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Digital Anarchy Releases Microcosm Codec 1.2 for Universal Mac Support

Update to Popular 16-bit Lossless QuickTime Codec Further Assists in Workflow Management

San Francisco, CA — October 17, 2006 —

Digital Anarchy, a leading provider of cost-effective graphics software, today announced the release of a Universal build for their Microcosm Codec. Microcosm is a 16-bit, lossless codec that achieves incredible compression ratios while maintaining absolute image fidelity. The codec supports alpha channels and works in all QuickTime-based applications, including After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, and Avid. This new release adds compatibility for all host software running on Macintosh-Intel systems natively or through Rosetta.

Microcosm 1.2 will optimize footage to save drive space, averaging over 6:1, while maintaining perfect image quality. This performance solves two workflow problems for professional broadcast designers, editors, and producers. Microcosm is unmatched as an intermediate codec that moves work between applications without bloating file size. Additionally, Microcosm offers a great way to archive work while maintaining the footage’s original integrity.

Move Footage Losslessly Between Applications And Locations.

Graphics companies are now working with projects that have a high bit depth, are saved in HD, or require high quality images from capture to output. A big challenge presented by this workflow is moving footage cleanly and quickly between applications without degradation in image quality.

Lossless formats like the Animation codec are popular for moving footage and CG elements between applications and locations; however, the files tend to be extremely large, which slows production and drives up storage space.

Microcosm is a lossless, 16-bit solution for these intermediate renders. On average, it offers a 3-to-1 compression ratio over the Animation codec and 6-to-1 over uncompressed footage. Designers and editors using Microcosm can still get the absolute image fidelity that is the trademark of lossless, 16-bit compression, but without the usual gigabyte file size. By dramatically reducing file size, Microcosm makes it easier to get files from application to application, machine to machine, or to people working remotely without the slightest loss of quality.

Stefan Tapper of Staromedia in Germany says, “We use Microcosm for proxies and pre-compositing (video with alpha channel that replaces the composition) to speed up the workflow with complex animations. We used to do this with the lossless Animation codec from Apple. But the hard drive space needed for that kind of video exceeds any acceptable amounts after a while.”

Save Time and Space While Archiving.

Because the codec saves files that are lossless and small, Microcosm also offers a great way to archive footage. To avoid image degradation, graphics professionals archive their files with little or no compression. Microcosm keeps that image quality while reducing the storage space needed to archive projects or make backups.

John Osteen of Dastardly Studios in California says, “For a guerilla filmmaker and freelance graphic artist, filling up your hard drives is a frustrating situation, and you don't always have the finances to keep buying hard drives with every project… Fortunately, it's something I no longer worry about, since I know Microcosm will increase my hard drive ‘mileage’ so to speak. I'd have to say the $99 I paid for Microcosm has saved me over $1000 a year in hard drives.”

Great features in Microcosm include:

  • Macintosh–Intel Support: Now supports Intel Mac well as Macintosh PPC and Windows.

  • 16-bit and 8-bit Support: Amazing compression ratios are found at both bit depths.

  • Alpha Channel Support: Supports full 64-bit and 32-bit color images.

  • Variable Compression: Microcosm analyzes footage using different methods to get more optimized, tailored compression.

  • 6:1, Lossless Compression: An average of 3:1 compression over other common lossless codecs.

  • Free Decompressor: Users can encode files using Microcosm and send to other users, who only need to download the free decoder to view and open.

Pricing and Availability.

Microcosm 1.2 is now available for Mac OS X and Windows. Regularly priced at USD $99, Microcosm is available for USD $79 through November 15, 2006. This purchase provides the encoder and decoder, and includes a license for both Macintosh and Windows. Version 1.2 is free for existing Microcosm owners; customers should contact Digital Anarchy for update instructions. All users can download the free decoder for files compressed with Microcosm at www.digitalanarchy.com.

Microcosm requires QuickTime 5.0 or later and will run on any PowerMac or Pentium computer. The codec works in Adobe After Effects 5.5 and higher, Final Cut Pro xx and higher, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, most versions of Avid, and any other application that supports QuickTime. The codec run on all variants of Mac OS X and Windows 98ME-XP Pro. A demo version, workflow benchmarks, and additional support statistics are available at www.digitalanarchy.com.

About Digital Anarchy.

Digital Anarchy® is a privately owned company operating out of San Francisco, Calif., that creates high-quality creative software for broadcast designers, 2D animators and professional photographers. These tools solve a wide range of design issues, from creating text effects and background design elements, to masking out bluescreens for commercial still photography. Digital Anarchy products work in conjunction with a wide range of products from companies like Adobe®, Discreet™ and Apple®. For more information, please see the company’s website at www.digitalanarchy.com or call 415-830-3689.

Digital Anarchy is a registered trademark of Digital Anarchy Inc. All other brand names, product names, service marks, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

Press Contact

Debbie Rich
(415) 462-5872
debbie@digitalanarchy.com

Reader Contact

Digital Anarchy
167 Vernon Street
San Francisco, CA 94132
415-830-3689
(415) 358-4874 (fax)
info@digitalanarchy.com

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