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Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?

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Jeff Markgraf
Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 3:37:04 am

I just know there are a bunch of old-timers lurking here who can answer this.

I'm trying to remember the name of what could best be described as a 2.5-D graphics system from the early/mid 90s. It combined paint box functions with compositing and limited motion graphics. Definitely not Hal or Henry, definitely not SGI, but in the same general class (only cheaper). Custom keyboard and joystick controller, along with a pen and tablet. Not Mac/PC-based like a Toaster or software-based like After Effects. Tell-A-Vision Post (aka TVPost) in Hollywood had one. Maybe three people in Hollywood at that time knew how to use it.

It's driving me crazy. Anyone?

Jeff M.
Old Fart Who Loves My FCP-X But Sometimes Misses Linear Editing


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 3:55:14 am

Quantel Paintbox?



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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 5:54:08 am

Nope. It did a lot more than a Paintbox. I think it had a three letter name, like DPS, but obviously not DPS. Any other takers?


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Mike Smith
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 1:58:27 pm

Maybe something from the ADO line - though they were quite high end ...? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_video_effect







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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 3:26:22 pm

You don't mean the Dubner system, do you? It was the grandfather of TypeDeko, and the other Pinnacle boxes/software, and had paint, motion graphics, a live sequencer, and a basic 3D wireframe system (but the shading was pitifully poor - kind of like Phong shading). For its time, it was an amazing box. I moved up to that from a Quantel Paintbox, and was thrilled with the fact that the Dubner had K Language, which would allow you to convert graphic designs to text, which could then be programmed to take CG input from our CG operators. It was a system I could "monkey proof", in that all the operators had to input was the data, and the correct fonts, colors, and sizes were hard wired into the macro. It save time and mistakes, and kept me sane, since most of the new CG ops seemed to have a great love for the Hobo typeface...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:31:31 am

Hi Joseph. Nope, not Dubner. I remember the Dubner 20k fondly. Lots of advanced features and easy integration with a GVG edit system. Even us old online guys could do pretty decent graphics and compositing work with it. An loved (not really) that Bernoulli tape drive storage.

Ha! Hobo. Almost as bad as Comic Sans.


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 11:35:34 am

"Old Fart Who Loves My FCP-X But Sometimes Misses Linear Editing"

One thing I've never ever missed is linear editing.

Though at various IBCs I've walked down the corridor and heard a very familiar ancient sound in the distance which did evoke a bit of nostalgia -







Bernie


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Chris Harlan
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 20, 2014 at 8:24:11 am

Ever see one of those suckers fly across the room on rewind after somebody forgot to lock the capstan? It could take a head off. Well, not really, but would have hurt a whole lot.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:41:26 am

Chris, you're quite right. I had a friend who managed to spin a 1" reel off the machine and through the window separating the edit bay from the machine room. It was a VPR 6, if I recall, and they could get up quite a head of steam in full fast forward or rewind. He forgot to tighten the supply reel clamp before rewinding. It was a post house in Dallas, located oddly enough, at Love Field. Nobody hurt, but a lot of damage.


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Paul Neumann
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 2:10:56 am

Video Post & Transfer.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 4:36:32 am

Yes indeed. That rings a bell.

Since we're all so OT here, I'm curious how many on this forum are from an online background? By which I mean old school, linear editing using Beta/1"/D2/DigiBeta/D3/HDCam, etc. Switchers, ADOs, TBCs, knowing how to set SC/H phase, and all the other stuff. How do you think it has influenced how you approach non-linear editing?

Maybe a different thread would be in order? Or does no one actually care?


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Scott Thomas
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:58:48 am

My editors, in order:

Sony RM-440
Sony Betacam (Front Panel)
CMX Edge
Sony BVE-900
GVG VPE-241
Avid MC-1000
Immix VideoCube
Apple Final Cut Pro
.
.
.
There's some JVC and Panasonic stuff near the beginning, but the RM-440 was the first and probably my favorite.

I don't include the Accom Affinity. It was a tragic waste of time.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on May 13, 2014 at 7:58:20 pm

Started out at an RCA-equipped television station. TR-1, TR-4, 2xTR-60, TR70-C (no time code on any of them) -- edited machine-to-machine -- producer punched a "start all" button in the control room, and did all the switching and fader bar transitions. Big deal when the BVU-200s arrived with their 2 machine controller, whatever BVE it was. Then three VPR-1s arrived, which were replaced by VPR-2s. I moved to a post house that could gang 3 time-code enabled AVR-3's together, optimize record current everyday, set ScH for every edit session -- at least it was good for in-frame match edits so we didn't need to do A-B rolls. The engineering department there pioneered an Apple II-based "film conform" system that converted a foot+frames EDL paper list to a paper EDL that we could enter into the Ampex (pre ACE) machine controller. DVE was a Vital Industries "Squeezoom"... four channels of SD video! Tumble turns! Learned how to operate a 3M D8800 character generator.

Moved to SONY. Then on to an AV department where I encountered M-Format ("Recam")... and a lovely BVH-2000 that was a real workhorse. Grass Valley system -- GVG-100/ DPM-100 and whatever controller was integrated. Over 20 years ago. Then started working as a colorist and went over to daVinci Renaissance although I was trained on an 8:8:8, which didn't arrive at the facility I was hired at until 5 years later. Rank-Cintel URSA, eventually with MetaSpeed and a TLC-II controller (best multi-machine multi-format controller I have ever seen), and now, you know, a bunch of Macs and software.

I have to stop and dab an eye when I think about the millions of dollars of scrap metal out there, and the blood, sweat and tears shed over media that will never be seen again. Was it all just wasted time? Thanks, Don Henley.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:36:08 am

Yes, Bernard. Great memories. That looks like a newer RCA quad machine. It's pretty quiet, and the guy ion the video comments on the fast lock-up time. The older Ampex decks took longer and were noisy as hell. I was still rolling news opens and bumper backgrounds on those decks as late as 1986.


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jerry wise
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 5:06:05 pm

Ampex AVA ?


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Michael Sanders
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 19, 2014 at 8:40:01 pm

In the late 80's I working for a Swedish TV co based in London. We had a graphics system there which I think was called Matisse.. If I remember rightly it was PC based but with its own hardware board.

Fairly sure its what the ITV weather team used for a number of years as well.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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John Kaley
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:54:25 pm
Last Edited By John Kaley on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:56:22 pm

Probably DFX Composium. Used it at Grace & Wild (RIP) in the Detroit area in the mid-90's. Great system until I got my hands on After Effects in 1995.



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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 1:27:16 am

And the prize goes to John Kaley!

DFX Composium it is - er, was. You have no idea how this has been driving me crazy for weeks. Interesting box with a weird, in-between feature set. So much more than a switcher/ADO/CG, yet so much less than a Henry/Hal or the like. Killed by the transition from hardware to software.

Wow. Grace and Wild. There's a revered name from the past.

Thanks for the ID.


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Scott Thomas
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:49:27 am

I was going to guess DFX/Composium, based on your first post. I worked with an AD that wanted to buy a used one in 1998. By that time, After Effects had pretty much supplanted it, and I became a pariah for suggesting that.

I did see one in operation in Chicago in the early 1990's.

I also ran a Colorgraphics DP/MAX and DP/4:2:2. Weird stuff from Madison WI that did some of the same stuff as the DFX.


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Apr 21, 2014 at 12:07:51 pm
Last Edited By Bernard Newnham on Apr 21, 2014 at 12:10:20 pm

"Yes, Bernard. Great memories. That looks like a newer RCA quad machine."

Apologies for going so far off topic, but you did put it in your sig.

That's a Ampex AVR2. The BBC was full of them, and all of ours had the footbrake that he mentions. I was never an editor, but I spent a lot of my youth in editing areas at the BBC as a producer making promotions -







Though that was probably 1" or D3, 2" was the environment where I learned to make quick decisions, owing to the fact that changing tapes often took more time than editing the clips. I only started editing myself when non-linear came along, first on Eidos Optima, then on all flavours of FCP up to 7. Then Edius and PPro.

Bernie


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Kelly Griffin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 6:21:41 am

I could cry.

DFX Composium. I lived on that beauty for seven years with Northwest VideoWorks in Portland, OR. They billed my ass at $350/hr. all through the 1990s.

In November of 1997 the owners saw the writing on the brick-and-mortar post house wall and threw in the towel. But, I was still booked solid with clients (I'm not joking) while the auctioneer house was putting lot labels on tape decks, monitors, speakers and the freakin' back of my CHAIR as I sat working with a client.

That was what told me, "If ever there were a time to give it a shot on your own, here's your sign."

So I did. Thank you, DFX Composium.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 11:57:57 am

In NY City in the 1990's Flame Artists rate was $800 - $1200 a day - just for the freelancer. Those days are over.

I have no idea of who actually uses Quantel Rio's and Clipsters today. I certainly never see them. And back in the day, almost no one ever saw a Davinci Resolve, unless you were in a handful of color correction houses. Today, everyone and his mother has Davinci Resolve.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 6:41:13 pm

I will let you know that my mother DOES NOT have Davinci Resolve. You are SO WRONG!



I don't think she even uses the Resolve carpet cleaner...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Neil Sinclair
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 6:46:17 pm

Whilst we're travelling down memory lane.....

Did anyone else use a Paltex Esprit Edit controller in their linear suites? I joined a broadcaster in the early nineties that had bought one for some obscure reason. Coming from Sony 9000's it was an absolute ball ache to use.
I think we had to export EDL's in CMX via a floppy disk to a PC to edit every time we needed to ripple the record time!
(Or maybe I've made that up, it been a while!) I can still hear the sound of that solid metal shuttle controller grinding away whilst editing.....


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Bob Zelin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 9:24:47 pm

you see, Neil and Shane -
if you would JUST STOP THINKING, and just use Apple FCP X, Apple Compressor, Apple Motion, and an iMac Pro - you would NEVER need anything else for the rest of your life (until Apple releases "the next thing") - and everything would just work, you would never complain about things not working, and you could move on with your life (like using RESOLVE carpet cleaner, and the other important things in life)



What I find funny about this forum is that "we" have been using Apple products, and have been Apple "loyal" before these "kids" were even born. And they are trying to tell us about "oh, you should use Apple only". I doubt they even know who Steve Jobs is !

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 26, 2018 at 10:23:45 pm

[Neil Sinclair] "Did anyone else use a Paltex Esprit Edit controller in their linear suites?"

My mom.

;)

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Neil Sinclair
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 27, 2018 at 7:40:45 am

Paltex not Playtex !!! ......... I thank you, I'm here all week!!'


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Juris Eksts
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 27, 2018 at 1:17:10 pm

I used the Paltex controlling a 3-machine U-Matic suite for quite a few years.
The edl system meant you didn't have to hand write the Time Code numbers.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 27, 2018 at 2:01:24 pm

In 1980, I worked as a tech for National Video Center on 42nd St. in NY City. They had Paltex editor controllers with their huge GVG300 switchers and 1" VTR's. As the industry moved forward, I would see their "senior editors" say all kinds of bad things about CMX, Sony, GVG, etc. because they KNEW Paltex, and everything else "sucked". I was amazed by this attitude back then.

As time went on, I observed the same behavior of editors (to this day). GVG and Sony suck, because "real editors" use CMX. Then AVID sucked because real editors used linear video to "on line" with. (and during the linear days, every new VTR format sucked because nothing was as good as whatever they owned at the time). The linear editors refused to learn AVID, because the AVID editors were not REAL editors. Then AVID took over, and FCP sucked. Because the AVID editors did not want to learn FCP. And then Premiere, and now Resolve and FCP X.

It is a common behavior that I have seen throughout my career, after a certain age. "I know how to use XYZ, and everything else thats new SUCKS and I am not going to learn how to use it - why - because it sucks".

To me, that is the real laughable behavior I have seen over the decades. Refusal to learn because "what I know is the best" - because they can't be bothered to learn anything new. This certainly applies to the IT directors I meet to this day.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 27, 2018 at 2:20:41 pm








I cut my teeth editing reel-to-reel EIAJ half-inch black and white RTR in junior high and high school.

Started at this current job shooting on Sony M3's with portable decks, and editing 3/4-inch to one-inch Sony with a Grass 100 switcher and an EECO EMME edit controller... a beautiful machine in appearance as well as performance. The 3/4 source decks gave way to betacam then beta SP, about ten tears behind everybody else... and then came the Grass 200 switcher and a bit later, my best friend in the world, the Pinnacle Alladin. Oh, the fun times spent with that box, I'm not kidding. I made that thing dance, sing and do the dishes.







The betacam Sp decks were slowly replaced by DVCPro, then DVC Pro HD. It's only in the last handful of years our shop went essentially tapeless with P2 cameras and AJA disk-based recording/playback units.

To the question; I believe strongly that learning linear editing first is the best grounding for learning NLE editing, even if you just do that for one day. Most of the skeuomorphics and interface metaphors of our current editing interfaces come from that world.



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Scott Thomas
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 8:38:03 am

Ah! DF/X Composium...

I saw one at Post Effects in Chicago around 1989 or 90. Mike Fayette was a very kind host to my older brother and I.

My boss in Orlando had used one, and wanted us to buy the used one from Century III in late 1997. I admired them, but I tried to explain that you could do everything it did with After Effects, for a lot less money. The boss wasn't happy with my reasoning. Thankfully, I think that person is out of the business now.

Other weird systems:
Colorgraphics ArtStar 3D Plus
Colorgraphics DP 4:2:2 and DP-Max
Dubner CBG (Huge at ABC Network, (See 20/20) and Video Post and Transfer I believe)

Ampex had the first commercial paint system called AVA. (Ampex Video Art) There is a tangential link to Pixar there.

Never used, but saw Aurora paint systems at CNN Center in Atlanta in the late 1990s(?)

Aurora became Chyron Liberty Paint on SGI, and that became something else...

There was III or Triple I , first on Symbolics, and later on SGI. There's a Disney Tron link there.

Perhaps the Computer History Museum could do a wing of video graphics systems?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 1:46:14 pm

of course, no one has brought up Quantel. It's hard to believe that a Quantel Painbox was $250,000. So were single channel AMPEX ADO's. And people would have 4 channels of them !

Of course what bothered me (everything bothers me) - is when I started to talk about Adobe Photoshop, and the Painbox guys would call it "Photo-toy". All these guys that made fun of all the "cheap stuff" (including AVID, etc.) - well, they are all UNEMPLOYED now. And since this is the Final Cut Pro X debate forum - all the guys that make fun of FCP X - well, just wait and see what happens. (and I am no great fan of FCP X - but I see what is happening).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:05:01 pm

[Bob Zelin] "when I started to talk about Adobe Photoshop, and the Painbox guys would call it "Photo-toy". All these guys that made fun of all the "cheap stuff" (including AVID, etc.) - well, they are all UNEMPLOYED now. And since this is the Final Cut Pro X debate forum - all the guys that make fun of FCP X - well, just wait and see what happens. (and I am no great fan of FCP X - but I see what is happening). "

Hell, it happened with FCP-Legacy and even happened to me when cutting on an early Avid. Had to render a dissolve and a linear guy walked by and smugly said his Sony switcher would do a dissolve in real time. Totally missing the forest view.

Scott Witthaus
Visual Storyteller - FCPX, Premiere
https://vimeo.com/channels/1322525
Managing Partner, Low Country Creative LLC
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:05:31 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "mugly said his Sony switcher would do a dissolve in real time."

Sure it could. After he dubbed his next shot to a b-roll reel... (or had his tape op do it for him!)


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:03:16 pm

[Bob Zelin] "And people would have 4 channels of them !"

Don't forget the combiner. So you could link all 4 channels into one output.


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:24:15 pm

[Bob Zelin] "It's hard to believe that a Quantel Painbox was $250,000."

We would buy so much Sony gear each year that when our company went to NAB (sometimes 15 of us), Sony would rent out a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse room for a night and basically said "have at it". And then would take those of us who golf out to exclusive desert courses. Hell, $15,000 + was small change for the amount of gear we were buying.

Ah, the good old days....they are good and gone now.

Scott Witthaus
Visual Storyteller - FCPX, Premiere
https://vimeo.com/channels/1322525
Managing Partner, Low Country Creative LLC
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Tim Wilson
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 8:30:09 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Jun 28, 2018 at 9:24:43 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "[Bob Zelin] "It's hard to believe that a Quantel Painbox was $250,000."

....Hell, $15,000 + [to wine/dine/golf us] was small change for the amount of gear we were buying. "


It's not hard to believe at all. It has always been the case that rigorously-compliant gear that could quickly move enormous amounts of data always cost plenty. That said, Paintbox's price was considered a shocking breakthrough, because one person could now do in more or less real time what had taken a team weeks to do -- if it could be done at all. Let's not forget that the REAL revolution of Paintbox is that it allowed people to do what had previously not been practical at any scale of time and money otherwise. That's why everybody HAD to have one.

And billing at $1000/hr or more as was common well into the 21st century for rooms like this, you were in pure profit mode in a matter of months, . There'd never been an ROI even vaguely like it --- not just because of what it cost, but because of how much you could MAKE with it.

Here's a great launch video for the 1990 iteration of Paintbox. It's 5 minutes long, and worth every second of your time. The first 2 minutes or so takes you through the 80s, and what a breakthrough it was, and how ubiquitous it was.

You can look at this and laugh now (as indeed I did just now), but don't forget that as late as 1998, After Effects still had one undo, no editable text, pretty much every operation was destructive, no 3D space, no paint, no roto, on and on and on. People could do miracles with it, yes, but it wasn't necessarily easy. (Easy to start? Yes. Easy to master? No.) And at the end of it, miracle in hand, you couldn't charge more than a fraction for it as something similar but even less sophisticated that someone completed in a fraction of the time with a Paintbox.

Where the math started to change was when you could do things in AE that were impossible in hardware, similar to what Paintbox had done 20 years earlier.

Anyway, this is a trip. Watch it all. You'll dig it.



It's worth remembering that Quantel is still around, albeit under the SAM banner, but they're still getting high-five figures into six figures for boxes for the same reason they always have: you can do cool stuff fast. We don't hear about 'em much because they wisely got out of the stock market so nobody would yap about irrelevant nonsense like how many of 'em were sold. Wall St. doesn't know what to do with a company that only sells a couple of hundred (or less) really expensive things, so they wisely stopped trying to teach Wall St. the basics of business. You only need to make more than you spend and have happy customers.

That's not enough for the market anymore, so Quantel / SAM wisely walked away to focus on doing what they do. Very quietly serving their mature niche market, selling to people who are still billing enough to make this stuff a bargain.

Another observation about price along these lines. I spent 2003-2006 at Avid sitting next to the product manager for Avid DS. I'd say 10% of his calls were from people who wanted Avid to get on the stick with development (we need more features! we need more marketing support!), but 90% of his calls were people SCREAMING that $145,000 (including storage) was TOO LOW A PRICE. When I say "screaming", I'm not kidding. "Our clients read trade magazines, they go to NAB, they know how much this stuff costs, and I'm having to cut my prices by two-thirds because you want to come in so much cheaper than Flame -- it's KILLING us."

THAT's why that product failed. I saw how much development and marketing effort it got. PLENTY. But it got eaten from below by After Effects and DaVinci Resolve, got eaten from above by Discreet (who's also doing just fine, thanks), and its target customer couldn't monetize a product that cost so little.

That's always going to be the yin and yang of graphics hardware market dynamics. Buy something cheap, make a little. Buy something expensive, make a lot.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 9:45:34 pm

this is an AVID DS Story
I certainly don't recall the year (some time in the 2000's), but it was at Electronic Arts (Tiburon). Electronic Arts purchased two or three AVID DS systems and hired Kelly Austin from The Golf Channel to be the DS Artist. Kelly was one of the few people that knew how to use it, and was good at it. A few years later, a directive from management came down to GET RID of the AVID DS systems, and buy ANYTHING ELSE - why ? Because the AVID DS Support contracts were $9000 per year per system, and Electronic Arts was not going to pay for this. SO - what did they choose - FCP - just like everyone else in the early - mid 2000's. The acceptance of FCP was a financial decision (and it was actually a pretty good program) while all the "old school" AVID editors all said "FCP sucks" (hey - those old school AVID editors that still exist in LA STILL say that FCP sucks - and everything else sucks).

And for the three youngsters reading this thread written by old men - that free Davinci Resolve that you are now using - that was made in Coral Springs Florida, a Davinci Resolve system (with SGI computer) cost $400,000.
Today - free (ok, 35 grand if you get the full control panel). And the Teranex (made right here on Sand Lake Road in Orlando Florida) was between $60,000 and $80,000 - now $1695 new.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 10:58:13 pm

[Bob Zelin] "And for the three youngsters reading this thread written by old men - that free Davinci Resolve that you are now using - that was made in Coral Springs Florida, a Davinci Resolve system (with SGI computer) cost $400,000.
Today - free (ok, 35 grand if you get the full control panel). And the Teranex (made right here on Sand Lake Road in Orlando Florida) was between $60,000 and $80,000 - now $1695 new. "


This is of course the absolutely true flipside of what I was just saying, that you can still spend bigger money on systems in order to MAKE bigger money....

....but if you're in a position with limited upside, my goodness gracious, why spend more than this??? The prices are shockingly low to me, but equally shocking that the stuff itself is terrific at that price. Not only did Blackmagic drop the price of of Teranex by north of $70,000 in some cases, they made them smaller, lighter, quieter, and dramatically increased IO and format support. Astonishing.

When we spoke to Grant in 2009 following the DaVinci acquisition, he said, "You know what, there's almost no margin in the control panel. That's how much it costs to make a control panel that good, so I'm not going to be able to reduce the price of that in any major way. I don't know for sure yet, and I'll keep digging, but maybe none at all." And he's right. People who spend even a tiny bit of time on those things understand exactly why the big control surface costs what it does.

DaVinci's model was always to charge as little as they could for THAT, and as much as possible for all the rest -- software, support, etc. -- which of course Grant is interested in charging as LITTLE as possible for. If 4K is good enough for you, then you downloading it for free is good enough for Grant. Or heck, buy a camera for crazy short money and get the "expensive" version free, too. That'll work.

The additional miracle to me is that Grant has made compelling smaller versions of the control surfaces for prices that really do strike me as nutso compared to similarly-scaled products.

But I'll bring it back to Quantel again and note that Grant is free to run his company on the business model that works for him -- which I can briefly summarize in words he wouldn't use to say, "Profit to enable anything more than paying people well and funding future development is theft" 😂 -- and Quantel is free to develop the products their customers need, no more and no less, because they're not on the hamster wheel of public trading.

Not that there's not room for both kinds of companies in my own product portfolio (there absolutely is), but I've enjoyed spending less time watching the stock price of the companies whose products I might consider using, and paying more attention to the companies who are smart enough not to play that game.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:54:29 pm

[Scott Thomas] " Mike Fayette was a very kind host "

Mike was a rock star. Didn't really know him personally, but he was legendary in Chicago. Same for Post FX.

[Scott Thomas] "Century III in late 1997"

Did Century III absorb what was left of TeleMation? Or was it just that the TeleMation/Chicago sort-of-boss (John...something with a 'D') ended up there when Chicago shut down?


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Scott Thomas
Re: Laughably OT: Can you ID an old graphics system?
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:04:35 am

Century III was Boston and Orlando based. Oliver Peters probably knows more about them. I worked with a couple of former CIII editors when I lived in Orlando. I never heard of a TeleMation connection. There have been CIII tribute websites in the past.

Let me look... Okay, Oliver knows a lot about CIII. This was written by his wife...
Orlando Memory: Century III Teleproductions

I'm not sure what the scene is like there now, but when I was in Orlando, there was all this hope that it would become Hollywood East. We did news stories about it constantly. A friend of mine was doing live production for Nickelodeon on the Universal lot.


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