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intelligent Metadata-driven Processing and distribution of audiovisual media (iMP)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description 'Virtual Film Factory'iMP will create architecture, workflow and applications for intelligent metadata-driven processing and distribution of digital movies and entertainment. These will enable a ‘Virtual Film Factory’ in which creative professionals can work together to create and customise programmes from Petabyte-scale digital repositories, using semantic technologies to organise data and drive its processing. ChallengeiMP proposes a radical extension to the use of metadata, linking it to semantic technologies to support and enhance the creative processes, to unify the treatment of sound and image, and remove the barriers between postproduction, customisation, formatting and distribution.InnovationThe outcomes will be five major innovations in the form of:• Petabyte scale data management, processing and storage systems for the digital film and content industries, which eliminate the un-necessary storage and rendering of transitory data• Creative applications whereby changes made to any of the principal processes (including editing, graphics, compositing and grading) to be applied automatically across the workflow and viewed interactively, together as a whole rather than separately and sequentially• Work processes that make it possible for audio and video to be processed together and interact with each other, so that changes in the image geometry are automatically reflected as changes in the audio spatialisation• Distribution systems that can automatically optimise digital content to individual theatres or playout platforms, and customise versions for different audiences• A Virtual Film Factory that integrates all the data storage and management, postproduction and distribution technologies, tools and processes in a distributed networked system.ImpactiMP will produce a step change in the efficiency of postproduction and distribution along with improved methods of producing finished versions of media for distribution to the correct destination. It will support production of higher quality media, by allowing the professional craftsmen in postproduction easily and accurately to track different versions. It will also support the automatic production of correctly versioned and formatted material for playout in cinemas and pubic spaces, in terms of resolution, aspect ratio, screen size and throw, version, sound format, language, subtitling, and other parameters. iMP will reduce cost for distributors, and provide audiences with versions of media tailored to their needs.iMP will allow the easy and cost effective creation of more variations of material, increasing consumer choice, and ultimately audiences and box office take. iMP seeks to complement the highly developed skills that professional creative operatives possess, with support from machine skills in the day-to-day housekeeping that operators find tedious. It will enable a closer coupling of all of the stages of production of compelling material and will make it possible to create media in which the sound and image respond to each other. As well as providing more compelling and realistic representations of the real world, the interaction of sound and image will create opportunities for artistic expression that do not now exist.iMP will apply intelligent technologies via metadatabases to the vast number of versions, edits, grades, languages, subtitles and other media objects required in the production of high quality finished media. iMP will improve the quality and reduce cost of media postproduction by allowing the professional operator efficiently to choose the ‘right’ edit with the ‘right’ grade, with the ‘right’ acoustics on the soundtrack, independent of whether he’s actually assembled this version before.
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