Latest post Wed, May 27 2009 7:32 PM by mrmikster. 43 replies.
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  • Thu, Apr 23 2009 10:21 AM

    Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Avid used to be known as having superior color correction to Final Cut. But all that changed with Apple's integration of Final Touch, a.ka. Color. Final Touch was a standalone grading and DI tool that cost a few to many thousands of dollars, depending on how it was configured.

    It was knockout blow to Avid's color correction supremacy.

    Avid's response has been to essentially ignore that Color even exists. When I've mentioned Color to Avid folks here in LA, I hear "Well you know it's a separate app." The retort to that is what separate app does Avid offer that is comparable to Color?

    I know there are workaround to get close to Color by using various layers and mattes, but it's not nearly the same.

    Color is so effective, that one of the biggest Avid resellers here in LA recommended to me buying a Mac and Final Cut just for Color, because Avid has no alternative. I came up with the idea of using a DS Assist Station, but that's no longer sold, and may not have been a truly viable option anyway.

    And in truth, for grading only, Color is probably better than either DS or Symphony. When FCP has grading tools that are quite possibly better than what's found in your high-end finishing solutions, you should be very concerned... err... worried. I am aware that DS offers an extensive toolset that make it very attractive for the right user, and that color correction is truly integrated into Symphony (instead of a separate app like Color is). But Color has better vignetting than Symphony and a control surface interface which no Avid app has. And I know professional colorists who do use Color, I've only met one who uses Symphony and none who use DS. It is true that my Rolodex is not filled with colorists.

    Now I know that Avid's retort has frequently been that it's the best editing platform. And it probably is. But it used to be the editing platform with the best color correction toolset. Why has Avid been so willing to relinquish that advantage for so long?

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Thu, Apr 23 2009 2:49 PM In reply to

    • TCurren
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    These are all things I have been asking Avid about for a while now. Greg Staten was in charge of Symphony development and he "got it" about color correction, but he is no longer with Avid. The problem is that we are not a big enough market for Avid to expend those kind of resources on. Is the Symphony CC good enough for broadcasters? Yes. That's all Avid cares about in the end.

    Symphony Nitris Classic, Symphony DX, MC Soft, MC Adrenaline, MC Adrenaline HD, Unity, Terrablock, ProTools [view my complete system specs]

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  • Thu, Apr 23 2009 3:52 PM In reply to

    • BLKDOG
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Actually it's not Terry. This feature request is taken very seriously by all the product designers, not just Greg. I am hoping to see more movement in this area as well and am very encouraged by what I have heard around the product team.

    Time will tell what comes out of any new programs that result from the excellent job Gary and his team are doing with the company but I assure you that everyone, at all levels of this company, care about what you care about, all  the time.

    Speaking personally, I don't like correcting in Color. Going quickly back and forth between the apps is time prohibitive in my workflow and someting I don't enjoy doing. I find myself giving up Color's more advanced features in favor of the greater speed in Avid's faster, albeit simpler, CC workflow. Again, that's only my opinion on my workflow but there ya have it.

    Project Manager, Avid Professional Services - Americas [view my complete system specs]

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  • Thu, Apr 23 2009 6:36 PM In reply to

    • TCurren
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    BLKDOG:
    This feature request is taken very seriously by all the product designers, not just Greg.

     

     

         It still comes down to money. How many more systems will Avid sell with an improved CC? Of course they will sell me, but will NBC jump on it? Or would supporting more formats and having better ISIS and Interplay support appeal more to NBC?

     

         At the end of the day Avid is a business. I don't blame them for putting their resources where they feel they can make the largest ROI. The addition of Color to the FCP suite at no cost would never happen in any business other than one run by what some people call a visionary and others call a nut.

    Symphony Nitris Classic, Symphony DX, MC Soft, MC Adrenaline, MC Adrenaline HD, Unity, Terrablock, ProTools [view my complete system specs]

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  • Thu, Apr 23 2009 9:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    TCurren:

    ...

         It still comes down to money. How many more systems will Avid sell with an improved CC? Of course they will sell me, but will NBC jump on it? Or would supporting more formats and having better ISIS and Interplay support appeal more to NBC?

          At the end of the day Avid is a business. I don't blame them for putting their resources where they feel they can make the largest ROI. The addition of Color to the FCP suite at no cost would never happen in any business other than one run by what some people call a visionary and others call a nut.

    Well the addition of Color has cut significantly into Media Composer sales. And selling just an additional 1,000 copies of MC would bring in over $1 million of revenue to Avid.

    And there are quite a few smaller production companies who would love to move further into the finishing game, especially as the Red is offloading image processing to post production. They couldn't afford a da Vinci, but they could a Symphony or DS.

    It's also about staying relevant. I can't believe it's that costly to add some better CC tools to Symphony and trickle a few down to MC.

    But Terry, I know I'm preaching to the choir.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Fri, Apr 24 2009 7:53 PM In reply to

    • Abeyta
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    I hope Avid can make the Symphony's color correction tools equal to Apples Color. The workflow in Symphony is much better and faster. It just lacks some of the key features that Color has. 

    Mac Pro 2013 6 Core 3.5ghz, MC Symphony 8.7, 16GB RAM, D700, OS 10.10.5, Ultrastudio 4K, Pegasus2 R6 12TB [view my complete system specs]

     

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  • Sun, Apr 26 2009 12:25 PM In reply to

    • luca.mg
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Will Avid have an answer to FC's mixing different frame rates in the timeline? Will Avid have an answer to FC's resolution indipendence? Will Avid have an answer to FC's fast import of many common files such as vob and eps and many others? And I'm sure there's more to ask for.

    Abeyta:
    I hope Avid can make the Symphony's color correction tools equal to Apples Color. The workflow in Symphony is much better and faster. It just lacks some of the key features that Color has. 
    To really partially fill the gap Avid should make universal mastering and secondary colour correction standard features on MC, while implementing better file import for it's editors and further developing Synphony, or better yet drop Synphony and include its features in MC or drop MC and price Synphony at the price of MC while keeping to invest in R&D and quickly improve the software: Avid should not make its tools equal to Apple's, should make them better; to stop losing market the company could make availabe the technology embedded in Synphony to a broader range of customers while developing new features or improving the exhisting ones, and, as stated across many discussions in these forums, the Company has to act fast to avoid sinking.

    Symphony 2018.12.3, BM Intensity Pro 4k, Windows 10, i7-5930K, 32 GB ram, Quadro K620 [view my complete system specs]

    peace luca

  • Sun, Apr 26 2009 4:17 PM In reply to

    • TCurren
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    luca.mg:
    Will Avid have an answer to FC's mixing different frame rates in the timeline?

     

    When they do, it better work correctly. FCP's doesn't and the average FCP user doesn't know the difference.

     

    luca.mg:
    Will Avid have an answer to FC's resolution indipendence?

     

    DS.

     

    luca.mg:
    Will Avid have an answer to FC's fast import of many common files such as vob and eps and many others?

     

    They can do that by adding support in AMA for various codecs. At least the tool is there now.

     

    luca.mg:
    Avid should not make its tools equal to Apple's, should make them better;

     

    I think we all agree here.

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  • Sun, Apr 26 2009 8:59 PM In reply to

    • NICKB
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    'Avid should not make its tools equal to Apple's, should make them better'

     

    Yes but they need to restrict the better tools for the high end products not Media Composer.

  • Sun, Apr 26 2009 10:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    The question is back to front.

    Color was Apples answer to Avid Pro leaping miles ahead of FCP by getting colour correction. Having no clues of their own for colour correction in a typical Apple solution and they spend big on a failing company. Subsequently bundling that companies $20K+ program and giving it away free. 

    How do you compete with that? For me you dont bother as you still have to leave your NLE to use Color so there is little difference from exporting from Avid if you want to use it.

  • Mon, Apr 27 2009 4:22 AM In reply to

    • Codec Moment
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    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    AndrewAction:
    How do you compete with that? For me you dont bother as you still have to leave your NLE to use Color so there is little difference from exporting from Avid if you want to use it.

    I do this but it's no fun. Essentially your options are to use an EDL/AutomaticDuck to rebuild your sequence in FCP, or to use a QT file/Tape layback to and cutlist. Niether of these are particularly good or quick. Since color's rendering is built off the idea of going back to FCP, there are going to be additional hoops to jump if you have a reason to finish in an Avid product. Regardless of the annoyances that moving between FCP and color entail, you can't tell me that it's anywhere near as bad as getting to color from any other application.

    The real issue here is that regardless of whether Symphony or DS do have comperable/better CC than Color, it doesn't change the fact that Color is still cheaper than one seat of MC. Competing with color means competing in that price range.

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  • Mon, Apr 27 2009 5:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Codec Moment:
    the fact that Color is still cheaper than one seat of MC. Competing with color means competing in that price range.
    The fact is Apple was in a position to give Color away in the same way they have done with FCP for its whole life to secure Mac sales (It's core business).   Why compete in a race to the bottom where the only winner can only be the one with deepest pocket (full of a torrent of i profits)

     

    Have you considered that MC's built in CC, along with the bundled BCC colour correction, is more than enough for probably 95% of its users. 4.8% of the remaining 5% will be needing and using solutions much better than Color. That does not leave a very large client base IMO to support a move to develop an "Answer to Color"  (all figures used in this argument are pure guesses on my part)

  • Mon, Apr 27 2009 5:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Andrew, Symphony is a finishing system. Finishing includes color correction. That FCP (at truly a fraction of the cost) has better CC capabilities is an embarrassment.

    In the case of Media Composer, there is probably less of a need for Color's toolset. BUT the off-line to on-line paradigm is fading away. A lot of people buy FCP b/c it offers the possibility of finishing. Now if they actually will finish their own film is another story, but Color is a good selling tool.

    In truth, we shouldn't even be having this discussion. These features should have been added ASAP. Avid's development cycles take way too long. And it seems that not enough resources are devoted to development.

    I can't believe that adding an answer to Color would have cost more than the revenue lost as a result of doing nothing.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Mon, Apr 27 2009 6:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    BobbyMurcerFan:
    BUT the off-line to on-line paradigm is fading away.
    Says who?  With 40 HDCAM SR tapes in a project how many are going to front for enough fast RAID storage to keep that online at full res for months.  Proxies out of XDCAM HD make it a perfect offline online format. Constantly having all the footage availabe for upward of 200 projects in low res here makes sevicing clients needs a far more flexible option.

     

    BobbyMurcerFan:
    has better CC capabilities is an embarrassment.
    to who???  a few people for whom the grass is always greener over THERE and who believe the marketing hype Apple currently surround Color with.

    As you allude to in

    BobbyMurcerFan:
    Now if they actually will finish their own film is another story, but Color is a good selling tool.
    take the marketing hype out of it and then look at how many people NEED Color? And if they do look the friendly folk at Apple took a $23k program and gave it to you for $1.5k and wait theres more they will throw in a bundle of other toys to.

    Sorry aquiring another tool for a sixteenth of its supposed value is not something I could get embarrased about

     

  • Mon, Apr 27 2009 7:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Will Avid Have an Answer to Color?

    Andrew,

    When I say the "off-line to on-line paradigm is fading away," I'm talking about using completely separate systems for off-line and on-line. You can see in how MC works that it assumes audio and grading are done elsewhere.

    Color gives FCP off-line to on-line capabilities in the same production suite. This is very appealing and has created a threat to Avid that it has yet to address, even in its highest-end systems costing upward of $70K. The addition of color-based secondaries to DS is a step in the right direction, but it's not enough. Color is a better CCing platform than either DS or Symphony, and that IS an embarrassment.

    And yes, I think anyone who owns a Symphony NEEDS better CCing tools. Mainly b/c it's a finishing platform.

    As for MC, perhaps it's not "fair" that Apple decided to give away Final Touch. But it's there and not going to be removed. And it has been a very good selling point for FCP. Ignoring it isn't going to make it go away, and it certainly isn't a response with effectiveness.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

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