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TransPro II’s Immediate Access to Dailies

Cuts Production Time/Costs

LAS VEGAS, NV April 1, 2003:

Today’s blockbuster hits are no longer the product of a single Los Angeles studio. The multi-billion dollar, film and video production industry that once was contained within a 30-mile radius of Hollywood, CA, has since grown global and has raised production costs exponentially. The cost of attracting Hollywood’s A-list stars alone can require a commitment of $20 million or more, sending studios reeling for places to slash expenditures.

One place ripe for the cutting floor, is “dailies"— the raw, unedited footage that directors and executives review at the end of a long and expensive day of shooting. The results of these clippings are used to determine which scene shots should be added to or eliminated from the following day or week’s schedule, as well as provide a gauge for the studio to evaluate whether everything is running smoothly, on schedule, and within budget.

Globalstor Data’s TransPro II digital dailies solution saves valuable time and money while making dailies production both fast and easy.  The TransPro II digital delivery system allows film professionals to view the daily “takes” or “rough cuts” without duplicating to tape, hiring a projectionist or renting a screening room.  Beyond dailies creation, the TransPro II is also idea for video transfer to DVD, DVD video archiving as well as production for video streaming.

The Digital Impact

Throughout the industry, the digital revolution is transforming the way movies are shot and viewed into something high-tech, streamlined, lower priced and ultimately, more productive for editors, producers, directors and all those involved in the making of films.  Using traditional methods, shooting on location can make getting dailies a hassle. If the film must be sent out for development, it can take up to two days to get it back, even when using overnight delivery and courier services. The expense of rush charges and delays in production can be budget crushing. 

Relying on traditional film-based dailies, producers have to go through the time and expense of having a one-light print negative produced to view the dailies in a rented studio theater or costly private projection room.  Adding to the headache, is the nuisance of trying to assemble all the appropriate people into that projection room at the end of a long day to “cooperatively” mull over the day’s footage.

By digitizing the film after its developed, those same dailies can be sent back within a 24-hour period, allowing the director to review the days shoot more quickly and make necessary changes the very next day.  Using the TransPro II to produce digital dailies on DVD-R also makes it possible for production crews in remote locations, to review and discuss footage with those back at editing facilities in Los Angeles.  Creative professionals in multiple locations can review the dailies at their convenience, enter comments tied to a specific clip, and send their review back to Hollywood, drastically improving the approval process during production.

For added flexibility, dailies files can also be sent across networks enabling yet another way to collaborate on a project the parties are divided by a wall, or an ocean.

Cost Effective and Efficient

The TransPro II automatically encodes film footage or HDV directly to MPEG-2 on DVD-R media for high quality image and sound that can be conveniently viewed either in studio or on location using a standard DVD-enabled desktop computer; DVD set top box, or even a notebook.  Because DVD-R media is as easy to use as a CD, but provides exceptional digital clarity, the entire film crew (if necessary) can review the day’s footage to evaluate lighting, camera angles, hair, makeup, etc. 

TransPro II can also integrate vital metadata, including timecodes, director’s comments, location, lens/filters, actors and circled takes onto the HD footage, making it immediately accessible to an editor resulting in a faster, easier and ultimately less expensive post production process.  With broad availability worldwide, DVD-R has become the format of choice due in part to the media’s random-access capabilities, low cost and high availability. 

As a result, TransPro II can save moviemakers thousands of dollars on a single feature production in terms of labor, time and resources. Film-based dailies have to be processed each day by laboratories so the results can be viewed.  Final prints cost about $13,000 each and can potentially get lost, worn or damaged by projectionists. At pennies per disk, DVD-R is extremely budget-friendly, as available as videotape, and allows immediate, random access and assessment of what has been recorded.

ALE Support

The TransPro II can also support film-originated content through imported telecine-produced ALE files.  Generated from an Avid-type system, ALEs are a type of text file normally used to accompany motion picture put to tape.  The file is used to mark timecode/cut points for the associated tape.  The director uses these marks to tell the editor what scenes and takes are where (in relation to timecode) on the tape.  Other forms of ALE like files include EDL (Edit Decision list) and Flex files, all of which can be used digitally to create chapter points and start/stop points in TransPro II.

The system automatically converts and encodes the ALE (or EDL) file to an MPEG2 file, which can be burned directly to disc using an intuitive GUI to instigate a simple, one-step DVD-R burn process.   Alternatively, the system’s PC capture station can create files directly to the TransPro II’s hard drive, which can then be removed from the system for shipping to other project members, or locked safely away as an inexpensive, long-term storage solution.

The captured and converted files are read by system, which utilize the metadata captured on the set by MPPS or by the Telecine-created ALE file to playback circled takes or modified playlists.  The files can be easily burned to single or consecutive DVD-R discs for distribution to the project’s director, editors and executives. The TransPro II ships with a 15” or 17” touch screen.

Regaining Control

A turnkey, nonlinear playback system, TransPro II is a clear improvement over earlier generation, tape-based solutions. Offering realtime, direct to DVD encoding, a source preview/confidence check window and frame accuracy within 1/2 of a frame, the TransPro II gives editors the freedom to scroll with single frame accuracy, to any desired scene and take, for rapid creation of editor rough-cuts.

The real encoding magic lies in the quality of the hardware encoder.  Globalstor’s TransPro II uses a one of the industry’s best MPEG2 hardware encoders to compress and multiplex the video, paired with software designed to bring a whole new level of efficiency in the DVD authoring realm. The result is and exceptional level of efficiency and the basis for the built-in DVD Dailies functionality.

Incorporating the TransPro II into the production process ensures high-, film comparable-resolution for both images and audio tracks incorporating professional-quality DolbyÒ Digital (AC-3) sound and fully automated, real-time MPEG-2 encoding.  Ensuring simplicity in loading and unloading materials, TransPro II offers industry professionals with a very simple way to archive, catalog and ship dailies.  Consequently, fine details such as camera angles, make-up and lighting can be immediately revised after the dailies review, attributing to more timely and more acute artistic control over the entire movie making process.  The end result is not only a tremendous savings the project’s budget, but a better quality final product as well. 

Compact, Convenient and Compatible

The system’s compact design (16.75”x5.75”x 17.75” (WxHxL), 16lbs) makes TransPro II an ideal portability solution, allowing productions crews fast access to DVD dailies even in remote locations.  Incorporating the TransPro II’s touch screen application opens the door for production environments where ease of use and simplicity is critical.

For added convenience and flexibility, the TransPro II includes an SVGA display output, which can be connected directly to a projector for use in an onsite screening room.

The TransPro II imports both time code and chapter points with scene and take information of any associated dailies video and creates a DVD-R disc with complete, random access, DVD menu control to as many as 99 chapters.  The DVD-R drive ensures single step materials loading and unloading as well as uncomplicated archival, catalog and shipment of the dailies from one location to another.  The TransPro II also offers broad compatibility with a range of specialized software utilities ensures compatibility with existing post-production techniques.  To expand viewing and capabilities, the system is also set top box compatible.

Incorporating multiple industry-standard interfaces, Globalstor Data’s DVD TransPro II provides near online storage of video, video to MPEG2 conversion/ encoding, and complete video file management with full, automated library control.

An Unfair Advantage

For today’s video professional, the TransPro II offers an unfair advantage over comparable peripherals including:

1.      Automated chapter point insertion from ALE, EDL or Flex Files.

2.      Full DVD menu capabilities.

3.      Realtime preview for confidence checking.

4.      New DVD menu backgrounds can be added at any time.

5.      DVD image recall for creating new DVD without having to re-ingest the video.

6.      Higher quality MPEG encode.

7.      Support for SDI and component decks.

8.      Full deck control, including start, stop and pre-roll. 

** Deck control start and stop points can be entered manually through our software interface or can also be generated from the ALE, Flex or EDL.

9.      Support for backend duplication devices such as Rimage DVD duplicators for mass replication. Users send image to robotic tower in conjunction with disk label image and duplication quantity and duplication process becomes automated.

10. Variable and manual encoding bit rates for higher quality with less disk space requirements.

The TransPro II also provides a unique level of scalability, including automated back end devices to DVD Duplicators as well as DVD Libraries.  DVD libraries connected to a Globalstor InfinAttach NAS solution enables TransPro II users to send images directly to a watermark directory stored on the InfinAttach, which would appear to the user as a local drive to TransPro. The DVD image would then be written directly to a DVD-R disk on the library for archival purposes or near-line video applications such as broadcast or VOD.

Although the TransPro II is fully capable of transferring digital dailies over either a network or the Internet in environments with a high bandwidth line, MPEG2 (standard DVD compression) is not a good streaming format.  However, the throughput would be good enough for those who need to view it faster than FedEx could deliver a DVD.  The TransPro II also includes a network connection, which can be hooked to a WAN line or OC3 type of connection for image transfer or remote viewing as well as remote control of the TransPro II.

Measurable Savings

TransPro II encodes in real-time, enabling professionals to burn 1 hour of video in approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.  This is in drastic contrast to traditional authoring requiring a number of highly trained professionals requiring VERY high salaries and the incorporation of telecine.  As a result, the same 1-hour of video, when authored traditionally, would require at least 3 hours to encode in addition to the telecine time.

The savings provided by the TransPro II becomes clear when considering the high costs of big screen films, the professional engineering time required to author a DVD on a Spruce or Sonic authoring system; coupled with the time and expertise needed to create the chapter names in Photoshop.  Using one person with little or no authoring experience, TransPro II can do in 1hour what traditionally takes well over 3 hours by trained professionals.  This savings multiplied by the many days of shooting and the hours of footage that would need to be encoded and transferred to DVD required by a typical Hollywood production, adds up very quickly.

The reason the traditional authoring process is so time consuming and costly is largely due to menu creation. Each title in the menu or chapter listing within the DVD menu is typically cleaned up in Photoshop, then dropped into the authoring software as a bitmap image.  If, for example, there were 20 chapters, 20 individual bitmaps would need to be created and then dropped in one at a time. Then of course there is the burden of editing the content together and setting the chapter point times for each chapter point. Using TransPro II, this bitmap conversion is automated without the need for additional programs or file handling.

Dailies to DVD-R

With read/write support for broadly compatible 4.7GB DVD-R general media, Globalstor’s TransPro II gives video professionals the high resolution (standard NTSC 720×480) and file security needed for recording volumes of dailies video that cannot be altered or accidentally erased. Because DVD-R media can be played back by virtually any DVD-player, set top box or drive, it is an ideal and highly economic choice for the broadcast and video industries where file sharing is a daily necessity. Depending on the bit rate that the video is encoded, standard DVD-R media will easily hold at least 2 hours of video.

The TransPro II imports both time code and chapter points with scene and take information of any associated dailies video and creates a DVD-R disc with complete, random access, DVD menu control to as many as 99 chapters. The TransPro II can also be used to store a copy of the DVD image on the hard drive that can be recalled at anytime to burn additional DVD copies, or for archival purposes.

Compatibility and Availability

NTSC and PAL compatible, the TransPro II is configured with a Pentium 4 and 256MB RAM running Windows 2000 Pro.  An IDE-based 100GB hard drive and a high performance DVD-R drive ensure, quick project turnaround as well as the ease-of-use and application flexibility. The TransPro II includes a 17" LCD/flat panel monitor (touch screen optional) with a matching keyboard and mouse.

Available for direct sale through Globalstor Data or to OEMs for development into specific applications, the TransPro II is now shipping with a two-year factory warranty. TransPro II has an MSRP of $14,151.  

About Globalstor Data

Headquartered in Chatsworth, CA, Globalstor Data Corporation is a leading distributor of high-end mass storage solutions and is widely recognized for its value-added services, including systems integration and customer support.  An OEM with a full spectrum of hardware and software support, the firm’s competitively priced product line includes technically advanced DVD-RAM and Magneto-Optical (MO) drives and libraries for solutions scaleable in excess of 18TB of capacity.  Globalstor also provides a complete range of tape, CD, RAID and Fibre channel solutions with complete integration for all major operating systems.  Globalstor serves a worldwide customer base from its U.S. headquarters in Chatsworth, California and internationally through a strong foundation of over-seas resellers.