Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

ftrack ships cineSync 5.0

ftrack has released cineSync 5.0, the latest update its remote shot review and approval tool, adding a layers system, new compare modes, and support for OpenColorIO 2 and OpenTimelineIO.

The new version is currently available free to cineSync Pro users in parallel with cineSync 4.x, along with cineSync Play, ftrack’s new standalone desktop frame sequence playback tool.

The release is the first since ftrack was acquired by private-equity-backed holding company Backlight.

A popular VFX industry solution for remote shot review
First released in 2005 by original developer Cospective, cineSync quickly became the VFX industry’s go-to solution for remote shot review and approval, in use at studios including ILM and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

The software enables users on opposite sides of the world – for example, a director and the VFX facility, or staff at individual studios within a company – to watch work-in-progress shots in sync.

It runs on all major operating systems, supports high-definition, high-frame-rate video, and comes with a set of built-in tools for drawing annotations directly onto the image.

New in cineSync 5.0: layers, new comparison modes, and support for OTIO and OCIO 2
cineSync 5.0 adds a layers system, and three new modes for comparing different versions of a shot: wipe, top/bottom and A/B.

cineSync is also the latest VFX app to support OpenColorIO 2 (OCIO 2), the new version of the colour-management standard, and OpenTimelineIO (OTIO), the new standard for exchange of editorial cut data.

Other changes include support for frame-by-frame playback of OpenEXR files, support for separate audio tracks, an on-screen text tool, and a new Chinese-language edition.

Compatibility-breaking, so available in parallel to cineSync 4.x for at least six months
The new version features a complete new architecture, including new sync servers and a new admin dashboard, meaning that it is not backwards-compatible with previous releases.

As a result, it is being rolled out in parallel with cineSync 4.x – the current release is cineSync 4.2.6 – which will be supported for “at least the next six months”.

The new version is currently free to users with Pro subscriptions to cineSync 4.x, as is cineSync Play, ftrack’s new standalone desktop tool for frame sequence playback, which the firm unveiled last year.

Pricing once cineSync 5.0 becomes the only supported version of cineSync has yet to be confirmed.

The comparison table for versions 4.x and 5.0 on ftrack’s website lists only cineSync Play and the Pro subscription, rather than the standard cineSync subscriptions currently available.

ftrack says that it is “still defining a basic cineSync offering for cineSync 5”.

ftrack’s first major release since being acquired by Backlight
cineSync 5.0 is also ftrack’s first major product release since the company announced last week that it has been acquired by Backlight, a holding company founded by private equity firm PSG.

ftrack is one of five simultaneous acquisitions made by Backlight, including media management system Iconik and scriptwriting, storyboarding and production planning tool Celtx.

ftrack will continue to operate as an independent business unit of Backlight and founder Fredrik Limsater remains CEO.

Pricing and system requirements
cineSync 5.0 is available now for Windows 10+, glibc 2.17+ Linux and macOS 10.14+. The new version is available free to users with Pro subscriptions to cineSync 4.x.

cineSync 4.x itself is available on a rental-only basis, with basic accounts starting at $99/month for two users, and Pro accounts starting at $319/month for two users.

ftrack hasn’t yet confirmed pricing of cineSync 5.0 once it ceases supporting version 4.x, but says that cineSync Play will remain free to Pro users, as well as users of ftrack Studio, its production-tracking system.

Read ftrack’s blog post announcing cineSync 5.0
(Includes a feature comparison table with 4.x and FAQs about the parallel rollout)

Read ftrack’s FAQs about its acquisition by Backlight