We've got RED's 6K DRAGON already shooting plenty of stuff, and ARRI's new 6K ALEXA 65 just around the corner, but the next great leap is 8K. Japan's NHK has been experimenting with 8K for quite some time, as has IMAX, but how exactly can post-production deal with the incredible requirements of an 8K finishing workflow right now? 

Quantel, who makes some seriously high-end finishing and color correction software/hardware — used on feature films with crazy resolution requirements, like David Fincher's 6K Gone Girl — has just unveiled a system that can deal with realtime 8K 60fps footage.

Here are more details on how they are accomplishing an 8K realtime workflow with the updated Pablo Rio system, which will be coming out in early 2015:

  1. Realtime 8K 60p input and output via 16 3G SDI interfaces using the latest AJA Corvid 88 multichannel I/O boards to achieve the necessary number of connections in a practical unit
  2. Realtime 8K 60p processing using the NVIDIA(r) Tesla(r) K80 GPU accelerators. Announced earlier this week, these world's highest performance GPU accelerators for data analytics and scientific computing are already part of the system demonstrated at InterBEE, thanks to Quantel's close working relationship with NVIDIA.
  3. Super-optimized software to sustain the 5GBytes/s throughput required for real-time recording, processing and playback of 8K 60p

The system demonstrated at InterBEE included four AJA Corvid 88 cards, three Tesla K80 GPU accelerators and three RAID 60 arrays offering 166 minutes of storage at 8K 60p (7680 x 4320 422 59.94 fps). 8K images were monitored in real-time on a virtual 8K display comprising four 4K monitors.

General overview of Pablo Rio:

Michael Cioni talking about Pablo Rio and 4K+ resolutions:

This is some crazy computing power, but 10 years ago people said the same thing about 4K, and here we are finishing 4K on laptops. The other advantage to this system is easily being able to handle footage higher than 4K, which was the case with Light Iron doing a 6K finish for Gone Girl. We are surely going to see more 6K and 8K-finished films over the next 5-10 years, especially with IMAX digital and ARRI's ALEXA 65, and it's fascinating to see what kind of power and hardware it takes to make it happen in realtime. 

Source: Quantel