CUDA Spotlight: Mark Jaszberenyi
GPU-Accelerated Mobile Post-Production
This week's Spotlight is on Mark Jaszberenyi of Colorfront. In 2007, Colorfront opened in Budapest, Hungary as one of the world's most advanced digital dailies, intermediate and post production facilities.
Colorfront technology was utilized in the production of the new James Bond film, Skyfall, which opened in U.S. theaters today.
Colorfront developers won an Oscar in 2010 and an Emmy in October 2012.
This interview is part of the CUDA Spotlight Series.
NVIDIA: Mark, tell us a bit about Colorfront.
Mark: Colorfront is the leading digital post production facility in Central Europe, offering services for international productions shooting in and around Hungary. We first developed in-house software tools to solve our own production needs, and then introduced them for general use.
NVIDIA: What technical issues does the Colorfront On-Set Dailies system address?
Mark: A new generation of digital cameras from ARRI, Sony, Canon, RED and others output RAW sensor data, so there is a need for a system that allows massive amounts of image data to be processed, played back and transcoded to various formats.
NVIDIA: What was Colorfront's role in the new James Bond movie, Skyfall?
Mark: Our client EFILM was involved in the processing of all the RAW footage, delivering versions for editorial, production and visual effects. They worked with cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC to set the look on-set and beyond, all the way to the final grade. Essentially, EFILM created a "post-production facility in a box" that rendered the data and audio taken on location each day into formats that could be used by the editors. [Editor's note: Read the interview with EFILM.]
Colorfront On-Set Dailies was used on the set of the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall
NVIDIA: How does Colorfront On-Set Dailies help your customers?
Mark: Colorfront On-Set Dailies allows feature-length films and high-end episodic television shows that switched to digital file-based workflows to process and deliver multiple hours of footage each day. Studio requirements for dailies remained unchanged and our users can deliver color graded, sound sync dailies with burn-ins in multiple file formats for editorial, production review, DVDs, viewing copies, etc.
NVIDIA: What role does GPU computing play in your work?
Mark: Colorfront On-Set Dailies relies exclusively on GPU image processing in CUDA, including deBayer, color grading, look up tables, burn-ins, etc. We can take advantage of multiple GPUs for even higher performance.
NVIDIA GPUs drive our products on a range of platforms, from the Retina MacBook Pro through the Mac Pro, and up to the HP Z820 with multiple GPUs to process 4K RAW files at over 100 FPS. The system scales very well with the number of GPUs.
NVIDIA: What advantages have you achieved with CUDA?
Mark: CUDA enables us to provide world leading performance for the processing of any RAW format. Our technology is faster than any other system in the market and runs on a competitive, cost-effective hardware platform. We like CUDA because of its high performance and reliability. We've had excellent support and responsiveness from NVIDIA.
NVIDIA: What industry trends are driving the adoption of your technology?
Mark: Within the past two years, the entire high-end HD episodic television industry has experienced a seismic shift and moved from 35mm film to digital. A new generation of digital cameras has raised the quality bar, allowing productions to jump from 35mm film – skipping tape – and adopt file-based digital workflows. This eliminates the need for negative stock, photochemical development, telecine and video transfer, offering great savings to productions while achieving exceptional production value and quality.
NVIDIA: Congratulations on the Emmy. What were you recognized for?
Mark: The Engineering Emmy is presented to an individual or organization for engineering developments so significant or innovative that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television. Colorfront On-Set Dailies was introduced in the U.S. in April 2011, and quickly became the de-facto standard for the leading labs and high-end post-production facilities to process hours of digitally-acquired material daily. This has changed the way high-end episodic television productions are created.
Mark Jaszberenyi accepting the Emmy for Colorfront On-Set Dailies
NVIDIA: When you think about the future of film production, what will be the biggest change from today?
Mark: The need to involve a lab or post facility with an investment in heavy iron to develop footage, store and process material will become less necessary. Productions will focus around creative professionals, who will not just edit, but conform, grade and finish movies without involvement from a specialist facility.
Bio for Mark Jaszberenyi
Mark Jaszberenyi is CEO of Colorfront. He co-founded Colorfront in 2000 with his brother Aron, and introduced the company's first product at NAB 2000. In 2001, Colorfront delivered SACC, the Stand Alone Color Corrector system for The Lord of the Rings, sparking the DI revolution, and earning the Colorfront software development team a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy. Autodesk acquired all assets of Colorfront in 2005 for $15 million.
In 2007, Colorfront opened in Budapest, Hungary as one of the world's most advanced digital dailies, intermediate, and post production facilities. In 2010, Colorfront introduced On-Set Dailies, the leading digital dailies system for Hollywood features and primetime episodic television.
Interview with Joachim Zell, EFILM
info (at) colorfront (dot) com