The Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance, the leading provider of future-oriented solutions for enhanced digital media and cinema workflows, today announces the top technology trends for production and post-production for 2016. The trends stem from Fraunhofer’s research and development of the solutions professionals need to provide new creative opportunities to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape.
“The expectations for creative, immersive and high-quality cinema, television and Internet streaming are higher than ever before,” said Dr. Siegfried Foessel, spokesperson, Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance. “Professionals must enhance their workflows with the latest tools and solutions to meet these demands. Fraunhofer’s dedication to developing these technologies uniquely positions us with the knowledge of the innovations professionals need to overcome the challenges and take advantage of the creative opportunities of today and the future.”
The top technology trends for production and post-production are:
Convergence of the cinema, broadcast and multimedia worlds:
Content will no longer be solely produced to meet the specific technical standards for cinema or television or consumer devices. With the number of potential viewing screens increasing daily, along with an array of different resolutions, frame rates, color spaces and dynamic ranges, content must be developed so it is pervasive across all mediums. This requires universal technologies and standards ranging from file formats to codecs.
The rise of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF):
Currently in standardization by SMPTE, professionals will rapidly adopt IMF to simplify workflows and content exchange with a single, uniform format. The IMF is a universal format that can be converted into any distribution format for flexible transport between post-production stages, post-production facilities and content suppliers.
Demand for advanced compression technologies in production environments:
Providing the bandwidth and infrastructure for live productions to maintain resolution and dynamic range requirements up to 4K and beyond will become increasingly difficult over conventional Ethernet or HD SDI cables. The use of codecs to assure visually lossless transfer of this content for professional use case scenarios will become increasingly important.
Adoption of light-field technology:
The number of cameras and camera arrays used on set will grow rapidly to provide professionals with additional views for editing in post-production. Light-field technology exploits these views to create depth maps, virtual camera movements, changes in focus and relighting, along with enhancements for virtual backlot applications, all in post production based on a single shot.
The top trends arise from Fraunhofer’s close work with leading digital media and cinema research and technology companies and organizations from around the world. This includes the big six Hollywood studios, standardization groups including SMPTE and ISO, and partners such as Quantel, Avid and Blackmagic Design.
Fraunhofer IIS is currently supporting SMPTE standardization efforts by integrating IMF into its well-known easyDCP product line and participating in interoperability tests. Fraunhofer IIS also introduced light-field technology as a plug-in suite for the Foundry’s Nuke. The plug-ins’ light-field capacities range from focus shift to special effects, such as virtual camera movements, dolly-zooms, vertigo or the “Matrix” effect and relighting. These plug-ins are currently being tested by various Fraunhofer partners.
The Fraunhofer IIS Department Moving Picture Technologies is a member institute of the Fraunhofer Digital Media Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to provide new technologies and innovations for each step of any digital media or cinema workflow for immersive viewing and audio experiences that enable customers to stay ahead of the market. As a competency center for contract-based research and developments, the Alliance focuses on standards-compliant and future-oriented technologies and solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing workflows and customized for different applications to meet the needs of any customer.