PANAVISION'S WORKFLOW SOLUTION: THE DIGITAL TRANSFER STATION
Panavision's Digital Transfer Station (DTS)
January 24, 2011, Woodland Hills, Calif. — Panavision is pleased to announce the Digital Transfer Station (DTS), a powerful product providing a unique solution to enable greater flexibility in the production process. The DTS is a complimentary product to Panavision’s SSR (Solid State Recorder) that increases its capability and also provides consistency throughout the production workflow. The DTS takes uncompressed content from the SSR and outputs DPX or QuickTime files while offering production the option to simultaneously generate a backup tape.
This solution provides value to various departments in the production process. For the cinematographer, it is an invaluable addition allowing, for example, the application of Look Up Tables (LUTs) so that material can be generated for editorial needs as well as dailies.
Cinematographer David Tattersall and his crew were the first to use the system on “Gulliver’s Travels.” “It was an invisible part of the camera equipment,” said Tattersall, “I was almost unaware it was there.” He subsequently used it on his next project, “The Hungry Rabbit Jumps.”
For the producer, DTS provides for near-set quality control of the master image giving almost instant feedback, on set, before the files are sent to post production. The system also helps to accelerate the delivery of off-line files for the editorial process. “Panavision’s Digital Transfer Station eliminates the transfer from tape portion of the deliverables distribution, and eliminates the compression associated with tape,” said Doug DeGrassio, DIT (“Hungry Rabbit Jumps,” “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”). “I liked the compact size and reliability. It’s simply very clean and it makes our work very clean.” The DTS solution can also enhance the entire production workflow, including visual effects and post production. For visual effects, this means every frame is available as a DPX file, directly from set. Alan Bell, ACE, editor on “Gulliver’s Travels,” found the system provided a high degree of freedom and flexibility. “Having all the DPX files in the cutting room is excellent. It allows for very fast turnarounds delivering VFX elements and gives us options when it comes to doing the final conform.”
“We wanted to design a system that is easy to use, invisible on set, and can satisfy every aspect of the production team’s needs,” said Josh Limor Technical Marketing Manager, Panavision Inc. “In addition, every production will have Panavision’s support in designing and implementing a workflow that works for them.”
Several other productions have used DTS, including “Captain America,” “Vamps,” “The Smurfs” and “Ironclad.” Phil Radin, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Panavision Inc., explained: “Before we released the product, months were spent beta-testing and refining the Digital Transfer Station to ensure that it would enhance the post-production process without disrupting the on-set dynamic and, at the same time, save cost on production.”
“The DTS performed flawlessly,” Rick Nagle observed, while working as DIT on “Vamps.” “It enabled us to run our download and dailies process like a perfectly-wound watch.” As for Bell, he would “happily use the system again. I think file-based systems are the only way to go in the future and Panavision’s DTS is well-designed and highly reliable.”
Together with Genesis, F35 and F23 digital cameras, the Genesis Display Processor and the Solid State Recorder, the DTS is another link in the Panavision digital production solution.