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IT Innovation showcases groundbreaking work at IBC

Published: 9 September 2008

IT Innovation, the School's off-campus applied research centre, are this week showcasing their groundbreaking work in digital content production at Europe’s largest film and television industry event, IBC in Amsterdam.

This vast annual exhibition attracts broadcasters, content creators, equipment manufacturers and support industries from around the world. IT Innovation are exhibiting in the New Technology Campus at IBC – the area of the show reserved for the very latest research and development work.

The four projects IT Innovation are presenting are the result of ongoing collaborations with major film and broadcast industry players including the BBC; Pinewood Group; leading equipment manufacturer Thomson Grass Valley; Digital TV Group, the industry association for digital television in the UK; and major Greek film producer Stefi Productions. The AVATAR-m project addresses the challenge the industry faces in storing and preserving huge quantities of born-digital content. The project embraces a new world where archives can be deployed either in-house or as third-party services. It bridges the gap between archiving as a long-term preservation activity and the day-to-day business of using archives as working asset repositories. IT Innovation are demonstrating a service-oriented approach to digital preservation using federated storage services.

MUPPITS is a radical post-production infrastructure that promises to revolutionise the way Soho trades computing resource. It will allow end-users, facilities houses and service providers to come together in a secure environment to plan, manage and combine their collective resources dynamically and flexibly, reducing costs and making the industry a little bit greener.

The ANSWER project is drawing inspiration from the world of dance to develop a novel approach to planning and coordinating film production. A symbolic notation for film production, akin to Labanotation in dance, will allow directors to script set configurations, camera actions and actors’ movements, and see their ideas rendered instantaneously as high-quality animated 3D storyboards.

Members of the SCOVIS team will also be on hand to explain how computer vision tracking techniques combined with automatic rule-based editing can create customised video sequences from multi-camera installations – the applications of this technology range from souvenir videos for tourists to interactive sports coverage.

In recent years IT Innovation has built a strong reputation in the film and broadcast industries, strengthened in 2006 by the appointment of Paul Walland, formerly Head of Collaborative Research at Hampshire-based broadcasting equipment manufacturer Snell and Wilcox.

IT Innovation’s Managing Director, Colin Upstill, explained the importance of IBC: ‘Modern digital media developments such as the explosion of user-created content, moves to High Definition and 3D production, and digital online storage and distribution already present huge IT challenges for the broadcast industry.

‘As the industry event in Europe, IBC is the best possible arena to present our current work to key decision makers, build new relationships, and hear at first-hand the emerging challenges that we must address in future collaborations.’ IBC 2008 runs from 12 to 16 September at the RAI exhibition centre, Amsterdam.

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