New HDTV Color Grading System for Post Production and Broadcast.

Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK - News), today launched Autodesk Lustre HD, a new digital color grading system designed for working on high-definition television (HDTV) commercials and programming, as well as HDTV film projects. Lustre HD is the latest addition to the Autodesk Lustre family of nonlinear digital color grading products, which have been used to grade Academy Award-winning films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, in addition to HDTV programs like the BBC Natural History Unit's Planet Earth and Galapagos.

As blockbuster films and premium television programming raise the bar for visually compelling content, color grading is playing a growing role in creating differentiated content looks. Marc Petit, vice president of Autodesk's Media & Entertainment Division, said, "Nonlinear digital color grading has become the norm for feature film production, with Lustre having set the bar. We're now seeing growing demand for these specialized digital grading tools in the TV industry and for films shot in HD. The new Autodesk Lustre HD system provides post-production facilities and broadcasters with an affordable, software-based color grading solution that has unparalleled workflow and creative tools. It enables digital artists to explore creative options and deliver stunning looks."

Autodesk Lustre HD offers real-time primary and secondary color correction capabilities and real-time formatting of video deliverables using advanced Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technology -- available in commodity graphics cards. Petit added, "GPUs are proving to be a powerful and more flexible alternative to older technologies for real-time media processing. They are extremely fast and easily programmable, and are being developed at a faster pace than CPUs. As a result, Autodesk is able to offer Lustre HD, a system with GPU-acceleration technology, at a price that is considerably lower than proprietary hardware-based solutions."

The system offers colorists an intuitive, nonlinear environment for interactive color grading sessions, enabling them to collaborate with producers, directors, art directors and cinematographers to perfectly adjust the colors and looks of HDTV projects. Lustre HD is being beta tested around the world. Beta sites include The Video Lab in South Africa and Digital Pictures Melbourne, among others.

Minneapolis-based post-production facility Pixel Farm has been using Autodesk's Discreet Lustre system to deliver unique looks for feature films, music videos and commercials. Pixel Farm recently completed projects for Arctic Cat, Best Buy and Taco John's with its Lustre system.

"We've been ahead of the curve, using the Autodesk Lustre system for over two years to deliver not just film work, but also HDTV spots and music videos. It won't be long before digital color grading of HD content becomes mainstream," said Mohsen Sadeghi, Pixel Farm owner. "Lustre provides a great option for post-production facilities that want to add HD grading capabilities to their pipeline. Clients are asking for specialized grading services, and we're able to meet their needs with our software-based Lustre. Lustre has given us a competitive edge, while complementing our existing Autodesk visual effects and editing pipeline."

Autodesk Lustre HD Key Features
-- Creative Toolset: Explore creative options and create stunning new
looks with the innovative Lustre creative toolset, including
-- Primary and Selective Color Grading: Modify primary grades before or
after selective correction, featuring multi-layered selectives with
independent inside/outside settings
-- Hierarchical Shape System with schematic view and advanced GMasks:
Create variable-edged softness around shapes to blend colors
organically or imitate natural lighting falloff
-- Image Tracking, Keying, Pan and Scan, and accurate, automated Dust

-- Nonlinear Grading: With the Lustre nonlinear digital workflow, you
don't need to swap out film reels or cue up video to find the right
shot to grade
-- Move instantly between shots in the timeline or shot bin and re-
order shots before or after grading
-- Easily compare shots side-by-side, such as the first and last shot
in a sequence, in different contexts

-- GPU-Acceleration: Real-time color grading using the powerful NVIDIA
GPU, including
-- Real-time linear and logarithmic primary color grading with control
of shadows, midtones, highlights, input curves and more
-- Multiple HD layers of GPU-accelerated selective color grading using
a shape system with variable softness, keys, brightness, hue shift,
contrast and saturation

-- Real-time Video Deliverables
-- Frame-accurate output of multiple formats to video tape recorder
(VTR) via RS-422 without rendering, for example 2K to HD
-- Capture and conform from interlaced or progressive frame video
-- 10-bit HD SDI video output with real-time primary color correction,
3D LUT and animated repositioning and scaling using high-quality
Lanczos 3-Lobe filtering