01. Assimilate Product Suite v9.6 - Release Notes

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01. Assimilate Product Suite v9.6 - Release Notes


Version 9.6 requires a re-activation of your license. If you have a valid v9.5 license, then the license is automatically updated to include the new 9.6 version and the re-activation is as simple as clicking the Activate button. Contact licensing@assimilateinc.com if you have any question on licensing for version 9.6. Also note that this version is not fully backward compatible. You should not downgrade from this version and open a project in a lower version after it has been opened in v9.5 or before. Always create a backup of your projects before upgrading and we advise not to upgrade in the middle of a project.

Media Management and Formats

  • Added a new ProRes Raw -> DNG writer to convert ProRes Raw media to DNG Raw frames. The writer has options to set compression type and level as well as the bit depth for the DNG frames to control the size of the output. Note that when the writer encounters non ProRes Raw media as input it will stop processing. Also note that none of the grade on any of the input media is included in the DNG Raw output.
  • Universal Scene Descriptor (USD) node. You can now load USD files directly from the file browser the same as any other supported media format. Also, USD support is now included with the standard installer rather than having to install a separate add-on with the underlying Hydra renderer as in the previous version. The reader includes the option to render an equirectangular image of the scene. Do note that USD support is currently Windows only. The USD camera can be linked to the shot camera, including the field of view.
  • Various updates on the Consolidate Timeline function. Next to consolidating you have the option backup a specific drive or folder to one or more destinations, including writing a Media Hash List (.mhl) report with checksum information (either in the 1.0 or 2.0 format). The timeline consolidate now also includes certain media side-car files, like the BRAW xml settings file.
  • Added a new column "Processed" in the Render Queue panel to reflect the last date/time the item was processed. Also, the queue items are now properly sorted, whereas before a publish or consolidate item were not included in the sorting with regular render jobs.
  • Added support for Nikon Raw (.NEV files).
  • Updated ARRI Image SDK to version 7.1.1. The new ARRI reader/SDK is now used by default also for older ARRI media. To use the previous SDK, set the specific file-filter in the file browser.
  • Updated Sony Raw SDK to version 4.1.0. and fixed an issue with loading 4K 17:9 XOCN files.
  • Added Fuji Log2 EOTF. This is now used as standard when loading Fuji media.
  • Added the option to debayer to AP1 in the ProRes Raw reader to allow for an easier ACES render workflow.
  • Added a project LUT folder setting to have a virtual root folder for LUTs.

Color Pipeline and Display

  • Added a new tab to the Player - Settings - Monitor menu to manage scaling and offset per output: dual head and available Video IO. In previous version you could only set these properties for all outputs at once.
  • Added Source Alpha qualifier mode in the Qualifier menu. This option simply takes the alpha from the source image (no color picking) and allows to apply the keyer options (such as e.g. grow/shrink) to that alpha channel.
  • Added an M(atte) button to the plug-in browser to explicitly load the selected plug-in as matte to a layer.


  • Added Closed Caption support in the Burn-in plug-in. The Closed Caption mode is available from the Global tab. When applied, the closed caption display takes over and you no longer can set individual text items.
  • Per frame metadata in the metadata stack in the Player now updates while in playback mode. Note that you still need the have the "Read per Frame Metadata" enabled in the advanced settings.
  • In the log output with xml script processing in the watch folder was not properly formatted.
  • The parameters of the Lens Distortion plug-in can now be adjusted in realtime. A new Crop option was added to remove any black created by the Undistort process. This is only available when entering the distortion parameters, not when using an external UV map.
  • This build introduces the concept of a composite master-camera. Each node in a composite has its own camera setup. As of this build you need to explicitly activate the camera to use it in a render. If a camera is not explicitly activated, then the node will use the camera of its parent. This way, you only have to control the camera in the root node of your composite.
  • Fixed an issue when saving a timeline to file with plug-in nodes that are not available on the system. The nodes were lost when loading the timeline back in on a different system.
  • The size of plugins on a layer where not always properly adjusted when copying the layer from one node to another.

Play Pro Studio

  • Play Pro Studio is a new product that builds upon Play Pro and expands it with a series of new tools.
  • Added ProRes Raw to DNG Raw transcoding (see above). If a source shot contains audio, this is written to a separate audio file.
  • Extended the existing render options with audio quality, bit depth, sample rate settings as well as an auto audio channel selection control.
  • Play Pro Studio includes the media Consolidate and Backup functions to consolidate / backup a timeline or a specific drive or folder to multiple destinations.
  • Added trim video functions in the (relabeled) AV Trim menu.

Live FX

  • Live FX has been extended with a range of functions and features for LED Wall projection. At this moment, the full description of the functionality is not yet available in the Live FX manual but will be shortly.
  • At the heart of projection is the new Stage Manager. The Stage Manager is where you define the position and shape of the LED wall(s) you are using. This information is used, together with the camera position, to determine the correct image to be send to each wall. In the Stage Manager you also determine how display outputs are mapped on each of the LED walls. The Stage Manager can be opened from the Projection Setup panel in the Construct (see below) or from the Live FX menu in the Player. You can maintain multiple stage configurations, however only one can be active at any one time.
  • In the Stage Manager you can either load the shape and size of an LED wall from an object (.obj) file or create a wall model based on number of LED tiles, resolution and curvature of the wall. Once you have the wall mode you can adjust its (world)-position from the stage/tracker system origin.
  • In the Mapper tab of the Stage Manager, you set how the LED wall(s) relate to the physical display outputs of your system. Aim is to prevent unnecessary scaling (by the LED wall processors). You can map a single wall to one or more outputs (with different offsets) or you can map multiple walls on a single big output. The latter case can e.g. be used with the Nvidia Mosaic option where a single big virtual output is defined that maps in turn to multiple DP/HDMI outputs. The advantage of this route is that you can output directly from the GPU rather than going out through VideoIO and as such can reduce latency.
  • The mapper function also has a Preview option. This shows a test pattern to all the defined and mapped walls. For this, a Switch node is used. For each mapped wall, a channel is created in the Switch node. In the channel controller of the Switch node the channel is directed to the correct display. In case of a mosaic, the Switch node generates the correct mosaic image. Note that the Preview function does not take the shape of the LED walls into account. This is purely meant to ensure that the mapping (offsets) is correct, and no pixels are lost.
  • The Projection Setup panel can be started from the main toolbar in the Construct and is used to quickly and easily create a complete composition for LED wall projection using the active stage. By default, the panel assume you will use the active stage configuration. You can enter the clip to play, which camera tracker to use, if you want to highlight the camera frustum on the LED wall (or rather dim the surroundings a bit) and if you want to capture the camera image back in and potentially do a set-extension in case the camera captures outside of the wall. Based on the selection the resulting composition shot is placed on the Construct and opened in the Player.
  • At the top of the composition is usually a Switch node with for each mapped LED Wall a channel plus optionally a channel for the camera capture and set-extension. The input of each channel is a projection node and the source clip. Each of the channels can be managed and graded separately. However, for the projection composition a special Switch node is used that contains a number of controls to directly manage all channel projection nodes at once – e.g. to rotate the 360-background clip for all channels at once. Furthermore, I the channel controller for the Switch node you can toggle between Master and Channel mode. In Channel mode you effectively grade on the active channel. In Master mode, any grade that you create is applied to each channel (on top of the channel-grade).
  • Depending on the type of clip you want to project on the LED wall, you would use the 2D->Wall plug-in (for regular media) or the Eq->Wall plug-in (for 360 equirectangular media). The plug-ins use the data from the active Stage Manager (wall shape, position and resolution, camera position) to create the image to project so that the Camera captures the correct image. With the 2D-Wall plug-in you can also project beyond the active camera frustum to generate ambient light on the LED wall on the part the camera does not capture. With the Eq->Wall plug-in you decide whether to create a projection based on the physical camera representing the center of the 360 spherical image or whether to have the 360 spherical image being shown in a dome and to navigate inside the dome based on the physical camera position.
  • The Stage-Matte plug-in generates a matte based on the position and shape of the LED wall(s) and the current camera position. This matte can be used e.g. to highlight the camera frustum on the projection or when inverting the matte (effectively showing you where the wall(s) are not) to generate a set-extension image on the camera capture image.

Live FX (continued / general)

  • In the previous version it was not possible to record multiple channels in a Switch node at the same time. That is fixed in this build. After recording, the channels are loaded back as separate clips, not wrapped in a new Switch node.
  • The Channel Controller for Switch nodes now maintains all settings over sessions, including the master/channel mode. The control layout has been adjusted somewhat. The channel transition controls have been moved to the last tab.
  • The Live Setup panel now has an option to add a Light Wrap to the composite, using the Matte wrap plug-in, to enhance the green-screen key.
  • Added a "Light Card" option to the Quick Paths in the Live FX menu. A light card is basically an extra light-source on an LED wall (which should not show on the camera): in this case a round layer with a color frame.

Live Assist/Looks

  • The menu for managing grades and recordings was relabeled to Library. In that menu, a range of new functions were added to easily rename, move or delete existing recordings or grades. Note that the delete function will physically remove the grade or recording from disk. No Undo option.
  • Added a function to open a grade or recording in a Reference channel. This is a temporary (extra) channel so that you can view the output on a specific monitor or in a video wall with the other channels. To open a recording in the Reference channel, use the Replay dropdown in the Library menu. You can link the Reference channel to a specific monitor from the Settings tab in the Setup panel. Use the R(reset) option in the Channel Controller panel to clear the reference channel. Note that if a grade is loaded into the reference channel it can be updated and stored to update the grade. When using the Save All option, the content in the reference channel is not automatically saved.
  • Added a "Show Notes.." in the Grades/Replay dropdown in the Library menu to make the function more explicit available than having to click the tag in the proxy image.
  • Added a 'Rec No' column to the recordings list that shows the record number of a recording (useful in case of multiple recordings with the same scene/take numbers).

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    Last Modified:Monday, February 06, 2023
    Last Modified By: Peter
    Type: RELEASE
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