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Colorfront support for AWS CDI unlocks new potential for cloud-based visual effects and content creation

Dec 8, 2022

Colorfront (colorfront.com) – the multi-award-winning developer of high-performance dailies/transcoding /streaming systems for motion pictures, OTT and commercials – continues to push boundaries and create new ways of efficient working with the announcement that Colorfront Streaming Server now supports AWS Cloud Digital Interface (AWS CDI) network technology. This pioneering advance unleashes fresh potential for collaborative, cloud-based content creation by enabling digital artists, operating applications that run on Amazon Web Services (AWS), to conduct ‘live’ remote sessions or deliver work-in-progress to multiple production stakeholders using reference-quality assets, over the public internet.

AWS CDI is a network technology that enables the transport of uncompressed video, up to 12-bit 4K UHD with audio, between applications running on AWS. The high-performance and ultra-low latency of AWS CDI means that independent software vendors and AWS partners, such Colorfront and Autodesk Flame, can implement and maximise the performance of their products on AWS, and offer reliable workflow services for the efficient origination and post-production of content in the cloud.

Colorfront has enjoyed a near-ten-year collaboration with AWS in deploying its technologies for cloud-based operations. This began with the launch of Colorfront Cloud Platform on AWS in 2013, and includes the subsequent implementations of its On-Set Dailies and Transkoder products running in AWS, with the latest advance now being the availability of Colorfront Streaming Server on AWS compute instances with full AWS CDI support.

With Streaming Server running on AWS, Colorfront’s support for AWS CDI unlocks brand new potential for the fast and efficient cloud-based content creation. In practice, digital artists, such as Autodesk Flame VFX and finishing artists, plus editors and colorists working on applications that run on AWS, can output network video via NDI or AWS CDI to Colorfront Streaming Server, which converts the content to professional, reference-quality HEVC. Colorfront Advanced Streaming Gateway provides secure and reliable delivery to multiple stakeholder destinations simultaneously over the internet using studio-level AES 256-bit encryption, which they can view using Colorfront Streaming Player.

Colorfront Streaming Player remote clients can be located anywhere around the world wherever there is broadband internet. They do not need to resort to the expense of high-bandwidth AWS Direct Connect or proprietary networks to participate in ‘live’ remote sessions, such as colour grading, and can instead use Colorfront’s Streaming Player receiver software for critical remote viewing, approval and QC purposes on a variety of displays, from smart phones to a 4K Dolby cinema screen.

For conform, finishing and VFX effects creation, the integration of Colorfront Streaming Server and Flame on the Cloud via AWS CDI enables users to take advantage of the benefits of cloud-based content creation and collaboration, while maintaining the high performance and flexibility of a local installation, ultimately delivering new levels of convenience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. The benefits include:

  • Greater flexibility and accessibility: With CDI support on AWS, users can access the video output of their Flame remotely from any device. This makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues and clients, and to work on projects from virtually anywhere.
  • Improved performance and efficiency: Colorfront Streaming Server maximises the usability of Flame on the Cloud, providing users with smooth and responsive remote video playback of their projects, even over residential or mobile networks.
  • Cost savings: By using Flame on the Cloud, users can avoid the costs and complexities of maintaining a local installation of Flame. This can help to reduce hardware expenses, as well as the time and effort required to manage and update the software.

Steve McNeill, director of Flame Family Product Development at Autodesk, noted, “As Flame is a finishing, VFX, and colour solution, artists expect high-quality, colour-accurate monitoring. To enable this workflow, we are delighted to be working with Colorfront to deliver high-fidelity monitoring.”

“I was thrilled to hear that Colorfront added AWS Cloud Digital Interface integration to their Streaming Server platform,” said Jonathon Lee, head of media engineering & innovation at Amazon Studios. “This creates new possibilities for remote collaboration and colour critical, cloud-native workflows. It also compliments the cloud production ecosystem that we’ve been building and brings ease to our global studio by decoupling production and geography. Now remote colour sessions and reviews are simpler and more secure.”

“Our support for AWS CDI network technology seamlessly integrates Colorfront Streaming Server with other applications on AWS, and this streamlined approach unlocks exciting new opportunities for cloud-based workflows,” said Bruno Munger, Director of Business Development at Colorfront.

“Digital creatives and post facilities involved in VFX, editorial and colour grading, can now share their work directly via Colorfront Streaming Server on AWS, and collaborate at new levels of efficiency with partners and clients wherever they are located around the world, whilst ultimately reaping the rewards of saving both time and money.”

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