I may have been the only person out there that used IMC’s Incite software. It was a very well featured and relatively stable platform that ran on Windows, and the Matrox Digisuite. However it never really seemed to gain much traction in the marketplace and it was abandoned like many other packages when both Apple and Avid moved into the lower-end video market. IMC as a company still exists today, and looks to provide software and services for broadcasters and news organizations.
Back in the day (around 2001), IMC Incite was a supremely featured system, according to their marketing materials, these were the top 10 Reasons to Chose Incite over it’s competitors:
- Hybrid tape to tape editing – Hybrid editing features for Incite Editor let you mix 1 layer from tape source (as “live” input) plus 1 disk-based video layer plus 1 graphic layer on the timeline with direct print to tape results. Real-time effects can be applied to all three channels. The graphic layer can contain standard graphics, titles as well as real-time VIA animations and real-time rolls and crawls. Incite provides pre-roll automation when sourcing input from multiple tapes (using Incite’s VLAN option), otherwise playback printing is paused to pre-roll subsequent incoming input for smooth results.
- Real time animation (32bit) playback – Drag and drop real-time 32 bit animation sequences saved as VIA clips on to the Incite timeline and play them back in real-time. VIA clips can be quickly created with Inscriber’s Via Builder using your source material. Real-time animations can also be created in Inscriber’s TitleMotion 4.2, offering unlimited keyframing for text and objects.
- Direct capture to the timeline – Part of Incite’s More Media Faster philosophy, this specific enhancement lets you insert a clip directly to timeline immediately after capture. There’s no need to even drag and drop!
- Editing and Clip Creation during capture – More Media Faster! Only this time its more than a feature, its an entire concept applied to Incite Editor and spread through a range of up-coming Incite products offering a variety of possibilities for speeding up production. For example, a single Incite edit station can initiate a batch capture session (using its Matrox® hardware) and simultaneously edit that material during capture using software codec. Production begins immediately! Software codec editing can also be performed on standard PCs using an Incite stand-alone application, accessing the same media as it is being digitized and storing edited clips in network-shared clip bins.
- Network shared clip bins and media files (standard Win2K file system) – Unique concepts in media management are in the works at IMC that revolutionize the way editors view, search, sort, store and otherwise manage their media. The first steps in this direction will be shown at IBC 2001 with a stand-alone browsing application that lets you view, play and edit media creating sub-clips for your Incite projects from any network connected PC. In this way, clip bins are no longer viewed as “project-locked” but can be shared across the network. The second step will include “log-from-input” capabilities as well as full integration with Incite Editor 3.0.
- Background (rendering) video processing (task) – All Incite software & 3rd party plug-in renders are performed in the background leaving the editor free to edit. An upcoming enhancement will feature complete automation and multi-tasking for render lists either on dedicated render stations or as background renders on selected edit stations.
- Real time video and audio mix-down – For video: Uncompressed, MJPEG, MPEG2 I frame, MPEG2IBP, DV25, DV50, and DVCPRO. For audio: Multiple mono, stereo and surround mixes.
- Up to 64 audio tracks, real time effects with hot mixing capabilities (JLCooper) – Incite AudioPlus brings top-level audio editing to the world of video, opening up whole new possibilities for post-production and broadcasting. But its not just the amount of real-time channels and audio FX, there’s a fully customizable Audio Mixer GUI; superior mixing for mono, stereo and even surround sound; and a feature-packed toolkit for creating live audio mixes.
- Faster then real-time consolidate feature with no recompression (important for archiving) – Incite’s Consolidate Clips feature has a well-established track record and is still one of the leading reasons customers chose to edit with Incite. The ability to streamline projects to what was actually used on the timeline is an essential tool in archiving projects.
- 3D effects on all layers including video, graphics and animations – Incite Editor has always featured Real-time 3D VideoFX for video editors, as well as 3D inclusion in multi-layer compiles. Now Incite is taking 3D to the MAX, offering support for Matrox ® MAX technology.
When I look back on the features of the software that we were using ten years ago, I see a heavy emphasis on real-time functionality. For example IMC Incite had background rendering in 2001, which still to this day, Avid and FCP do not offer. Editing and clip creation during capture was also a huge timesaver. If you take a look at the new features of Final Cut Pro X, you will see more than a few things that were on this IMC Incite feature list a decade ago. It still seems that everything is rendered these days, as editors why have we put up with it?
I used Incite to cut two seasons of a travel show. We had a massive tape library of Betacam SP, and IMX tapes as acquisition formats. Incite was not exceptional as an editor, but if you knew the limitations of the Matrox Digisuite hardware, you could cut an entire show without rendering anything. I never felt I was waiting on the machine. It was pretty stable too, though there were of course, some bugs mostly with the Inscriber titler as I recall (has anyone ever made reliable titling software?). The more I think about it, I had a much simpler workflow back then. We had one format and frame size: PAL, we had one IMX tape deck, that played back every tape we had in the library. We did not have to transcode, or deliver multiple formats, and we did not have to archive beyond putting another tape on the shelf. Rose colored glasses I guess.
At any rate, I wanted to memorialize IMC’s Incite, before it slipped forever into obscurity. If you used Incite, please leave some comments below on what you thought of it.
On a forgotten, dusty corner of the internet a company called Canada Pro Media, still has it’s IMC Incite promotional material up, which you can take a look at, before they realize it’s not 2001 anymore.