AJA ColorBox v2.1 simplifies 4K/UHD HDR work and supports teams taking on new workflows, and includes joint ACES certification with Pomfort’s Livegrade for support of ACES workflows.

AJA ColorBox 2 1 ACES Pipeline

New ACES pipeline

AJA has updated its ColorBox real-time colour managed workflow device to version 2.1, a free software update. The ColorBox v2.1 updates focus on simplifying 4K/UltraHD HDR work, and supports production teams as they adjust to new workflows, from on-set through post. This new version includes joint logo product certification status from the Academy Color Encoding System [ACES] for AJA ColorBox and Pomfort’s Livegrade software for their support of ACES-based workflows.

Among the main changes is a new 4K/UltraHD down-conversion function for ColorBox’s SDI and HDMI outputs, as well as a 4K/2K centre-crop function for its HDMI output, producing an unscaled image that is compatible with many types of consumer UltraHD and HD displays. With these features, users can make better use of existing HD monitoring equipment on-set if 4K devices are not accessible, and limit the need for new investments.

ACES Pipeline

A new ACES Pipeline for ColorBox is another important update. ACES was developed to ensure a consistent colour set-up that maintains the production’s creative vision from capture through editing, VFX, mastering, public display, archiving and future remastering. Through the ColorBox ACES Pipeline’s native support for ACES Metadata File (AMF) processing, users can take advantage of AMF workflows that ease colour interoperability across filmmaking teams. 

AJA Color Box Front

The AMFs are critical because they capture the data needed for an ACES Pipeline into a single XML file that can be distributed easily to team members on-set, through post, to final grading. An AMF can be loaded into the ColorBox device to obtain a specified transform, such as a reference rendering transform (RRT), look transform, output device transform (ODT) and so on, making it simpler to collaborate between production stakeholders. Essentially a configuration file, AMF transmits and exchanges configuration parameters in order to ensure consistency and accuracy within the workflow.

This is the sixth pipeline to be integrated into AJA ColorBox, and can load and recall 16 AMF files onboard for precise, flexible integration with ACES workflows.

AJA Color Box Rear

More Workflow Compatibility – ARRI, Colorfront, BBC

ColorBox v2.1 supports ARRI Wireless Video Optimized (WVO) LogC4, an intermediate encoding for ALEXA 35 SDI outputs. WVO LogC4 improves monitoring image quality when transmitting LogC4 over wireless video transmitters, when working with the Alexa 35. For example, it helps to eliminate banding introduced into monitoring images by wireless Tx and Rx systems and LogC4.

The WVO encoding is an option built into the ALEXA 35. However, a matching WVO decoding LUT must be used after signal reception in the wireless video transmitter to reconstitute regular LogC4. With the inverse WVO 1D LUT directly incorporated into ColorBox, LogC4 is simpler to deploy with existing equipment, saving time and money.

ColorBox v2.1 now includes SDR Preview for Colorfront Live Mode, which performs conversions and applies controls that support live applications such as broadcast, OTT, A/V and in-venue. With the SDR preview, users can see what an HDR output would look like converted to SDR, without reconfiguring the HDR monitor.

AJA ColorBox 2 1 Colorfront Live Mode

Colorfront Live Mode

The Colorfront Engine maps the video to the targeted HDR, but with values that exactly represent the SDR image, avoiding taking time to change the output format to SDR and wait for the display to reconfigure. It includes several camera Log formats beyond SDR, HLG and PQ such as the new ARRI LogC4, RED, Panasonic and Canon.

Finally, BBC HLG LUTs v1.7 continues to make sure that ColorBox supports the latest BBC HLG transform updates.

AJA President Nick Rashby said, “For ColorBox v2.1 we focused on making 4K on-set colour workflows easier for productions to manage using the monitors and equipment they already have. Whether it’s the ability to review 4K accurately with HD monitors, deliver simplified AMF processing to more members of the production team, or incorporate an inverse ARRI WVO to make LogC4 easier to deploy, this new release helps productions take advantage of new workflows more easily and with greater cost-efficiency.”

AJA ColorBox v2.1 was initially displayed at the 2024 NAB Show in April and is available today as a free download from the AJA Support Page.    www.aja.com