Blackmagic launches cloud software, hardware for video production

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hardware manufacturer black magic design unveiled a major cloud expansion for its do-it-all DaVinci Resolve post-production software, announcing multiple expansions and five hardware devices designed to facilitate remote collaboration, editing, review and sharing within its ecosystem .

The Australia-based company’s founder and CEO, Grant Petty, on Tuesday announced and showcased Blackmagic Cloud and related software and new hardware in a more than hour-long video presentation.

He said Blackmagic Cloud wouldn’t use a subscription business model that locks users into a specific ecosystem as they use it, and that Blackmagic wouldn’t track user data, two consumer pain points with many existing cloud services.

Instead, customers would pay $5 per month to create and host a shared library that can be used simultaneously by freelancers and other remote post-production creatives working on the specific project, such as color graders. , video and sound editors and visual effects specialists. . When the project is complete, the work can be exported and the project closed, ending the charges.

The company is still in the process of determining a similar monthly pricing structure for a separate presentations capability that will be integrated into the cloud software. The Presentations component can be used for training and education as well as project reviews and approvals. It creates a Zoom-like shared meeting area that stays open and available to project collaborators for the duration of the project.

Either way, freelancers/remote workers would only need to create their own Blackmagic Cloud ID and password to access, edit and collaborate on a project or watch/edit a presentation. These accounts will be free.

“I think we have a better business model here; it’s actually free,” Petty said of the company’s software approach. “If you’re doing well, you might buy some of our equipment to do even more. For us to make money, you have to make money.

Cloud functions will be integrated with new hardware and core components of DaVinci Resolve, version 18 of which is now available in public beta for testing.

Among other features designed to speed up remote collaboration, the company is releasing a separate free program, Proxy Generator, which creates much smaller, editable versions of original content as they become available on a storage device. Proxies can be easily shared and moved around for editing work, then re-exported to be applied to the final product.

Petty said the company needed to design a new way for Resolve to handle proxies, but the new approach creates and stores proxies in a consistent way so that third-party programs can more easily take advantage of them.

Cloud-based collaboration for video production is a specialized and technically demanding variation of the cloud-based document sharing approach that underpins programs like Google.

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GDocs suite.

Companies such as Frame.io, recently acquired by Adobe

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The Creative Cloud ecosystem has leveraged cloud-based services to dramatically improve remote collaboration for video editors, visual effects artists, color graders, and their clients, managers, and colleagues. Frame.io will make its own cloud product announcement later this week.

Unlike many software-based companies that rely on cloud tools for their business, Blackmagic is also launching six new hardware devices that can help power a company’s or individual’s cloud work.

At the heart of the initiative is the Cloud Store, a network-attached storage device tethered in a sleek black and silver tower case similar to its external GPU units released a few years ago.

The store, however, is optimized for hosting and handling large chunks of video and audio in its fast SSD storage banks in a redundant RAID 5 array, four Ethernet ports capable of 10 gigabyte throughput, and two additional ports for slower 1GB throughput. networks.

The base model with 20 terabytes of storage will retail for $9,595 and will be available later this quarter, with an 80TB model selling for $29,995. A version with massive 320 terabyte storage is on the way, though pricing is still undetermined, Petty said.

The Cloud Store is for large enterprises managing multiple major projects, Petty said. Two related new materials focus on small businesses and individuals.

One is the half-rack-sized Cloud Store Mini, which has an 8-terabyte capacity and costs $2,995, and includes two 1-gigabyte Ethernet connectors, USB and HDMI connectors.

An even smaller unit, the Cloud Pod, costs $395 and has no onboard storage, but does include USB connectors for two external drives and an HDMI connector for monitoring the pod’s work. It includes 10GB Ethernet and is both priced and palm-sized in design to appeal to a freelancer on a budget or someone working remotely who wants local file storage, review capabilities and privacy, Petty said.

All three Cloud devices come with built-in sync compatibility with Dropbox, Petty said. The company writes the software required to handle synchronization with other online storage services, with Google Drive likely to be added to the systems next, Petty said.

Separately, the company announced a 4K version of its HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR broadcast recording deck. The HyperDeack 4K is designed for live streaming and broadcast operations among other productions that don’t need expensive high-end 8k video output. The 4K device will sell for $2,995 and will be available in a few weeks.

The company also announced a new desktop-based video manipulation tool called HyperDeck Shuttle HD. It has a memory card slot, HDMI, jog wheel and other video transport buttons, and supports multiple video codecs including H.264, Apple

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ProRes and DNx, plus PCM and AAC audio. It even has a built-in teleprompter feature. The $495 shuttle is available now.

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