Nonlinear workflow engine is designed to automate much of the busywork in production, enabling easier collaboration among all the people working on a project.
Convinced that the next big wave of change in TV production will involve making collaboration easier, Avid unveiled Interplay, a nonlinear workflow engine that automates much of the busywork in labeling, tracking, converting and securing projects as they proceed from ingest to outflow. “Interplay is more than a central database,” said David Schliefer, Avid’s vice president of broadcast workgroups, as he described how the system automatically stores content, so editors can quickly roll back to a previous version if they decide they aren’t happy with cuts they’ve made.
The system also recognizes 100 different file types, and interoperates with many software programs, enabling, for example, Photoshop users to access files directly from Interplay. Interplay also monitors itself, using color bars to alert users to pending problems before they stop workflow. A file server that’s getting full, for example, will produce a yellow bar across the top of the screen.
A scalable system with pricing that starts at $18,000, Interplay is based on client-server engine that works with any member of the Avid Unity MediaNetwork family of shared storage systems. It is designed to provide open access to, and interoperability among all shared assets, tasks and connected systems in a secure environment, allowing everyone in the workflow, from producers, graphic artists and writers to even legal and finance departments to work on a project or monitor its progress.
Other new products from Avid include a software-only version of its Media Composer editing system, available for both Mac OS X and Windows formats, and iNews Command, which integrates with any newsroom computer system to provide broadcasters with automated control over playout devices like video servers, still stores and character generators.