DigiBox Spring Colour Event - Discover ColorBox from AJA

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14 Feb

DigiBox Spring Colour Event - Discover ColorBox from AJA

ColorBox from AJA is a compact, high-performance converter for colour managed workflows designed to specifically meet the conversion needs of broadcast, live events and on-set applications.

ColorBox includes processing pipeline modes from Colorfront and NBCU LUTs, as well as a powerful AJA Colour Pipeline. ColorBox also expands its capabilities by offering licensable upgrade options for advanced colour managed workflows, including BBC HLG LUTs and the all new ORION-CONVERT engine. ORION-CONVERT’s unique real-time floating point math approach to colour transforms produces higher precision results to get “access to the colours between the colours.”  This enables pixel perfect colour transforms and round tripping where maintaining colours is paramount.  

ColorBox also offers a sophisticated test pattern generator and frame store, bringing useful tools to your workflow, including the ability to capture up to a 4K image as a 16-bit .tiff file for the highest quality reference stills. ColorBox can even overlay information onto the image, including helpful user definable text fields. These images can be saved locally on ColorBox or onto a third party connected PC running an application like Pomfort’s Livegrade Pro/Studio and Assimilate Live Looks.

ColorBox

Built around a 33-point 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation, AJA Colour Pipeline provides additional 4x 1D LUTs and 2x 3x3 matrices that are each individually configurable even as Proc Amps or RGB Colour Correctors. 

Easily manage colour processing options via the web user interface which can be accessed directly from a wired Ethernet connection or through a wireless connection via a third party WiFi USB adapter. 

EXAMPLE WORKFLOWS

4K Production Workflow On-Set Look Management

4K Production Workflow on set look management

In this production workflow, we see an on-set 12G-SDI signal from a 4K cinema camera system passed to the ColorBox via the 12G-SDI in. The ColorBox has a 3D LUT applied, which simulates a film look and is monitored for the DIT over the HDMI 2.0 out. At the same time, the DP monitors the same 3D LUT applied video via 12G-SDI for more critical feedback. Different 3D LUTs are selectable to suit the needs of the production, with easy control provided by the DIT. The loop through on ColorBox is connected to the Ki Pro Ultra 12G for high quality capture of the video signal without the LUT applied. Third party tools can adjust Color Decision Lists (CDL) values on the fly for on-set color grading.

4K Production Workflow Dailies Looks Playback

4K Production Workflow Dailies Looks Playback

In this production workflow, we see the dailies being played back from an AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G via the 12G-SDI out, passed to the ColorBox device. Using a laptop and an HDMI 2.0 monitor alongside ColorBox offers a powerful solution in a relatively small area, easily deployed in a small hotel room or modest meeting room. The LUTs used earlier in the day's shooting are easily accessible and applied to match the playback needs, including the options to tweak or audition alternate looks as well, all in real time.

HDR/SDR On-Set Color Grading Workflow

HDR/SDR On-Set Color Grading Workflow

In this production workflow, the 12G-SDI output of a 4K camera is routed via an AJA KUMO 3232-12G SDI router to two ColorBoxes, A and B. ColorBox A is set up to output an HDR video signal to a 4K HDR monitor via the KUMO 3232-12G. At the same time, ColorBox B is providing an SDR video signal to a 4K SDR monitor via the KUMO 3232-12G. Valuable feedback from real time comparisons of the HDR and SDR video outputs can again save time and money, ensuring the recorded video best matches the needs of all deliverable formats.

UltraHD Live Production Workflow HDR Conversion and Management

UltraHD Live Production Workflow HDR Conversion and Management

In this live television OB truck production workflow, we see a number of 12G-SDI outputs from UltraHD television camera systems that are passed to a number of ColorBoxes via the 12G-SDI in. SDR to HDR conversion is provided by the ColorBox units, in this case converting each input to be HLG on the output to suit the needs of the current live production single master HDR workflow. ColorBoxes on the output of the switcher convert HLG to different deliverable formats, including SDR and PQ.  As sources are added, more ColorBox units can be included easily to accommodate the production as it scales.

4K Postproduction Workflow NLE Looks Management

4K Postproduction Workflow NLE Looks Management

In this postproduction workflow, a ColorBox is being used inline from the 12G-SDI output of an AJA Io 4K Plus. The timeline output is passed to the output of the Io 4K Plus and out to the ColorBox, where LUTs can be applied to the 12G-SDI monitored output without the need for rendering until later in the process. This allows editors to be nimble with auditioning looks and making decisions without having to wait for complex renders.

ColorBox Multi-Cam On-Set Color Grading

ColorBox Multi-Cam On-Set Color Grading

In this production workflow, two ColorBoxes are being used inline from the 12G-SDI output of 4K Camera A and 4K Camera B. A KUMO 3232-12G is being used to route the video. A laptop is being used to manage the ColorBoxes from a single desktop via easily accessible tabs or two browser windows side by side. The ColorBoxes are both connected to a single 12G-SDI monitor, again routed via the KUMO 3232-12G, where changes made inline can be seen and further adjustments made or saved as necessary. Both cameras can easily be matched, saving time and money in postproduction.

KEY FEATURES

  • 12-bit 4:4:4 12G-SDI I/O for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 12G-SDI I/O for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 60p
  • 12-bit 4:4:4 HDMI 2.0 output for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI 2.0 output for up to 4K/UltraHD HDR/WCG 60p
  • Ultra low latency, less than ½ a video line
  • Extensive AJA Colour Pipeline built around the 33pt. 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation
    • 7x nodes plus Overlay
      • 1x 3D LUT processor, user configurable as 3D LUT or Dynamic
      • 4x 1D LUT processors, user configurable as 1D LUT, Dynamic, or Colour Corrector
      • 2x 3x3 Matrix processors, user configurable as 3x3 Matrix, Dynamic, or ProcAmp
    • Supports industry standard file types, no conversion to proprietary format required
    • Configurable Colourspace, Range, and Transfer Characteristic
    • Full frame LUT processing
  • Five Color Processing Pipelines
    • AJA Colour
    • Colorfront Mode
    • ORION-CONVERT Mode (Licensable option)
    • BBC HLG LUT Mode (Licensable option)
    • NBCU LUTs
  • Video Preview in web user interface for confidence monitoring
  • Built in Frame Store
    • Up to 4K/UltraHD frame capture and recall 
    • Capture pre or post processed images
  • Test Pattern up to 4K/UltraHD, 9x test patterns built-in
  • Overlay information on output
    • User Text
    • Input and Output signal information
    • Pipeline Configuration
    • Overlay can be captured with image for future reference
  • Onboard library for file management
    • 16x 1D LUTs
    • 16x 3D LUTs
    • 16x 3x3 Matrices
    • 16x Images
  • Preset Management, 10 per Pipeline plus Startup Preset
  • ANC metadata pass-through
  • Embedded audio pass-through, SDI 16-ch. and HDMI 8-ch.
  • Compact; 4 units can fit in just 1RU 
  • Ultra quiet fan operation
  • Lightweight
  • Robust locking 4-pin mini-XLR power connector, DC power
  • On/Off button so you can save power when not in use
  • Select button used to bypass video processing
  • Extensive API for 3rd party control integrations
  • Embedded web server for remote control
  • Configure IP Address via USB port and supplied AJA eMini-Setup software for PC/Mac
  • Three year warranty
AJA ColorBox ports

Integration Across Broad Applications

ColorBox offers key applications for modern workflows, including:

  • 4K/UltraHD SDR and HDR pipelines for live television and concert production.  OB trucks and other live event infrastructure can easily use ColorBox to convert SDR signals to HDR and HDR to other delivery formats.  The licensable ORION-CONVERT and BBC HLG LUTs options as well as the free built-in Colorfront transforms and NBCU LUTs provide all the necessary tools to manage HDR workflows.  For hardware based control, SKAARHOJ and CyanView have integrated native control of ColorBox into their control panels.
  • On set look management and color grading for DITs or anyone in charge of ensuring that the content captured on set will meet the needs of the Cinematographer, Director of Photography, colorist, costume and lighting designers, and editors on the production. A DIT can easily manage workflows to load multiple looks, make adjustments as needed and save reference images (up to 4K) for dailies, postproduction, and later use. Pomfort’s Livegrade Pro and Studio and Assimilate Live Looks and Live Assist integrate easily, offering native control of ColorBox in real time.  The unique full frame processing capability of ColorBox eliminates partial frame LUT processing.
  • Monitor Calibration. Wherever the highest quality display calibration is required for a production studio, rental house, production or post production facility, ColorBox can help. ColorBox features an extensive API that allows 3rd parties to control the ColorBox Frame Store and its ability to output 12-bit RGB test patches for high quality monitor calibration applications.
AJA ColorBox compact firm

Powerful AJA Color Pipeline (ACP)

AJA Color Pipeline provides users with the most advanced color management tools available for a device of its type.  With 7 nodes of real-time processing plus Overlay, the pipeline offers capabilities only seen in software based color correction applications. These nodes give you full control over colorspace, video level, and dynamic range conversion to get the most out of your color managed workflow.  Dynamic nodes are controllable by 3rd party applications.

  • 7 processing nodes plus Overlay
  • Pipeline processes in 12-bit RGB
  • 1x 3D LUT, user configurable as 3D LUT or Dynamic
  • 33pt. 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral interpolation
  • 4x 1D LUT, user configurable as 1D LUT, Dynamic, or Color Corrector
  • Supports 10 or 12-bit 1D LUTs
  • 2x 3x3 Matrices, user configurable as 3x3 Matrix, Dynamic, or Proc Amp
  • Supports industry standard file types, no conversion to proprietary format required
  • Configurable Colorspace, Range, and Transfer Characteristic
  • Full frame LUT processing
  • Full bypass node for 12G-SDI and HDMI

This toolset enables workflows to be set up and easily replicated utilizing ColorBox preset import and export capabilities.

ColorBox features elegant design, with the front panel offering:

  • USB OTG (on-the-go) port, configure initial IP address or connect 3rd party WiFi adapter 
  • Select Button, manually bypass video processing 
  • Power Button, save power when not in use
  • SDI Lock LED, indicates lock to supported SDI input format
  • Status LED, indicates various ColorBox states

The rear provides:

  • 12G-SDI Input
  • 12G-SDI loop through output
  • 12G-SDI Output
  • HDMI 2.0 Output
  • 4-pin mini-XLR power
  • 1GigE Ethernet port

The ultra quiet fan and properly positioned vents draw cool air through the front of the unit and exhausts warm air out of the back. 

AJA ColorBox

Compact Form Factor

ColorBox is just 4in. x 7.5in., requiring a small footprint on your desktop or you can rack mount up to four ColorBox devices in just 1RU for easy addition to both production and post installations, in DIT carts, fly away kits, and equipment racks.  It is also lightweight at just 1 lb. making it perfect for DIT and mobile applications.

Pipelines

ColorBox comes with a range of Pipelines to choose from. Select any particular Pipeline for your production needs. Some Pipelines are designed specifically for live broadcast or live event needs. Others, like the AJA Colour Pipeline, offer great flexibility for more control over each step of a transform for any application. Pipelines like BBC HLG LUTs or ORION-CONVERT will display a watermark over the image until a license is applied offering you the ability to evaluate the colour science prior to purchasing the optional license. ColorBox offers unique image processing capabilities with an unrivaled array of options for a device of its type with full 12-bit 4:4:4 up to 4K 30p and 10-bit 4:2:2 up to 4K 60p.  Full bypass nodes are also offered for both 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 out, for quick comparisons.

These are the five Pipelines available:

  • AJA Colour
  • Colorfront 
  • ORION-CONVERT (requires License to remove watermark)
  • BBC HLG LUTs (requires License to remove watermark)
  • NBCU LUTs
AJA ColorBox compact firm