Ocean Video Taps AJA's KONA 3, Ki Pro and Io Express for Video Assist Workflow on Feature Film Projects from 'Prometheus' to 'Step Up 4'

August 10, 2012



The rise in popularity of digital acquisition using cameras such as RED, ARRI Alexa, and Panavision Genesis changed everything in video assist since operators were able to capture almost exactly the same image as what the lab was using for the movie, opening the door to endless possibilities for use in post production and post filming use on set. Productions are now able to capture video that's nearly identical to what the camera records. This paradigm shift has opened the door to endless possibilities including on set 3D visualization and digital compositing.

Ocean Video has embraced the video assist software application QTake HD and built solutions incorporating AJA's KONA 3, Io Express, and Ki Pro recorders.

"When developing our solutions, we chose to integrate AJA gear because they are the best at what they do and stand behind everything they make," explained Johenning. "No company has been as open with their toolset, and supportive of 3rd parties. The integration between AJA and QTake has enabled a terrific, reliable video assist solution."

Ocean Video designed a custom 3D studio cart dubbed 'Brainstorm' that supports two 3D camera rigs, incorporating a MacPro tower with two AJA KONA 3 cards. Since each KONA 3 supports two SDI inputs, two KONA 3 cards can be used to record images from up to four cameras at once. The images are then synced in pairs so both rigs are recording in stereo.

With this solution, video assist and final shots are almost identical. Images captured with both stereo cameras in full resolution can be played back in 3D for the director. Ocean Video employed this technology on their first 3D project, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall were able to almost instantly view an exact 3D simulation of shots, whether on a ship, in the jungle or in a lagoon, on a 50" 3D television.
Since many of the filming locations were extremely remote, and impossible to bring their studio cart to, Ocean Video also made use of the AJA Ki Pro portable recording device. On the first day of working on Pirates, the film crew was helicoptered into a protected cove in Hawaii. The entire video assist solution was transported in two cases: one with the monitor with battery power and a Ki Pro in a watertight case. Johenning approached the location via jet ski and had to swim ashore with the cases. "Once set up, the Ki Pro could record and monitor shots, which was incredible, especially considering the conditions and location," concluded Johenning.

Recently, Ocean Video devised an ultra portable laptop based solution dubbed Brainstorm Nomad. By utilizing AJA's powerful Io Express, an Apple MacBook Pro and the QTake HD software, they created an incredibly powerful, battery-powered, portable video assist system capable of recording up to four camera inputs or two 3D camera systems.
This portable solution's recent tours of duty include a rugged remote location shoot in Iceland for Ridley Scotts' new film, Prometheus and the beautiful beaches of Miami for the dance film Step Up 4.

Johenning summed it best by adding "Whenever I have a challenging video task to solve, I know I can depend on AJA gear to come through with flying colors."

The KONA family is AJA's line of 10-bit uncompressed capture and playback cards for video and audio input and output. KONA 3G is AJA?s card for supporting Autodesk Smoke for Mac, featuring 10-bit uncompressed video 3G/HD/SD I/O, HDMI 1.4a output for high quality monitoring, configurable SDI I/O mapping, 16-channel AES digital audio I/O and 16-channel SDI embedded audio I/O, realtime hardware-based conversion to support a range of SD and HD, dual-link HD, even 2K formats, a hardware downstream keyer and more.

About AJA Ki Pro
The AJA Ki Pro is a portable, rugged tapeless video recording device that records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly media. Because it features SD/HD-SDI, HDMI, and analog inputs, users can interface with virtually any type of camera they may own or rent. Ki Pro?s numerous simultaneous outputs enable flexible monitoring, connecting to both professional and consumer monitors. Intuitive to operate, Ki Pro?s familiar VTR-like buttons provide immediate controls for basic operation. From a distance, users can control operations with a laptop or iPhone web browser via Ethernet or wireless connection. Ki Pro records to removable storage modules including a 250GB hard disk drive (standard), optional 500GB drive, or optional 128GB or 256GB SSD storage modules. When removed, the storage module functions as a standard bus-powered FireWire 800 drive, enabling instant media playback and editing.

About AJA Io Express
Io Express is an ideal Mac or PC interface for a quality portable monitoring and mastering solution when working with Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), XDCAM HD, DVCPRO HD, and more. Built small and robust, Io Express is ideal for use with Ki Pro and a laptop for onset editing and playout. Featuring full 10-bit, broadcast-quality HD to SD hardware down-conversion and automatic HD/SD 12-bit component analog output, Io Express offers conversion flexibility all the time - during ingest or playback. With its small footprint it offers big features, like 10 or 8-bit uncompressed video, HDMI I/O, HD/SD-SDI I/O with 8 channels of embedded audio, analog component video (SD/HD) or composite output, 2-channel unbalanced audio output, and broadcast quality hardware-based down-conversion for flexible post production.

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, acquisition and desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information visit www.aja.com.