Published on Sunday, 15 June 2014


Snell Alchemist OD Image Processing Takes On Apple ProRes

The latest version of Snell Alchemist OD adds support for Apple ProRes file formats, extending its processing range of codecs to include ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy, and resulting in more interoperability with file-based workflows.


As a scalable software processor, Alchemist OD carries out image processing tasks including format and frame rate conversion, on demand on existing IT equipment. It has Service Orientated Architecture and a floating licensing model to make it more versatile where business requirements are subject to change. Designed for post production, content repurposing, broadcast and media distribution, it helps preserve consistent image quality from mobile devices to a 4K screen, regardless of the source. It can reduce manual intervention and the need for multiple transfers of the same assets.

Alchemist OD is the first product Snell has developed to utilize the company’s On Demand system, a media processing framework that gives immediate access to Snell signal processing algorithms in file-based, virtualized broadcast and digital media environments. Its Service Orientated Architecture supports deployments from a single node up to a cluster of nodes, such as in a data centre.


Making more nodes available increases the ability to carry out parallel processing on a number of assets. All framework services can be deployed on Windows and Linux operating systems, or a mixture of both. Alchemist OD supports SD, HD and 3Gbps broadcast video formats up to 2K, and DNxHD, XDCAM HD and AVC-Intra codecs - as well as Apple ProRes - among others, with 4K, DPX 10bit and JPEG 2000 expected in future releases.

An application GUI/client tracks jobs in progress, shows estimated completion times and interrogates source and destination paths. Job creation is handled through an integrated browser accesses local and remote assets. Users can automate system integration of Alchemist OD by using watch folders, or through the standardized FIMS Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, interface.