CEDAR CREST STUDIO: Video Production

Non-Linear Video Production Suite

The newest centerpiece of Cedar Crest Studio's video production suite is a custom turnkey dedicated video computer built by 1Beyond Systems. It is a 990 DUAL XEON (Intel Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz Pentium 4) system with dual LCD 17" flat-screen monitors. The computer has 1 GB of RAM DDR 533 FSB. With enough space to store over 40 hours of uncompressed video, this screamer sports a 120 GB internal drive and 4 hot swappable removeable hard drives of 200 GB each. A Pioneer AO6 DVD burner is included, along with a rewritable 48x CD-ROM drive. It is complete with Gigabit Ethernet and firewire cards, an Altec Lansing speaker system, and a wireless keyboard and mouse, all custom installed ina Full Size black tower case. Running Windows XP Pro, it is rounded out with Premiere Pro and Adobe Encore DVD software, and Sony's Vegas 6.0 Video + DVD video editing software. In addition, the Excalibur Wizard has been included to make editing with Vegas a snap. ACID Pro 6.0 also resides on this system, making it easier than ever to create accompanying music soundtracks, foley work, and custom music beds on the fly during video production. This sysetm doesn't even breath hard when running Vegas on one monitor and ACID on the othjer monitor simultaneously. You can render video projects while at the same time work on music scores from this single machine. A Canopus ADVC-100 has been added for converting A-to-D and D-to-A between any of the four computers in the production suite.

The studio's #2 PC workstation is a 3 GHz Pentium 4 processor with 2GB of RAM and running Windows XP Pro, which is configured for audio production as well as website design and use, with enhanced graphics and sound capabilities. This system boasts a dual-screen 17" monitor set up. Complete album cover designs can be easily created and printed for cassettes, CD's, or video sleeve graphics, using Photoshop 7.0 with templates prepared for art designs. Direct-to-CD color printing is utilized with the Fargo Signature Series Thermal CD Printer. The main software choices are Vegas 6.0 + DVD for video and ACID 6.0 Pro for audio. This system is also home to LightWave 3D 6.5. NewTek's Aura2 is also available for 2D compositing and animated graphics design. In addition, this system offers DVD and CD burning. Additional video software include Adobe Premiere 6.0.

The Studio's #3 PC Workstation is a 2.42 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with 512 MB of RAM, running Windows XP Pro. This system has a hot swappablde 120 BG Video Drive and an 80GB Audio drive. In addition to an on board Canopus A-to-D convertor box and editing software, this computer has a Toshiba DVD burner and multiple USB ports. Vegas 6 + DVD, ACID 6 Pro, Photoshop 6, and Sound Forge reside on this system. We use this computer for audio/video chores, word processing, and advanced Photoshopping due to it's larger 21" CRT display.

The Studio's #4 computer is an HP Pavilion notebook with a 17" monitor display. This Pentium 4 runs at 3.00GHz with 512 Meg of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. It is outfitted with an ATI Graphics card, a 1394 Firewire card, and a DVD burner. It also is equipped with a high-speed DSL wireless modem. Software includes Lightwave, Aura 2.5, Acid Pro 6.0, Vegas 6 + DVD Architect. Additional external USB mass storage drives accompany the lap top, which is used for location video production work as well as configured for multitrack recording when used with our Mackie ONYX 1640 audio mixer with Firewire option. When not used on location, this computer is used for most of the audio recording at the studio.

All four PC's are connected on an Intranet network within the studio, using an LinkSys Ethernet Wireless Router. Data from all four systems is assessable from any work station keyboard. A combined storage capacity of well over 1 Terrabyte is available to the studio. In addition, a Reflex Two CD/DVD duplicator from DiskMakers can replicate DVD's at 16x speed, or audio/data CD's at 52x speed.

Cedar Crest Studio has been producing video work digitally with non-linear editing since 1995. The Amiga-based NewTek Video Toaster 4000 and Flyer Non-Linear Video Editing System, has been the original "workhorse" for the studio, and is still used in offline video production. The studio has two complete working systems in house. During post production, video clips are stored onto any of the six A/V hard drives available, including a 120-Gigabyte, an 18-Gigabyte, and three 9-Gigabyte video drives. Two additional 9-Gigabyte drives are used for storing audio clips, with 4 stereo audio tracks available simultaneously.

This system is designed to interface perfectly with the NewTek Video Toaster 4000 Production Center. This video engine boasts a 9-Gig HD and a 500-Meg Hard Drive, with 128-Meg RAM. The second system also has a 9-Gig system drive. Both systems run the latest Video Toaster 4.2 switcher software package. Literally hundreds of real-time digital effects, dissolves, and wipe patterns can be selected during production and editing with the Video Toaster. The studio has an extensive CD-ROM library with additional images, custom wipes, animations and audio clips. Full digital backup of client's entire video project files is done to 4mm-DAT computer storage media.

LightWave 3D 4.0, 5.5, and 6.5 are also used extensively during the post production process for creating "flying logos" and customized animations for clients. LightWave 3D is one of the foremost modeling and animation packages used in creating Hollywood special effects today. This powerful software was used in the creation of some of the special scenes in movie blockbusters like "Men In Black", "Titanic", "Lost In Space", "Starship Troopers", "The Matrix", and all the "Jurrasic Park" series.

The Toaster systems are enhanced with the addition of the WarpEngine Accelerator which speeds up rendering time and allows for animations to be created at four times the rendering speed of the normal 4000 system. LightWave 5.5 and 6.5 run on all three of the studio's PC's. Broadcast-quality CG effects (titling) with over 3,000 PostScript and Truetype fonts which are available for television commercial, legal, industrial, and corporate video production work. Further graphics software packages integrated into the Toaster include the award-winning MorphPlus and AlphaPaint packages, Image F/X 3.2, ProWave RenderFX and ProMix packages, FlyFX, RenderFX, OzWare's Co-Pilot Audio, Co-Pilot Video, FASTFRAMES, Multi-Cam Editor, and ShortCuts software. Other applications include Wavemaker, Art Department Professional, Deluxe Paint II, T-Rexx Pro, Forge, Pegger Image Compression System, and PanCanvas.

Field footage can be aquired on any one of the studio's five Sony camcorders. These units are 3-chip and come in three flavors. Camera One is a Sony UVW-100 Betacam SP camcorder with a Fuji lens. This is the top of the line analog camcorder with 1/2" HyperHAD chips. The UVW-100 is a single camera/recorder unit based on Betacam technology. It was designed for program acquisition in all areas but has been particularly popular in ENG (Electronic News Gathering) work. It's weight of 7.3kg, enabling single person operation, has no doubt added to its success. The UVW-100 features a compact design and incorporates a small drum mechanism. It has low power consumption (20W) and uses the familiar NP-B1 battery. It is equipped with a LTC (Longitudinal Time Code Reader) and is genlock-able to external time code which mean it is suitable for use in a multi-camera environment as well as single camera work. It also has an industry standard 26-pin interface allowing component and Y/C signals to be fed directly to another VTR. Audio input is via balanced XLR connectors, and in keeping with all UVW series models Dolby C noise reduction is used to enhance audio performance.

The studio also has two DSR-PD170's, MiniDV camcorders, with on board XLR mic inputs, also equipped with 0.8 wide conversion lens. The DSR-PD170 produces excellent video. This camera has gotten a lot of acclaim for its improved low light performance but this should not over shadow its excellent performance under ideal lighting conditions. At 3000 lux the DSR-PD170 is phenomenal. Colors are vibrant and really bring a nice feel to the image. The three 1/3 inch CCDs all have 380,000 total pixels and 340,000 effective for video acquisition in the 4:3 aspect ratio.

The studio also has two Sony DCR DSR-VX1000 Digital Video Handycams, the original MiniDV camcorder which started the MiniDV revolution. It was the first prosumer camera that enabled the user to transfer video information via IEEE 1394 firewire to a Windows or Macintosh computer. It was also the first camcorder in which both the MiniDV format and 3CCD color processing technology were used. This camera is considered by many to have set the standard for the entire prosumer video camera line by offering resolution and video clarity that was unrivaled at the time. Videos recorded in DV can have up to two times the horizontal resolution of VHS and three times the component color sampling. This results in sharper, brighter colors and the time base correction will eliminate the "jitters" encountered in some tapes. Adaptive Frame Interpolation interpolates both fields into one frame and smooths out jagged, stair-step images. 4-capsule microphone provides crystal clear stereo separation and superior digital wind noise reduction. Each CCD of 3-CCD imaging system has 410, 000 pixels for brilliant digital picture quality. The Dichroic Prism divides incoming light into red, green, and blue components for greater clarity.

We also still have one of the original Sony 3-chip camcorders, the venerable 3CCD-VX3. The Sony 3CCD-VX3 (often referred to as simply VX-3) was a Hi-8 camcorder noteworthy for being the first to feature dichroic (prismatic) imaging. The image is created using three 1/3" CCD chips by prismatically splitting the optics into red, green, and blue, and processing each of these channels individually; this preserves quality especially with red hues. The camera imaged in 410,000 pixels with horizontal resolution of better than 530 lines. During the mid-1990s, Sony dropped Hi-8 in favor of the emerging DV format, and as a result the VX-3 was discontinued in September 1995. However the VX-3 went on to serve as the framework for a line of professional DV cameras, including the DCR-VX1000, DCR-VX9000, and DSR-200. Currently we use this camera just for the 3-chip image quality in 0ur film-to-video transfer unit. It can also be used to capture live video direct to our laptop for location video production.

All footage can be captured or digitized to any one of our four workstations for post production. That means NO generation loss during the posting process, with more precise detail and accurate color than ever before possibly obtainable with an analog camcorder. These camcorders have all set new standards of field aquisition. A Stedicam camera stabilization platform assures motion-free camera movement and sensational pictures from a mobile camera source. An extensive array of lenses, filters, lights, fluid-head tripods and microphones - both hard-wrired and wireless, round out the portable video production system.

In addition to our digital video production workstations, the studio also has on hand several editing decks of various formats for playback, aquisition, or digitization to computer. We have a Sony Betaacm SP deck, a Sony DSR-30 DVCAM/MiniDV editing deck, and two VO-5600 2/3" editing decks. Offline we also have a complete 3/4" editing system consisting of Sony VO-5850 and VO-5800 editing decks with an RM-440 editing controller. The tape-based system is routed through a Harris 640 Time Base Corrector. Compatible formats include DVCAM, MiniDV, 3/4", VHS, stereo VHS HI-FI, VHS-C, 8mm, and Hi8mm. The video production suite has full patch bay access to the adjoining audio recording gear.

For more information contact:

#17 CR 830
(870) 488-5777

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