Day one of NAB 2019 in Las Vegas and there is a running theme on the show floor of 8K production. What we didn't expect though was a return of the dedicated editing keyboard! Also make sure you watch a great interview about ProRes RAW.
One year it was 3D, another it was 360 degree video, this year is definitely the year of 8K tools for content creation. To be fair you can't really miss the advertising hoarding on the side of the hotel on the way to the convention centre.
Although that's the sight we saw on the way to the AJA Press Conference at 8am this morning, we will use it as an excuse to go right into the eagerly anticipated Blackmagic presentation.
We sat down and awaited Grant Petty, well we got straight back up again when we noticed this rack of new Hyperdeck Extreme 8K units. Note the very Sony looking jog wheel and alomost digibeta style push buttons.
And then we saw the sign saying that there was a dedicated DaVinci Resolve keyboard that was going to be announced! Only problem was it looks like the marketing team had got the wrong text to go with the title!
Grant got up and ran through the new machines and hardware. Luckily we can embed the presentation and if all goes well it should play from his introduction.
So if you haven't watched all the way though, we will post the first picture of the DaVinci Resolve keyboard below.
Grant said that the keyboard was designed for speed. They have obviously taken inspiration from the tape editing days as the new keyboard bears a striking similarity to the old Sony 9000/9100 panels.
Not to make me feel old, but I do have some of those old Sony keyboards in the background of my Twitter banner! It is not the first time I've seen a keyboard like this for an NLE. I managed to get a visit into the Sony R&D department in Japan and saw a very similar keyboard controlling an NLE with tape decks attached. It was never released :(
Just pausing the presentation news there, afterwards I ran around to the other side of the Blackmagic stand and managed to have a go on the keyboard myself.
It crashed the first time I went into shuttle, but from what I was told, this was a very early build and they wanted to show it at NAB this year.
How does it it feel? It felt familiar, but slightly odd. Not too sure that a jog wheel is now the fastest way to navigate up and down file based media. Blackmagic has also introduced 'scratch' which is very similar to FCPX's skimming feature.
The keyboard works with Resolve 16 which was also announced and a beta is ready to download from Blackmagic's site.
Again, the new Cut Page is very, very similar to FCPX's way of working and trimming, it shows the forward thinking the FCPX development team had more than eight years ago.
There are some features in Resolve 16 that we do like.
The dual timeline display is cool, showing a complete thin strip of the timeline (like in the Touch Bar when using fullscreen) and having an expanded version below will be very helpful.
Also Grant showed an automatic 'sync stack' builder. If you lay one angle from a multicam shoot on the timeline, then mark an in and an out on on another angle, by hitting the 'Source Overwrite' button it will lay that clip on top of the original clip in sync. Clever.
We also got shown the advanced audio metering in Resolve for loudness. As well as the normal LUFs and peak metering, there is an option to show the loudness history in the timeline.
Finally for Resolve, the ability to remove objects in the Fusion tab using the Neural Engine is cool. Just track a mask on an object and Resolve will fill the hole left.
This was very similar to one of Adobe's big new features for the recent update to After Effects.
However it all looks like a very good update for Resolve and maybe the Cut Page will bring some relief to FCPX editors who have to edit on PCs.
Then we walked through the know very busy show floor to go and checkout Frame.io's stand. They have just announced support for DaVinci Resolve.
In the picture below you can see Frame.io employee Thomas Szabo, who you might recall from the articles we ran back in 2014 on Clip Exporter.
We managed to catch 5 minutes with him after a demo and he said that the way that Frame.io integrates with Resolve is very different to FCPX. The code for using the service is 'in Resolve 16' and was actually written by Blackmagic. They used the new Frame.io API which is available for anybody to integrate into their workflow.
One of the options is to use Zapier. It doesn't require coding and acts like IFTTT. Check it out, we are sure there are some very, very clever things you could do with it, including connection to Kyno.
Want to know more about Frame.io and Resolve? Here's the video.
And last, but not least, especially as it was our first appointment of the day, The AJA press conference.
This has been traditionally held at 8am before the 9am Blackmagic conference, before 10am when the doors open. It was the same again this year, but AJA has moved away from the traditional product-for-product slugfest with their competitor.
AJA has now much more niched products, although we did like the look of the Ki Pro Go, a $3,995 unit that can record four angles from HDMI or 3G SDI inputs to four USB devices and (all of the angles) to another device on the back.
Maybe the biggest news for us editors was the upgrade of the Desktop Software to Version 15.2.
- Apple ProRes encoding and decoding up to ProRes 4444 XQ across Windows, Linux and macOS with free AJA Control Room software. Supports up to 8K resolutions.
- Up to 8K capture/playback with AJA KONA 5 in AJA Control Room and in the AJA SDK.
- SMPTE ST 2110 support for Io IP, AJA’s portable Thunderbolt™ 3 audio and video I/O device – bridging 10 GigE to Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Apple® Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer®, FilmLight products and more.
- A new AJA NMOS application supporting NMOS Rx/Tx.
- SMPTE ST 2110-40 ANC Rx and Tx support with KONA IP and Io IP.
Interesting to note here the support of ProRes across Windows, Linux and macOS, but no mention of ProRes RAW.
Which brings us on to this very interesting YouTube interview with Atomos CEO Jeromy Young. He says that he knows there will be at least 20 cameras that will support ProRes RAW recording with Atomos and he expects Adobe to also have support by this time next year. It is a must watch - did you know RED has a patent on compressed RAW? No, we didn't either.
Phew! A busy morning at NAB and no it is time to head off to the LumaForge Faster Togther party. Which might have the most interesting news of the day for us.:)