Assimilate strengthens its onset and remote reviews tools

The latest updates to Assimilate 9.3 tools set include DIT Pack with Live Looks and Live Assist.

Realtime has come to post. Now what do we call it?

Assimilate has added new capabilities that enable more extensive onset work and also easier, more spontaneous reviews. This is not at all shaping up to be a pandemic thing, but a logical progression for software as new hardware and software combinations enable realtime visualization.

The film and video industries were well into adopting a more compact workflow that enabled content creators flatten their pipelines a bit. For instance, instead of having a Pre-Viz step to block out proposed assets for a shot, assets are created up front and used as digital elements in the shoot. Once that happened, VFX work can start during the shoot. And once that happened, everyone on the set including actors can see how the shot is developing in realtime. Thanks to the use of LED screens, they might even be shooting all those elements together.

The streamlined productions were already enabling better communications onset and fewer people. Then came pandemic lockdowns and experimental workflows became best practices. With use, some of the rough spots are getting sandpapered down as tools are developed specifically to enable these workflows.

At the end of 2020, Assimilate released Scratch and Play 9.3. In that update, the company added new features for its production and post-production workflows. The 9.3 update integrates Newtek NDI and router support, which simplifies hardware and software connections.

The 9.3 update also adds native integration support for Light Illusion ColourSpace CMS, and Time in Pixels Nobe Omniscope to support the camera-to-post pipeline and distributed/remote workflows.

NDI is the headline because NDI, developed by NewTek, gives DITs (digital industry technicians) and post professionals the ability to stream video content using common every day IP networking technology and thereby eliminating the need for many of the cables and video i/o boards required to move video from one app to another.

NDI and router support is a production game changer because it allows applications, cameras, computers, to communicate for traditional network protocols instead of relying on SDI and SDI equipment transfer data. And it makes remote approval workflows easier.

Adding on, Assimilate has a new update for the 9.3 generation to increase the capabilities of their onset tools Live Assist and Live Looks.

Live Assist 9.3—Simplified Video Assist

Assimilate’s Live Assist streamlines video-assist tasks in its all-in-one software solution. Live Assist includes all the key functions of record, playback, color grading, compositing, NDI output, as well as router support for AJA and Blackmagic. In addition to live grading functions, Live Assist offers camera-triggered multi-cam recording and single click instant-replay for on-set review. Edit-ready clip recordings are automatically shared through the integrated webserver and can be reviewed tablet, phone, or laptop. Live Assist can simultaneously live-stream one or multiple camera feeds straight to any streaming portal like YouTube, or It’s available for $1995 or for annual or monthly subscriptions for both Windows and macOS.

Where am I? Live assist 9.3 supports camera-triggered multi-cam recording and instant replay, support for any number of cameras and any resolution. In addition, it has color grading and compositing tools. (Source: Assimilate)

Live Looks 9.3—Advanced Live Grading

Live Looks is a subset of Live Assist to enable live grading multiple camera signals in realtime. It supports any number of cameras and is tightly integrated with Assimilate’s Scratch software for dailies allowing users to dynamically add looks, metadata, and notes to camera footage and forward to post. Live Looks enables CDL and LUT-based color grading. It supports green-screen compositing, has a skin enhancement toolkit, and includes texture effects. The work can be embedded into dailies or distributed as a PDF or ALE (Avid Log Exchange) report. This latest release has also added support for AJA and Blackmagic routers. Live Looks perpetual license is $995, and it’s available in monthly or annual subscriptions for macOS and Windows.

As a subset of Live Assist, Live Looks take advantage of NDI to enable remote streaming for approval or remote work. It supports any number of cameras and any resolution.

As part of the camera-to-post workflow, Assimilate has just introduced its new DIT Pack product bundle that includes Scratch Dailies software and Live Looks to combine live grading and dailies transcoding and enable live streaming pushes to remote and studio clients. The metadata gathered along the way is preserved for use in VFX and post pipelines.

Available immediately on macOS and Windows, Assimilate’s Live Assist 9.3 is available at $1995 for a permanent license, US$1495 per year, or US$325 monthly. Live Looks 9.3 is available at $995 for a permanent license, US$595 per year, or US$89 monthly.

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What do we think?

As we’ve been talking to professionals through the pandemic and we’re learning that online workflows are being widely adopted and remote working is getting a lot more sophisticated. And, sometimes, less sophisticated. Zoom-like applications have enabled anyone to “jump” on a call, but new tools are also enabling client and customer calls with real power to get work done.

The pandemic will end but new tools are being improved as they are actually being put to work.