Happy Birthday – FrameCycler Turns 8

Today, 8 years ago, on April 4th 2001, we released the first commercial IRIDAS product: FrameCycler Studio Editon. It’s smashing success started eight years of growth for IRIDAS. FrameCycler’s playback technology, revolutionary in 2001, laid the technological foundation for today’s IRIDAS products. FrameCycler was  a major milestone for VFX review, animation and quality control. Real time playback out of RAM meant no more transcoding into Quicktimes for VFX reviews.


Many customers put FrameCycler to use – one of them a newly formed outfit called ESC entertainment in San Francisco. ESC worked on the Matrix sequels and Kim Libreri, “Bullet Time Supervisor” for the original Matrix movie challenged us to come up with a FrameCycler that allowed him to review entire shots in context directly from disk. In January 2002 FrameCycler DDS was born – ready to stream 2K plates to a prototype JVC projector at ESC. Shortly afterwards, the first stereoscopic FrameCycler was released to help with a 3D musical show (Starlight Express On Tour) and to support workflows at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

At the end of 2002 we introduced 3D LUT support in FrameCycler to help simulate what ended up on film. Little did we know, that the pixel shaders we borrowed from the games industry would play a major role in our future product development. In 2003 we introduced our second major product, SpeedGrade. It used the same real time playback engine that FrameCycler pioneered and added GPU-based interactive color correction.

All three product lines we have today, SpeedGrade, MetaRender and FrameCycler began their evolution in the original FrameCycler Studio Edition eight years ago and all technologies, GPU acceleration, stereoscopy and cross platform support have their origins in the FrameCycler products. For 2009 we have major plans for FrameCycler – watch this space for more news.

Happy Birthday FrameCycler!

Lin Sebastian Kayser,
April 4th 2009

PS: For your reading pleasure: our original IRIDAS brochure from 2003.

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