In a pre-IBC announcement, Assimilate unveiled a new free media player, Scratch Play.
Primary Grading with SCRATCH Play
The free player runs on OS X and Windows computers, plus Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets, and is of use to anybody who handles images, still or moving. For the Pros, it supports RAW footage, MXF, DPX, OpenEXR, and ProRes files. One of the biggest issues for anybody working in post is having a player that can handle anything, without having to spend thousands in order to do so. Scratch Play also supports QuickTime, WMV and MP4, which not only makes it that tool but, also, a must-have as a prosumer/consumer media player.
Anyone familiar with VFX, CG and Editorial workflows will know, having the ability to check a shot on any workstation has long been high on the “we really need this” list but, until now at least, this has either had to be expensive software or RAM players, or a combination of both. So being able to double-click on an R3D or ArriRAW file to play or scrub through it, or quickly play back a DPX render or an animation you’ve just finished at your desk, in context, with proper colour, is really a big deal.
“We use SCRATCH Play to pull stills directly from the RED RAW files, and to be able to move through footage fast without having to stand at the DIT station. To have the Surface Pro to pull up a still, or moving footage, to match to the shot we’re doing currently is huge.
The Surface Pro is great because it’s a full PC, but it’s portable. I have SCRATCH running on it, I have Media Composer running on it – those are all things I can’t do on an iPad.”
As part of yesterday’s Microsoft launch of the Surface pro 2, they showed SCRATCH Play running on the Surface, playing back and adjusting primary colour of uncompressed RED Dragon 6K in real-time. Phenomenal!
Microsoft unveil Surface Pro 2 using SCRATCH Play
SCRATCH Lab is one of the most commonly used systems in VFX conform and review and as on-set and near-set DataLabs. One of the reasons for its popularity is its ability to play back all those different filetypes, in context, but also to organise and compare looks using the unique Assimilate interface, the CONstruct. The free SCRATCH Play has that and also the ability to manipulate the primary colour characteristics of a file and save them as ASC CDLs, LUTs or as JPEG stills. Those kind of tools will make it very popular with DPs and DITs wanting to experiment with looks without having to take up a DataLab to do so, and even commercials stills photographers could utilise the versioning and organising.
As Jeff Edson, Assimilate CEO states: “The inclusion of Scratch’s CONstruct timeline, where sequences are organized, versioned, staged and assembled into tracks, makes this player a no-brainer for DPs and DITs who want to export CDLs or LUTs without pausing their cart transcodes already in progress. The CONstruct handles any and all combos of formats, resolutions and color spaces, including Rec. 2020 and 4K Ultra HD color space, and lets users define their output resolution, switch between versions, and compare and manage their media at any point during a production.”
Where NAB tends to be the show about announcements, and IBC where we get to see them in reality, Assimilate have rolled this into one, with the announcement and immediate availability. SCRATCH Play is available for download from their website now for free. Once downloaded once can apparently pay $5 to remove the ads but the functionality is not hampered in the free version.
SCRATCH Play can be downloaded for free from here