Engineering Emmys: Tech That Addressed Remote Production Among 2020 Winners

The Television Academy on Thursday revealed winners of its 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards, with four of the nine companies honored for developing and deploying remote production technology that has become invaluable in a year in which the industry saw widespread shutdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Evercast, HP Inc’s ZCentral Remote Boost, Sohonet’s ClearView Flex and Teradici were singled out by the TV Academy “for recognition in addressing issues related to COVID-19.”

Other winners include the companies and individuals behind Apple ProRes, CODEX RAW Workflow and Epic Games for its real-time 3D Unreal Engine. A total of nine companies and five individuals will receive Emmys this year (see the full list below).

Honorees will be feted during a live ceremony October 29 at 5 p.m. PT via a livestream on Emmys.com. Kirsten Vangsness of Criminal Minds fame will host for a fifth year in a row.

Per the Academy, here are the descriptions of the winners:

Remote production winners:

Evercast
Evercast is a real-time collaboration platform that combines video conferencing, HD livestreaming and full-spectrum audio in a single web-based platform. Requiring no file sharing and no specialized hardware, Evercast allows users to securely stream any creative workflow (live cameras on set, Avid, Premiere, Maya, Pro Tools, etc.) to anyone, no matter where they are located. With ultra-low latency and uncompromising quality, Evercast offers a digital experience that mirrors the ease and productivity of a team sitting shoulder to shoulder.

HP Inc.
Advancing the art of television during the global pandemic with access to high-performance computing from anywhere, ZCentral Remote Boost continues to accelerate remote creative processes for production teams around the world. Z by HP technology is powering remote work for editors, artists and other creative professionals with the capabilities required for collaboration, creativity and production. ZCentral Remote Boost provides users access to high-performance computing for a range of applications and use cases including VFX, simulation and 3D, providing flexibility for end users to create on almost any end-point device remotely.

Sohonet
ClearView Flex enables a user-friendly, real-time remote collaboration capability that creatives can initiate and manage for a wide range of uses in preproduction, production, VFX and postproduction. Of special value to those working from home, it can be deployed on any network and viewed with reliably consistent user success in a rock-solid, studio-approved secure ecosystem on the most popular consumer devices including AppleTV, iPads/iPhones, Android tablets/phones and Mac/PC.

Teradici
Teradici has specialized in providing remote access to workstations for over 15 years and has been widely recognized for delivering an uncompromising user experience for graphics-intensive workloads. Teradici Cloud Access Software enables artists and producers to work from home or anywhere they need to be by establishing a secure remote access connection to Windows or Linux desktops hosted in the studio, a private data center or a public cloud. Users can access their remote workstations through the Teradici PCoIP protocol from a wide choice of client devices and can use their display, keyboard, mouse and peripherals like Wacom devices as if they were on a local machine, with the resolution and color fidelity they need to maintain the highest-quality standards.

The other 2020 winners:

Apple Inc.
Introduced in 2007, Apple ProRes has become a ubiquitous video codec in the film and television industry. It offers excellent preservation of source video quality and, thanks to innovative algorithm design, fast encoding and ultra-fast decoding. These two properties—combined with Apple’s industry licensing and certification support—make ProRes among the most widely used codecs for end-to-end content-creation workflows: from high-quality acquisition to high-performance editing, color correction, broadcast ingest and playout, and FX creation to master content distribution and archiving.

CODEX
CODEX RAW Workflow provides the fastest high-speed data-migration process for RAW camera content available on the market. It provides a completely proven and deployed end-to-end secure-transport workflow from production to post, while reducing storage costs and saving time with high-density encoding.

Dan Dugan for Gain Sharing Automatic Microphone Mixing
Gain sharing is a unique audio process that helps an audio mixer mix multiple live talkers with ease. There are no upcuts, no missed words and no fluctuations of background noise. The technology allows mixers to easily manage multiple live mics without constantly riding individual input faders—ideal for unscripted events such as talk shows, game shows, news and sports panels, town hall meetings, and debates. Gain sharing automates the robotic part of mixing multiple live talkers, recognizing who’s talking and crossfading them faster than a human can react.

Epic Games
Unreal Engine is one of the most advanced real-time 3D engines that features photorealistic rendering, dynamic effects and multi-user capabilities. Broadcasters choose Unreal Engine to deliver cutting-edge content, virtual sets and AR-enriched programming with much higher fidelity than traditional broadcast graphics engines. Unreal Engine frees creativity and eliminates the overlapping hurdles of time, budget and bandwidth, giving television professionals the flexibility and efficiency to integrate high-end graphics, VFX, motion capture and CG animation into their visual storytelling.

RE:Vision Effects
RE:Vision Effects introduced the industry to optical flow-based postproduction video tools via the products Twixtor, ReelSmart Motion Blur, RE:Flex and others. In addition, RE:Vision Effects supplies these technologies as plug-ins to a wide range of host applications and interfaces that are already familiar to the user.

Sound Radix
Sound Radix Auto-Align Post makes phase/time corrections of a moving multi-microphone recording. By dynamically correcting delay and phase between the boom and lavalier microphones as they move around the set, this tool automates what was previously a labor-intensive task for sound editors across the industry.

Bill Spitzak, Jonathan Egstad, Peter Crossley and Jerry Huxtable for Nuke
Nuke is an award-winning node-based compositing toolkit. A one-stop for VFX houses globally, Nuke’s toolset has been used on a wide range of television, feature films, video on demand and commercials to solve complex visualization challenges and turn incredible ideas into reality. Nuke’s flexible, efficient and feature-packed toolset delivers film-grade results fast to compositors, lighters and animators who require a robust, production-proven toolset for compositing, VFX editorial and review.

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