Saturday, July 30, 2011

GoPro HD on Sale at Amazon

The GoPro HD Motorsports HERO Camera camera is currently $233.56, and the GoPro HD Motorsports HERO Camera is $289.95.

Quick Links

Have you got phonetic search tool Get for FCP? Good, cause it’s gone
| Scott Simmons | The EditBlog
This is a bit of a shocker; the Get phonetic search engine for Final Cut Pro has been pulled. Was it because of slow sales or the release of Final Cut Pro X? Or is it some license disagreement between the software developers and the developers of the search engine itself?
My colleague actually called Nexidia and was told there was some type of contractual issue between Nexidia and AV3 Software ... and with that Get is gone.
The article goes on to explain that Nexidia's phonetic search - which was used in Get - is also used in Avid's ScriptSync and PhraseFind features, but also notes that prices for those have been rising.

The Difference Engine: Beyond HDTV | N.V. | The Economist
Forget 3D "the novelty has quickly worn off" it looks like we're going to go to beyond HD to 2160p "Quad HD" or 4320p "Ultra HD"
It is no coincidence that the new Quad HD format is almost identical to the “4K” digital cinema standard (3,996 by 2160 pixels) that the studios have started using to shoot digital movies. While conventional cinema screens have an aspect ratio of 1.85-to-one, the slightly wider 4K movie format can be shoe-horned into television’s 1.77-to-one picture frame without too much difficulty.

Detailed Adobe Premiere & Dynamic Linking Workflow | Vincent Laforet | Vimeo
A detailed Adobe CS5.5 Premiere workflow example and intro being used with both Canon HDSLR footage and RED Epic footage. It shows Dynamic linking with After Effects as well as REDCine X.

CA Trip Behind The Scenes Part 3 – Data Management and Workflow
| Vincent Laforet | Vincent Laforet Blog
Another video and article from Vincent, this one on data management:
We shot everything in full 5K resolution, which translates to around 3-5 GB of information per minute of footage (depending on compression settings.) If you are shooting with HDRx, you need to double that figure.

The AF100 Foam Insert | Zacuto
This new accessory was made to fit into a 24.6 x 19.7 x 8.6 in IM-2700 Storm Case and has space for all of your Panasonic AF100 camera parts and accessories. The AF100 can stay attached to our Universal Baseplate while it’s in the case allowing for a faster setup time.
B & H: Zacuto AF100 FOAM INSERT [$194.75]

Compare the features of DaVinci Resolve 8! | Blackmagic
A table that compares the feature set of the four versions of Resolve 8 (including the free Lite version!)

How To Fake a Multi-Cam Shoot with Just One Camera | Joke and Biagio | Vimeo
Good - and simple - tip for those on a budget or who don't have a lot of time, on how to fake a multi-camera shoot by cutting between full screen and a close-up from the same shot. Demoed in Final Cut Pro, but works in any editor.

Vinten Vector 75 Takes Up Residence at Fenway Park | Videography
A story about the Vinten Vector 75 tripod head featuring Boston's own Tom Guilmette (and the Red Sox.) A very nice tripod head; at $17,701.25!

8 Filmmaking Tips From Guillermo Del Toro and Nicholas Winding Refn
| Cole Abaius | Film School Rejects
Notes from a panel at Comic Con:
Try Doing What You Hate
“I hate vikings,” Refn said when talking about the way he crafted Valhalla Rising. He hated vikings, so why not do them in a science fiction setting? Why not take something that’s tired and inject a little life into it? Plus, taking on a genre or cliche or concept you don’t like can be a great challenge and a good way to see it with fresher eyes.

RED Epic Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 Launch | Octane | Vimeo
This 5K footage was shot at 96 FPS on the RED Epic. From by Jarred. Edited in Premiere Pro CS5, color grading with Magic Bullet Looks.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Rule Camera Pub Night & Learning Labs - August

Rule Boston Camera's ongoing educational programs:

Wednesday AUG 3 | 10am - 12 noon
Wayne Schulman, Video Products Manager for Manfrotto discusses video and hand-held camera supports, remote controls, monopods and shoulder rigs, plus matte boxes, follow focus products and techniques along with an intro to the Genus 3D Rig.

Wednesday AUG 10 | 10am - 12 noon
Tom Talbot, Director of Technology for Rule, offers a "Big Picture" review of video compression covering various in-camera codecs such as XDCAM EX, AVCHD, ProRes, H.264 and more along with trade-offs, workflow complications and storage consequences.

Thursday AUG 18 | 6pm - 8pm
Director of Photography Tom Guilmette shares his experiences with social media from the basics of using the web and a website to promote himself as an industry professional to "going viral" and using the web as a teaching tool (and more).
UPDATE: Tom says he will also be talking about Sports TV, Red Epic and the Phantom Flex .
See also
Videography: Vinten Vector 75 Takes Up Residence at Fenway Park The Phantom Experiment

Rule Boston Camera
395 Western Avenue, Boston MA 02135


News From Here & There

Zacuto EVF Flip Review | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
The Zacuto EVF seems to be getting a lot of love from users; just last night at the Rule Camera Pub Night, Paul Antico of Need Creative was telling me I had to get one. It's useful not just for DSLR users; owners of the NEX-FS100 and some other video cameras are finding them very useful in place of the camera's own EVFs.

I have the Zacuto Z-Finder already, so in theory all I have to do is buy the Z-EVF-1S EVF Snap [$641.25] or the EVF Flip-Up Electronic View Finder [$736.25] and save $123.50 or $213.75 respectively compared to the price of the Z-Finder EVF, though given that a Z-Finder costs $360, maybe I want to get buy the combined unit and get a second Z-Finder at a discount!

Andrew Reid offers an in-depth review:
The Zacuto EVF is the start of a line of accessories that will be part of the landscape for a long time. This kit will eventually go hand in hand with DSLR video. In the future it’s logical to assume these EVFs and compact monitors will become even more indispensable as they get NanoFlash like capabilities and record an uncompressed 10bit HDMI signal from the camera at 200+Mbit to ProRes.

An Easy DSLR Audio Setup for a Crew of One | Alexander Fox | NoFilmSchool
Alex explains how he records to an external recorder while also sending the signal to the DSLR camera:
2) Use a headphone splitter (“doubler”) to give you two headphone jacks out of the recorder. You can get this at Kmart for three dollars. Be sure you’re getting something that says “share your music player with another listener” or something to that effect. You do NOT want to get something that splits the audio signal into left/right, you just want something that turns one jack into two.

3 Ways For Video Creators To Get More Twitter Value | Jeremy Campbell | SpidVid
Jeremy offers some tips for using Twitter, including:
1. Send custom DM’s – I don’t know about you but between the 3 Twitter accounts I manage on a daily basis, I get at least 200 DM’s each day from people who automate the process and it clearly shows. The 140 character template-like messages usually start with “Thanks for the follow…” leaving me to either unfollow that person instantly, or at the very least ignore the noise altogether.

Episode 24: Cheap ePhoto LED Panel Review | Caleb Pike | DSLR Video Shooter
Caleb reviews the ePhoto LED light panels. The lights he covers are daylight balanced, include a dimmer, and range in price from $350 to $550

Bobby Marko - LED Lighting for Production Pt.1
| Boddy Marko | Vimeo
Echoing Caleb's review, Bobby's three part tutorial on LED panels is a more general overview of the pros and cons of these lights and how to use them.

Planet5D Podcast with Eric Kessler and Philip Bloom, August 1st | Planet5D
Eric and Philip are on the podcast Monday Aug 1st at 7pm ET / 6 CT / 4 PT

9 Ways Filmmakers Celebrate Limitations | Tim Barrow | Raindance
This article covers a range of topics and ideas for independent filmmakers. Well worth reading:
5. Cinema screenings
Feature films look best on the big screen. After screening The Inheritance at 10 film festivals, we self-released the film at 25 cinemas, touring it all over the UK, extensively in London and as far afield as Vancouver, Dublin, Shetland and the Isle of Skye where we shot the ending. There is a network of cinemas who want to support independent film.

The 25 Best Film Schools Rankings | Tim Appelo | The Hollywood Reporter
Thinking of going to film school? Here's a ranking:
1. American Film Institute
Among the most selective film schools in America, AFI's Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies in Los Angeles offers a two-year conservatory program where students specialize in fields including directing, producing and writing, often coming to the institute after working in the industry or having attended other schools.

Rode Mics | Website
Rode Microphones has updated their website, adding new features including a new microphone product menu with a microphone filter. Selecting different filter criteria narrows down the product range to show only the microphones which best suit the needs you require.

A wide range of criteria is available from polar pattern, diaphragm size, stereo imaging, instruments to be recorded, studio/live/video applications and more.

Shotlist 2.0 - Production Planning and Tracking

ShotList, an iPhone/iPad app that allows filmmakers to schedule and track movie and video shoots has been upgraded to version 2.0, adding many features that were requested by users.

Shotlist can also be used as a daily “To do” list on larger productions, storing essential notes and storyboards against scene numbers, and tracking progress throughout the day of the shoot by checking off scenes and shots as they are completed.

New features in this release include:
  • Select and move multiple scene and day strips at once.
  • Duplicate scene and day strips, singly and in groups.
  • See thumbnails of Storyboard frames right on the Details screen, and mark them off as you shoot (iPad)
  • Show cast as names rather than numbers (User options provided in Settings give separate control for the Stripboard and Details screens.
  • Added "INT/EXT" and "Green screen" options to location type reel, added "Morning", "Evening" and "Day For Night" options for time of day.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye available for pre-order

A couple of days after it was reported "in the wild" in Canada, and now the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens [$1,499] is now available for pre-order at B & H (there's no ship date quoted, though B & H now only charges your credit card when the product ships; though they do send through an authorization.)

I love wide-angle lenses, and would love to have one of these. Note that you only get 180 degree fish-eye if you have a full-sensor camera like the Canon 5D Mark II.

  • L-Series Optics
  • 180° Diagonal Angle of View
  • Produces Circular & Full Frame Images
  • Fast Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) Autofocus
  • Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) Glass
  • Floating Focus System
  • Close Focus - 6.2" / 0.16 m
  • Rear Gel Holder Up to 3 Pre-Cut Filters
  • Subwavelength Structure Coating
  • Protective Fluorine Lens Coating

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bower ABANEXEOS Adapter for Canon EOS Lens to Sony NEX Camera with Aperture

This adapter claims to let you mount Canon EOS lenses to Sony NEX mount cameras (the page at B & H mentions the NEX-3 and 5, but I'm more interested in how it works with the Sony NEX-FS100) and it gives you a manual aperture adjustment (not automatic from the camera, but we'll take what we can get.)

It's $174.95. I don't think there are any other adapters that give you control over the aperture with Canon EOS lenses on an NEX camera; the Birger mount is supposed to, but it's still MIA and is going to cost several times this.

The interesting sentence in the description is:
This adapter has an aperture, which offers manual adjustment of exposure. 
Does that mean it has a diaphragm of it's own, or that it controls the one in the lens? What's with the "123456" numbers on the side?

Bower's own website doesn't seem to have a listing for this item yet, though it appears as a "New" item in the PDF of their catalog.

NOTE: They seem to have two versions of this adapter, one with no aperture setting, which sells for about $87, and this one with the aperture setting.

Can someone with an NEX-FS100 please buy one and let us know how it works? Thanks!

B&HBower ABANEXEOS Adapter for Canon EOS Lens to Sony NEX Camera with Aperture

Quick Links

Users report video-related freezes in Lion | Christian Zibreg | 9 to 5 Mac
Reports of several different kinds of freezes, including one that seems to be QuickTime related:
Other people report freezes when playing back video clips in iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand and other apps. Moreover, the problem is persistent regardless of whether users have the latest version of Flash Player installed, or any version of it for that matter.

Interview with MediaStorm Producer Rick Gershon | Matthew McAllister
| MediaStorm
An interview with Rick about gear. It includes a great picture (annotated) showing his traveling kit:
Really to me this is about multiples of everything: I have 6 adapters, 6 batteries, 2 chargers, 5 cards, 2 circular ND filters, a 6 stop filter, and a few UV filters, 5 XLR cables, 2 Shotgun mics, 2 Sennheiser Wireless Kits, I have a couple of different small hot shoe mountable shotgun mics, 3 or 4 HDMI cables for my monitor, multiple tripod mount plates because they disappear, I always bring a couple leathermans, I bring two or three headlamps which is totally insane and OCD, but I do it anyway. I have to travel with two mic holding shock mounts because they break easily.

The EF 8-15 f/4L Fisheye Has Landed |
The Canonrumors website reports sightings of the EF 8-15 f/4L Fisheye arriving in limited quantity in Canada (B & H still lists no arrival date, so clearly Canada is much closer to Japan...)

No Finalized 5D Mark III Yet [CR2] |
Canonrumors also reports that Canon still hasn't decided how to position the Canon 5D Mark II replacement. This pretty much confirms that there will be no 5D Mark III (or whatever they call it) until sometime in 2012.

Movies Shooting ArriRAW This Year | HD Magazine
List of eight current movies including The Avengers (3D) and Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter.

(SR4) 16-50mm kit lens will be “designed for video use”
| SonyAlphaRumors
Several rumors over the last couple of days about a new lens from Sony which is reportedly "designed for video" though what that actually means is unclear (one report mentions that the lens is "SILENT!") A couple of reports note problems with slight vignetting at 16mm with the prototype lens.
SonyAlphaRumors: (SR5) 16-50mm f/2.8 lens is SSM (and not a Zeiss lens!)
SonyAlphaRumors: (SR4) First quality report about the upcoming 16-50mm SSM lens!!!
SonyAlphaRumors: (SR5) EXCLUSIVE: First User reviews about the new adapter, A77, NEX-7 and 16-50mm lens!
SonyAlphaRumors: (SR5) More bits about the 16-50mm lens.

Episode 25: DSLR Cinema Book Review | Caleb Pike | DSLR Video Shooter
A video review (videocast?) of the book DSLR Cinema by Kurt Lancaster.
There are some cons to publishing a detailed guide like this on paper. But its sooo nice to have a physical book with this many features in ones hands.
Amazon: DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video

Cowboys & Aliens | Movie
I'm not too sure what to make of this movie. The trailer looked interesting...with some reservations. Now I see a bad review at "Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford's steampunk western piles cliche upon cliche -- and just ends up being irritating" a falling rating at RottenTomatoes [currently 43%] and just to confuse further, a fairly positive 3 out of 4 star review at "The elements are all there, and you come out feeling you got your money’s worth - yet “Cowboys & Aliens’’ never goes over the top into full-blown popcorn greatness." "Cowboys & Aliens": Daniel Craig does Eastwood in a steampunk mashup
RottenTomatoes: Cowboys & Aliens (2011) Cowboys & Aliens A rollicking Western for a 21st century crowd

Sony NEX-FS100 low light test | Jim Kallemeyn | Vimeo

Sony NEX-FS100 low light test from Jim Kallemeyn on Vimeo.
Shot on the Sony NEX-FS100 in FX mode. 1080/24p. Transcoded to ProRes.
This was shot with the kit lens (18-200) wide open. At this focal length (150-200 range) wide open means f6.3.

Do Camera Tests Influence Buying Decisions: The Great Camera ShootOut 2011: Part 2

Zacuto has posted the second part of The Great Camera Shootout 2011, an exhaustive comparison of "large sensor" cameras. In this year's test they compared a number of high-end cameras including the Sony F35, RED OME MX, ARRI Alexa, Panasonic AG-AF100 and Sony PMW-F3, as well as a few Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

This second episode looks at "Sensors and Sensitivity," including tests for low light sensitivity and sharpness. They also do some comparisons of the quality of uncompressed vs compressed images for those cameras that have the option of sending out an uncompressed signal. Note that in those situations, the difference you see is probably due to the different color space used (the uncompressed is either 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, while most compressed formats use 4:2:0.)

Philip Bloom offers his thoughts on the test, noting that:
For the vast majority [...] the cameras we are watching in this documentary are just fantasy anyway and something we just aspire to!!
As with nearly any test like this, no matter how seemingly exhaustive, it always seems like something gets left out that you wish was included. Philip would like to have seen the GH2, I'd have liked to see the Sony NEX-FS100 (the latter was released too late to be included.)

I was particularly intrigued by the tests which highlighted the limitations of the DSLRs; yet I have to remind myself that I see stunning results produced with these cameras. Knowing how to use them is perhaps more important than just looking at the specs.


click to see the difference in detail in the dress

Yet watching this camera test reminded me of El Skid's recent article: "What Camera Should You Buy Next? Stick or Twist?" at Wide Open Camera, where he evaluates the options for a new camera after his Canon 5D Mark II was stolen. He looks at the PMW-F3, AF101, Ikonoscop Acam D3, NEX-FS100, and thinks about the possibilities of waiting for a 5D Mark III or the RED Scarlet/ EPIC-S.

He looks at the pros and cons of each, but there's three other important drivers of his ultimate decision: he needs a camera now, he has a "stack of Canon lenses, a bunch of support gear, and everything else I need", and he needs a  "camera that can shoot stills and video." Those factors alone immediately suggest that "none of the above" will be the final choice!

Ultimately, other factors; familiarity, money, existing accessories, money, availability, money, end up influencing our decisions more than the tangible properties of the cameras.

Zacuto: The Great Camera Shootout 2011: SCCE ~ Episode Two
PhilipBloom: The Great Camera Shootout Part 2: Sensors & Sensitivity….Check it out and my thoughts…
WideOpenCamera: What Camera Should You Buy Next? Stick or Twist?
NotesOnVideo: The Great Camera Shootout 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Singular Software | Presto Review

I once produced a video recording of a software demonstration. To do it, I set up one video camera recording the projected demo, and another to record the presenter. Once that was recorded, I imported the two video tracks, synched them up - which was not that difficult - and then spent a lot of time finessing the whole thing together. This involved scaling the video of the presenter between a thumbnail and full screen through the hour long presentation. It was an exercise in tedium, and I had been lucky; my presenter was sitting down, not moving around a stage, which would have made the task much, much harder.

If I'd had Singular Software's Presto, I probably could have done the job in half the time, and done a better job too. Presto is an external application which automatically inserts the slides, and lets you choose the arrangement of speaker and slide, before sending the results to your editing application for final finishing. For those that need to make video's of presentations, it is a god send. And while it is primarily designed to be used with footage of a speaker talking to a PowerPoint presentation or slide show, it can be almost as useful for working with software demos or screen recordings. If you want to mix video of your speaker with the presentation, this is the tool to use.

How it Works
If your speaker is talking to a slide show, you'll need two video cameras, as well as image files of the slide show itself. One camera is used to record the speaker, while the other is used to record the projected screen. You must first sync up those two clips in your NLE, and then send the sequence to the Presto application. The next step is to load in the image files of the talk. Presto goes through the video of the slide show and automatically figures out where in the presentation the slides appear. Presto then replaces the video of the slide show with the high resolution images.

But it doesn't stop there. Presto also tracks the presenter in the second video track and places him/her centered in a masked window beside the slides. You can then go through the presentation and manually choose different template layouts, including switching between full screen images of either the presenter or the presentation - before exporting the results back to your NLE.

Giving It a Try
In your NLE (at the moment, it works in Final Cut Pro 6 & 7 and Sony Vegas Pro) you first create a sequence that has the two video tracks; the video of the presenter in the top track, and the recording of the screen in the bottom track. Once that's set up, you launch Presto, which automatically loads and displays the names of the current Sequence and Project.

First screen of Presto displays the current Project and Sequence

Assuming they are correct, you press Get Sequence and Presto loads in the sequence.

Quick Links

Matte Painting - After Effects Breakdown "I Am Legend Spoof"
| The VFX Bro | YouTube
This video takes you step-by-step through producing three effects shots in After Effects. It's amazing what you can do these days with very little; a green screen and After Effects and away you go!

Original iPhone Film Festival | website
Enter the Original iPhone Film Festival, it's free! Deadline is September 30th

Zacuto EVF Firmware 1.01.00 | Zacuto
The first firmware update for the Zacuto EVF is now available. If includes:
  • Audio meters enabled that are able to be positioned in any of the four corners.
  • Battery meter can now be positioned in any of the four corners
  • Audio loop through enabled

Cinematic geography and the problem of genius | John August |
A couple of weeks ago Rob Ager posted on YouTube a clip "Film psychology THE SHINING spatial awareness and set design" where he looked at parts of Kubrick's movie "The Shining" and dissected how set design anomalies were used to disorientate viewers. At the time, I thought he might be over-thinking things - just look through IMDB to see countless examples of movies where sets don't match exteriors - but John August has written a long objection to the original thesis.

Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court | BBC
Copyright laws differ, allowing man to manufacture and sell copies of the Stormtrooper uniform in the UK, but he can't sell in the US.

The fine art of YouTube | Steve Johnson | Chicago Tribune
Is YouTube growing beyond cat videos? Can you make a living making YouTube videos?
One of the strongest lessons imparted at a workshop YouTube conducted in Chicago for its area "partners" — the name it gives content creators popular enough to potentially draw advertiser attention and share in the revenue — was to keep a steady posting schedule. "Last year I did videos five days a week for the whole year, and the audience just grows and grows and grows if you make yourself dependable," Benzine told fellow creators at the event.

Unbound’s struggle to build crowdfunding for books | Bobbie Johnson | Gigaom
An example of crowdfunding not working.
In particular, I think there is a dangerous tendency to believe that crowdfunding is simply about tapping up members of the public for cash — whereas it is really about communities choosing their own destinies. Just like crowdsourcing before it, there needs to be a real sense of involvement and authenticity if projects are going to be more than just about doing things inexpensively

Paul McCartney 9/11 documentary to air on US TV | Sean Michaels | The Guardian
Film about former Beatle's experience in New York following 9/11 will air on eve of 10th anniversary of terrorist attacks

DVD review: Forget The Film, Watch The Titles! | Leonard Maltin | IndieWire
One of the unfortunate side-effects of so many filmmakers choosing to forego a formal opening and throw——audiences right into the action is that it’s relegated titles to a back-row seat, figuratively speaking. But some directors still realize that a good opening title can set the mood and lead audiences into a film in the right frame of mind (no pun intended).
Amazon: Forget The Film, Watch The Titles

Sony NEX-FS100 Super 35mm video camera test footage | Dan Crowell | Vimeo
Test footage shot with Sony's new super 35mm video camera NEX-FS100 UK using the stock 18-200 3.5/3.6 E-mount lens.

Sony NEX-FS100 Super 35mm video camera test footage from Dan Crowell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Joe Simon Films

I was pointed to Joe Simon's work by a post at John Nack's blog: [Cool DIY aerial filmmaking.] I'm a big fan of low aerial shots, and have been intrigued by these video's shot using small remote-control helicopters. This one is very well done:

Heli Test #1 from Mutiny Bikes on Vimeo.

But then I saw this other video:

Denton/Fort Worth TX from Mutiny Bikes on Vimeo.

I really like this video; some of the choreography between camera and bikes is particularly impressive [see: sequences starting at 1:27, 1:54 and 2:38.]

I'd like to know what rigs they are using; you can see the cameraman at 3:50 using some kind of Steadicam, though in some of the sequences the camera surely is on a bike or rollerblades, or similar, to keep up with the bikes!

You can see more of Joe's work here: Joe Simmon Films

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 18


Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5: Systems with two graphics cards may export QuickTime movies with green artifacts | Support Note | Apple
You may notice green artifacts when you export a QuickTime movie. This can occur on a system that has two graphics cards installed and a display attached to a DVI port on each card.
Resolution: To work around this issue, only use Final Cut Pro X or Motion 5 with a single graphics card installed on your system.

How To Remove The Audio Popping In Final Cut Pro X | AppleTechViewer | YouTube
This may not be a bug, but if you have problems with popping in audio, this tutorial may help. It demonstrates using the free utility Smart Converter - ShedWorx (on the Mac App Store) to convert an audio track, and then use Synchronize Clips to attach the new audio to the original video clip.
Not explained is why the popping problem is occurring in the first, though it's likely to be a difference between sample rates (which I've encountered now and again in Final Cut Pro 7 too.)



Motion 5: About Motion Supplemental Content | Technote | Apple
The Motion Supplemental Content adds content for use in Motion 5. It is available via Software Update if Motion 5 is installed on your computer or via Apple Support Downloads.

Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: Deploying across multiple Mac systems using Apple Remote Desktop, NetInstall, or NetRestore | TechNote | Apple
Follow the steps below to deploy Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 across multiple Mac systems using Apple Remote Desktop, NetInstall, or NetRestore.


Color Grading Central | website
A collection of free tutorials on Color Grading in Final Cut Pro X, available for free (to watch online) or you can buy and download the files. The videos are produced by Denver Riddle.

Learn color grading in Final Cut Pro X – free and downloadable options
| Mitch | Planet5D
Denver Riddle has posted a 15 session Color Tutorial for Final Cut Pro X, and Planet5D has posted an interview with him about his background and new website Color Grading Central.

FCPX Color Correction Tip: Using Adjustment Presets To Give Your Footage A Stylized Look! |
How to use FCPX color correction presets – using the ones that come with the application, as well as how to save your own for future use.

FCP Tip of the Month 003: Secondary Color Selection in FCP X
| ChesapeakeSystems | YouTube
Luis Sierra has done a little tutorial to show you how to select and correct a secondary color. In this example, he selects a color in the foreground and desaturates the rest.


Faster Editing: Final Cut Pro X | Apple
Apple has added a video comparing the editing in Final Cut Pro 7 and Avid. Some have suggested the comparisons aren't the most accurate...


Dashwood Stereo3D Toolbox LE v3.0 Tutorial | Stereo3DToolbox | YouTube
A step by step tutorial that demonstrates how to automatically synchronize stereoscopic 3D clips in Final Cut Pro X, create stereo-pair compound clips for stereo3D editing, correct 3D disparities, and use global output modes with Stereo3D Toolbox LE v3.0

12 Classic Generators for Final Cut Pro X | Mark Spencer | Ripple Training
Free replacements for 12 generators from Final Cut Pro, recreated in Motion 5.

iPhone Video Effect | FCP Effects
A Free effect (email address required) that simulates a video being recorded on an iPhone. In the inspector you can choose between varying levels of hand shakiness and the amount of background blur or bokeh.


my take on FCP X | Bill Davis | the davis review
While continuing to support Final Cut Pro 7, Bill looks towards the future:
Next, we keep an eye on FCP X. I don’t buy the criticism that Apple has given up on the creative pro. If anything they are trying to expand the definition of what a “pro” is, and therefore expand their sales and bottom line.

Apple's Final Cut X Troubled Intro "Has Made Eyeballs Turn" to Adobe's Premiere
| Andy Plesser | HuffingtonPost
An interview with Al Mooney, Product Manager for Premiere from Beet.TV.

In Defense of Final Cut Pro X | Bryant Frazer and Beth Marchant | Studio Daily
it's not ready for Prime Time, but don't abandon it just yes:
Despite the product's flaws, Schofield says he gives Apple credit for redesigning the interface with an emphasis on efficiency. "They haven't just stuck with a traditional NLE paradigm," he says. "The biggest challenge is learning that new language and getting comfortable enough with it to begin approaching bigger projects."

More FCP X thoughts | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
Following on from his review, Oliver offers more thoughts on Final Cut Pro X:
I’m coming around to the view that for Apple, the moniker of “Pro” isn’t defined by the target user, but rather by the performance capabilities of the software. Compare iPhoto with Aperture or GarageBand with Logic. In both categories, Apple offers two solutions: basic and advanced.

"X" Terminator Day International Final Cut Pro X Refund Request | Mike J. Nichols | The Edit Doctor
Upset about Final Cut Pro X and how Apple mismanaged expectations (and didn't even provide a demo version) Mike wants to organize a mass refund request for Final Cut Pro X.
While I agree with both of Mike's complaints, Apple seems to be refunding people who complain no questions asked, and I'm not sure that it would have much effect.

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

24p or 30p?

I'm doing pre-production planning for a documentary, and one of the first questions I've been trying to answer is; 24p or 30p? To be honest, I don't usually give a lot of thought to what format to use for short projects, but since this is going to be a fairly "big" one, I decided that I should think about whether I want to risk shooting at 24p, which is not a format I have used much.

I dropped Jared Fleischer an email asking him what he was shooting in. He's in the middle of his second documentary feature, Sourlands, which he is shooting with the Panasonic GH2.

This is what he had to say:
I'm shooting mostly at 24p (I'll explain "mostly" below.) I did spend some time thinking about frame rates before deciding on 24.

-The big benefit of 24p, obviously, is that it looks the most filmlike. And since I'm going for other filmlike qualities by using a DSLR, it seemed like 24p was the right choice.

-Another small benefit to 24p is that in the very very unlikely event that the documentary gets picked up theatrically, I'll have a much easier time doing a transfer.

-And finally, to my knowledge, there's no such thing as 30p on Blu-ray, it's all 24p or 30i. If I'm correct about that, then I think that should definitely steer you toward 24p.

-The benefit to 30p that I see would be that there's more smoothness and less jerkiness to the shot, which can be especially useful in run and gun type documentaries. But here's what I do when I need a smooth shot: I shoot in 24p and just change the shutter speed to 1/60 or 1/100 instead of the usual 1/50. And when I need slow motion, I shoot in 60p and then slow it down by 60%.

-As I mentioned in my last blog post, sometimes when I'm shooting with the Panasonic GH2 I shoot in program mode, which means the shutter speed is always changing. I'm pretty sure that I can tell when it jump outs of 1/50 to 1/60 or 1/100, but I bet no average viewer would ever notice. Still, to my eye, I think that 24p with a 1/50 (or 1/48 to exact) shutter really does look the best. It look likes a movie.

See also:
NotesOnVideo: Documentary Shooting with the Panasonic GH2
Kickstarter: Sourlands: A Story of Land, Energy and a Life More Local

Blu-ray doesn't do 30p
I hadn't even thought about Blu-ray (my current distribution plans are YouTube and DVD) but Jared's comment about Blu-ray surprised me. A quick bit of research confirmed that while DVD's support 30p, Blu-ray supports only 24p and 60i.

Also a little bit troubling is the report from a DXUser contributor that converting from 60i to 30p resulted in some loss in color:
Converting 30p to 60i and burn as a 60i BD: Preserves temporal resolution, but reduces color subsampling significantly.

DXUser: Shot 1080 30p -> 24p or 60i for Blu-Ray?
AVSForum: Bluray does not support 1080p30!! Did not know this!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Quick Links

FS100 Scene Files from AbelCine | Andy Shipsides | CineTechnica
Andy put together some scene files for the PMW-F3 some months ago, and now he's created some matching ones for the NEX-FS100:
I put the two cameras together and made matching scene files that incorporate some of the settings I described in my FS100 dynamic range blog. Unfortunately, there’s no way to load scene files into the FS100 with a memory card, so you’ll have to dial in my settings manually to try them out.

Gamma Mea Culpa | Alexis van Hurkman |
Alexis notes a small correction to his book for the display gamma for digital Rec. 709 displays.
Since publication, it has been brought to my attention via Charles Poynton’s own open letter to the industry that there, in fact, has never been a formal display gamma standard for Rec 709, as gamma was an implicit characteristic of CRT displays that was simply “built-in.” The actual gamma employed by CRT displays is quoted by Poynton as falling between 2.3 and 2.4, but this was never a published standard.

Rangers Ally McCoist fall’s out over BBC edit! | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Not being in England, some of this post goes over my head, but the upshot appears to be that an interview was edited, and a shot of the interview subject smirking was insert over a question, prompting a complaint that the edit was made intentionally.
Philip argues that the editor probably simply was trying to find a cutaway shot that matched, and didn't even notice the possible editorial change cause by the edit.

Advice To Writer | Website
Daily inspiration for writers.
Work inspires inspiration. Keep working. If you succeed, keep working. If you fail, keep working. If you’re interested, keep working. If you’re bored, keep working.
- Michael Crichton

ARRI Alexa 4.0 Software Update | Jon Fauer | Film & Digital Times
The 4.0 firmware update is out and Jon lists the features:
I’m convinced that anamorphic is the next big thing (again), and the most significant new feature for many is anamorphic de-squeezing. It’s available with the purchase of a license key–the first of Alexa-on-demand add-ons. 2x or 1.3x squeezed anamorphic lenses can now be unsqueezed electronically in the viewfinder or on a monitor.

The power of the letter "o" | Mirko Ilic | Salon/Imprint
An interesting look at how the letter O has been used in different movies posters.

Rule Boston Camera: July 27 LearningLab | Canon XF305 & HDSLR News

Canon presents the latest in their professional camcorder and HD-SLR line-up featuring the XF305 with 50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 recording to CF cards, multiple recording bit rates, resolutions, variable frame rates and a robust workflow.

July 27 | 10am to 12n with Breakfast

Rule Boston Camera | 395 Western Avenue, Boston, MA 02135

Novacut, An Open Source NLE and More; interview with Jason DeRose

Over the last couple of weeks there's been some buzz about a KickStarter campaign for an Open-Source video editor called Novacut. After reading the page and some of the associated links (see below) I was curious about the project, and managed to talk to Lead Developer & Project Visionary Jason DeRose about this interesting project.

As of today, the project is more than half way to their $25,000 goal.

Michael: What is Novacut?
Jason: It’s two things. We’re building an editor, and we are also building a distribution platform.

What’s your role?
I’m the lead developer, and this is my brainchild too. I’ve had numerous help refining the idea from the other two co-founders, Tara Oldfield and Jeffrey Ballagh.

Where did the idea come from then?
My wife Tara is a photographer and when she got a 5D Mark II we started playing with the video, and started realizing there was going to be an explosion of new content producers because of the cost reduction.

I’m an open source developer and open source has had version control tools for quite a while. It’s basically a way to allow teams of developers from all over the world to work together in a coordinated fashion. If you can take from a huge pool you can find the very best people, people who are the right fit for what you are doing and I thought the same thing would apply to content creation. Especially for steps that are independent like the colorist, it shouldn’t really matter where they are located.

Is that the key difference between this tool and the other NLE’s that are out there?
That’s the real kicker, for sure. Some of the differences are that because of the way we had to build it for the distributed/collaborative workflow, it’s also super easy for us to spread out rendering over a local cluster or the cloud. There’s just a lot of flexibility.

Novacut logo

With the distributed workflow, will you still need to have the files locally?
Yes. It’s not like a website. It doesn’t only exist on the cloud. We can utilize the cloud, but you can work locally also.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Love & Hate for Final Cut Pro X at BOSFCPUG Meeting

This past Thursday evening was the first meeting of the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group since the release of Final Cut Pro X. With that in mind, I was dying to see what Final Cut users thought about the whole thing. The meeting also featured a presentation by Steve Martin of Ripple Training specifically talking about Final Cut Pro X, so if ever there was going to be a focus group to talk about the new release, this was the one.

As luck would have it, the first three people I spoke to were all Final Cut Pro 7 users who weren't sure whether they were going to upgrade to Final Cut Pro X. Interestingly, none of them seemed to be concerned about the lack of pro features; they were aware of all the kerfuffle on the internet, but weren't sure how it applied to them. They were waiting to see where the chips fell.

I had more success with a couple of guys from a local cable access station. They already have some Final Cut Pro editing suites and aren't sure what they are going to do.
"The interface is so different, it's going to be a big problem for our existing users," one noted.
"We looked at it, and that's not Final Cut," said the other.
They did say that they had downloaded Final Cut Pro X the night before, but had only played with it briefly.

Checking out gear at E. P. Levine prior to the meeting

Just before the meeting got underway, I struck up conversation with the two guys sitting behind me. They were in the wait-and-see camp. One has Final Cut Pro 7, and an older tape-based camera. He is thinking of upgrading to a solid-state camera, and thinks that when he does that he might move to Final Cut Pro X. I did point out to him that Final Cut Pro X could still import from Firewire cameras, though you would lose the logging capability. He said that he didn't use that anyway.

Quick Links

Ridley Scott: “I’ll Never Work Without 3D Again” | Today3D
The director speaks - via satellite - at Comic Con

Correction regarding hardware acceleration of Flash on Mac OS X Lion | Adobe
GPU acceleration for Flash Player seems to be broken in Lion, and some people - even Adobe - thought Apple had broken it on purpose. Adobe has now released a clarification:
The final release of Mac OS X Lion (10.7) provides the same support for Flash hardware video acceleration as Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). The previous “Known Issue” described in a tech note suggesting that video hardware acceleration was disabled in Lion was incorrect and based on tests with a pre-release version of Mac OS X Lion that related to only one particular Mac GPU configuration.

The Tao Colorist: DaVinci Resolve Lite | Patrick Inhofer | Tao of Color
Today's Tao of Color newsletter collections together items on DaVinci Resolve Lite. Also, check out the list of features in Resolve Lite vs. the full release at this page at BlackMagic: Compare the features of DaVinci Resolve 8!

Glidetrack Raffle | Glidetrack
Vote for your favorite Glidetrack movie for a chance to win $750 of Glidetrack gear.

10 Things To Avoid When Learning Screenwriting | Ryan | Master the Craft
A collection of things to avoid for those starting out, including:
1. Writing in multiple genres.
2. Casually consuming movies and scripts.
6. Writing but not rewriting.

'Star Wars' Deleted Scenes: Complete Saga Blu-Ray Includes Forgotten Footage (VIDEO) | Huffington Post
...amongst the goodies is a series of deleted scenes from the original three movies. Yes, unseen moments with Luke, Leia, Han, Obi Wan and Vader. To get you salivating, here's a sizzle reel of some of those moments.

7 Things Filmmakers Can Learn From Animators | Matthew Keen | Raindance
Film's a visual medium:
6. Don’t say it, show it
This is fundamental to animation and should most definitely be applied to film. Visual communication is a universal language, one that anyone can understand no matter where they are from. This makes it incredibly powerful, not to mention simple. Something as subtle as a shift in a character’s stance or the way they walk can say more than any amount of dialogue.