Sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and dive right into something to fully appreciate it.
That was the major motivation behind a recent training session for post-production design engineers and other media specialists conducted by Imagine Communications in early June at its Burbank offices. Representatives from nearly a dozen of Hollywood’s elite studios and post-production houses navigated Los Angeles traffic to spend a half-day exploring the features and capabilities of SelenioFlex File, Imagine Communications’ file-to-file media processing solution designed to meet the evolving and expanding needs of the media and entertainment industry.
“Since SelenioFlex is so much more advanced than anything most of these designers have been using, we felt it would be beneficial to host a comprehensive training session,” says Michael Rebel, a senior solutions engineer at Imagine Communications. “The chief objective was to introduce this powerful product and to let one of our critical customer constituencies know that we’re here to support them, we understand their business, and we can help them unleash the full force of their creativity.”
Powered by Zenium
SelenioFlex File is among the first Imagine Communications’ solutions to be powered by Zenium™, a software-based platform that supplies designers with a highly visual production environment. The componentized, software-based nature of Zenium introduces efficiencies that enable designers to quickly and intuitively construct sophisticated workflows.
Leveraging the Zenium workflow manager, SelenioFlex File provides a comprehensive catalog of technologies and solution that can easily be dragged and dropped into a visual environment to streamline the production process. It supports a comprehensive range of formats with superior quality for post-production, archive and multiscreen distribution applications.
In addition, SelenioFlex File has been recently fortified with support for the latest file formats, codecs and media manipulation capabilities. It supports numerous input formats, including QuickTime, MXF, GXF, and TS, as well as various SD, HD and 4K/UHD output file formats, including HEVC, H.264, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), MPEG DASH, MPEG-2 TS, MPEG-2 PS, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Audio, WAVE, PCM, AAC, and more.
IMF and HEVC
SelenioFlex File will be one of the first file-to-file processing platforms to support the HEVC codec and the Interoperable Master Format (IMF), a SMPTE standard that reduces storage requirements and greatly simplifies post-production workflows and the distribution of content to an increasingly expanding universe of devices and destinations.
The advanced features of SelenioFlex, says Rebel, will especially appeal to studios and post-production facilities, where Imagine Communications currently holds a roughly 90-percent share of that market.
Initial feedback to the complementary session, says Rebel, has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Training was excellent,” offered Jon Edwards, a director of broadcast operations for a major entertainment company and attendee of the June 3rd session. “It was great seeing the logic branching capabilities. I plan to schedule additional training sessions for my team to learn more about SelenioFlex File and the Zenium Designer.”
Zenium Designer is a critical component of the Zenium platform. It allows media professionals to create sophisticated workflows with intelligent automation, says Rebel, adding that the tool also maximizes operational efficiency by eliminating unnecessary steps in workflow design. Zenium Designer provides a catalog of technologies, such as codecs, or pre-defined solutions, that can be easily dragged into a workflow design. Built-in preview capabilities differentiate the platform and accelerate the deployment process.
"Our mission was to make sure that our customers understood how to tap into the advanced functionality of this product, which will make them more productive and able to deliver higher-quality results than ever before"
- Michael Rebel
Another motivation for the hands-on session, says Rebel, was the desire to showcase the full functionality of the product.
“The drag-and-drop nature of the product makes it extremely intuitive,” says Rebel, adding that most media professionals would have little difficultly duplicating existing workflows right out of the box. “Our mission was to make sure that our customers understood how to tap into the advanced functionality of this product, which will make them more productive and able to deliver higher-quality results than ever before.”
Sign Me Up
Based on the positive feedback from attendees of the inaugural session, Imagine Communications plans to host future training events that hone in on some of SelenioFlex File’s more sophisticated functions. Filling up seats at additional training sessions shouldn’t be an issue.
“I was very impressed with the flexibility of the components inside the Zenium blueprints,” says Ken Secor, a digital media engineer with Deluxe Media. “I’m definitely looking forward to the next training session.”