Adobe Drives New Format for Digital Cinema

Adobe is spearheading the CinemaDNG file format effort at the NAB 2008 conference.

Following the release of its Adobe Media Player and Adobe TV offerings, Adobe Systems is rolling out a series of moves to drive the creation, delivery and playback of dynamic content at the National Association of Broadcasters 2008 show in Las Vegas April 14.

Adobe is announcing that it is leading an effort to begin defining an industry-wide, open-file format for digital-cinema files, which will be called CinemaDNG. The CinemaDNG format is based on DNG, Adobe's Digital Negative file format for digital photography. "The DNG format is used in the photographic world today; it enables you to get as close as you can to a digital negative," said Simon Hayhurst, senior product manager for dynamic media at Adobe.

Hayhurst said Adobe plans to leverage DNG as a foundation and work with a broad coalition of camera manufacturers, including Panavision, Silicon Imaging, Dalsa, Weisscam, and ARRI, and software vendors, including Iridas and The Foundry, and codec provider CineForm, to define the requirements for CinemaDNG.

"We knew we needed to work with the industry on this and we decided that NAB would be a good place to kick this off," Hayhurst said.

With CinemaDNG, Adobe is taking its expertise in creating open, interchangeable formats for digital still cameras into the world of digital cinematography to support file-format compatibility with existing workflows, Hayhurst said.

As a publicly-documented and open-file format, CinemaDNG also will enable filmmakers to avoid incompatibilities in workflows that involve multiple devices, vendors and file formats by using digital cinema cameras that support CinemaDNG.

Also at NAB, Adobe is previewing technology plans that help bring intelligence to dynamic media through metadata in future versions of its professional video software, Hayhurst said. By automating the creation and flow of information assets, post-production tasks can be simplified and accelerated, enabling audiences to search content rapidly and easily. During distribution and playback, content owners and advertisers can take advantage of new monetization opportunities to target ads more precisely.

Hayhurst said Adobe will have a version of the Adobe Media Player that will leverage the metadata-enabled features to make video searchable. "It's very empowering," he said. "This does for video what HTML did for text and rendering."

Meanwhile, for capturing live audio and video to stream in real-time to Adobe Flash Media Server or the Flash Video Streaming Service, Adobe is offering Adobe Flash Media Encoder 2.5 software as a free download. Adobe also is helping to bring intelligence to dynamic media by allowing the incorporation of metadata into its professional video product line. For broadcasting live events such as concerts, Web casts, or sporting events, Adobe Flash Media Encoder 2.5 software now allows users to capture and stream live content in H.264 with Adobe Flash Media Server and Adobe Flash Player, Adobe officials said.