VFX and editing has been possible in the cloud for a while, but colour correction presents a series of unique challenges that may just have been cracked by AWS.

“Ingesting assets to the cloud without the ability to finish is essentially a bridge to nowhere,” said Katrina King, Content Production Media & Entertainment, AWS at a Showcase Theatre session at IBC2022. “We set out to change that.”

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Left to right: Katrina King, AWS; Peter Postma, Filmlight: ‘Over the shoulder feel’ live reference grade monitoring from the cloud’

Traditionally the digital intermediate has been done on premises with dedicated hardware but the move to cloud is being driven to enable remote working for colourists and for postproduction to quickly and economically scale according to volume of work or the type of job.

“When all other processes are in the cloud it makes no sense to upload and download assets to grade locally,” said Peter Postma, MD, Filmlight.

For finishing to work in the cloud you need fast image processing finishing and low latency.

“If there’s any lag then it breaks the whole creative process,” Postma added. “Colourists need to make real-time adjustments to multiple streams. That needs to be solved in the cloud.”

A properly calibrated environment

In addition, creatives require a properly calibrated viewing environment to ensure that what everyone sees matches a reference standard.

The AWS solution, tested with FilmLight’s Baselight grading system, uses JPEG XS to lightly compress pictures at 444 12-bit with a latency suitable for interactive working.

“It is visually lossless even at 6:1 compression ratios,” reports Postma. “You don’t see any artefacts.”

AWS has repurposed its Cloud Digital Interface (CDI), originally built for broadcast, to transport video in the AWS cloud. To get from cloud to on-prem it uses AWS Elemental MediaConnect which supports JPEG XS over ST2110-22, partnering with Riedel and Evertz on the decoders.

“We have achieved the ‘over the shoulder feel’ for uncompromised live reference-grade monitoring,” said King. “We now want to see this workflow used for compositing, master QC and any workflow that can benefit from cloud-based reference monitoring.”

For more show news, including product launches and interviews with key exhibitors, check out our IBC2022 Highlights page.