AJA Video Systems - ColorBox v2.0
v2.0 firmware for AJA ColorBox, a compact, high-performance converter for color-managed workflows, was released earlier this year. Designed to meet the conversion needs of video professionals across a range of applications, the device supports low latency in-line HDR/SDR algorithmic and LUT color transforms for live production, live event, in-studio, and on-set applications. The update introduced an add-on license to expand ColorBox’s Colorfront Engine™ video processing options with all-new TV Mode and Live Mode. Along with adding support for the latest v1.6 BBC HLG LUTs, the release also boasted an ORION-CONVERT update with a gamma compensation function to ensure compatibility between different color conversion philosophies.
A host of additional free customer-requested features are also included in the release, such as support for overlaying frame lines or other graphics, and five additional built-in test patterns. Colorfront Engine support for New TV and Live Modes with optional license With color management strategies continuing to evolve, the tools required to facilitate those strategies in the real world are advancing as well. To help professionals keep pace, ColorBox’s new Colorfront TV Mode is an intuitive color processing engine aimed at broadcast workflows. 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, users gain access to more controlled corrections within the guardrails of Colorfront’s perceptual processing algorithm, which will maintain perceived color, hue, and saturation without hard clipping artifacts.
New TV Mode also introduces 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 ARRI Log C4 color space. These new Colorfront Engine capabilities mirror those available via the newly announced FS-HDR v4.2 firmware update. ORION-CONVERT and BBC HLG LUTs updates While ORION-CONVERT v1.0 is the origin of the popular NBCU LUTs, ORION-CONVERT v1.1 adds new compatibility with alternate LUT-based broadcast conversions through ORION’s new Gamma Compensation, which is supported via ColorBox v2.0.
This Gamma Compensation 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. BBC HLG LUTs are also updated to the latest v1.6, including a new combination LUT that fuses two LUTs into one for camera shading applications and a new downmapping LUT based on the Color Appearance Model (CAM) or human visual system that attempts to preserve the artistic intent of original HDR content. New user overlay feature, expanded test patterns, and partner integrations When setting up a shot, so much needs to be considered when framing it. The camera, the sensor, the lens, and the target aspect ratio all play a role. Giving a DIT the ability to see frame lines on-set gives the production the best chance at capturing the shot right the first time. New with ColorBox is the User Overlay feature, 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 etc. imported as .png files to the new Overlay library and recalled along with or without the already available overlay information. ColorBox plays a key role in getting a production “ready.” With that notion in mind, five new test patterns have been added for a total of 14 to aid users in getting ready quickly. The five test patterns consist of three BT.2111 HDR variants, NBCU Fancy Bars, and a circle pattern. Utilizing ColorBox’s SDK, Light Illusion ColourSpace display calibration software, Portrait Displays Calman display calibration software, and QTAKE Video Assist software completed integrations with ColorBox, enabling more markets and supported applications to take advantage of ColorBox’s professional feature set.