meantime, I'm working with our architect in order to build a decent DI room...

Any suggestions?

Ciao,
Corrado.

Corrado Silveri
04-02-2009, 02:47 PM
Just need to add that I've received a great support and attention in this period from Nacho (Assimilate) and Torrey Loomis (Silverado).
Ok, I was in the right position (in order to get a special "care"), but, anyway, they was great.

Many and special thanks also to Walter Volpatto :)

Tim Whitcomb
04-02-2009, 03:22 PM
congrats corrado... you are going to love the Pablo... especially with NEO panel, which takes it from the British way, to the how it should be way. imho :)