Smoke & Mirrors transitions to tapeless workflow with AmberFin

AmberFin has announced the sale of AmberFin iCR ingest, file playback, and unified quality control (UQC) software-based systems to independent Soho-based postproduction facility, Smoke & Mirrors.
Currently, Smoke & Mirrors is undertaking a major new initiative to move to a fully tapeless internal workflow.  This will allow them to achieve greater efficiencies through automation of routine operational processes, whilst maintaining crucial skilled human quality control (QC) touch points.
Smoke & Mirrors was formed in 1995 by a group of senior operational staff from two of London’s leading facilities, The Mill and Rushes.  The team came together through a common interest in a software-based environment and a shared belief that a smaller more specialised facility was just what the market needed. Their collective experience represents arguably the strongest concentration of digital effects talent in the UK’s postproduction industry.
Providing a cornerstone of Smoke & Mirror’s new file-based workflow, AmberFin iCR is being used in content repurposing operations with file playback and Unified Quality Control including Digimetric’s Aurora Pro software system within the platform.
Using AmberFin iCR, Smoke & Mirrors can efficiently repurpose uncompressed Quicktime masters of varying specifications to a single mezzanine format. Also, AmberFin’s Unified Quality Control (UQC) system provides a crucial human quality control element to both the technical and subjective aspects of Smoke & Mirrors’ output.
According to Smoke & Mirrors’ Chief Technology Officer, Mark Wildig, “AmberFin iCR provides an effective balance between automated QC of technical characteristics and manual QC of subjective market-specific content. Tracking of both detailed QC data and associated skilled human judgement calls provides a robust audit trail for all materials produced within our facility.”
Previous workflows at Smoke & Mirrors were heavily reliant on tape, which though extremely robust, meant that scaling was expensive in terms of both hardware and staffing. “Our clients are better served through the increased efficiencies provided by a fully tapeless internal workflow,” commented Wildig. “Likewise, iCR provides a file QC environment on a par with the traditional videotape hardware route, along with the added benefits of file-based working.
“Our experiences of using AmberFin iCR are very positive – the product provided a host of benefits right out of the box, but we have been particularly impressed with how the AmberFin team has taken on board our specific requirements and whenever practical, even enhanced the platform to meet our needs,” Mark Wildig continued. “We look forward to working with AmberFin as our business continues to evolve and expand. We would be very confident in specifying AmberFin’s solutions should the requirement arise elsewhere in the business.”
To explain their experiences on this ambitious file-based migration project, Mark Wildig will address IBC as part of its Workflow Solutions Village Initiative on Sunday 9 September.

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