2009 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog

Video Processing Perspectives

2009 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog
2009 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog
Submitted by Sam on August 24, 2009

As you may expect, video is near and dear to our hearts at Elemental. Those who have been following us for years will certainly recall the original Badaboom commercials, which tended to incite strong reactions: some people loved 'em, others thought they were too corny. We believe our newest foray into production is consistent with the professional grade product it represents.

With the Elemental Accelerator product tour video, we wanted to increase the use of motion graphics to create a visceral, impactful illustration of the power of our GPU-accelerated software. Lisa, product manager, and Julie, communications manager, drove the process working closely with local production company Funnelbox Studios to create a unique, professional overview of Elemental Accelerator in 2 short minutes. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Elemental Accelerator Product Tour Screenshot

The timing of the video's release was designed to coincide with our announcement that Elemental Accelerator now supports MPEG-2 output. DVD creation now benefits from the same powerful GPU-acceleration that until now has been restricted to H.264 output for Blu-ray and Flash video creation. It's a free upgrade for all current Accelerator customers, so don't hesitate to get the latest bits and start rendering. If you aren't an Accelerator customer yet, what are you waiting for? There are many easy ways to purchase a copy

Submitted by Lisa on August 24, 2009

Elemental today announced the release of Elemental Accelerator v2.1 for Windows, an update to its GPU-accelerated video processing plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. In addition to support for H.264 encoding, Elemental Accelerator now offers support for GPU-accelerated MPEG-2 encoding, allowing video professionals to quickly create high-quality HD or SD output video for DVD media or digital broadcast. As with H.264 encoding, Elemental Accelerator not only speeds MPEG-2 encoding by executing demanding processing tasks on tAccelerator product tour videohe GPU, it frees CPU resources to perform other tasks, resulting in a faster, more efficient video editing and production environment. Compared to CPU-only encoding, Elemental Accelerator can speed MPEG-2 conversion by 2X-5x!

For more information, check out the new Elemental Accelerator product tour video, which will show you how the plug-in works and take you inside Adobe Premiere Pro to explore the many ways Elemental Accelerator can help you work better and faster!

This release of Elemental Accelerator also offers an expanded set of H.264 presets for a variety of target applications, including presets designed specifically for Apple mobile devices and for YouTube standard and high definition formats.

For users who already own RapiHD or Elemental Accelerator, you can easily upgrade to the newest version:

To access an update:

1.    Launch Adobe Premiere Pro CS4
2.    Navigate to the Export Settings dialog box
3.    Select the More Info tab
4.    Press the Check for updates button

This will automatically direct you to the Elemental Accelerator update site. Customers installing from a CD or web package for the first time can elect to update immediately after a first-time install.

Elemental Accelerator v2.1 is made exclusively for NVIDIA Quadro GPUs. On the desktop, Elemental Accelerator works with the Quadro CX as well as the Quadro FX 5800, 4800, 3800 and 1800. On mobile platforms, Elemental Accelerator works with the Quadro FX 3700M and 2700M. Elemental Accelerator is available for purchase as a standalone package from NVIDIA's Adobe plug-in store or bundled with supported Quadro FX graphics cards from a variety of resellers.

Submitted by Sam on August 17, 2009

There’s been a lot written about Portland’s ability to lure talented folks from all over the country. Richard Florida is probably the best known author on this subject, and he’s given our fair city high marks in terms of its ability to attract these innovative people – he dubs them the Creative Class – to the shores of the Willamette River. Portland also happens to have relatively affordable housing, great public transit and delicious local food. These socio-geographical advantages make Portland a great place to start a company.

Along these lines, one of the great aspects of working at a startup (well, a funded startup anyway) is that you get to hire people you like to work with. But, this benefit is a double-edged sword: not only do these colleagues have to be a pleasure to work with in a high-pressure, results-oriented environment, they also need to be far more productive than the average worker. A startup is in the unique position of spending significant investor capital to build a product that competes with well-established firms (with a much lower cost of capital!). The only way that the formula works is if the employee population far out-produces larger companies: making the right decisions faster, anticipating market directions sooner, and executing on product development plans on time. There is not much margin for error and finding these kinds of people takes an extraordinary amount of searching.

Thus, the management team at Elemental spends a significant amount of time and money looking for world-class talent, while at the same time constantly evaluating the performance of our existing employee population. For new hires, we’ve recently hit on a good process strategy that has been quite effective with positions at certain levels:

  1. Post a job on Craigslist (and hit up our personal networks). We usually get at least 50 resumes within a week.
  2. Phone screen the top 10.
  3. Bring in the top four candidates at the same time.
  4. Have each of them give a 15-minute oral presentation to the interview team.
  5. Rotate these candidates through four 45-minute individual interviews with the hiring team. At any point, a candidate may be determined not the best fit to meet with the other interviewers and the interview will be concluded.
  6. With any luck, we hire one person out of the process. If not, we go back to step one and start over.

Using this method we’ve recently brought some terrific folks on board, helped in part by Portland’s drawing power to recruit from all over the country. Our VP of Marketing hire Andy Beach was the most visible, as covered by local Northwest blogs TechFlash and Silicon Forest, and we are thrilled to have Andy lending his expertise from years at Inlet Technologies and Last Exit. We’ve also picked up superstars from Microsoft, Insitu (now owned by Boeing), and recent graduates from institutions like the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, University of Oregon, Tufts, and Harvard Business School. These people are not only great to be around, they represent world-class talent. They are joining a strong core group of Elemental veterans, and the pieces of the puzzle are coming together to drive world-class execution.