NAB Colorfront showed new Dolby Vision mastering features, AI tools accelerating QC and the new version of Colorfront Engine supporting automation and connectivity applications.

Colorfront Dolby Vision SDR to HDR Butterfly

Colorfront continues to develop its systems for dailies, transcoding and streaming workflows, with special emphasis on the art and science of colour. Among the most recent updates shown at NAB 2024 are new Dolby Vision features that help content owners extend and improve the use of their asset catalogues, AI tools that accelerate QC processes, with automation and connectivity applications running on a new version of Colorfront Engine.

Showing its cloud-computing implementations and Streaming systems for remote applications, the Colorfront team live-streamed footage that was processed by Transkoder in AWS in Oregon state and, successfully relying on hotel broadband for all demos, avoided the need to use deskside workstations. Colorfront Remote Streaming is a live-streaming appliance supporting colour fidelity and real-time performance for a variety of secure, remote post production operations. It allows users to work in their native colour space and resolution, and still include collaborators around the world.

Dolby Vision Mastering with Transkoder

Colorfront has helped advance HDR across the industry for over a decade, focussed on continual development of Colorfront Engine’s parametric colour processing – that is, with user-defined limits on how tasks are handled – and an ongoing collaboration with Dolby.

Meeting the growth in HDR-ready displays and devices, and the demand from content owners to use and re-purpose their catalogues of film and TV programming, Transkoder now has an efficient, cost-effective way to convert standard SDR assets into Dolby Vision HDR masters with corresponding XML metadata. Dolby Vision SDR masters can also be created from this metadata that match and preserve the original creative intention.

Colorfront Dolby Vision SDR to HDR Orange Flower

Among the recent developments in Transkoder are new tools for converting DCDM/DCP (Digital Cinema Distribution Master/Digital Cinema Package) masters to Dolby Vision, auto-detection for bright titles that may need to be managed separately from other content, and read/write support for ProRes with alpha channel. For example, ProRes 4444 and 4444 XQ, often used to exchange motion graphics media as they are virtually lossless, are also the only Apple ProRes codecs that support alpha channels. Transkoder will now integrate into varying workflow types as well, from fully automated to operator-managed.

Sony Ci Media Cloud collaboration and media management service has updated the role it plays in production workflows and non-linear editing collaboration. By allowing direct Transkoder input into the platform, Ci’s media processing capabilities are expanded, making it possible to automate file generation for VFX production.

Colorfront Engine Updates

Colorfront Engine has been updated to further optimise colour volume remapping and the rendering of extreme colours in new digital cameras, including the Sony Burano and ARRI Alexa 35. Colour volume is a three-dimensional indicator tool that measures the change in the range of colours depending on the brightness of the display.

Colorfront Engine is integrated not only into Colorfront’s own product line, but also into AJA’s high-performance FS-HDR and Colorbox convertors for colour-managed workflows in broadcast, live events and on-set applications. These are compact devices, used where real time, low latency processing and colour fidelity is required for 4K/UHD and 2K/HD projects.

The FS-HDR converter/frame synchronizer meets the HDR and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) demands of those broadcast, live and production workflows by running on Colorfront Engine’s proprietary video processing algorithms.

Colorfront Dolby Vision SDR to HDR Pink Flower

The Colorbox colour management device includes processing pipeline modes from Colorfront and several other developers. The Colorfront pipeline has built-in SDR, HLG and PQ transforms, optimized transforms for broadcast and an emphasis on maintaining perceptual integrity.

AI Tools for QC Operations

With an eye to helping producers increase their productivity, Colorfront has introduced new AI vision-analysis tools to assist mastering QC operations with detecting framing anomalies. These tools augment the AI capabilities already integrated into Transkoder, such as object detection and speech recognition for multi-language SRT subtitling from audio tracks.

Colorfront’s On-Set Dailies and Express Dailies softwares support new digital camera formats, including Sony Burano and ARRI Alexa 35, and feature augmented capabilities for ACES 1.3 workflows, tools for retiming high-frame-rate clips, with new APIs and corresponding web interfaces for automation. On-Set Dailies and Express Dailies were shown at NAB with AI tools to detect dead pixels, bright titles, sparkles, slate/claps and automated metadata extraction for accurate audio sync.

Colorfront has developed new tools to help QC operators navigate thousands of AI-detected tags. These features, with customisable metadata file validation, pre-processing of analysis tasks and automation, combine to make QC logging more efficient.