- Thursday, Jun. 23, 2016
In its continued support of all things VR, ASSIMILATE® announced today the new version 8.5 of its SCRATCH VR® Suite, the only professional VR end-to-end, real-time workflow with an all-inclusive toolset for working naturally within a 360 environment -- dailies, conform, color grading, playback, composting, cloud-based review and collaboration via SCRATCH Web®, finishing, and mastering in any format, any resolution. It’s a complete and powerful virtual reality (VR) toolset with specific creative functions for working in 360 media, enabling the highest level of quality and productivity, and it’s affordable for everyone.
The SCRATCH VR Suite 8.5 extends its headset support to now include the HTC Vive headset (https://www.htcvive.com/us/). SCRATCH VR also supports the Oculus Rift VR (https://www.oculus.com/en-us/) and the smartphone-powered headsets, such as SamsungGR (http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/gear-vr/?cid=ppc-) and Google Cardboard (https://vr.google.com/cardboard/index.html) for its online player.
Most recently, Dave E. Franks used the SCRATCH VR Suite for the color grading and finishing of Jaunt VR’s production of six “Pure McCartney” VR/3D episodes. Colorist Virgil Kastrup used it for the color grading and finishing of Makropol’s “Ewa”, a VR/3D pilot shown at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The SCRATCH VR tools have also been proven to be very useful within a VR pipeline as part of jobs with Samsung, Reebok, Momofuku, FOX, and many others.
“We introduced the SCRATCH VR Suite at NAB and are already announcing a product update to provide the ultimate VR workflow and tool set,” said Jeff Edson, CEO at ASSIMILATE. “VR is a new visual realm that requires the best advanced VR technology, and we’re committed to offering bleeding-edge tools that help creative professionals increase their innovation and productivity in storytelling.”
“It’s clear that high-quality VR content is really taking off in real-world applications – science, technical and vocational training, education, and of course entertainment – and ASSIMILATE is at the forefront of this next revolution in visual content,” said Lucas Wilson, VR producer at ASSIMILATE. “While the excitement is in the content, it’s the behind-the-scenes software and hardware that give filmmakers and content creators the needed tools to make quality VR happen. Working in a new technology like VR can be complex, and the SCRATCH VR Suite simplifies the workflow so that creators can stay focused on the content while maintaining high levels of productivity and quality.”
Learn more about the SCRATCH VR Suite at with these tutorials at http://www.assimilateinc.com/products/scratch-vr/
New SCRATCH VR Suite Creative Tools
- Playback and Review from the Desktop: Stereo or mono; single or split view; single or dual monitor; SDI out to a reference display or projector; and flat view or spherical projection. Output directly to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headsets and have all player controls available from within the headset. SCRATCH VR allows you to work, playback, and review 360 media from any angle.
- Cloud-based Review and Collaboration (via SCRATCH Web): Securely share, review, and collaborate 360 media through your own Web channel. Post a single shot or a hundred shots at once; create separate channels for projects or clients; invite others for review just by entering their email address; or review from your desktop, tablet or smart phone with your favorite VR headset.
- Manage 360 Media Metadata: Manage 360 specific metadata per shot, full timeline including versions, as well as on all output and deliverables. This ensures proper interpretation and playback in SCRATCH VR and on various 360 publishing platforms, such as YouTube 360 or Facebook.
- Editorial: Re-center a 360 shot to ensure the object of interest is maintained from shot to shot in your timeline. Stabilize your equirectangular shot or animate a new motion path to guide a viewer through a 360 scene.
- Grade and Composite: Apply blur, clarity or other effects without creating a seam in 360 projection. Add grading layers that are automatically repeated on the right or left side to the equirectangular image. Composite 2D elements into your 360 scene using the Equirectangular-2D effects node.
- Finish and Render: Output to any format or framer, and include all the necessary metadata for 360 publishing, such as YouTube 360. Output equirectangular, cubic or a 2D carve out from your 360 projection; animate the desired paths through the 360 scenes, set the field-of-view and render your 2D version.
- 3D/Stereo: 360 media is often produced in 3D stereo. Traditional 3D stereo is mostly delivered as two separate left- and right-eye file streams, whereas 360 media comes pre-wrapped as a single file stream with left- and right-eye in an over/under pattern. SCRATCH can handle both types of ingest with two different use models for working with stereo.
For more detailed information about the SCRATCH VR Suite 8.5, see http://www.assimilatesupport.com/akb/KnowledgebaseArticle50812.aspx
What Users and Partners Are Saying
“I used Assimilate’s SCRATCH VR Suite to color grade and finish JauntVR’s production of ‘Pure McCartney’, a six-sequence series of VR experiences,” said colorist Dave Franks (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1389400/). “I’ve graded dozens of both 2D and 3D features in SCRATCH over the past decade and the VR Suite is essentially an extension of that workflow – with all the needed VR tools streamlined into Scratch's well-established intuitive toolset. The grading and other finishing tools are ideal for working with this type of VR imagery to craft and hone the look of each sequence.” The VR series consists of vignettes of Paul McCartney assembled in a montage of his music, artwork, photographs, and other imagery, as he’s discussing his iconic songwriting and other anecdotes. See “Pure McCartney” at www.jauntvr.com.
Virgil Kastrup, who did the color grading and finishing of “Ewa”, a VR pilot included in the Cannes 2016 VR Pavilion, stated, “I used a Beta copy of Assimilate’s SCRATCH VR Suite. The VR suite offers the same caliber of tools and fluid workflow as SCRATCH, but they’re geared to work in the VR/360 space, as well as 3D. They’re intuitive and very easy to use, which gave me a confidence boost for testing looks and achieving a quality result.” See “Ewa” at www.makropol.dk.
Pricing and Availability
The SCRATCH VR Suite 8.5 is available immediately at $1,995 (US). Learn more at http://store.assimilateinc.com/products.php?product=SCRATCH-VR-Suite.
ASSIMILATE is the premier provider of real-time post-production and workflow tools that have proven essential to the successful creation of 2D/3D/VR studio and independent feature films, documentaries, TV episodes, and music videos. The SCRATCH product line, running on Windows and OS X, equips directors, DPs, on-set DITs and post-production artists with the state-of-the-art, cost-effective, data-centric solutions they need to meet the challenges of increased creativity and productivity amid ever-shrinking budgets. SCRATCH is resolution independent, supporting multiple formats, including ARRI RAW, KineRAW, Sony F5/55/65 and Cyber Shot s700, Phantom, Panasonic Varicam 4K, Canon C300/C500, Canon 3DGoPro, as well as enhanced support for all RED cameras. SCRATCH is the only post-production tool to support native Kinefinity RAW (KRW and DNG) files. The SCRATCH VR Suite is the only professional VR end-to-end workflow and toolset. SCRATCH enables mixing and matching of any camera format, resolution or color space (including ACES) on the same timeline. Learn more at www.assimilateinc.com.