The X Factor

Despite claims almost every decade that the movie industry In its widest sense) is about to go into decline, cinemas, videos on YouTube, digital media experiences, animation, audio-visual innovation and other multi-media presentations seem to be in rude health. As home entertainment systems get larger and more sophisticated, and as we are about to up the visual HD quality to four times that seen at the moment, there’s a demand from those in the industry to have the technology to facilitate their creativity.

We’ve come a long way since dangerously inflammable 16mm film projections in theatres, and the painful once-only editing using clear tape, glue and scissors/cutting blades. Not only is there a demand for top quality video editing software, the choice of PC workstation for creating graphics and melding them with audio and special effects, is vitally important. Digital graphic creations not only require heavy processing power, but also should have intuitive user-friendly programmes that stimulate and nurture the creative process and so turn the creator’s ideas into digital audio-visual reality.

One of the first choice machines for integrated audio/visual creation is the Hewlett Packard HP X Workstation. It seems to have the X factor that professionals in the digital VFX, animation and associated fields are looking for.

If proof were needed, then one only has to look back to three weeks last autumn in a pop-up studio in London’s Soho. There was assembled a gathering of industry experts, professionals, those aspiring to enter or develop in the digital video industry, and of course banks of the HP X Workstation.

Creativity can be nurtured and harnessed in many ways; mentoring, experience, inspiration, and education to name but a few. But in this 21st century we should never underestimate the power of technology to deliver not only creative opportunity, but a quality end-product that will realise in full the imagination of the artistic creator. The HP Z workstation is at the forefront of this technology.

For three weeks in autumn last year artists, animators, special effects specialists, film-makers and London’s award-winning creative artists and Visual Effects companies gathered at a Hewlett Packard pop-up studio in the heart of London’s Soho to see, discuss and experience the new HP Z workstations, tailor-made for video editing and Computer Generated Images (CGI). The Pop-Ups were called “ZED” (for Z-Editing) and as you can see from the snippet of video of the events, it was shown how imagination could be turned into virtual reality.

Sessions were presented (and recorded on video) on all manner of creative visual artistry including VFX, 3D, animated visuals, video software editing, and mixing audio into the visuals. Because those experts in these fields are often busy working on their latest commissions, it was something of a coup to gather together so many visionaries and experts under one ZED studio over just three weeks, all willing to give the benefit of their expertise to those eager to gather some pearls of wisdom.

The videos discuss techniques, best software to use, experience gained as technology developed, and not least, that with the best technology, ideas and dreams can be morphed into reality and produce some of the jaw-dropping visuals we can see in the best movies, videos and presentations today.