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Semantic AudiovisuaL Entertainment
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Bones Dailies


In the real world there are rarely any two productions having identical requirements for dailies. A post production facility doing the dailies has to make a variety of alterations, large and small, to the way they operate for each production.

Large budget feature films may ask for fully graded selects transferred in HD 444, sound synchronized and logged, with multiple versions of video tape and files as deliverables. Smaller independent features may ask for a best light grade of each entire lab roll, with only one video tape copy as a deliverable. Some will shoot on film, others electronically. Some will record sound on DAT, others will use DVD media. US series will shoot at 24 frames per second and off-line in NTSC, while many European series will shoot 25 frames per second and off-line in PAL.

There is no single way to do dailies that suits everyone. The architecture of Bones Dailies takes this into account and manages jobs in a very flexible way.

Figure 1: Bones Dailies - Scalability (Single Seat to 4 Seat)

Flexible Workflow Approaches

Media creators want to maximize the return of their investment in equipment, staff and infrastructure. Owning expensive pieces of equipment, which by design can only be used in a certain way by a specialist operator, may mean there are times when they are both standing idle because the client wants to work in a very specific way. Having the freedom to re-configure the equipment to match the needs of a production on a job-by-job basis, is therefore a very attractive situation.

Bones Dailies is designed to do dailies as fast, efficiently and as effortlessly as possible. Because of the unique approach that's been taken in its design, it gives operators complete flexibility in how the dailies workflow is put together.

The following are examples of how different workflows can be pieced together using Bones Dailies:

Figure 2: Un-graded files are stored on disk. Bones Dailies applies ASC CDL color correction in real-time during creation of deliverables.

Figure 3: Un-graded files are stored on disk. External color corrector controls Bones Dailies timeline like a virtual telecine and applies full color correction in real-time during creation of deliverables.

Figure 4: Film is graded on telecine in traditional manner. Already graded files are captured to disk in one film pass, faster than real-time. Bones Dailies manages sound sync, logging and take selection. Play timeline to create deliverables.

Efficient use of Time, Staff & Equipment

The introduction of hard disks revolutionized the editing process in the early 1990's. For some reason it has taken until now for the same principles to be applied to the dailies process.

Traditional telecine dailies processes have always required the entire scanning suite for the duration of the transfer, syncing and grading process. Bones Dailies allows non-stop, head to tail ingest of each lab roll in its entirety, at speeds of up to 25% faster than real-time. By ingesting each frame to high performance hard disks in uncompressed 10-bit Log, Bones Dailies can break the dependency of the Colorist on needing access to the telecine for the grading process. If using a multi-stream capable SAN as the storage device, the Image Ingest and Grading processes could even happen concurrently.

Taking it to the extreme, by connecting multiple Bones Dailies systems on a high performance SAN it is possible to have the four logical dailies tasks happening at the same time. It is possible to start playing out color corrected, sound synchronized, fully logged dailies to HD video, SD video and multiple file formats, whilst the telecine is still transferring the last lab roll for that shoot day.
Once every lab roll has been ingested onto the SAN, the scanning suite is free and ready for another job. The dailies work may still be ongoing, but the telecine is no longer needed for it.

In addition to the optimized use of the scanning suite smart algorithms optimize the workflow. The fully automatic audio slate detection identifying the synchronization point of image and audio very previously saves time during the audio ingest and preparation phase for the dailies.

Scan Once Workflow

For budget conscious projects, it is a significant cost saving advantage when the scans made in doing dailies can be used for the on-line and final grade. The term 'scan once' is used to describe this workflow, and it can only be accomplished if the full dynamic range is preserved of the original camera negative.

By capturing 10-bit Log images to disk without applying any color correction (see Fig.1 and Fig.2), and by applying the color correction only during the creation of the deliverables, Bones Dailies can keep a pristine digital negative copy of each and every lab roll. Bones Dailies allows to turn On and Off the color correction as desired on the play-out timeline, meaning it is possible to make a raw, un-graded 10-bit Log archive copy of all materials, still with sound, keycode and other meta-data.

Consistency & Repeatability

Even the most experienced operators can make simple mistakes. It might be that a batch of viewing DVD's were created in wide screen 16:9 when they should have been 4:3 with a 16:9 letter box.

Bones Dailies uses a mixture of Production templates and Playout Templates to reduce the occurrences of such simple but common errors. Users can quickly create and maintain a fixed set of Output Templates unique to each Production. By logging into the system by User, by Production and by Shoot Day, the same play-out templates can be used every day of that job. This automatically manages things like the correct configuration of character burn-ins, timecode start points, tape striping elements, masking, audio channel mapping etc.

The Production templates add another layer of protection against mistakes. Having such settings made and maintained centrally, but kept in a shared access database, means no matter which system an operator sits in front of, they will always accessed be doing their work in the correct way for that situation.

Finally... For the Colorist

There are many creative and talented individuals doing dailies color correction who feel they are simply not given enough time to make the pictures as good as they could be. The simplicity of operation and time efficiency provided by Bones Dailies brings, gives back the Colorist time to actually grade the pictures. The system manages automatically all the keycode and timecode logging activities, it always makes an A-frame compliant timeline without any user interaction.

Visual Detection of Clapperboards

JRS has developed a BONES Dailies plug-in for detection the occurences of clapperboards in the images.

This significantly improves the workflow of synchronizing audio and video tracks. Clapperboard locations do not have to be found manually by browsing through the video, but are suggested automatically by the system. This leaves the user only with the task of fine-tuning the exact position (frame) of the shutting of the clapstick.

Use in Experimental Productions

In SALERO, the Bones Dailies’ flexible workflow practices have been used, experimented with and developed further via four HD short-film Experimental Productions within the Turing Machine Cross-Media Production. Three out of the four films have been introduced and delivered to the web at the “Alan01, AlanOnline & Turing Impact” online site.