Originally published in Post Magazine, June 2014
Written By: Linda Romanello

New York — Earlier this year; Quantel not only announced the latest software release for its Pablo Rio color and finishing system – intended to add more capabilities to the system’s toolset – but the company also debuted its Genetic Engineering 2 (GE2), a new shared storage solution for flexibility, performance and productivity increases for Pablo Rio users.

Light Iron (www.lightiron.com), with locations on both the west and east coasts, has been one of the early adopters of Pablo Rio, and now with GE2, is getting a boost to its workflow for such services as digital intermediates, on-set dailies, and finishing for a range of independent and studio projects.

“At the time, Quantel was the only company that was demonstrating a 4K road map,” says Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron, who talks about his long-time use of Quantel technology, going back to 2006.

“In 2006, which at this point sounds pretty ancient, they were saying, ‘Here’s how we’re going to go get 4K,’” he continues. “Nobody else in the landscape was saying those words. And I said, ‘I want to go with the guy who has a plan.’ They were planning for tomorrow and clearly in 2006, it was a 2K and HD world, but the one company saying it was going to be a 4K world was Quantel, so it was an easy choice for me.”

Eight years and at least 11 Quantel systems later, Cioni still believes in the company’s philosophy. “I think where Quantel separates themselves is where they are saying, ‘If you want to have good 4K, you have to do 8K,’ and it makes perfect sense,” Cioni explains. “If you want a car to do 100 miles per hour, it can’t be modified to only go 101; it needs to go 200 miles an hour and so then at 100 it won’t fall apart.”

Cioni describes the Pablo Rio systems as, “the GPU accelerated versions of Pablo – the Rio is running on like a nuclear engine instead of a steam engine” and reports that his team clocked the Rios at “40 times faster than our Pablos.”

The next step for Quantel was to take multiple Pablo Rios and put them on the same network so users can share work. “With GE2, you take that 40 times faster speed and then you add multiple users, the increase is almost exponential,” Cioni says. “It’s not 80x faster, it’s like 120x faster; it’s so much more accelerated because we’re compounding all this power and adding it together, stacking it, and that’s producing an incredible advantage.”

The new software release extends Pablo Rio’s support for various file formats that now include 4K XAVC export and DCP import, as well as the latest Red SDK; with GE2, Pablo Rio will allow high-resolution jobs to be instantly switched or shared.

Light Iron is the smallest company that does the most amount of feature films,” says Cioni. I think we did 54 features last year – I think that’s one a week – I know it’s because of Quantel that that’s possible.”

Cioni adds, “I really wish more people realized that it’s their infrastructure that’s holding them back in many cases. A bad workflow affects everything.

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