Using the CDL Server with Alexa XT & Others

Overview

Some onBoard Recorders such as the CODEX M, or cameras like the ARRI Alexa XT family with the integrated XR module have an integrated CDL capture that stores ASC Color Decision List in metadata.

 

Figure 1: "Codex Workflow with LiveGrade PRO"

Figure 1: “Codex Workflow with LiveGrade PRO”

 

These devices can be connected via Ethernet to LiveGrade and then give you the ability to capture CDL (color decision list) values at the time of recording. These settings then travel via metadata with the image files and can then be applied to your deliverables via the Codex Virtual File System (VFS).  The above scheme shows  a typical setup on set.

 

Setup a CDL Server

Using a CDL Server, LiveGrade can provide CDL values for a CODEX recorder. When configured, the recorder will automatically use the CDL values to apply the grade to the recorded clips. You are able to set up to three different servers simultaneously in each LiveGrade grading slot.

To connect a Codex Recorder with a CDL Server follow this steps:

 

Setting up LiveGrade

1. Start LiveGrade PRO.

2. Open the Device Manager and create a new grading slot:

figure 1: empty grading slot

figure 1: empty grading slot

 

3. Click on «Add Device…» and choose the «CDL Server» item (figure 2) to setup a CDL Server.

 

add_cdl_server

figure 2: adding a CDL server

4. Once the virtual device has been added, click on «Config…». Here you can define and enter your port if you are considering to setup a different port than default value “6666”. The allowed port range is from 1024 till 65535. Alexa XT cameras only accept the default 6666 port.

 

figure 3: CDL server configuration

figure 3: CDL server configuration

 

figure 5: running CDL server

figure 4: running CDL server

 

Once a CDL server is running on a slot  it is automatically locked (figure 4) and you cannot switch back into the Alexa or ACES grading modes.

 

figure 4: CDL mode locked

figure 5: CDL mode locked

 

 

Configuring and connecting the CODEX recorder

Set Codex to receive CDL values

 

  1. Connect your running LiveGrade PRO machine with the CODEX recorder via Ethernet. Make sure a connection is established. You can use for e.g. the CODEX UI Tool
  2. Telnet to your Codex recorder via the Terminal command line.
  3. Insert  the line “FilmlightCDLEnabled” in

    /etc/codex/sysconfig

On the Codex recorder

 

  1. Set in the menu of your CODEX device the IP address and port 6666 from LiveGrade (e.g. “192.168.2.218:6666”) as the CDL server address in the System menu.
  2. You are ready to record a clip and the current grade of the configured slot  in LiveGrade PRO is written to the recorded clips.

Multiple CODEX CDL server

With LiveGrade you are able to set up to 3 different CDL servers using CODEX recorders. If you want to have different CDL values for each recorder, please configure different ports in the Codex CDL Server configuration, but please note that this can’t be done with the Alexa XT. The Alexa XT will always connect at port 6666.

 

FIgure 3: multiple CODEX CDL servers

figure 6: multiple CODEX CDL servers

Error Handling

If you are having trouble connecting to your CODEX device make sure it is set-up properly.

For more information on how to do that, please refer to the chapter  “Enabling the Codex machine for CDL Data recording” of the CODEX manual available under: http://codexdigital.com/support/media-stations

 

If you are using a port number that is not allowed, the «Start» button will be greyed out.

If you assign a server to a slot which is currently in Alexa or ACES grading mode LiveGrade will ask you to switch to CDL mode.

This warning appears so you have the chance to save your current Alexa gradings before switch to CDL mode.

figure 8: "Warning Alexa Mode to CDL Mode"

figure 7: “Warning Alexa Mode to CDL Mode”

 

Setup the Alexa XT

Using a CDL Server which ships automatically with the Alexa XT while recording in ARRI Raw, LiveGrade can provide CDL values for the camera. When configured, the recorder will automatically use the CDL values to apply the grade to the recorded clips.

 

After setting up LiveGrade. to connect a Alexa XT in RAW Mode with a CDL Server follow this steps:

 

Configuring and connecting the ARRI Alexa XT

 

Set Alexa XT to receive CDL values

  1. Switch the Alexa to record in ARRIRAW Mode, and make sure the Alexa XT is connected with the Ethernet port and the same sub net mask of your computer  with LiveGrade PRO.
  2. You can check if the network connection between the computer with LiveGrade PRO and the Alexa camera works by typing «ping [IP Address Of Alexa]» (for example: ping 169.254.2.10). If you get replies, the connection works.
  3. In the Alexa User menu press the Color Button of the User Interface and then as shown in figure 5 press the “Set Look” option
  4. There you can set your IP address for the CDL Server (in that case the IP address of the computer running LiveGrade PRO) like in figure 6
  5. Press the Save button in the lower left corner of the camera user interface
  6. The User Interface menu will jump back to the previous menu, there you can activate the CDL mode

 

photo 3

 

figure 6: "Setting the IP address"

Error Handling

The most common issue connecting to your ARRI Alexa XT is a wrong network configuration. Make sure you are using the same network range and set the same IP address of both Alexa XT and your mac accordingly. You can use the Network Utility tool to figure out the IP address of the computer running LiveGrade. You will be notified if you are using a port number that is not allowed.

 

 

 

 

Please note: The documentation is currently in transition from LiveGrade Pro version 3 to version 4 and may not be up to date yet.