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Velarium is a new entry into the DIT data wrangling tool

A small developer launches a new tool into a crowded space

By Scott Simmons | April 09, 2013

While not tool in a booth on the NAB show floor Elklight Software’s Velarium is another DIT -centric tool for the offload and transcoding of file-based, mainly DSLR, media. It takes a different approach than Red Giant Software’s BulletProof. Velarium is a more focused tool that presents a single-window approach to its task. The developer is based in my hometown of Nashville and I’ve been having a number of discussions about the tool and what I, as an editor, would expect in the files I receive for editorial. It looks like a promising product that’s going to be trying to find its way in the growing DIT offloading tools.

Since Elklight Software is launching during NAB week (and sense the developer could’t really afford to rent some booth space to promote the tool) I asked him to help me write up a post about Velarium to help get the word about this new tool. I love small software developers as they are most all open to direct customer feedback and discussions so I’m happy to help them get the word out about their tools. Velarium has a free trial so you can try it out for yourself.

Elklight’s Velarium is a tool to support file based video and audio media ingest for Apple Macintosh computers running OS X 10.8. It allows for the flexible configuration and one step ingest of a variety of audio and video file based media. Velarium’s focus is on removing the need for manual file manipulation and renaming and the use of multiple tools in the ingest phase, while laying the foundation for future metadata and data driven workflows. It is a one click solution for ingest, transcode, renaming, organizing and backing up your file based media.

File movement, naming and organization

Velarium will use the templates you provide (or one of the sensible defaults) to copy your file based media from the source (card, etc) to a template name and location. A second backup copy is made if desired. All file copies are validated with an MD5 checksum, and the session is aborted with notification if a checksum fails.

Velarium presents all of the most commonly used features in a single page.  The out of the box defaults are a great starting point while you establish your own workflow within the product.

Velarium presents all of the most commonly used features in a single page. The out of the box defaults are a great starting point while you establish your own workflow within the product.

Flexible templating

Velarium uses a flexible token based system to allow customization of output directories, output filenames, and reel names. The tokens are placeholders that will be substituted at run-time, allowing you to use sequence numbers, timestamp, reel name, or other placeholders to design the folder structure and filename of your choosing. No more manual or batch renaming after the fact. Velarium will also allow you to establish a “camera map” - a feature that looks at the name of the file coming from the card and assigns a camera name token for insertion in the reel name or filename. For example, this supports the 5dMKii use pattern of setting the numeric part of the filenames to MVI1000/MVI2000/MVI3000 for cameras A, B and C respectively. Velarium can automate that process and create a filename and/or reelname that incorporates the camera name. No more manual renaming.

The template editor allows you to create a customized folder and file structure and naming system.  The tokens listed on the right (and represented within braces in the template) are populated at runtime.  You are free to specify any fixed text or folder structure.

The template editor allows you to create a customized folder and file structure and naming system. The tokens listed on the right (and represented within braces in the template) are populated at runtime. You are free to specify any fixed text or folder structure.

Velarium’s novel approach to assigning reel names based on camera file names.  In this example, 3 different 5dMKii’s are configured to use filenames with different leading numeric.  Velarium will apply the camera name map, and insert the camera name in the reel if requested.

Velarium’s novel approach to assigning reel names based on camera file names. In this example, 3 different 5dMKii’s are configured to use filenames with different leading numeric. Velarium will apply the camera name map, and insert the camera name in the reel if requested.

Transcoding

Velarium supports transcoding from a number of common input containers such as avi and mpg – and many common codecs such as H.264. The input compatibility is largely dependent on the codecs already installed on youfile://localhost/Users/loyed/Desktop/velarium-transcoding.pngr system and understood by the OS. If for some reason your media is not supported for transcoding, Velarium will still perform all the renaming, checksumming and copying routines – but will alert you that transcoding was not successful. Output options consist of several Apple ProRes varieties. Transcoding, as with all processing in Velarium, is fully multi-threaded to take advantage of the available processing power.

Transcode to any flavor of the Apple ProRes Family

Transcode to any flavor of the Apple ProRes Family

Timecode

Velarium can insert a timecode track in those formats that support it. Timecode start time is drawn from the media creation time as recorded in the camera. For audio files, Velarium can convert WAV to BWF and insert the timecode equivalent information in both a BWF and iXML container within the file.

Metadata

Velarium can read and write a number of metadata elements from Quicktime, XMP, BWF and iXML sources. The readable metadata is also stored in the operational database for later reporting and searching.

Reporting Database

All files ingested are recorded in a database. All readable metadata is extracted as well, allowing for both a shot log type presentation of a single session, or results based on a historical query. The results can be exported in an Excel compatible delimited format.

The reporting database stores many pieces of information about each ingested file.  Time and physical location details, as well as framerate, timing and metadata information.  Inbound metadata is mapped into the com.elklight canonical metadata namespace, and then mapped out into the appropriate namespace for the media.

The reporting database stores many pieces of information about each ingested file. Time and physical location details, as well as framerate, timing and metadata information. Inbound metadata is mapped into the com.elklight canonical metadata namespace, and then mapped out into the appropriate namespace for the media.

The information stored in the database can be exported into an excel compatible format.  The fields to be exported are selectable in this interface.

The information stored in the database can be exported into an excel compatible format. The fields to be exported are selectable in this interface.

FCPX Event

All material ingested in a single session can be exported into a FCPXML event – allowing one click opening of the newly ingested material.

Presets

Velarium allows configuration and templating options to be saved, exported and imported in an open xml format allowing for collaboration with others (all team members using the same settings) and archiving.

Velarium is a native 64 bit multithreaded application. It is built using Apple’s Quicktime and AVFoundation frameworks as well as proprietary libraries for media access and manipulation. This foundation allows for a long product life hrough ground up alignment with Apple’s future technology direction.

Velarium is available for purchase as of April 8th, 2013. The retail price is $79.99 with a fully functional 30 day trial version available for evaluation. If you choose to purchase during that period, you can simply enter the license code and maintain all of your current presets and configurations.

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