Monday, April 14, 2008

Avid Serves Up New Thinking - and some New Execs

- by Harry B. Miller III, A.C.E.

Avid sponsored an event at Universal’s Globe Theater for what looked to be around 500 post production specialists last week.

There were two items on the agenda, presided by the new Executive VP and GM of Avid Video, Kirk Arnold. The first was to introduce the “New Thinking” campaign. This is Avid’s new customer-centric program. The four pillars of which are Improve Value, Support, Community, and Dialogue.

The second item was the introduction of new hardware, the ‘DX’ line of boxes (Nitris DX and Mojo DX) that is the next generation of hardware in the line from AVBV, Meridien, and Adrenaline. The DX line enables editing in standard and high definition. This is a big plus over Adrenaline, which suffered from the 'what is the point' problem: it worked worse than Meridien, and came standard with no real needed features.

The line up of Avid personnel was impressive. At the presentation were Avid’s new CEO Gary Greenfield, old Senior Product Specialist Matt Feury, and old Solutions Manager Content Production Michael Phillips.

It is easy to be cynical about the “New Thinking” campaign. Some nice graphics and a few speeches don’t make a real change. Avid says they are listening, and want a ‘dialogue’ with their customers. We should take them at their word… until proven otherwise. Nothing besides friendly talk and free drinks showed any real change.

The disappointment in the evening to me was a demonstration at the end, that in actuality showed Avid is stuck in the “Old” thinking. Michael Phillips showed new software that allowed for editing films in 3D. Left and right eyes could be combined in groups. The editor could see one eye, both (in over / under), and simultaneously project a 3D image.

The 3D images were great. The way it is accomplished is daunting but interesting. Here’s the problem: who needs it.

Its unfortunate Avid spends time and resources on very niche solutions. ScriptSync is the same thing. A very cool technology, but how many editors can’t live without it? I’ve edited several 3D movies, mostly large format, but have never suffered for not being able to see 3D in my cutting room. It would be nice, but we never lock anything without screening everything in 3D many times.

Personally, I’d rather see a number of other things in the Media Composer: a ‘live’ interface where you can do other things while the timeline plays, background saves, simple burning to DVD, easy integration with Pro Tools, and the end of the “Bus Thread” errors.

Maybe when Avid addresses these issues instead of 3D editing, we’ll start to see some “New” thinking.


Blogger Carmelo said...

Avid can add 3D to the Media Composer but still can't make moving transitions while in segment mode easier !?!?

5:49 PM  

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