Pomfort’s Silverstack Lab Simplifies On-Set Data Handling

April 10th, 2017 icon / message-square 3
Pomfort's Silverstack Lab Simplifies On-Set Data Handling

Munich-based developer Pomfort has just raised the bar with the release of Silverstack Lab, a complete set of tools that cover all your data-wrangling needs, including checksum-verified backups and the creation of dailies, all within one interface. Let’s have a look!

Silverstack Lab

Silverstack Lab

You have probably already heard of the popular media asset management software Silverstack, a known set of tools with a solid user base especially among professional DITs. The release of the new Silverstack Lab includes the addition of one major functionality: the ability to create dailies.

With just one program interface (and one operator) it’s now possible to not only do checksum-verified backups of valuable camera footage, but also create dailies complete with LUT support, sync audio and transcode for multiple purposes. In order to get a better idea of what the new Silverstack Lab is capable of, have a look at the video below:

The heart of the software is clearly its universal library, where everything is collected and organised. From there you can find all kinds of tools to help you create backups, dailies and reports in no time. Let’s break down the workflow in a few simple steps.

Silverstack Lab Workflow

First, the footage needs to be imported and sorted within the library. You can add all sorts of media, including the actual camera footage, LUTs and audio tracks from external recorders. After that, Silverstack Lab will create backups using its proven checksum verification process. Verified backups can be created for multiple destinations, such as a RAID and two separate external drives, for example.

After that, clips can be matched in order to create seamless dailies. A LUT can be applied if the camera is set to a flat gamma curve, and each shot can be fine-tuned using the built-in color controls. The same goes for audio. Based on the timecode, Silverstack Lab will automatically sync external audio tracks to the corresponding video files.

Silverstack Lab

Lastly, dailies can be delivered in multiple resolutions and in a variety of formats in order to work best for your given purpose. You could get a full-resolution ProRes422 file for the assistant editor, and a downscaled H.264 version for the director’s iPad, for example. All this is GPU powered, and the cool thing is that everything works seamlessly within just one program. You don’t have to fiddle around with multiple programs, tools and Finder (or Windows Explorer) windows.

Not for Everybody

The Pomfort Silverstack Lab might not be the go-to tool for everyone, though. It’s a pretty advanced piece of software that offers everything a professional data wrangler and/or DIT could need, but this might make it a bit overkill for indie shooters. Silverstack Lab is clearly aimed for professionals who build and maintain a certain workflow throughout the production, and one that possibly involves several individuals.

Silverstack Lab

Silverstack Lab main screen.

If you’re working as a one-man band or in a small crew, you probably won’t need such a powerful piece of software. There are simpler options out there, such as Red Giant Offload ($99) or Hedge for Mac (free or $99). Both of these only focus on the checksum-verified backup part, though, so it’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison.

If you’re after a full-featured suite that covers everything from organising footage, backing it up and creating dailies, Silverstack Lab is well worth a look! Another interesting software is called Kyno. It’s not exactly designed to backup your footage but it really shines when it comes to organizing, tagging, converting and exporting your existing footage. Check out the website for more information. A trial version is available free of charge and the full licence is $159.

Features and Pricing

Silverstack Lab is based on the existing Silverstack XT platform, but adds all the features mentioned above, as well as:

  • Automatic audio sync
  • High-speed transcoding engine
  • Support of second GPU for transcoding
  • Transcoding to DNx codecs for AVID systems
  • Advanced burn-in options and watermarking
  • Multi audio channel transcoding
  • Advanced player Grid View for multi clip reference
  • Automatic metadata companion file export
  • HD-SDI output
  • Backup to LTO/LTFS

For a full list of what’s new, please visit pomfort.com/silverstacklab/what-is-new.

A nice aspect of their business model is that the pricing varies depending on your needs. For a project license, the price starts at $99 for up to 14 days. For up to one month, you’ll be charged $179, and for up to 2 months Silverstack Lab is yours for $319. The only other option is a yearly subscription for $899 per year.

Are you using some kind of data wrangling software already? Let us know in the comments below!

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