ColorBox

ColorBox

In-line HDR/SDR Algorithmic and LUT Color Transforms

$1995 US MSRP*

* Pricing is for US only. International pricing will vary.

Introduction

ColorBox from AJA is a compact, high performance converter for color managed workflows designed to specifically meet the conversion needs of broadcast, live events, and on-set applications.  Supporting Standard Dynamic Range (SDR), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) signals, it utilizes 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 for single wire 4K/UltraHD HDR up to 4:2:2 10-bit 60p or 4:4:4 12-bit 30p with a unique color processing pipeline. 

Built around a 33-point 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation, AJA Color Pipeline provides additional 4x 1D LUTs and 2x 3x3 matrices that are each individually configurable even as Proc Amps or RGB Color Correctors. Easily manage color processing options via the web user interface, which can be accessed directly from a wired Ethernet connection or through a wireless connection via a third party WiFi USB adapter.

ColorBox also includes processing pipeline modes from Colorfront and NBCU LUTs, as well as the powerful AJA Color Pipeline. ColorBox also expands its capabilities by offering licensable upgrade options for advanced color managed workflows, including the Colorfront Engine, BBC HLG LUTs, and ORION-CONVERT. ORION-CONVERT’s unique real time floating point math approach to color transforms produces higher precision results to get “access to the colors between the colors.” This enables pixel perfect color transforms and round tripping where maintaining colors is paramount.  

ColorBox also offers a sophisticated test pattern generator and frame store, bringing useful tools to your workflow, including the ability to capture up to a 4K image as a 16-bit .tiff file for the highest quality reference stills. ColorBox can even overlay information onto the image, including helpful user definable text fields and user loaded overlays. These captures can be saved locally on ColorBox or onto connected PCs running applications like Pomfort’s Livegrade Pro/Studio, Assimilate Live Looks, and QTAKE Video Assist software.

 

Features

  • 12-bit 4:4:4 12G-SDI I/O for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 12G-SDI I/O for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 60p
  • 12-bit 4:4:4 HDMI 2.0 output for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI 2.0 output for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 60p
  • Ultra low latency, less than ½ a video line
  • Extensive AJA Color Pipeline built around the 33pt. 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation
    • 7x nodes plus Overlay
      • 1x 3D LUT processor, user configurable as 3D LUT or Dynamic
      • 4x 1D LUT processors, user configurable as 1D LUT, Dynamic, or Color Corrector
      • 2x 3x3 Matrix processors, user configurable as 3x3 Matrix, Dynamic, or ProcAmp
    • Supports industry standard file types, no conversion to proprietary format required
    • Configurable Color Space, Range, and Transfer Characteristic
    • Full frame LUT processing
  • Five Color Processing Pipelines
    • AJA Color
    • Colorfront Mode (Free, and Licensable option)
    • ORION-CONVERT Mode (Licensable option)
    • BBC HLG LUT Mode (Licensable option)
    • NBCU LUTs
  • Video Preview in web user interface for confidence monitoring
  • Built-in Frame Store
    • Up to 4K/UltraHD frame capture and recall 
    • Capture pre or post processed images
  • Test Pattern up to 4K/UltraHD, 14 test patterns built-in
  • Overlay information on output
    • User Text
    • User Overlay
    • Input and Output signal information
    • Pipeline Configuration
    • Overlay can be captured with image for future reference
  • Onboard library for file management
    • 16x 1D LUTs
    • 16x 3D LUTs
    • 16x 3x3 Matrices
    • 16x Images
    • 16x Overlays
  • Preset Management, 10 per Pipeline plus Startup Preset
  • ANC metadata pass-through
  • 12G-SDI input and output with separate loop-out
  • HDMI 2.0 output
  • Embedded audio pass-through, SDI 16-ch. and HDMI 8-ch.
  • Compact; 4 units can fit in just 1RU 
  • Ultra quiet fan operation
  • Lightweight
  • Robust locking 4-pin mini-XLR power connector, DC power
  • On/Off button so you can save power when not in use
  • Select button used to bypass video processing
  • Extensive API for third party control integrations
  • Embedded web server for remote control
  • Configure IP Address via USB port and supplied AJA eMini-Setup software for Windows and macOS
  • Three year warranty

Hardware

ColorBox features elegant design, with the front panel offering:

  • USB OTG (on-the-go) port, configure initial IP address or connect third party WiFi adapter 
  • Select Button, manually bypass video processing 
  • Power Button, save power when not in use
  • SDI Lock LED, indicates lock to supported SDI input format
  • Status LED, indicates various ColorBox states

The rear provides:

  • 12G-SDI Input
  • 12G-SDI loop through output
  • 12G-SDI Output
  • HDMI 2.0 Output
  • 4-pin mini-XLR power
  • 1x GigE port

The ultra quiet fan and properly positioned vents draw cool air through the front of the unit and exhausts warm air out of the back. 

Integration Across Broad Applications

ColorBox offers key applications for modern workflows, including:

  • 4K/UltraHD SDR and HDR pipelines for live television and concert production. OB trucks and other live event infrastructure can easily use ColorBox to convert SDR signals to HDR and HDR to other delivery formats. The licensable Colorfront, ORION-CONVERT and BBC HLG LUTs options as well as the free built-in Colorfront transforms and NBCU LUTs provide all the necessary tools to manage HDR workflows. For hardware based control, SKAARHOJ and CyanView have integrated native control of ColorBox into their control panels.
  • On-set look management and color grading for DITs or anyone in charge of ensuring that the content captured on-set will meet the needs of the Cinematographer, Director of Photography, colorist, costume and lighting designers, and editors on the production. A DIT can easily manage workflows to load multiple looks, make adjustments as needed and save reference images (up to 4K) for dailies, postproduction, and later use. Pomfort’s Livegrade Pro and Studio, Assimilate's Live Looks and Live Assist, as well as QTAKE Video Assist software integrate easily, offering native control of ColorBox in real time.  The unique full frame processing capability of ColorBox eliminates partial frame LUT processing.
  • Monitor Calibration. Wherever the highest quality display calibration is required for a production studio, rental house, production or postproduction facility, ColorBox can help. ColorBox features an extensive API that allows third parties, like Light Illusion's ColourSpace and Portrait Displays' Calman, to control the ColorBox Frame Store and its ability to output 12-bit RGB test patches for high quality monitor calibration applications.

Compact Form Factor

ColorBox is just 4in. x 7.5in., requiring a small footprint on your desktop or you can rack mount up to four ColorBox devices in just 1RU with AJA’s 1RU Utility Shelf for easy addition to both production and post installations, in DIT carts, fly away kits, and equipment racks. It is also lightweight at just 1 lb. making it perfect for DIT and mobile applications.

Pipelines

ColorBox comes with a range of Pipelines to choose from. Select any particular Pipeline for your production needs. Some Pipelines are designed specifically for live broadcast or live event needs. Others, like the AJA Color Pipeline, offer great flexibility for more control over each step of a transform for any application. Pipelines like Colorfront, ORION-CONVERT, or BBC HLG LUTs will display a watermark over the image until a license is applied offering you the ability to evaluate the color science prior to purchasing the optional license. ColorBox offers unique image processing capabilities with an unrivaled array of options for a device of its type with full 12-bit 4:4:4 up to 4K 30p and 10-bit 4:2:2 up to 4K 60p. Full bypass nodes are also offered for both 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 outputs, for quick comparisons.

These are the five Pipelines available:

  • AJA Color
  • Colorfront (requires License to remove watermark for some features)
  • ORION-CONVERT (requires License to remove watermark)
  • BBC HLG LUTs (requires License to remove watermark)
  • NBCU LUTs
     

Video Overviews

Watch AJA President Nick Rashby and Senior Product Manager Tim Walker introduce ColorBox.

Intro: Inline Color Transformations, Pipelines, Processes, and Partners

Nick and Tim discuss the five color pipelines in ColorBox, including the all new AJA Color Pipeline, Colorfront, NBCU, BBC HLG LUTs, and ORION-CONVERT modes.

Released at IBC 2022, ColorBox is the Award-Winning next-generation onset, live, and post-production hardware color management tool which does real time color conversions from HDR to SDR, SDR to HDR, and more.

Features described are v1.0 Please see release notes for current feature set.

Watch Video

Use Cases: Live Production, On-set, and Postproduction

Learn more as they discuss the pipelines and users ColorBox can serve. 

Watch as we discuss three key ColorBox workflows among many:

  • Live-Production
  • On-set
  • Postproduction

Features described are v1.0 Please see release notes for current feature set.

Watch Video


Powerful AJA Color Pipeline (ACP)

AJA Color Pipeline provides users with the most advanced color management tools available for a device of its type.  With 7 nodes of real time processing plus Overlay, the pipeline offers capabilities only seen in software based color correction applications. These nodes give you full control over color space, video level, and dynamic range conversion to get the most out of your color managed workflow.  Dynamic nodes are controllable by third party applications.

  • 7x processing nodes plus Overlay
  • Pipeline processes in 12-bit RGB
  • 1x 3D LUT, user configurable as 3D LUT or Dynamic
    • 33pt. 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation
  • 4x 1D LUT, user configurable as 1D LUT, Dynamic, or Color Corrector
    • Supports 10 or 12-bit 1D LUTs
  • 2x 3x3 Matrices, user configurable as 3x3 Matrix, Dynamic, or Proc Amp
  • Supports industry standard file types, no conversion to proprietary format required
  • Configurable Color Space, Range, and Transfer Characteristic
  • Full frame LUT processing
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0

This toolset enables workflows to be set up and easily replicated utilizing ColorBox preset import and export capabilities.
 

33pt 3D LUT Processor with Tetrahedral Interpolation

This primary 33pt. 3D LUT uses tetrahedral interpolation for the highest accuracy conversion. 3D LUTs provide full volumetric non-linear color adjustment and a 33pt 3D LUT is a requirement for HDR workflows. Very useful for calibration purposes as the controls can respond to all possible calibration errors. Similarly, high end movie and television productions depend on 3D LUT processing for look generation, distribution, and management.  When set to Dynamic, the 3D LUT is fully controllable through third party software like Pomfort Livegrade, Assimilate Live Looks, and QTAKE Video Assist.

1D LUTs

Flexibility is key in production and post, with four 1D LUTs it is easy to manage your color processing pipeline to get the best possible image. 1D LUTs are commonly used as “shaper LUTs” wrapping around the 3D LUT.  The front shaper 1D LUT allows you to map perceptually significant values, typically the darker part of the color space, to use more of the 3D LUT transform data set resulting in a more effective use of the 3D LUT to produce a better image. The backside shaper 1D LUT is usually the inverse of the front, mapping pixel values into the original dynamic range. 1D LUTs can also be effectively used as log-to-linear and linear-to-log transforms. In the AJA Color Pipeline, 1D LUTs can even be set up as RGB Color Correctors for color correcting a source before 3D LUT processing, this is a common workflow in live production applications.

3x3 Matrices

ColorBox’s two 3x3 Matrices provide the operator a means to perform different color processing tasks outside of a LUT using their own 3x3 matrix files. 3x3 Matrices are commonly used for color space conversion, for example between RGB and XYZ or YUV, BT. 709 and BT. 2020, or other color spaces with different primaries.  A 3x3 Matrix can be used to color balance a signal if the white balance is off.  They can also be used for look creation such as film emulation.  In the AJA Color Pipeline, 3x3 Matrices can even be set up as Proc Amps for adjusting a signal’s Gain, Black level, Hue, and Saturation before 3D LUT processing, this is a common workflow in live production applications.

Colorfront Pipeline

The ColorBox HDR/WCG capabilities leverage video and color space processing algorithms within the Colorfront Engine, specially licensed by AJA from Colorfront, and developed by Colorfront’s CTO Bill Feightner and Lead Engineer Tamas Perlaki.  Colorfront offers a color processing pipeline with set and forget SDR and HDR transforms designed for use wherever HDR productions are performed. The Colorfront pipeline includes:

  • Built-in SDR, HLG, and PQ transforms
  • Licensable upgrade to access the full TV Mode and Live Mode
  • Optimized transforms designed for broadcast
  • Maintains perceptual integrity
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0
  • Support for ITU BT.2408, Operational Practices in HDR Television Production

NBCU LUTs Pipeline

NBCU LUTs, developed by NBCUniversal Media, LLC in collaboration with Cromorama, enable a workflow for single-master live production of simultaneous HDR and SDR content.  Designed for television broadcasters, NBCU LUTs include SDR, HLG and PQ LUTs that maximize the dynamic range and color volume in HDR, without compromising core SDR broadcasts.

  • Imperceptible round-tripping of SDR BT.709 
  • Conversions designed with a knee that is natural with latitude for live video shading
  • Scene-light and Display-light conversions
  • SDR, HLG, and PQ conversions
  • Utilizes 33 point Tetrahedral 3D LUT Interpolation
  • Proc Amp and Color Corrector
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0
  • Support for ITU BT.2408, Operational Practices in HDR Television Production

NBCU LUT Conversions

  • 1-NBCU_SDR2HLG_DL_v1.1, SDR UpMap to HLG using Display Light
  • 2-NBCU_SDR2HLG_SL_v1, SDR to HLG using Scene Light
  • 3-NBCU_HLG2SDR_DL_v1.1, HLG to SDR using Display Light
  • 4-NBCU_SDR2PQ_DL_v1, SDR UpMap to PQ using Display Light
  • 5-NBCU_PQ2SDR_DL_v1, PQ to SDR using Display Light
  • 7-NBCU_HLG10002PQ_v1, HLG 1000 Nits to PQ

This toolset enables HDR workflows to be set up and easily replicated utilizing ColorBox preset import and export capabilities.

Licensable Options

ColorBox offers a number of ways to further enhance your workflows with SDR/HDR WCG transforms from key third party developers and broadcasters. Paying only for what you need makes ColorBox very cost effective.

Colorfront Pipeline Options

Colorfront’s new TV Mode and Live Mode are now available in both FS-HDR and as a licensable option in ColorBox. TV Mode is an intuitive color processing engine aimed at broadcast workflows that contains the built-in SDR, HLG and PQ transforms. 

When licensed, it provides operators access to new Brightness, Highlight, Super Highlight, and Colorfulness tools that enable greater control over critical elements in color conversions. With them, get controlled corrections within the guardrails of Colorfront’s perceptual processing algorithm, which will maintain perceived color, hue, and saturation without hard clipping artifacts. TV Mode also includes Sony S-Log3 conversions as part of the license upgrade, which have proven advantageous in modern live production applications.  

The same license also enables Colorfront Live Mode, which includes several camera Log formats beyond SDR, HLG and PQ like the new ARRI LogC4.

Optional License $995 US MSRP

Colorfront Engine TV Mode

Colorfront Engine TV Mode provides specific conversions and simplified controls for highlight and roll-off management in live television broadcast productions.

  • SDR, HLG, PQ, and Sony S-Log3 transforms
  • Highlight and roll-off management with Brightness, Highlight, and Super Highlight
  • Colorfulness control for managing the Hunt Effect
  • Roundtrip setting for ensuring a technical match during a round trip process
  • Adjusting R,G,B, and Master color controls for:
    • Lift, Gamma, and Gain
  • Adjusting for camera correction with Exposure, Color Temp, and Tint

Colorfront Engine Live Mode

Colorfront Engine Live Mode provides conversions and controls that support live applications such as broadcast, OTT, A/V, and venue.

  • SDR, HLG, PQ, and Sony, ARRI, RED, Panasonic, and Canon transforms
  • HDR Log Look, SDR Softness, HDR Amount, Ambient Light Compensation, P3 Clamp
  • Adjusting R,G,B, and Master color controls for:
    • Lift, Gamma, and Gain
  • Adjusting for camera correction with Exposure, Color Temp, and Tint

ORION-CONVERT Pipeline

ORION-CONVERT brings the power of Cromorama color science to real time hardware based conversion. This same color science is responsible for the Emmy nominated and IBC 2021 Special Award winning NBCU LUT based HDR-SDR broadcast workflows, as well as UEFA Euro 2020, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, FIFA 2021 Arab Cup, Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup amongst others.  

ORION-CONVERT offers the necessary tools for broadcasters to create and deliver the HDR and SDR content consumers expect from a single master HDR workflow by providing critical controls required to set up the right conversion for your production. By being able to set the HDR and SDR reference anchor points in an HDR to SDR conversion, you can target an SDR program output that suits your market's SDR display needs. You can target 200 nits SDR resulting in a much more representative image for the camera shader and a more vibrant HDR image for the viewer at home or target a perceptual match at 100 nits SDR. Also, in an HDR to SDR conversion, the unique 2 stage knee offers a pre-conversion compression in HDR only and a post-conversion compression in SDR only providing very effective roll off management control. The new Gamma Compensation feature applies the optional OOTF (as described in section 5.1 of ITU-R BT.2408-5) to compensate for the subjective change in appearance between SDR and HDR ensuring compatibility between different color conversion philosophies.

This is a licensable upgrade and includes:

  • Conversions utilizing floating point math for higher precision results
  • SDR, HLG, and PQ transforms
  • Scene-light and Display-light modes
  • 2-stage Knee adjustment for pre and post conversion compression or expansion
    • Compression amount control in HDR to SDR conversions
    • Expansion amount control in SDR to HDR conversions
  • Configurable SDR and HDR reference anchor points
  • HDR Peak Nit sets the system gamma for display light conversions
  • Gamma Compensation setting to compensate for the subjective change in appearance between SDR and HDR
  • Easy to configure pixel perfect round tripping
  • Clamping options
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI
  • Support for ITU BT.2408, Operational Practices in HDR Television Production

This toolset enables HDR workflows to be set up and easily replicated utilizing ColorBox preset import and export capabilities.

 

Optional License $695 US MSRP

BBC HLG LUT Pipeline

BBC HLG LUTs Pipeline offers additional functionality that adds field proven HDR conversion options, particularly for television broadcasters who are looking for specific conversion criteria.  This mode provides an RGB Color Corrector and Proc Amp to color correct the signal prior to conversion.

This is a licensable option and includes v1.6 BBC HLG LUTs:

  • SDR, PQ, and S-Log3 to HLG
  • HLG to SDR and PQ
  • Scene-light and Display-light conversions
  • Utilizes 33 point Tetrahedral 3D LUT Interpolation
  • Proc Amp and Color Corrector
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0
  • Support for mathematical HLG HDR dynamic range mapping per ITU BT.2408

BBC HLG LUT Conversions

  • SDR Scene Referred (SR) to HLG
  • SDR Scene Referred (SR) to HLG Strict
  • SDR Scene Referred (SR) UpMap to HLG
  • SDR Scene Referred (SR) UpMap to HLG Strict
  • SDR Display Referred (DR) to HLG
  • SDR Display Referred (DR) UpMap to HLG
  • SDR BT.2020 Display Referred (DR) to HLG
  • SDR BT.2020 Display Referred (SR) UpMap to HLG
  • PQ 1000 Nits Display Referred (DR) to HLG
  • PQ 4000 Nits Display Referred (DR) to HLG
  • S-Log3 100% Scene Referred (SR) to HLG
  • S-Log3 200% Scene Referred (SR Live) to HLG
  • HLG to SDR Scene Referred (SR)
  • HLG to SDR Scene Referred (SR) Strict
  • HLG to SDR Display Referred (DR) Color Appearance Model (CAM)
  • HLG to SDR Display Referred (DR) Super White
  • HLG to PQ 1000 Nits Display Referred (DR)
  • HLG to SDR BT.2020 Display Referred(DR) Super White
  • SDR Scene Referred (SR) to HLG to SDR Display Referred (DR)

This toolset enables HDR workflows to be set up and easily replicated utilizing ColorBox preset import and export capabilities.

Optional License $145 US MSRP

Ultra Low Latency

ColorBox processing takes no time at all. With total latency less than half of a video line, a live signal can be processed and output in real time to meet the critical + - half line input timing requirement of most production switchers. This also reduces lip sync issues in live event productions where every frame counts and anywhere low latency video processing is required. Applications span from IMAG to LED Volumes to in-camera VFX and everywhere in between.

4K/UltraHD Frame Capture and Recall

Unique to a device in its class, ColorBox has incredible frame capture and recall up to 4K/UltraHD 16-bit .tiff files allowing you to capture pre or post processed reference images. Multiple use cases are possible, from VFX composite checks, to look comparisons between takes to ensure consistency, and general reference image capture, recall and import/export to validate the color processing pipeline. Frames can be stored locally on ColorBox for easy access or saved directly to a computer running third party software like Livegrade and Assimilate. Capture or recall up to 16 full resolution images locally with an option to include the Overlay if needed. If the resolution of the image doesn’t match your target format, ColorBox can even scale it to fit.

Test Pattern Generator

ColorBox can also output standard test patterns, without the need for an active input. ColorBox test patterns can be used in any number of scenarios where a test signal is needed rather than a source signal. The test patterns are configurable to output a wide range of video formats and frame rates.

RGB Color Correction and Proc Amp

In AJA Color Pipeline, the 1D LUTs can be configured as a RGB Color Corrector and the 3x3 matrices as a Proc Amp.  This allows for source color correction and image control prior to or after performing a 3D LUT transform ensuring the best possible conversion. BBC HLG LUTs and NBCU LUTs pipelines also offer a RGB Color Corrector and Proc Amp prior to 3D LUT processing.

Advanced ANC Metadata Management and Overlay

ColorBox offers several important features, from overlaying selected metadata and user data on the video for live use, capturing or embedding in the .tiff file for later use, or just passing ANC metadata to the next device. By storing the ANC data, one can quickly come back to and recall the exact camera settings, pipeline configuration, etc., that created an image. ColorBox also offers a customizable user text field that is great for overlaying any information on an image needing to be conveyed to an observer, such as camera or lens information, if the camera can’t provide it.  

When setting up a shot, many factors need to be considered when framing it. The camera manufacturer, the sensor size, the lens, and the target aspect ratio all play a role. The ability to see frame lines on-set gives the production the best chance at capturing the shot composition correctly for the project from the get go. New with ColorBox is User Overlay, providing the ability to import and overlay custom images onto the output. Those images could be frame lines or any other image, such as a logo, imported as .png files to the Overlay library and recalled along with or without the already available overlay information. 

User Text and User Overlay can also be stored on the captured image as part of the Overlay. Additional Overlay accessible data includes Input and Output VPID, Timecode presence, Closed Captioning presence, and Pipeline Configuration. Output HDMI infoframe status is also available in the UI.

 

The Largest Onboard Libraries Available

ColorBox offers the largest library capacity of any equivalent device in its class, providing a wealth of creative choice onset or anywhere in the production pipeline. Set up an easy to access bank of options for any shoot, then recall the same settings just as easily in post. 16x onboard memory slots are available for each category of supported files; 1D LUTs, 3D LUTs, 3x3 Matrices, Images, and Overlays.   

Ten pipeline presets can be stored per pipeline, and all can be imported and exported to/from ColorBox. Pipeline Presets store all settings needed to replicate a configured transform. Included is also a Startup Preset setting that allows an operator to select a specific preset to be loaded upon power up, guaranteeing a known startup state. The Pipeline Presets for AJA Color Pipeline stores all files loaded into the pipeline, active or not, for easy setup and transfer between devices.

Flexible Control via LAN or Wirelessly

Access to the intuitive web UI control with Video Preview for confidence monitoring from a standard web browser via LAN or supported third party WiFi USB adapters*, allowing local and remote operation.

*See Tech Specs for supported adapters

ColorBox Workflows

4K Production Workflow On-Set Look Management 

In this production workflow, we see an on-set 12G-SDI signal from a 4K cinema camera system passed to the ColorBox via the 12G-SDI in. The ColorBox has a 3D LUT applied, which simulates a film look and is monitored for the DIT over the HDMI 2.0 out. At the same time, the DP monitors the same 3D LUT applied video via 12G-SDI for more critical feedback. Different 3D LUTs are selectable to suit the needs of the production, with easy control provided by the DIT. The loop through on ColorBox is connected to the Ki Pro Ultra 12G for high quality capture of the video signal without the LUT applied. Third party tools can adjust Color Decision Lists (CDL) values on the fly for on-set color grading.

Download Workflow

4K Production Workflow Dailies Looks Playback

In this production workflow, we see the dailies being played back from an AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G via the 12G-SDI out, passed to the ColorBox device. Using a laptop and an HDMI 2.0 monitor alongside ColorBox offers a powerful solution in a relatively small area, easily deployed in a small hotel room or modest meeting room. The LUTs used earlier in the day's shooting are easily accessible and applied to match the playback needs, including the options to tweak or audition alternate looks as well, all in real time.

Download Workflow

HDR/SDR On-Set Color Grading Workflow

In this production workflow, the 12G-SDI output of a 4K camera is routed via an AJA KUMO 3232-12G SDI router to two ColorBoxes, A and B. ColorBox A is set up to output an HDR video signal to a 4K HDR monitor via the KUMO 3232-12G. At the same time, ColorBox B is providing an SDR video signal to a 4K SDR monitor via the KUMO 3232-12G. Valuable feedback from real time comparisons of the HDR and SDR video outputs can again save time and money, ensuring the recorded video best matches the needs of all deliverable formats.

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UltraHD Live Production Workflow HDR Conversion and Management

In this live television OB truck production workflow, we see a number of 12G-SDI outputs from UltraHD television camera systems that are passed to a number of ColorBoxes via the 12G-SDI in. SDR to HDR conversion is provided by the ColorBox units, in this case converting each input to be HLG on the output to suit the needs of the current live production single master HDR workflow. ColorBoxes on the output of the switcher convert HLG to different deliverable formats, including SDR and PQ.  As sources are added, more ColorBox units can be included easily to accommodate the production as it scales.

Download Workflow

4K Postproduction Workflow NLE Looks Management

In this postproduction workflow, a ColorBox is being used inline from the 12G-SDI output of an AJA Io 4K Plus. The timeline output is passed to the output of the Io 4K Plus and out to the ColorBox, where LUTs can be applied to the 12G-SDI monitored output without the need for rendering until later in the process. This allows editors to be nimble with auditioning looks and making decisions without having to wait for complex renders.

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ColorBox Multi-Cam On-Set Color Grading

In this production workflow, two ColorBoxes are being used inline from the 12G-SDI output of 4K Camera A and 4K Camera B. A KUMO 3232-12G is being used to route the video. A laptop is being used to manage the ColorBoxes from a single desktop via easily accessible tabs or two browser windows side by side. The ColorBoxes are both connected to a single 12G-SDI monitor, again routed via the KUMO 3232-12G, where changes made inline can be seen and further adjustments made or saved as necessary. Both cameras can easily be matched, saving time and money in postproduction.

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Partner Integrations

To control the rich feature set of ColorBox beyond the built-in web UI, ColorBox offers a comprehensive set of tools to enable third parties to develop their own native control.  Using a RESTful API defined using OpenAPI, the protocol is presented intuitively allowing both humans and computers to discover, interact, and understand ColorBox capabilities.  To support developers, several OpenAPI generated programming language implementations are included with example projects, visit the ColorBox Support page.

Pomfort

"Pomfort’s Livegrade products deliver comprehensive digital imaging systems for demanding productions, tying together look management and on-set monitoring integrated with a wide range of camera workflows and setups," says Patrick Renner, Head of Product at Pomfort. “AJA's ColorBox enables us to dynamically control 3D LUTs in Livegrade, getting framegrabs via Frame Store, and pulling ancillary data, including camera and lens metadata, into source signals."

https://kb.pomfort.com/livegrade/setting-up-devices/setting-up-aja-colorbox/

 

QTAKE Video Assist

QTAKE Video Assist software natively controls ColorBox as an external realtime color processor utilizing the 33pt. 3D LUT and up to 4K/UltraHD resolution within the AJA Color Pipeline (ACP) mode, to provide support for the highest quality external color processing device currently available in QTAKE. This support is provided within the QTAKE Video Assist application as a part of GRADE Module. 

https://qtakehd.com/

Assimilate

"AJA ColorBox takes LUT boxes to a whole new level, providing sophisticated color pipeline setups unlike anything we’ve seen before,” shared Mazze Aderhold, Chief strategic workflow engineer at Assimilate. "Professionals can use it to combine multiple LUTs and color matrices to ensure their desired look with an intuitive web UI that makes it easy to operate. We’re proud to continue advancing on-set look management workflows with Live Looks and Live Assist support for ColorBox.”

https://www.assimilateinc.com/

SKAARHOJ

“SKAARHOJ is excited to integrate AJA ColorBox with our RCP broadcast controllers and Blue Pill platform. Together, these solutions will support best practices out of the box and enable endless color control possibilities,” shares SKAARHOJ CEO, Founder, and Chief Designer Kasper Skårhøj.

https://www.skaarhoj.com/

CyanView

"When producing live events, camera shading is often combined with live post-processing adjustments. AJA ColorBox provides a flexible hardware processing solution with nodes that ensure accurate mappings as multiple camera types, and brands are implemented, and unprecedented color fidelity for live and postproduction HRD/SDR workflows,” shared David Bourgeois, CEO & Founder, CyanView. “CyanView RCP combines multiple integrations to provide a seamless hardware interface similar to a typical broadcast workflow and gives ColorBox users more tactile control over these functions. Its intuitive control panel buttons combined with the color accuracy of ColorBox make it easy for the operator to complete post-process adjustments as efficiently as if they were done in camera.”

https://www.cyanview.com/

Portrait Displays’
Calman integration

Portrait Displays’ Calman display calibration software natively controls ColorBox to generate high quality custom test patches necessary for professional display calibration. In addition, it takes advantage of the AJA Color Pipeline and its 1D and 3D LUTs to apply the calibration.

"Portrait Displays is excited to integrate Calman, the world’s leading calibration software, with AJA’s ColorBox. With built-in pattern generation and the ability to optimize displays with both 1D and 3D LUTs, creatives now have a sophisticated toolset for highly accurate calibrations of any display via HDMI or SDI." – Scott Anderson, CPO & EVP.

https://www.portrait.com/

LIGHT ILLUSION

LIGHT ILLUSION’s ColourSpace display calibration software natively controls ColorBox to generate high quality custom test patches necessary for professional display calibration. In addition, it takes advantage of the AJA Color Pipeline and its 1D and 3D LUTs to apply the calibration.

https://www.lightillusion.com/

Related Stories

AJA ColorBox Achieves RED-CERTIFICATION

November 30, 2023

AJA ColorBox Achieves RED-CERTIFICATION

Grass Valley, CA (November 30, 2023) – AJA Video Systems today announced that ColorBox has become the first color management and color conversion solution to be certified as Compatible with RED’s lineup of cinema cameras. This designation required rigorous testing across the RED family of products to ensure compatibility. [Read the full story]

Industry Leading Support

AJA’s technical support is recognized as among the best in the industry and is available to all AJA customers. If you need assistance with any aspect of your ColorBox installation, configuration, operation, or encounter any technical issues, AJA Support will work with you to get up and running.

ColorBox products are covered by a generous three year warranty.


Tech Specs


HDR/WCG Real Time Processor

  • HDR Conversions
    • HDR to HDR
    • HDR to SDR
    • SDR to HDR
  • Colorimetry
    • BT.709 and BT.2020

Video Formats

  • (4K) 4096x2160p
  • (UltraHD) 3840x2160p
  • (2K) 2048x1080p
  • (HD) 1920x1080p
  • (HD) 1920x1080i
  • (HD) 1280x720p

Color Processing Pipeline

  • Processes in 12-bit RGB
  • 5x pipelines; AJA Color, Colorfront, ORION-CONVERT, BBC HLG LUTs, NBCU LUTs
  • 7x processing nodes plus Overlay in AJA Color; 4x 1D LUTs, 2x 3x3 Matrices, 1x 3D LUT

AJA Color Pipeline (ACP)

  • 7x nodes in order of processing:
    • 1D LUT, 3x3 Matrix, 1D LUT, 3D LUT, 1D LUT, 3x3 Matrix, 1D LUT, Overlay
  • 3D LUT configurable as LUT or Dynamic
    • Supports custom 33 point .CUBE, .SPI3D, and .3DL format 3D LUTs*
  • 1D LUTs configurable as LUT, Dynamic, or Color Corrector
    • Supports custom 10 and 12-bit .CUBE and .SPI1D format 1D LUTs
  • 3x3 Matrices configurable as Matrix, Dynamic, or Proc Amp
    • Supports custom .SPIMTX format matrices
  • Tetrahedral 3D LUT interpolation 
  • Configurable Color Space, Range, and Transfer Characteristic 
  • Nonvolatile storage of 16x 3D LUTs, 16x 1D LUTs, and 16x 3x3 Matrices
  • Overlay

 

*Various 3D LUT sizes are supported, but will be converted to 33 point for processing


Dynamic LUT Processing

  • Supports third party apps for automatic loading and display of 3D LUTs
  • Reflects dynamic changes in real time from source software
  • Full frame LUT processing
  • Supported by
    • Pomfort Livegrade Pro and Studio
    • Assimilate Live Looks and Live Assist

Colorfront Pipeline

  • Processing Based on Human Perception Model
  • Perceptually optimized color volume remapping 
  • Preserves the original creative intent
  • TV Mode for applications such as television broadcast
  • Live Mode for applications such as broadcast, OTT, A/V
  • Input Video Dynamic Range/Color Gamut (varies by mode)
    • SDR BT.709 100 Nits
    • SDR Extended BT.709
    • PQ BT.2020 1000 Nits
    • PQ P3D65 1000 Nits 
    • Hybrid Log Gamma BT.2100
    • HLG Extended BT.709
    • HLG Extended BT.2100
    • Sony S-Log3 S-Gamut3
    • Sony S-Log3 S-Gamut3 Cine 
    • Sony S-Log3 BT.2020
    • ARRI Log C Wide Gamut 
    • ARRI LogC4 Wide Gamut 4
    • Panasonic V-log 
    • RED Log3G10 Wide Gamut 
    • Canon Log 2 
    • Canon Log 3
  • Output Video Dynamic Range/Color Gamut (varies by mode)
    • SDR BT.709 100 Nits
    • SDR Extended BT.709
    • PQ BT.2020 1000 Nits
    • PQ BT.2020 ConstrainP3
    • PQ P3D65 1000 Nits
    • Hybrid Log Gamma BT.2100
    • HLG Extended BT.709
    • HLG Extended BT.2100
    • Sony S-Log3 S-Gamut3
    • Sony S-Log3 BT.2020
    • ARRI Log C Wide Gamut
    • ARRI LogC4 Wide Gamut 4
  • TV Mode controls
    • Highlight management: Brightness, Highlight, Super Highlight
    • Colorfulness control for managing the Hunt Effect
    • Color Correction: Lift, Gamma, Gain, Saturation
    • Camera Correction: Exposure, Color Temp, Tint
    • Roundtrip control ensures technical match
    • Clamp to Legal
  • Live Mode controls
    • HDR Amount
    • Ambient Light Compensation control
    • HDR Log Look
    • SDR Softness control
    • Color Correction: Lift, Gamma, Gain, Saturation
    • Camera Correction: Exposure, Color Temp, Tint
    • PQ Output Nit level: 48-4000 Nit
    • PQ Output P3 Colorspace Clamp
    • ITU-R BT.2408 Mode control
  • Overlay            

ORION-CONVERT Pipeline

  • Conversion algorithm that uses floating point math
  • Pre and post transform Knee and Amount controls
  • Display-Light and Scene-Light Modes
  • Configurable HDR and SDR IRE Reference anchor points
  • Configurable HDR Peak Nits sets system gamma for display light conversions
  • Gamma Compensation
  • Configurable Output Clamping
  • Input Video Dynamic Range/Color Gamut
    • SDR BT.709
    • PQ BT.2020
    • HLG BT.2100
  • Output Video Dynamic Range/Color Gamut
    • SDR BT.709
    • PQ BT.2020
    • HLG BT.2100
  • Overlay

BBC HLG LUTs Pipeline

  • Mathematical dynamic range mapping per ITU-R BT.2408
    • SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred to HLG/BT.2100 Strict v1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred UpMap to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred UpMap to HLG/BT.2100 Strict v1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Display Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v.1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Display Referred UpMap to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • SDR/BT.2020 Display Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • SDR/BT.2020 Display Referred UpMap to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • PQ 1000 Nits Display Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • PQ 4000 Nits Display Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • S-Log3/BT.2020 100% Scene Referred to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • S-Log3/BT.2020 200% Scene Referred(SR-Live) to HLG/BT.2100 v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred Strict v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.709 Display Referred Color Appearance Model v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.709 Display Referred Super White v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to PQ 1000 Nits Display Referred v1.6
    • HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.2020 Display Referred Super White v1.6
    • SDR/BT.709 Scene Referred UpMap to HLG/BT.2100 to SDR/BT.709 Display Referred v1.6
  • RGB Color Corrector and ProcAmp 
  • Overlay    

NBCU LUTs Pipeline

  • NBCU LUTs developed by NBCUniversal Media, LLC
    • 1-NBCU_SDR2HLG_DL_v1.1, SDR UpMap to HLG using Display Light v1.1
    • 2-NBCU_SDR2HLG_SL_v1, SDR to HLG using Scene Light v1.0
    • 3-NBCU_HLG2SDR_DL_v1.1, HLG to SDR using Display Light v1.1
    • 4-NBCU_SDR2PQ_DL_v1, SDR UpMap to PQ using Display Light v1.0
    • 5-NBCU_PQ2SDR_DL_v1, PQ to SDR using Display Light v1.0
    • 7-NBCU_HLG10002PQ_v1, HLG 1000 Nits to PQ v1.0
  • RGB Color Corrector and ProcAmp
  • Overlay

Video Input and Output SDI

  • 1x 12G-SDI Input BNC, SMPTE-292/424/2081/2082
  • 2x 12G-SDI Output BNCs, SMPTE-292/424/2081/2082
  • YCbCr 4:2:2/4:4:4
  • RGB 4:4:4, SMPTE or Full level
  • 10 or 12-bit
  • 1x 12G-SDI
    • (4K) 4096x2160p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94, 60
    • (UltraHD) 3840x2160p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60
  • 1x 6G-SDI 
    • (4K) 4096x2160p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
    • (UltraHD) 3840x2160p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
  • 1x 3G-SDI (Level A or B-Dual Link)
    • (2K) 2048x1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 47.95, 48, 50
    • (2K) 2048x1080PsF 23.98, 24, 25
    • (HD) 1920x1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60
    • (HD) 1920x1080PsF 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
    • (HD) 1920x1080i 50, 59.94, 60
    • (HD) 1280x720p 50, 59.94, 60
  • 1x 1.5G-SDI
    • (2K) 2048x1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
    • (2K) 2048x1080PsF 23.98, 24, 25
    • (HD) 1920x1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
    • (HD) 1920x1080PsF 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
    • (HD) 1920x1080i 50, 59.94, 60
    • (HD) 1280x720p 50, 59.94, 60

 

Note: Raster and Frame Rate Dependent, please see ColorBox Video Formats in Documents and Manual


Video Output HDMI

  • 1x HDMI Type A connector*, HDMI v2.0b
  • HDR infoframe generation with pass-through for Colorimetry and Transfer Characteristic
  • YCbCr 4:2:2
  • RGB 4:4:4, SMPTE or Full level
  • 8, 10, or 12-bit (HFR 4K/UltraHD 4:4:4 limited to 8-bit)                
  • 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD

 

*If a connected monitor doesn’t support HDMI protocol the unit automatically switches to DVI protocol (which does not pass audio)
Note: Raster and Frame Rate Dependent, please see ColorBox Video Formats in Documents and Manual


Video Processing

  • Nominal video delay is less than 1/2 video line
  • Motion adaptive deinterlacer
  • Proc Amp controls
  • Color corrector
  • Legalizer

Frame Store

  • Capture and Recall up to 4K/UltraHD 16-bit .TIFF
  • Capture and Recall .TIFF, .PNG, .JPEG
  • Capture input or output
  • Nonvolatile storage of 16 images

Test Pattern Generator

  • 10 or 12-bit
  • 14x patterns built-in
  • SDR and HDR test patterns

Ancillary Data

  • All embedded ANC packets pass-through, including camera ancillary data

Overlay

  • User Text
  • Input and Output ancillary information, including VPID
  • Timecode presence
  • Closed Captioning presence
  • Pipeline Configuration
  • User Overlay, Recall .PNG overlay images up to 4096x2160
  • Nonvolatile storage of 16 overlays

Audio Input Digital

  • SDI embedded audio, 24-bit, 16-channel

Audio Output Digital

  • SDI embedded audio, 24-bit, 16-channel
  • HDMI embedded audio, 24-bit, 8-channel

Network Interface

  • 1x RJ-45, 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Embedded web server for remote control
  • REST Interface
  • WiFi control available via 3rd party WiFi USB adapter*

 

*Linksys AC1200 WUSB6300 and Netgear AC1900 A7000


USB Interface

  • 1x Mini-USB for IP configuration using AJA eMini-Setup

Presets

  • 10 Pipeline Presets per mode (AJA Color, Colorfront, ORION-CONVERT, BBC HLG LUTs, NBCU LUTs)
  • Startup Preset

Size (w x d x h)

  • 4.10" x 7.54" x 1.66" (104.1 x 191.6 x 42.1 mm)

Weight

  • 1.0 lb (0.5 kg)

Power

  • External power supply required
  • Enclosure: 10-18VDC regulated, 4-pin mini-XLR, 16W typical 3G-SDI, 21W typical 12G-SDI, 25W max.
  • AC Adapter, included: 100-240VAC, 50/60 Hz, universal input, 60W
  • Optional spare AC adapter sold separately, AJA-PWR-12-60W

Environment

  • Safe Operating Temperature: 0 to 50 C (32 to 122 F)
  • Safe Storage Temperature (Power OFF): -40 to 60 C (-40 to 140 F)
  • Operating Relative Humidity: 10-90% noncondensing
  • Operating Altitude: <3,000 meters (<10,000 feet)


Options


ColorBox is a powerful color management tool and there are a number of powerful options that extend its functionality even further. These options include the full Colorfront Pipeline TV Mode and Live Mode, the ORION-CONVERT Pipeline, and the BBC HLG LUTs Pipeline. These options are all free to try and can be licensed individually with perpetual licenses; only pay for what you need.

Colorfront Pipeline Option

Colorfront’s new TV Mode and Live Mode are now available in both FS-HDR and as a licensable option in ColorBox. TV Mode is an intuitive color processing engine aimed at broadcast workflows that contains the built-in SDR, HLG and PQ transforms.

The same license also enables Colorfront Live Mode, which includes several camera Log formats beyond SDR, HLG and PQ like the new ARRI LogC4.

Optional License $995 US MSRP

ORION-CONVERT Pipeline

ORION-CONVERT offers the necessary tools for broadcasters to create and deliver the HDR and SDR content consumers expect from a single master HDR workflow by providing critical controls required to set up the right conversion for your production. By being able to set the HDR and SDR reference anchor points in an HDR to SDR conversion, you can target an SDR program output that suits your market's SDR display needs.

Optional License $695 US MSRP

BBC HLG LUT Pipeline

BBC HLG LUTs Pipeline offers additional functionality that adds field proven HDR conversion options, particularly for television broadcasters who are looking for specific conversion criteria. This mode provides an RGB Color Corrector and Proc Amp to color correct the signal prior to conversion.

Optional License $145 US MSRP

ColorBox Spare Power Supply

Features

  • 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz Universal Input
  • +12V DC Regulated Output
  • 60 Watt Capacity

The AJA-PWR-12-60W power supply is included with ColorBox, and is also sold separately. The power supply has a latching, 4-pin mini-XLR connector with gold pins. The PSU meets the high reliability requirements of the professional video industry. If you need a spare power supply for ColorBox, it can be ordered from your local AJA reseller.

AJA-PWR-12-60W $109 US MSRP

1RU Utility Shelf

Up to four ColorBoxes conveniently fit side by side for easy 1RU rack mounting for workflows that can take advantage of rack mounting, from facilities to flypacks. Additionally, the 1RU Utility Shelf also supports HELO Plus, so a combination of two ColorBoxes and a HELO Plus can also be combined when needed.

1RU Utility Shelf $120 US MSRP


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