Mistika Boutique is a software-only product for Windows and macOS based on a pay-per-use subscription model.


As a difference to Mistika Ultima turnkey systems, no hardware or storage connectivity software is included with Mistika Boutique by default. The use of Mistika Workstations or Mistika Storage provided by SGO is optional and can be discussed on request.


Below you will find recommendations for installing Mistika Boutique in your own hardware (for the case of Linux based turnkey systems that are available please read the Mistika Ultima configurations document).


Please note:


We cannot provide any real-time guarantee for computers and storage volumes that are not provided by SGO. However, Mistika Boutique is agnostic in terms of many component brands although there are exceptions such as video I/O.  Therefore, if your system is fast and stable, then Mistika Boutique should typically behave in a similar way.



MISTIKA BOUTIQUE CONFIGURATIONS


OPERATING SYSTEMS:


- Windows 10 (64 bit)


- macOS: Catalina, High Sierra and Mojave (Versions older than Mojave are unsupported and will not work). 


- Linux: Linux is not supported for Mistika Boutique (instead, Mistika Ultima Turnkey systems are supported on Linux,  provides all the functionality but with a different formula)



IMAGE FORMAT CONSIDERATIONS:


All Mistika Boutique processing is made in the GPU, with the exception of decoding and encoding of some media codecs which may need intensive use of CPUs and/or fast storage volumes (depending on the codec).


The following are the typical recommendations. Please note that both playback and render speeds will be limited by the slowest component in the system. This mainly depends on the particular image format:


Compressed codecs (ie Apple ProRes, R3D, EXR compressed, XAVC, J2K, …):


They mainly depend on the CPUs of the system. For these formats it is recommended to use CPUs that are as fast as possible. Mistika provides good parallel processing and in general it can use many CPU cores in parallel both for playback and rendering.  When comparing CPUs, a good (but only approximate) reference is to use this formula:


Number of CPUs x Number of cores x Base clock frequency.  


Systems with the highest total value in that fomula will be faster for these formats. However, this is only true for systems up to 16 cores (32 threads) or so, from that point the CPU efficiency will not increase linearly with the number of cores anymore (and having more than 24 cores is only useful in very few ocassions), so it is more recommended to prioritize CPUs with higher clock speeds rather than extra cores.



GPU based formats:


* RED R3D decoding: 

- The CPU decoder type only uses the CPUs


- When using the traditional "Cuda" decoder type both the CPU and GPU are important.  


- The "Cudanew" decoder type is fully based on GPU and it is much faster than the others, but it requires an NVidia GPU with more than 3GB of memory) 



* H264/H265 encoding: These particular formats can be rendered with the NVIDIA GPU "nvenc" encoder which is much faster than using CPU. This requires a modern NVidia GPU (typically Pascal series or RTX). However each GPU model has different capabilities, you can get all the details in the Nvidia nvenc support matrix.


Note: Currently, the NVIDIA decoder an encoder for the above formats only works on Windows and Linux, as at the date of this document Apple does not support NVidia encoders. 


* Arri raw (.ari, .arx).  Mistika supports Arri official GPU decoding.



Uncompressed formats (ie DPX, EXR uncompressed, Tiff16, Mistika .js, ..):


Performance using uncompressed formats mainly depends on the storage speed so it is highly recommended to use, for example, fast NVMe drives or a disk array.




HARDWARE COMPONENTS:


CPUs and Storage: 


These components mainly depend on the image formats, as per the previous point.  


Note: For Apple computers, only computers from late 2013 or newer are supported.



GPU (Graphics board):


The GPU is the most important component for most Mistika Boutique functionality except for the decoding and decoding of some formats (as explained above).


A modern and discrete GPU is necessary (any model from 2012 or later should work, but the newer the better).  On Windows and Linux NVIDIA is highly recommended (Kepler generation or later) although other brands of discrete GPUs will also work.  Regarding macOS, at the date of this document AMD GPUs are the only option.


The size of GPU memory is also important. For 4K production we recommend GPUs with at least 10 GB. Please note that Mistika Boutique is optimised for high performance, not to save GPU memory.


Mistika Boutique does not currently support multi-GPU (multi-GPU is only available with Mistika Ultima on Linux). However, in some cases you can use third party render managers like Uberware Smedge for background rendering (by launching it in the second GPU)


In general, Quadro boards are better than equivalent GeForce models of the same generation and specs, mainly in these aspects:


- In general Quadro boards have more bandwidth can upload and download images at the same time. This provides faster real-time speeds when using AJA or Blackmagic video boards for the video output.


- RED R3D decoding will also benefit from this capability, as explained above.


- Quadro boards have more memory than their equivalent GeForce of the same generation, so they can accomplish more complicated jobs


As a result, we recommend Quadro boards when also using SDI boards and also for complex projects which require intensive processing and a lot of memory.  But the Quadro advantage is only when comparing GPUs of the same generation (in general, a GeForce of the latest generation can be better than a Quadro from a previous one).  GeForce boards are the cost-effective option for small systems in general


The most recommended NVidia models are:


NVIDIA GeForce 1080ti  - recommended for render nodes and for systems without AJA or Blackmagic  video boards (although it also works with video boards, the 1080ti is the most cost effective model by far ).


NVIDIA Quadro RTX-4000 - good cost / performance ratio working in tandem with AJA or Blackmagic boards. Up to 4K/UHD 60p in real-time, including color grading, framing and basic effects. 


NVIDIA Quadro P5000 or Quadro RTX-5000- excellent performance working in tandem with AJA & Blackmagic boards. Up to 2 x UHD 60p in real-time, including color grading, framing and basic effects. NVIDIA hardware encoder up to 8K. 


Currently, those model is considered the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of the performance/cost ratio.


NVIDIA Quadro-P6000 or Quadro RTX-6000  (both models provide very similar speed in Mistika) - high end performance working in tandem with AJA and Blackmagic video boards. For complex 4K/UHD workflows and 8K+. NVIDIA hardware encoder up to 8K. Also recommended for complex VR workflows.


Note: For the case of Mistika both RTX Touring series and Pascal series equivalent models provide very similar performance, so that is why they are mentioned together in the above list.


Amper series:  On paper they will be the best option, but they are still untested.


For more details about the differences between Quadro and GeForce GPUs please check this document: https://support.sgo.es/solution/articles/1000247927-nvidia-quadro-or-geforce-



RAM:


8 GB for learning/training systems and working on simple projects. Also, permits basic HD workflows on laptops or computers which have few CPU cores.


16 GB for HD/2K production on systems with up to 16 CPU threads.


64 GB for normal 4K production with few layers. More RAM for complex multi-layer workflows on workstations with many CPU cores.


128 GB for complex multi-layer 4K workflows or simple UHD 8K production.


256 GB or more for complex UHD 8K production, 16K, and 32K.


Note: The above resolution examples are approximate and provided for guidance only, as resolution is only one aspect to be considered. For example, basic 8K VR projects typically do not need too much RAM as most often the effect stack is just one stitch effect.  However, typical UHD 8K production generally involves much more complexity and RAM.



VIDEO INPUT/OUTPUT 


Currently, Mistika Boutique is specifically designed to playback through professional video boards provided by AJA or Blackmagic, and it is a highly recommended component:


- Images: SDI or HDMI outputs (both are always active. In Mistika Boutique, Quad SDI is supported up to 4K/UHD 60p


- Audio: Digital AES output or SDI/HDMI embedded audio. (converters to analogue audio are also available)


There are plenty of options so it is difficult to offer a general recommendation.  In general, Blackmagic boards are more cost effective but they are only supported for YUV422 outputs, while AJA boards are more expensive but also support RGB444 and the capability for  VTR control (lay on tape and capture). 


- If your system does not have an AJA or Blackmagic video board then playback to graphics is still possible through the GPU to GUI Monitors, using the motherboard for the audio output.  However, the video signals are not considered to be professional, and there will be an impact in several aspects:


- The real-time performance will be reduced and importantly will not be as stable as using a dedicated video board. Also, GPUs do not have native video buffering to provide additional stability (ie processing ahead).


- In general, most GPUs can have a frame rate error of 1 fps which can lead to slight visual artifacts during playback.


- The audio can easily go out of sync as the images and audio will follow different hardware paths. A dedicated video board board takes care of both paths and is the only way to ensure the audio is always in sync with the corresponding images.


- Another difference is the maximum cable distances. SDI cables can be virtually unlimited, while GPU cables (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI) can only be a few meters long.


Note: If you don’t have an AJA or Blackmagic video board it is highly recommended to at least have two GUI monitors, mainly for using the second one as a full screen display for the output image. Working with only one monitor and no video output is still possible (for example in a laptop), but it has significant interface limitations.



- Supported AJA video board models for Mistika Boutique:


Aja supported modes on Mistika Boutique (Windows and Mac):


- Quad SDI 3G - Supports up to 2 x 2K (2K Stereo3D) or 1 x 4K / UHD  (4K RGB 10bit up to 24p,  UHD YUV422 10 bit up to 60p ).  


- HDMI connector - Supports up to 4K / UHD 60p, depending  on the display model.


Note:   4K/UHD capability over HDMI requires Aja driver 15.xxx and latest firmware. Even with that, some display models do not work for UHD/4K modes over AJA HDMI (Most AJA boards use HDMI 1.4+ output , which is refused by some HDMI displays that only accept HDMI 2.0 ).  If you need UltraHD or 4K trough HDMI and your display does not support it correctly,  the alternative method is to add an  Aja Hi5+ 4K  converter (or similar converter from Quad SDI to HDMI 2.0).    


Windows:


AJA KONA 4.  4 x SDI 3G connectors and one HDMI connector. Up to 4K / UHD 60p (over Quad SDI or HDMI). Stereo3D dual link  is supported for HD formats.


AJA Corvid88: 8 x SDI 3G.  This model permits up to 2 x 4K/UHD 60p Quad SDI. ( for 4K Stereo3D or for UHD SDR + HDR simultaneous monitoring).


AJA IO 4K:  4 x SDI 3G connectors and one HDMI connector. Up to 4K / UHD 60p over QUAD SDI). Stereo3D dual link  is supported for HD formats.


AJA IO 4K Plus:  4 X SDI 3G connectors and one HDMI connector. Up to 4K / UHD 60p (over  Quad SDI or HDMI). Stereo3D dual link  is supported for HD formats.


AJA T-Tap: One SDI 1.5G BNC and one HDMI v1.3 connector. Up to 2K 25p.


macOS:


AJA IO 4K:  4 x SDI 3G connectors  and one HDMI connector. Up to 4K / UHD 60p. Stereo3D dual link  is supported for HD formats.


AJA IO 4K Plus:  4 x SDI 3G connectors  and one HDMI connector. Up to 4K / UHD 60p. Stereo3D dual link  is supported for HD formats.


AJA T-Tap: One SDI 1.5G BNC and one HDMI v1.3 connector. Up to 2K 25p.


AJA Drivers and Firmware:


Driver:  Mistika 8.8.1 and later require Aja driver 15.0 or later


Firmware: The firmware installed needs to be the "Io4K (4K Mode)" and not the "Io4K (UFC Mode)". You can check it in the AJA control panel.


Note: Currently, AJA KONA 5 12G boards (and the corresponding 8K video modes) are not supported on Mistika Boutique (only on Mistika Ultima for Linux). Support for AJA KONA 5 on Boutique is expected as a future development.


- Supported Blackmagic video board models for Mistika Boutique:


The support for Blackmagic video boards have been introduced in Mistika V8.10.  To this date these boards use all the same driver, so all Blackmagic models are expected to work 


The Blackmagic driver is embedded within the Mistika software, so no driver installation is required.


Support YUV422 YUV 10bit up to 4K/UHD resolutions.  

Blackmagic boards do not currently support RGB modes in Mistika (This can change in future versions)


Support Stereo 3D dual link outputs (up to 2 x 4K for video board models with this capabilities. Requires Mistika 8.10 Sept 19th. 2019 or later versions )



SUPPORTED COLOR CONTROL PANELS:


Tangent CP200 (legacy)


Tangent Ripple2


Tangent Wave and Wave2


Tangent Elements (set of six panels are recommended)


Tangent Arc


Note: The Tangent driver (TangentHub / Tangent Synapse) is not provided with Mistika Boutique. Please download the drivers from www.tangentwave.co.uk


Digital Vision Precision panel (supported on Windows, not supported on macOS )



GUI INTERFACE: 


Minimum: one monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution.


Recommended: two monitors with 1920 x 1200 resolution (plus an output reference display connected to an AJA or Blackmagic video board). 


In recent versions higher resolution monitors are also supported for the Mistika GUI (from 2K to  8K...).  The GUI elements  may appear too small or too big by default, but you can adjust their size in MistikaConfig->Interface->Interface Scaling. 



WACOM TABLET / PEN: 


Any model supported in your operating system.